An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 1, South. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1912.
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32. DRAYTON BEAUCHAMP.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxiv. N.E. (b)xxxiv. S.E.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, stands S.E. of the village, and is built of flint rubble with stone dressings; the walls of the chancel are ashlared, those of the tower are of flint and stone in an irregular chequer pattern. The roofs are covered with lead. The church has been considerably re-built and restored, and the early history is therefore obscure. The earliest detail, that of the font, is of mid 12th-century date; the Chancel was probably enlarged in the 13th century, when North and South Aisles and a West Tower appear to have been added to the Nave. The aisles were altered or extended in the 14th century, but late in the 15th century the whole church was re-built, the old material being re-used. Early in the 16th century the clearstorey was added and the North Porch built. In the 19th century the building was much restored.
Two brasses in the chancel are of especial interest, as they show the development of armour in the second half of the 14th century. The late 15th-century glass in the E. window is also worthy of note.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (32½ ft. by 16½ ft.) has a late 15th-century window, much restored, of five cinque-foiled lights under a square head, the cusps rebated at the back to allow a simpler fitting of glass, which is apparently the original arrangement, as the glass is of the same date as the window (see Fittings); the external jambs and head are moulded. In the N. wall is a small 16th-century doorway, now blocked, with a late 15th-century window over it, of three cinque-foiled lights under a four-centred head with rebated cusps similar to those in the E. window; both doorway and window are hidden by the organ; further W. is a small single light, with a trefoiled head, of the same date as the other window, set low in the wall, but with no trace of hinges or rebate for shutter. In the S. wall is a window of the same date and design as the first window in the N. wall, but with a flat head; W. of the window are traces of a squint from the S. aisle, now blocked. The wide two-centred chancel arch is of mid 13th-century date, and of two chamfered orders, with a label in the nave, considerably restored; the mask-stop on the N. side is original; the jambs have half-octagonal pilasters with capitals of crude design, much scraped and restored, and modern bases. The Nave (39 ft. by 16½ ft.) has N. and S. arcades of four bays, made up of 13th and 14th-century material re-used in the 15th century; the two-centred arches are of two chamfered orders, almost entirely of small voussoirs; the outer order has small broach stops, except on one side of the W. responds; the labels over the two western arches are moulded, and traces of a continuation of them remain over the second columns; the labels over the eastern arches are probably re-cut; the E. responds are half-octagonal, with plain bell-capitals, probably of the 13th century, re-cut in the 15th century, much scraped and restored in the 19th century; the bases are modern; in each arcade the first column from the E. is octagonal, with a capital similar to those of the responds, and a 13th-century moulded base, all much scraped; the second column is circular, and has a plain moulded bell-capital of early 14th-century date, and a 13th-century base, with finer moulding than the others, also much scraped; the third column is circular, with a plain 13th-century bell capital, and undercut abaci; the moulded base is of late 13th or early 14th-century date. The outer order of the W. respond of the N. arcade does not fit the arch; the inner order has a small circular shaft with a 14th-century capital, similar to the capital of the second column, and a 14th-century base. The W. respond of the S. arcade has three shafts cut out of a square or chamfered respond, with capitals cut from one stone, of the same detail as the capital of the respond on the N.; the bases of the outer shafts are chamfered, the inner shaft has a 14th-century base similar to that on the N. The clearstorey has four windows on each side, each of three uncusped lights, under a flat head with an external label, all of the 16th century. The North Aisle (7 ft. wide) has a late 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights under a square head. In the N. wall are two windows, each of four lights and of similar detail to the E. window, but apparently wholly restored or modern; between the windows is a doorway of late 14th-century date, with continuously moulded jambs and head. The South Aisle (7½ ft. wide) has a late 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights and uncusped tracery under a square head; in the sill are the remains of a 15th-century altar tomb (see Monuments); N. of the window are remains of a squint to the chancel, with a 15th-century moulded head, now blocked. In the S. wall are two windows; the eastern is modern, the western of the same date and design as the E. window of the aisle, but much restored; the 15th-century S. doorway, now blocked, has jambs and head of two chamfered orders; in the spandrels are two shields, one with three martlets, the other of Cheyne. The West Tower (10½ ft. by 9½ ft.) is of two stages with an embattled parapet, diagonal buttresses and a square stair-turret in the S.E. angle. The obtuse two-centred tower arch is of the 13th century, and of two chamfered orders; the jambs have been raised and have plain 15th-century capitals; the wall has been thinned below the arch. The late 15th-century W. doorway has a crudely moulded head of two orders, the outer square, with label, partly restored, the inner two-centred, with plain spandrels, cut out of two stones; the jambs are partly modern: the mid 15th-century W. window is of two cinque-foiled lights, with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; above it is a single cinque-foiled light, in a square chamfered outer order, with a label, all of the 15th century, much restored externally. The four windows of the bell-chamber are each of two cinque-foiled lights in a square outer order with a label; the N. and E. windows are of the 15th century, much restored; the others are modern. The North Porch has a 15th-century three-centred entrance archway, of two moulded orders, with a moulded label, which has volute stops. The late 15th-century Roof of the chancel is low-pitched, of three bays, with plain moulded timbers and curved wall-brackets, resting on modern corbels, all much restored. The nave has a low-pitched roof of c. 1530, with crude tracery in the spandrels of the brackets. The S. aisle has a 15th-century roof with moulded principals and purlins.
Fittings—Bells: three, 1st, inscribed 'come and pray 1621.' Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In chancel—on S. side, (1) of knight in armour, said to be Thomas Cheyne, shield-bearer to Edward III., 1368, wearing ridged bascinet, with aventail of banded mail, complete arm-pieces, small elbow-cops, close fitting gipon, studded thigh-pieces, large globose knee-cops with tasselled fringe and splinted jambs, no inscription, indents of two shields, the brass broken across the middle; (2) in new slab, of priest, said to be Henry Fazakyrley, 1531, in Mass vestments, headless, inscription imperfect; on N. side, (3) of [William] Cheyne, 1375, figure in armour, with bascinet, mail aventail, apparently over padding, mail hauberk under close gipon, studded thigh-pieces, plain jambs and scaled sabatons, inscription, with Christian name missing, indents of two shields at top of slab and two at bottom. Chairs: two, in chancel, of carved oak, mid 17th-century. Font (see Plate, p. xxvii.), circular bowl, decorated with arcade of round arches on columns with cushion-capitals, moulded base, early or mid 12th-century. Glass: in E. window of chancel, figures of ten apostles (St. Luke and St. Barnabas omitted), two in each light, one above the other, in canopied niches with small buttresses at the sides, each figure in coloured robe, with nimbus, holding symbol, and standing on raised step inscribed with his name, over the head of each, a scroll inscribed with a sentence from the Apostles' creed, Latin, black-letter, the glass is made to fit the pointed heads of the lights, late 15th-century, with modern restorations, carefully carried out: in N. window of chancel, rectangular panel, containing fragments of figure in white and gold robe, and pieces of background with coloured pattern, 15th-century: in each light of S. window of chancel, a shield with arms,—(1) gules two hands cut off at the wrists, with palms outwards, (2) and (3) with the arms of Cheyne, all 14th-cen tury, third shield much restored. Monument: in sill of E. window of S. aisle, remains of altar tomb, sides panelled with small quatrefoils and larger quatrefoils having shields, 15th-century. Niches: see Sedilia. Painting: on second arch of S. arcade, traces of scroll pattern, in red, 13th-century. Piscina: in the chancel, with trefoiled head, groove for shelf, remains of basin, 15th-century. Plate: includes three pewter plates and pewter flagon with lid, probably 17th-century. Seating: at W. end of nave, five open seats, 16th-century: a sixth seat incorporates old work. Sedilia: in the chancel, cinque-foiled niche, apparently for sedile, second trefoiled niche, possibly too narrow for same purpose, 15th-century. Miscellanea: in the chancel, pair of gauntlets and breastplate, painted black, 17th-century.
Condition—Good, much restored.
a(2). Homestead Moat and Fishponds, S.W. of Upper Farm, mark the site of the former manor house.
a(3). Upper Farm, nearly ¼ mile N. of the church, is a house of two storeys, built in the first half of the 17th century, on a rectangular plan, facing E., with a small central wing at the back, and a central chimney; modern additions have been made at the N. end, and the original walls re-faced with modern brick, except the upper part of the wall at the back, which is of original timber and brick.
a(4). Woodbine Cottages, three tenements, nearly ½ mile N. of the church, form a 17th-century building of two storeys. The walls are timber-framed, with brick filling, which is almost entirely original. The roofs are thatched. The central chimney stack, with square shafts, is partly of 17th-century brick.
a(5). Manor Farm, nearly ½ mile N.N.W. of the church, is a house of two storeys, built in the 17th century, restored and enlarged in the 18th and 19th centuries. The plan is rectangular with a small wing at the back. The S. front is of brick of 18th-century or later date, and part of the upper storey is covered with rough-cast. The gable of the wing has some timber-framing, now covered with cement, and the other walls are of modern brick. The original central chimney stack has three square shafts. One room on the ground floor has a wide, open fireplace and a chamfered ceiling-beam.
a(6). Cottages, forming an L-shaped block, about 100 yards N. of Manor Farm, are of two storeys, built in the 17th century, now restored. The N. wall and part of the back are of original timber and brick, the S. wall is modern, the other walls are of late 17th-century brick. The roofs are thatched. The two chimney stacks are apparently original.
b(7). Grims Ditch (see also Aston Clinton, Bradenham, Buckland, Great and Little Hampden, Lee, Great Missenden, Monks Risborough, Princes Risborough and Wendover). The track of the ditch enters the county, from Hertfordshire, opposite Longcroft Farm, but is only faintly visible in a field boundary, running in a S.W. direction towards Lane's End.