Fryerning in 1887
The following is taken from ‘Durrant’s Handbook For
Essex’ written by Miller
(Durrant & Co., Chelmsford, 1887).
Fryerning. A. 1370; P. 704; Rectory,
value £385; 1m. N.W.
This parish, which
contains two-thirds of
the town of Ingatestone, anciently
belonged to the Hospital
of St John of Jerusalem – hence, probably, its name, which is
supposed to be a
corruption of Frier’s Ing or Meadow.
Church (Virgin Mary) is of great age and interest.
It is picturesquely surrounded by venerable
yew and fir-trees, and consists of a tower, nave, and chancel, without
aisles. It was
evidently founded in
early Norman times. The
walls of the
nave a chiefly built of pudding-stone, with a few flints, and the
of Roman tiles, which occur in bands.
The nave has four narrow, splayed, Norman windows,
very high up on the
walls, three on one side and one on the other.
These are wider than usual.
have undergone some restoration, but over the N. door is another, now
in its original state, with sides of Roman tile.
The N. and S. doors (the former now leading
to the vestry) are opposite and similar to one another, each having two
perfectly plain semicircular arches, one within the other. In the N. wall is still a
stairway that led
up to the rood-loft. The
loop above is
still open, but the door below is blocked.
Beside it is a shallow, pointed niche. The larger windows of the
nave are probably insertions of the 14th
cent. About the year 1490 the church underwent considerable alteration. The lofty pointed chancel
arch was then
constructed, and the chancel itself rebuilt, though probably of the old
materials, as pudding-stone was largely used and a quantity of Roman
built into the E. end high up in the gable.
The 3-light, square-headed E. and other windows of
the chancel are of
this age (late 15th cent.).
Under the former, some years ago, were discovered
traces of a fine
fresco, apparently depicting a procession, but only the feet and lower
garments remained. The
very handsome red
brick tower (like, but superior to, that at Ingatestone) was apparently
about 1500. It is
square and massive,
with strong buttresses, and its cushion-like pinnacles and machiolated
battlements are conspicuous from a distance.
Its windows are poor, some being round-headed. It contains 5 bells, all
of them inscribed by
the founders’ names. One
bears the date
1500, the rest are of the 18th cent. The font is
a plain, massive,
square one, of much interest and of undoubtedly Norman work. It is supported by five
pillars, one large one at the centre, and smaller ones at the corners. Its sides are rudely and
curiously carved. One
side shows the sun, moon, and stars;
another bears large roses and flower-like patterns, resembling those at
Springfield; while the
other two sides exhibit
a somewhat intricate knot or flowing foliage design.
On it (as also on the sides of the S. door, low
down) a later hand has cut several crosses.
Next to the S. door is a very ancient tombstone,
tapering towards one
end, and carved with a floriated cross.
In the churchyard is the vault of the Disneys, of
Ingatestone. The Register dates from
Fryerning in 1861
The following is taken from ‘The People’s History
of Essex’ written
by D. W. Coller
(Meggy & Chalk, Chelmsford, 1861).
– About a mile to the right of the town, on a hill top, which
gives it delightful views, and in some directions makes it a
for many miles distant, stands the church of Fryerning.
It is a structure of considerable antiquity,
and is believed to have been erected soon after the conquest, as some
original windows retain the round Norman arches; but it underwent great
alterations in the reign of Henry VII., when the tower was erected, and
modern air given to the old fabric.
the ground in the chancel is a black marble stone, in which, eighty
were brasses of a man and a woman, with the words proceeding from the
the former – “Oh God, in Thee have we
trusted;” and from the latter, “Lord, let
us not be confounded.” Below, on a plate of brass, was the
which the following could only be deciphered:
underlyeth buryed the body of Leonard
Berners, late o…… Thyrde, sonne and heyre of
Wyllm Berners, thelder, esquier,
who deces…. bruary, in the yere of our Lorde God 1563, whose
soule we truste A
….. Leonard had a wife Mary, Theldest dawter and one of the
heire …. Shenfylde,
in the Countye of Essex, esquier,
by whom she had yssue William A ….”
brass, were two men in the habits of friars, and a woman; but these
disappeared, and the blank black stone alone remains.
The churchyard is thickly studded with
venerable yews, whose dark foliage, says Sucking, “casts a
sombre shade around
highly in unison with the sacred character of the place:” and
on the stone
beneath their shadow is the following epitaph on Mr Perry, who planted
by his hand these ambient shades
which his relics now in peace repose,
where this frail memorial stands to prove,
parent’s merit, and his children love.”
The whole of the parish formerly
belonged to the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, and it
in them until the suppression of the monasteries.
Afterwards it was purchased by Dorothy
Wadham, a daughter of Sir William Petre, who conferred it on Wadham College, Oxford, in completion
of the endowment
which her husband had begun. Close
the church is the old manor house, the hall now occupied as a farm
within the circuit of a mile are the pleasant seats of many of the
Huskards, occupied by Tindal Atkinson, Esq., Maisonette, the seat of
Jesse; Furz Hall and St. Leonard’s, the estate of Captain
Kortright, and the
mansion of Mr Grant, with their extending parks and pleasure grounds. The charities consist of
the interest of £250
left by W. G. Coesvelt in 1841, in trust, for clothing the deserving
there are distributed in bread, &c., £3 from
Bright’s, £1. 10s. from
D’Oyley’s charities; the interest of £100
Three per Cents. left by Dr. Sorrell
in the same year.
following is taken from Revd. Alfred
Suckling’s book, ‘Memorials of the antiquities and
architecture, family history
and heraldry of the County
(John Weale, London, 1845).
or the Fryars’ Pastures, obtained that appellation from
appropriated, at a very early period, to the Hospital of Saint John of
Jerusalem. It is a pleasant village in the hundred of Chelmsford,
but the greater part
of its population is crowded into a long and ill-built street on the London
road, and which is
generally known to travellers under the name of Ingatestone, although the
latter place claims scarcely one third of the dwelling-houses.
stands nearly a mile to the northward of this street on a
rising ground, which commands an extensive and delightful view in all
directions, and is closely planted with firs and venerable yew trees,
dark foliage casts a sombre shade around the churchyard, highly in
the sacred character of the place.
merely a nave and chancel, without aisles, is an edifice of
antiquity, and was probably founded soon after the Norman Conquest; a
its original windows are remaining with round arches, and placed very
in the wall, but they are much wider than any I have met with of that
About the time of Edward the First, considerable alterations were made
structure, when several windows of more ample dimensions were inserted
in the walls;
but it was in the reign of Henry the Seventh when Fryerning church
last and most important restoration, the whole tower, with its
pinnacles and machicolated battlements – a strangely
inappropriate ornament for
a sacred structure - was then raised; the chancel was rebuilt, and the
expansive arch between that portion of the building and the nave, was
executed; these alterations have given a new air to the interior, and
features of its architecture are most likely to be overlooked by the
part of those who compose its congregation. Besides these peculiarities
church, we must not suffer to pass unnoticed the curious staircase
the interior to the rood loft, and the ancient square font, the carving
eastern side of which represents a kind of foliage; on the other sides,
vary, are cut stars, crescents and knots.
On a loose
brass, lying in the vestry,
is the effigy of a female; but as the inscription and arms are no
attached, the name of the person intended to have been perpetuated is
to oblivion but the most remarkable circumstance connected with this
is, that on turning the figure, we perceive that it has been cut out of
larger and more ancient effigy - a cheap, but very exceptionable method
placing a monument to the memory of a departed relative. The female
appears from the costume, belongs to the time of Elizabeth, but the
effigy was of a much more early date, and was a larger and more elegant
monument, as is evident from the remains of gilding with which is seems
been originally covered.
the body of’ Mrs. Margaret, the
wife of Henry Oates, who departed this life July 21, 1763, aged 35
north wall of the chancel is a large shield containing
Disney and his quarterings, impaling Fitche. Members of this family are
interred in a vault in the churchyard.
against the organ
gallery, which was erected in 1736, at the expense of Charles Hornby,
presents us with the following list of benefactions:
Reverend Robert D’Oyley, M.A. rector of this parish,
bequeathed by will, A.D.
1733, thirty shillings per year, to be expended in the purchase of
bread, to be
distributed to the poor of this parish at Christmas and Easter for ever.
William Bright bequeathed by will, A.D. 1777, one hundred pounds,
to be invested in the 3 per cent. Consols, and the interest thereof to
expended in the purchase of bread, to be distributed to the poor of
at Christmas and Easter for ever, payable at the Corporation House,
Number 2, Bloomsbury Place, London, due at Christmas. The Reverend Mr.
at the same place.
Bonham, of this parish,
bequeathed by will, A.D. 1803, one hundred pounds stock in the Three
Reduced; the interest (£3) thereof to be expended in the
purchase of bread, to
be distributed to the poor of this parish annually.
Robert Sorrell bequeathed by will, A.D. 1825, one hundred pounds
stock, in the Three per Cent. and Half Reduced, the interest thereof to
expended in the purchase of bread, to be distributed to the poor of
at Christmas and Easter, £3 10s.”
It appears that the
was erected in 1824, by voluntary contributions, it. R. Michell, D.D.,
that time rector. Too much commendation cannot be passed upon the Rev.
Price, the present incumbent, the churchwardens, and all concerned in
management of this church, for the very neat and reputable manner in