Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:
Statutory Address:

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

Maldon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 84981 07046



TL8407SE HIGH STREET 574-1/6/76 (North West side) 02/10/51 No.39 and Moot Hall (Formerly Listed as: HIGH STREET (North side) Moot Hall, including No.39 High Street)


Tower house, now town council premises. Early-mid C15; remodelled internally late C18-early C19; parapet, top of stair turret and north-west angle of rear range rebuilt c1900. For Sir Robert D'arcy (1358-1448); acquired by Borough Council, 1576. Red brick in English bond, walls at least 2ft thick; lead roof. PLAN: two intersecting rectangles, the rear range attached to the north-west corner of the front range, and may be an addition. Octagonal crenellated stair turret to north-east angle of front range, internally cylindrical. EXTERIOR: 3 storeys with vaulted cellar to rear range, partly below ground. To High Street the ground floor has been faced in Gault brick; entrance has pair of doors in round-arched reveals under gauged brick arches with patterned fanlights; blind central recess; boot scraper; tetrastyle Doric portico has late C19 iron balustrade with pair of lamps. To 1st floor a pair of full-height round-arched sashes with glazing bars and radial gazing in the heads, one of which gives access to the balcony. Central plaque recording installation of clock on iron bracket in 1881. 20-pane sash to 2nd floor. Rear elevation of main range: ground floor partly concealed by later additions. 12x4 pivoting window with chamfered jambs off trunctated single light below. 1st floor has 16-pane sash under gauged brick arch. 12-pane sash to 2nd floor. Sash window to east and west elevations of 2nd floor. Added stack to west wall. Rear elevation of rear range: ground floor is cement rendered and lined out. Barred rectangular window to 1st floor. 2nd floor round-arched sash with glazing bars and radial glazing in head. North-east elevation of rear range: 1st floor 2-light chamfered-brick-mullioned window, completely renewed. West elevation rear range: 2 inserted rectangular lights to 1st floor. 2 arched lights to 2nd floor, one of which is 4-centred and chamfered. Rectangular slit windows to stair turret.

Timber bellcage under shingled spirelet of 1881 to rear range. No.39 High Street: shop, formerly part of the Moot Hall; c1440. Part red English-bond brick and part rendered timber-frame with gabled plain tile roof. 3 storeys; single-window range; with 2-storey C19 rear extension. Front is rendered with parapet. 2nd floor has a C19 nine-pane sash window. 1st floor has similar but wider window, partly obscured and now only showing 8 panes. Late C19 shop front of hardwood with deep projecting fascia on brackets and band of rectangular leaded lights over plain shop front with brick stall-riser and recessed entrance. As first built in early-mid C15, it had a brick west flank (shared with Moot Hall proper), a recessed brick front elevation and a brick angled rear wall contiguous to the Moot Hall stair tower. This rear wall had narrow windows on ground- and (original) 1st-floor level with chamfered jambs. The west flank wall has a brick straight joint near its south end at 1st-floor level only, marking the springing of the original brick front wall. The east flank consists of a 2-storey timber-framed wall of c1400 against which this property was constructed. This has straight wall bracing and remnants of 3, originally elaborate, windows. Near its centre was a contemporary projecting chimney stack. INTERIOR: Moot Hall: on each floor, the front range contains a single large chamber; on the ground floor a cross-wall has been inserted to form a front lobby containing a staircase to the 1st floor. The rear range is divided on each floor into a smaller chamber with a fireplace to the west end of the rear wall and a closet to the south-west. Ground floor of front range: moulded and crenellated wall plates and 2 transverse beams. Barred window in inserted wall which contains a diagonally boarded and studded door with small grille. C20 dado panelling. Tudor arch, splayed only on right, to stair turret in north-east wall. Tall chamfered Tudor-arched doorway now blocked, originally gave access up steps to the small closet in rear range. Rear range is raised up on a barrel-vaulted semi-basement. The original entrance to the cellar, from outside in the north wall, is now blocked. In the early C19 the vault was truncated by the insertion of a cross wall to form a passage from the main range to the yard at the rear. This now gives access to the cellar. A new entrance was cut through, perhaps at the same time, from the main range into the ground-floor chamber in the rear wing. This chamber has moulded and crenellated wall plates. C20 brick fireplace in original position at west end of rear wall. Tudor-arched doorway to closet. Tudor-arched doorway to vaulted brick newel stair with moulded integral handrail; stepped-headed lamp niche at base. At 1st-floor

level a timber floor has been inserted across the staircase; a a second phase of alteration most of this was removed when a short flight of timber stairs was inserted to improve the access from the 1st-floor court room to the 2nd floor. The brick steps, with a wider tread to the original 1st floor entrance, remain intact although the entrance itself has been altered. Fragment of possible moulded door jamb. Front stair to 1st-floor court room of timber with ramped mahogany handrail, balustrade to 1st floor with stick balusters and column newels. Court room has late C18-early C19 court fittings including raised-and-fielded-panelled benches, dock, witness box and judge's bench. Dado panelling of same date. Fireplace with C20 stone surround, containing Gothic iron grate, to west wall. C19 gaslight fitting with ceiling rose in iron. 4-centred-arched door to rear range. Chamber has C17 dado panelling and moulded and crenellated wall plates. C20 brick fireplace under perhaps original chamfered brick mantel. Gaslight fitting. Tudor arch to closet with stepped-headed niche to west wall. 2nd floor approached by newel stair, lower wall encased, with mahogany handrail; stepped-headed slit window. Arched doorway into main room chamfered on one side, built in curve of wall. Council Chamber in front range: C18-early C19 dado panelling incorporating arched niche cupboard with shaped shelves and panelled door. Ovolo-moulded cornice; iron ceiling roses for gas light fittings, now replaced. Black marble fireplace on west wall with fluted pilasters suromounted by roundels containing Gothic iron grate. Tudor arch to rear chamber with later C20 panelling. 4-centred chamfered brick fireplace; the flue is contained within the wall thickness. No.39: remnants of late C16 wall painting and C18 stencil painting on gound floor. As first constructed, the building was of 2 storeys with a simple collar roof seated on moulded wall plates, built into 'Moot Hall Wall' and planted on top of c1400 timber-framed wall. The c1400 chimney breast was removed later (c1600?) and a fireplace inserted in 1st floor, with timber mantel beam supported on large brick corbels. The ground floor of the west flank has a 4-centred-arched brick doorway (now blocked) which gave access to the Moot Hall proper. The brick front wall was removed probably in the early C17, and a new timber-framed wall substituted lining up with the Moot Hall frontage. At the same time, the simple collar-rafter roof was extended forward, and this new framing incorporated a large window opening to former 2nd-floor room. Shortly afterwards (c1630?) a floor was inserted, part covering this window to form an attic.

HISTORY: the building, including No.39 High Street, was built as a residence for Sir Robert D'arcy. New evidence in the form of blocked doorways and straight joints in the brickwork suggests that a 2-storey 1st-floor hall structure was first intended, squeezed into an already developed urban frontage. This probably had a hall at right-angles to frontage and the octagonal stair tower without its elaborate spiral stair. The latter appears to be part of a second phase, when walls were thickened up and the building raised to its present height. It seems probable that the stair was the work of foreign brickmakers, being identical to others at Someries Castle (Beds) and Faulkbourne Hall (Essex). In the C16 the house was sold to a Maldon merchant and was again sold to the Borough of Maldon in 1576 for »55. At some time No.39 had become a separate residence, probably during the period of merchant ownership. The Moot Hall has been used as a court since 1576. From 1836-88 the ground floor was used as a Police Station and housed cells. After 1889 it housed the Essex Constabulary until the Police Station in West Square was built in the early C20. No.39 was first listed 24/9/71. (RCHME: Essex: 1921-: 174; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Essex: 1965-: 293; White's Directory of Essex: 1863-).

Listing NGR: TL8498707056


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

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Books and journals
An Inventory of Essex Central and South West, (1921), 174
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Essex, (1965), 293
'Whites Directory' in Essex, (1863)


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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 27 Jan 2003
Reference: IOE01/08984/32
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Brian Martin. Source Historic England Archive
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