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Monument Name Little Maplestead Hall (Preceptory)
SMR Number 9412
Summary The preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers at Little Maplestead was probably founded by 1186.
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Description The preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers at Little Maplestead was probably founded by 1186. All that remains is the church (see 9410, 9411). <1> - <4> "Not a great deal is known about the Hospital of St John at Little Maplestead, notwithstanding the fact that nearly 600 charters referring to its property are transcribed into the Great Chartulary of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in England compiled in the 15th century. The reason being that the establishment was looked upon as part and parcel of the Order in England and not as a separate institution". The house had extensive possessions but many of the grants were of very small pieces of land. In 1338 a report on the possession of the Hospital in England provides a glimpse of the house at Little Maplestead. There was a messuage and a garden, 380 acres of land, 16 acres of meadowland, 30 acres of pasture, and a dovecote. The staff included a preceptor and one brother (both knights), two chaplains (one in charge of the chapel at Odewell in Gestingthorpe), a steward, four clerks, a cook, baker, porter, and several lesser servants. by 1463 it is evident that Knights had ceased to reside at the Hospital as it was leased to John Sidney. A chaplain continued to conduct services until the Dissolution in 1540. An engravuing of 1765 hanging in the aisle of the nave, seems to indicate that the Preceptory buildings were situated round a courtyard on the S side of the church. A large timber-framed porch once covered the church W doorway with doorways N, S and W, probably part of the preceptory buildings which may also have been of wood. <5> <6> According to Rodwell the buildings of the Preceptory are believed to have lain under the Hall, just north of the church. <7> Little Maplestead Hall is C14 in origin with C17 rebuild and later alterations. Timber-framed, C19 window frames. Originally a C14 hall house on the site of the `Commandery' (should be preceptory) of the Knights Hospitallers. Many original timbers are incorporated in the C17 rebuild, including heavily sooted roof rafters. <8> Listed Building Description: TL 83 SW LITTLE MAPLESTEAD CHURCH STREET 4/138 Little Maplestead Hall GV II House. C14 origin with C17 rebuild. C18 and C19 alterations. Double range. Timber framed. C19 red brick facing. Plastered rear range. Hipped grey slate roof with 3 gabled dormers to front range. 2 storeys and attics. 4 symmetrically placed red brick chimney stacks. 2 moulded bands. 2 symmetrically placed 2 storey bays with stone bands over windows. 1:1:1 window range of vertically sliding sashes. Central enclosed red brick porch with moulded brick pilasters and pediment. 4 panel door with light. Rear range. Red tiled roof with C18 panelled door and fanlight over. Fluted columns and open pediment. C18 small paned vertically sliding sash windows. Circa 1680 panelled door to left extension. Gabled dormer. Originally a C14 hall house, on the site of the Commandery of The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitallers. Many of the original timbers are incorporated into the C17 rebuild including the uprights and tie beams with mortices for 5 pegged arch braces and split, heavily sooted roof rafters. C18 attic doors with ironmongery. Circa 1850 staircase supported by a fluted column. Circa 1870/80 doors, architraves mouldings etc. Listing NGR: TL8220234153
Monument Type(s) DOVECOTE (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
GARDEN (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
PRECEPTORY (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
HALL HOUSE (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
Monument Class(es) DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
EXTANT BUILDING
Period 1066AD to 1539AD Medieval
Status Listed Building (EH)
Administration Area LITTLE MAPLESTEAD, BRAINTREE, ESSEX
National Grid Reference Square: TL83SW
Ref: 821341
Finds None listed
Events None listed
Sources <1> Desc Text : SMR form unknown Dated : 1960 0nwards

<2> Desc Text : Medieval Religious Houses (Knowles, D and Hadcock, RN) p300 Dated : 1971

<3> Desc Text : Essex (unknown) Vol 2, pp178-179 Dated : 1907

<4> Desc Text : J Brit Archaeol Ass (British Archaeology Association) 3rd Series, Vol 2, p227 Dated : 1937

<5> GUIDE BOOK : The Church of St Giles Gt Maplestead and the Round Church Lt Maplestead (Dickinson, PGM) pp17-18 Dated : 1967

<6> Graphic material : ILLUSTRATION by (unknown) Dated : 1765

<7> Desc Text : CBA Research Report No. 19 Historic Churches - a wasting asset (Rodwell, Warwick J with Rodwell, KA) p113 Dated : 1977

<8> Desc Text : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest:Braintree (unknown) p37 Dated : 1984

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