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South Ockendon Old Hall

In the civil parish of South Ockendon.
In the historic county of Essex.
Modern Authority of Thurrock.
1974 county of Essex.
Medieval County of Essex.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ60378315
Latitude 51.52456° Longitude 0.31018°

South Ockendon Old Hall has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


South Ockendon Hall, gatehouse, barn, moat and mill-ponds, 900 yards E.N.E. of the church. The present house is modern, but, judging from the remains of the walling to the gatehouse which stands at the N.E. corner of the moat, the original house must have been a building of considerable importance. A length of about 40 ft. of the outer wall of the Gatehouse is standing, with the remains of an entrance 9 ft. wide. It is 3 ft. thick and has two offsets. The lower part of the wall, to the height of about 20 ft., is of coursed Reigate stone and of mediaeval date, and the upper part of c. 1700, is brickwork. Across the moat, leading to the gatehouse, is a bridge, all modern except the lower part of the retaining wall on the W. side, which is of limestone-rubble.
The Barn (Plate, p. xli) stands outside, at the N.E. corner of the moat, and has brick walls with internal timber-construction; the roof is partly tiled and partly slated. It is of eleven and a half bays with side-aisles and has two projecting porches on the S. side. It was built late in the 15th or early in the 16th century, but the two easternmost bays are of later date. The roof rests on heavy squared posts and braced main purlins and has braced tie-beams and king-posts supporting a central purlin below the collars to the principal rafters.
The Moat surrounded the original house and is exceptionally large and well-preserved.
The Mill-ponds are marked by three large shallow depressions in the ground, and the S. arm of the moat was also probably used in connection with the mill. A windmill now stands on the site.
Condition—Of gatehouse, good, but fragmentary; of barn, good. (RCHME 1923)

The surviving fabric of the gatehouse is Reigate rubble with ashlar but the arch and wall above were rebuilt in brick in C17/early C18. There were no architecturally diagnostic features to enable the stone structure to be dated. Post medieval brick buildings had been constructed against the inner face of the gatehouse, but it is possible that the stonework is only the facade to a timber-framed or brick gatehouse. The lower courses of stone continue to the N and seem to return along the N wall of the moat. C15 brickwork N of the gatehouse may be later than the stonework and wall scars indicate at least two structures projected towards or over the moat, one perhaps representing a garderobe. It is also possible that there was a turret but further work would be needed to resolve this. Nothing is known about the original hall. South Ockendon was a Domesday Manor. The earliest reference records a grant to support a chaplain at the free chapel at the Hall between 1190-1225. Building accounts of 1318/19 mention a hall, kitchen, well and privy. C16 wills mention `the great dining chamber, middle chamber' and `gallery chamber'. One fragment of glazed floor tile was found in the moat. Moulded and rubbed bricks found in the core of the wall may be from decorative chimneys. A survey of 1691 shows a large, probably C17 house (see 1864). The archaeological and documentary evidence suggest the Hall was a wealthy and prestigious manor house. (Essex HER)

Large and significant house, with a gatehouse and a large moat. Seems to have been rather overlooked.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 27/08/2017 07:06:33

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