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7 miles west of Bishop’s Stortford
The village green at Braughing - pronounced ‘Braffing’ - is reached by a ford over the River Quin which has two hazards, ducks and a tendency to flood. Downstream, where the Quin joins the River Rib, part of the bank fell in a few years ago, to reveal the foundations of a Roman villa: a reminder of the days when, after St Albans, Braughing was one of the most important Roman centres in Hertfordshire.
Beyond the ford, the road opens on to the green, backed by pollarded trees and the late-Victorian shop. To the left, there is a charming grouping of houses about the church; first, the white pargeting of Causeway House, then, on a sharp half-twist on the road, an 1860 cottage of timber and herringbone brick. Round the bend, Church End contains several brightly washed cottages and one superb example of the pargeter’s craft in dark blue and white.
The sumptuous interior of the church belongs almost entirely to the early 15th century. At the altar end the blue and gold ceiling backs a magnificent pair of stiff-winged angels. Each beam end is supported by a knight, a lady, a monk, a demon or, in one instance, a frog-like creature in a waistcoat, all carved in oak. Beside the altar, one above the other, recline the effigies of two Jacobean brothers. Every detail of their armour is perfect, and both have similar, strong faces. Alongside them are an angel blowing bubbles, signifying the pointlessness of earthly vanity, and Father Time. Near by, the Freeman family - a name that still occurs in the district -is commemorated in a fine series of 18th-century portrait medallions. There are some interesting houses at the end of the village, including The Gables, with a gallows sign proclaiming that it was built ‘Circa 1400’.