Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of SPAINS HALL
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Braintree (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 67876 34017



3/79 Spains Hall 2.5.53


Great house. Circa 1570, with C17, C18 and C19 additions, incorporating a fragment of an earlier house, c.1400-50. Red brick, mainly English bond, some Flemish bond, with some plastered timber framing, roofed with handmade red clay tiles. Complex plan approximately of L-shape with wings extending SE and NE, main elevation to SW (see scaled plan in RCHM, 91, to which these notes refer). 2 storeys with attics. SW elevation, English bond with moulded plinth, the storeys divided by moulded brick string courses (originally with recessed plaster bands, missing), continued round the SE end. 7 original gables, 2 large and 5 small, all with curvilinear copings. The windows have hollow-moulded mullions, square heads and labels; 6 of them are original. The porch is carried up to the full height with one of the smaller gables. The outer entrance has moulded jambs and a 4-centred arch under a square head with label. The inner doorway has been brought forward, with an original door with 4-centred head and mouldings. On each side of the porch there is an original window of 2 lights with square heads, blocked. 5 lead rainwater heads with arms and initials of Robert and Elizabeth Kempe, dated 1637, the pipes elaborately ornamented with strapwork, leopards, cherubs, etc. There are 22 octagonal chimney shafts with moulded bases, variously restored. The NW elevation, partly of plastered timber framing, has a moulded plinth, and 2 projecting gables, with 2 carved brackets. The bressumers and bargeboards are moulded and richly carved with guilloche and conventional ornament, and at the apices are carved and moulded pendants, early C17. 3 of the lower windows are original and similar to those of the SW eleva- .. tion, but still plastered. Under one gable is an original oriel window of 8 lights with one wrought iron casement, some early glass and diamond leading. One Venetian window, C18. The SE elevation of the NE wing is in Flemish bond, with on the ground floor 3 C18 sashes of 12 lights with flat arches of gauged brick and 2 tripartite french windows with segmental arches of gauged brick, and on the first floor 4 C18 sashes of 9 lights and one early C19. Crown glass. 2 wooden string courses, plain parapet, circular domed cupola with 6 Tuscan columns and weathervane with pierced design 'TR 1768'. The block NE of the library retains one bay of a king post roof, c.1400-50, with arch-braced side purlins and cambered collars. The king post, its one remaining brace, and the side purlins and their associated braces, are moulded. Medieval king post roofs are rare in Essex; only 2 other domestic examples are known. The roof is unsooted and appears to be part of the crosswing of a former house on this site. The hall has moulded wallplates and moulded and carved beams, 2 of them carved with a shield of arms and crest, painted. The doorways to the porch and S staircase have double-chamfered jambs and 4-centred heads, with original doors, richly moulded with iron handles. The drawing-room has moulded ceiling beams and a fireplace with richly panelled overmantel of c.1640, flanked by Ionic pilasters; the walls have panelling of similar date. The early C17 S staircase has turned balusters, moulded handrails and square newels with turned finials and acorn tops. The library has double- ogee moulded beams with foliated cyma stops, oak panelling, and at the N corner there is a blocked doorway with " 4-centred head. The corridor running NE from it has an original brick floor laid in herringbone pattern. The kitchen has re-used C17 oak panelling, and the scullery has a large bread oven with wrought iron door. On the first floor, over the corridor already mentioned there is an early C17 fireplace with brick depressed arch and chamfered jambs, richly carved arcaded overmantel, and C18 3-movement wrought-iron crane and cast iron grate; the associated panelling is early C17. There are several early C17 moulded doors, some with drop-handles, and 2 late C16 moulded 8-panel doors. The roofs are of butt-purlin construction. RCHM 3.

Listing NGR: TL6787634017


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex North West, (1916)
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 15 Essex,


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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