25. BRENT PELHAM.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)ix. S.E. (b)xiv. N.E.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, stands on
high ground N. of the village; the walls are of
flint rubble with stone dressings, and the roofs
are tiled. The Nave and Chancel were built
c. 1350, and the West Tower about a century
later. In the 19th century a South Porch and
a North Organ Chamber were added, and the
whole church was much restored.
Architectural Description—The Chancel
(26 ft. by 18½ ft.) has a modern E. window and
two small two-light windows with simple
tracery, of c. 1350, one in the S. wall, the other
re-set in the N. wall of the organ chamber. In
the S. wall is a small doorway which retains
only a few original stones. The chancel arch,
also of c. 1350, is of two moulded orders
with triple-shafted jambs. The Nave (50½ ft.
by 28 ft.) has three windows in the N.
wall and three in the S. wall, of which
only the internal openings are original; the
N. and S. doorways, of two wave - moulded
orders, are original, but the former is
blocked. The West Tower (12 ft. by 10½ ft.)
is of three stages, with moulded plinth,
embattled parapet and small lead-covered spire.
In the S.W. angle is a newel staircase. The
tower arch, of two moulded orders with shafted
jambs, the pointed W. doorway with square
outer order and traceried spandrels, the three-light W. window with tracery, and the bell-chamber windows of two lights are all original.
Fittings—Bells: four, 1st and 2nd 1634, 4th
1637. Brass: in the nave, of Mary, 1625, and
Anne, 1627, the wives of Francis Rowley, with
inscription. The S. Door retains its original
tracery (mid 14th-century), much scraped, and
on a new backing. Monument: in a recess in
N. wall of nave, large black marble slab, late
13th-century, decorated in high relief with a
foliate cross, the symbols of the Evangelists,
and other figures; an 18th-century inscription
painted on the back of the recess ascribes it to
Piers Shonks, 1086. Plate: includes a cup of
1628. Screen: at W. end of nave, modern, but
incorporates some traceried heads from a 15th-century screen. Miscellanea: on a buttress on
N. wall of nave, two deeply cut crosses, probably consecration crosses.
Condition—Good; much restored.
b(2). At Down Hall, consists of two ponds
in the farmyard.
a(3). 'Chamberlain's' Moat, ¾ mile N. of the
church, with wet ditch, and traces of an inner
Condition—Good, except S.E. arm.
b(4). 'Shonks'' Moat, about a mile S.E. of
the church, encloses two islands. The ditch of
one is wet, that of the other is dry and much
a(5). Brent Pelham Hall, E. of the church,
is of two storeys and an attic, built in 1608, as
indicated by a dated stone still remaining; it
was then timber-framed, but a brick casing
was added later in the 17th century; a print of
1698 shows the house in its present condition.
The roofs are tiled. The plan is E-shaped; the
slightly projecting middle bay, in which is the
principal entrance with a porch, has a pediment
head, and the shallow wings at each end have
hipped roofs. A plain brick string-course
marks the first floor level, and the eaves and
pediment have moulded wood cornices with
modillions. The windows have "outside"
sash frames. The ends of the house resemble
the front, but modern additions have been made
at the back. The chimney stacks are original,
and have octagonal and round shafts, moulded
in twisted, honeycomb, and other patterns,
with moulded caps and bases. The porch
opens into a large hall, which occupies the
whole space between the wings, and has a stone
fireplace with a Tudor arch, and an early
17th-century oak mantelpiece; the walls are
lined with oak panelling of that date. The
drawing room in the wing at the S. end has
similar panelling and fireplace. In the dining
room, at the other end of the building, is a later
17th-century fireplace on which are the arms of
Floyer, a cheveron between three arrows, impaling Boothby, on a canton a lion's paw, a
crescent for difference. Another fireplace in
the upper storey has the Floyer arms, and on
the stairs at the N. end of the house is a shield
with Floyer impaling Boothby. About 1640
the house passed into the possession of Francis
Floyer, who married Martha Boothby. Two
other mid 17th-century fireplaces, of clunch,
with oak overmantels, have recently been
brought to this house, with some of the panelling, from the 'Beeches.'
b(6). The Beeches, formerly the Manorhouse, now a farmhouse, about 1 mile E. by S.
of the church, was built early in the 17th century of plastered timber with brick foundations;
the roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped, but
not of the normal type. The main block, facing
S.S.E., originally contained a hall and
parlour, but was much altered, both inside and
out, in the 18th and 19th centuries. The short
wing contains the kitchen and offices, and the
original newel stairs are in a square weather-boarded turret in the re-entering angle. The
first floor contains a number of bedrooms opening into each other; the attic is open throughout. At each end of the main block is a large
chimney stack with octagonal shafts and
moulded caps; in both stacks are small brickmoulded, mullioned windows which light the
attic. At the back is a third chimney stack,
and E.N.E. of the kitchen wing is a fourth.
Many of the windows are original, with wood
frames and mullions, and metal casements.
Part of the original ceiling of the hall, with
raised moulding in a honeycomb pattern, also
remains. In the attic is a 17th-century fire-place with a plain four-centred head. All the
original panelling and mantelpieces were
removed to Brent Pelham Hall in the 19th century.
Condition—Fairly good; interior defaced;
kitchen chimney stack has settled badly.
a(7). The Stocks and Whipping Post, near
the S. gate of the churchyard, are of the usual
type, with six holes; the post is at one end, and
has an iron staple with three wrist holes, bound
by a padlock.
a (8). Tumulus, moated, W. of Cole Green.