Visit to Oxley House, D'Arcy Hall and the Church of St Nicholas in the village of Tolleshunt d'Arcy
Saturday 13 October 2018 at 10am - 4.30pm
Oxley House is a modest Regency farmhouse, believed to have been built in 1816. It is attached to a pair of timber-framed cottages, which probably date from the early to mid eighteenth century.
The house is constructed of red brick with a slate roof and has been extended at various times in its history. From 1984 until 2001 it was run as a residential home for the elderly. It had been empty for a year and suffered from water escapes when purchased by the current owners, Paul Carlier and Andrea Weston, who have restored it to a private home. It contains some interesting period features, which were obtained in the 1950s by the then owner as architectural salvage from Georgian houses being demolished by the London County Council. These include two fine fire surrounds and some late Georgian timber panelling.
The cottages pre-date the house and are a typical example of vernacular housing probably built on the manorial waste. They were occupied by tenants until the late 1950s and have since been extended and converted into a single dwelling. The frame is largely elm, clad with weatherboarding (including some original elm boards), under a roof of red clay peg tiles.
The house and cottage were the subject of an earlier SPAB Essex visit in 2010 while the repair and conservation work was in progress. The work is now largely complete and in 2016 Oxley House was runner up in the conservation category of the Maldon District Council Conservation and Design Awards
Originally the home of the Darcy family, Grade II* listed D’Arcy Hall dates from the early 16th century. It is timber framed, plastered and roofed with handmade red clay tiles. The interior of the main range retains the original screens passage and the entrance hall is lined with re-sited panelling, including early C16 linen-fold, with a range of carved panels with various heads and figures, including a mermaid, eagle and child, and
grotesques, and the initials A.D. (for Anthony Darcy) to whom the house is attributed. The original bridge over the moat was probably a drawbridge, but the present bridge of brick and stone dates from 1585. As well as the bridge, the listing also covers the dovecote and the retaining wall to the moat.
D’Arcy Hall is currently the home of Mr Nicholas Brock, who has very kindly agreed to show us this historic building.
The Church of St Nicholas
The parish church of St Nicholas is in the Perpendicular style with a west tower, and a chancel ceiling decorated in 1897 by Rev. Ernest Geldart. The church contains mainly late 14th and early 15th century fabric. It is constructed of stone and rubble and is partly plastered, with dressings of limestone and clunch, under a roof of handmade red clay tiles, slate and lead. Inside the church are memorials to John de Boys (died 1419) and several D’Arcys including Anthony and his wife and children, as well as Camilla Guicciardini's memorial to her husband Thomas D'Arcy III.
Churchwarden Linda Towers has kindly agreed to show us around the church and will be organising refreshments, with which we shall conclude our day in Tolleshunt d’Arcy
Lunch is not included in the visit, but there are several possibilities for lunch nearby. There are the Queens Head, in the centre of the village, Wilkin’s Tea Rooms in Tiptree or the Chequers in Goldhanger.
We will assemble at Oxley House from 10:00am, where tea, coffee and biscuits will be served. From 10:30am, Paul and Andrea will lead tours of the house and cottage.
On conclusion of the visit to Oxley House at about midday, members will be free to take lunch at on of the nearby hostelries and perhaps take a stroll around the village. We will reassemble at D’Arcy Hall by 2pm, where Nicholas will show us the entrance hall, with its D'Arcy panelling, before we go through the old kitchen to the screens passage and then out through the original front door. Outside we will see the dovecote, bridge and the moat
When we have completed out visit to the Hall, we will move next door to the church for a tour followed by refreshments. We anticipate that the day will conclude at about 4:30pm.
Further details and directions will be sent prior to the visit to members with confirmed bookings.
About the Essex Regional Group
The SPAB Essex Regional Group was formed in 2000 and has been active ever since. The types of visits are fun, interesting and educational with an annual social event, normally in an historic building. Our participants vary from interested SPAB members wanting to enhance their knowledge of historic buildings to professionals using the visits as part of their continuing professional development programme.
Nicholas has generously allowed us to visit without charge and so we shall be making a donation on his behalf to the church. This will be in addition to the donation that we shall make to the church to cover our visit and the refreshments. The price is £14 per person, excluding the optional lunch.
Please note that, for practical reasons, we are limited in numbers for the visit to D’Arcy Hall and early booking is advised.
Booking Terms & Conditions
Accessibility: please contact the Group Organiser before booking to discuss any special access requirements.