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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(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxvi. S.E. (b)xxvii. S.W. (c)xxxi. N.E. (d)xxxii. N.W.)
a(1). Potsherds and Tiles, found on the road to Muswell Hill, possibly indicate a dwelling-house on the site, but nothing is traceable on the surface.
b(2). Parish Church of All Saints, stands in the village, on a hill about 600 ft. above O.D., and is built of limestone rubble, with some ashlar work and some brick; the aisles are covered with rough-cast, and the S. porch is of timber. The roofs are tiled. The Chancel and Nave were built c. 1120; the West Tower was added early in the 15th century, without destroying the W. wall of the nave. Windows were inserted at different dates from c. 1250 up to the 16th century. Early in the 17th century the chancel was re-roofed, and in 1888 it was lengthened about 5½ ft.; at the same time the North and South Aisles and the South Porch were built, and a new roof was added to the nave.
The 17th-century roof of the chancel is worthy of note.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (18 ft. by 15 ft.) has a modern E. window; over it the former E. window, of late 14th or early 15th-century date, has been re-set in the gable, and is of two trefoiled pointed lights with sunk spandrels in a square head; the pointed segmental rear arch is chamfered; all the stone has been re-worked. In the middle of the N. wall is a small round-headed window of early 12th-century date, now blocked and visible only externally; at the W. end of the wall is a single trefoiled light with soffit-cusps, of c. 1280; it is chamfered outside, and has widely splayed inner jambs; the pointed segmental rear arch is chamfered. In the S. wall is a window of two lights, modern externally; the inner jambs and rear arch were originally part of a 13th-century single-light window; the arch has been widened and has 16th or 17th-century voussoirs at the apex: W. of the window is a pointed doorway of a single chamfered order, probably of the 13th century. The original length of the chancel is marked by the E. truss of the 17th-century roof and the difference in the walling. The chancel arch, of c. 1250, is two-centred, and has a small rebate cut on the E. edge for the former wood tympanum; the label in the chancel is of the 12th century, re-used; the jambs are chamfered and have moulded stops at the bases, except on the N.W.; the N. abacus, of the 12th century and re-used, is broken and has two notches in it for the former rood-screen; the S. abacus, part of the S. jamb, the plinths and base-stops, except that on the S.E., are modern; the arch is out of centre with both chancel and nave. The Nave (58½ ft. by 21½ ft.) has modern N. and S. arcades and a modern clearstorey. In the W. wall, over the tower arch, is the semi-circular head of a 12th-century window. The North Aisle (13½ ft. wide) is modern, but contains the following details, re-set from the walls of the nave: the E. window, of c. 1270, is of four pointed lights and tracery, all uncusped, in a two-centred head; the jambs, mullions and tracery are rebated for wood frames: the N. doorway is of c. 1120, much restored; the jambs, of two square orders, have detached shafts with cushion capitals in the angles; the semi-circular arch is of two orders, the outer order moulded; the label is plain; the rear arch is also semi-circular. The South Aisle (14 ft. wide) is modern, but has the following re-used details: the E. window, probably of early 16th-century date, is of two cinque-foiled lights under a straight-sided depressed arch with an external label; the external jambs have a wide casement moulding: in the S. wall the third window from the E. is of early 14th-century date, and of two cinque-foiled lights with a sex-foiled triangular opening in a two-centred head; the stonework, including the inner jambs and rear arch, is moulded; five of the windows in the aisles are modern copies of this window: the S. doorway, of c. 1120, is similar to the N. doorway, but has been less restored; the semi-circular rear arch is much higher than the outer arch, which has a modern timber-framed tympanum; the W. window is probably of early 16th-century date, and of three cinque-foiled lights under a flat, depressed head; the jambs and head are moulded. The South Porch is modern. The West Tower (11 ft. by 11½ ft.) is of two stages, the upper stage of two storeys; it is very low in comparison with the nave, of which the ridge is on a level with the parapet of the tower; below the parapet is an original moulded string-course with gargoyles; at the W. angles are diagonal buttresses, and on the N. and S. walls, against the W. wall of the nave, are low, shallow buttresses. The 15th-century tower arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the inner order resting on pointed corbels, the outer dying into the jambs, which are of one chamfered order, with stops at the base. The W. window is of two cinque-foiled lights with a sexfoil in a two-centred head, and a moulded external label. In the N. wall of the ground stage are traces of a former doorway, now blocked with brick; it had a wood lintel, but no stone jambs are visible, and it is probably an 18th-century entrance to a gallery. The walls above the ground stage are set back a few inches. The ringing-chamber has an 18th-century or modern window on the S. side. The bell-chamber has four 15th-century windows, each of two cinque-foiled lights with a sexfoil in a two-centred head; the mullion and heads of the lights in the W. window are modern copies of the others, in oak. The Roof of the chancel is of early 17th-century date; the E. truss is at some distance from the present E. wall (see Chancel), and has a cambered tie-beam, ornamented on the W. face, and two curved struts from the tie-beam to the purlins; the central truss is similar, but more elaborate; in the middle is a semi-circular wood arch, filled with five pierced tapering posts which meet in the centre on a square carved boss with a moulded pendant; on each side of the arch, standing on a beam at the springing is a similar pierced post; of the W. truss only the two ends of the former tie-beam remain, with two pointed brackets painted white; all the tie-beams are stop-chamfered, the cornices are moulded; the collar-beam ceiling is plastered.
Fittings—Bells: five, modern, and sanctus, by James Keene, 1624, inscribed round the lip PE NEWMAN IER SERGEANT; bell-frame old. Brass: In chancel—on S. wall, to John Hoode and Mawde, his wife, inscription only, undated, early 16th-century. Communion Table: in chancel, with turned legs and plain rails, 17th-century. Font: heptagonal bowl with a quatrefoil and a flower or a shield on each side, octagonal stem with trefoiled panel in each side, moulded octagonal base, continued towards the W. to form a platform, probably late 14th-century. Glass: in head of third window in S. aisle, old white glass, probably 14th-century. Painting: on soffit of the chancel arch, on N. side, figure of St. Peter with tonsured head, red robe, holding key and book, on S. side figure of St. Paul, holding book and sword, 14th-century. Piscinæ: at E. end of S. aisle, moulded head of pillar piscina in one piece, with sill of recess, 15th-century, modern octagonal shaft: further W. in S. aisle, in recess (see below), W. jamb and moulded sill, 15th-century. E. jamb and round arch, modern. Plate: includes cup and cover paten of 1569; initial and date, B. 1570 on paten; large cup and cover paten of 1689, inscribed 'Ex dono Roberti Hart armigeri de Brill in comitatu Bucks, 1685', with arms above inscription. Recess: in S. aisle, high, shallow, 6 ft. wide, round arch, apparently 13th-century, re-set (see Piscinæ). Seats: in nave, four, plain oak, possibly 14th-century: in chancel, two, small, partly of similar old oak. Miscellanea: at top of ladder to ringing-chamber in tower, balustrade, with ten turned balusters and plain rail, c. 1630.
Condition—Good; windows of the bell-chamber and the upper part of tower, somewhat decayed; wheels and woodwork of bell-frame, poor.
b(3). The Manor House, about 300 yards S.W. of the church, is of two storeys and an attic, which is now disused and unlighted. The walls are chiefly of brick, with stone dressings; the roofs are tiled. The plan of the E. or front part of the house is E-shaped; the back is peculiarly irregular, and advances in four planes from S. to N., except on the ground floor, where a modern addition makes the S. wing level with the main block. The main block contains the hall and smoking room; a small wing at the back contains the main staircase; in the S. wing is the drawing-room and a second staircase; the N. wing contains the dining room, kitchen and domestic offices. The irregularity of plan seems to have been caused by a building which existed on the N. part of the site, and was of 16th-century or earlier date; a few of the original timbers remain, but the building was apparently re-modelled late in the 16th century, the timber-framed walls being encased almost completely in brick; the S. wing seems to have been built after the main block was completed. At some subsequent period, probably in the 17th century, the roofs were heightened, at least over the main block, part of the shafts of the chimney stacks being hidden by the tiles. Domestic offices were built on the N.W., and many of the stone windows altered, probably about 1757, the date on a rain-water head at the S. end of the main block. In the 19th century, in addition to the extension at the end of the S. wing, a bay window was added to the drawing-room, a wide bay to the dining-room, and the domestic offices were enlarged.
Elevations—On the E. front nearly all the original stone windows remain; many have been blocked, and others partly altered for 18th-century and modern sash frames: in the middle is a gabled porch of two storeys; the outer doorway, of late 16th-century date, has moulded stone jambs, four-centred arch, and square label. The N. side, towards the E. end, is partly timber-framed; the filling is of late 16th-century brick; the original angle-post is covered by the bricks which re-face the E. end of the N. wing, showing that the post is of earlier date than the bricks; on the first floor is an original oak window frame; the rest of the N. side is modern. On the S. side the S. wing covers about half the S. end of the main block, which is gabled, and has a projecting chimney stack of late 16th-century brick; the gable has been heightened and has a plain stone coping; on the first floor is a blocked stone window. At the back the main block has modern windows; the staircase wing has, on the ground floor, a blocked stone window, with a modern window above it, and a stone coping. The W. end of the N. wing is gabled; on the ground floor are two stone windows with moulded square labels; one window is of three lights, the other a single light; on the first floor is a stone window of two lights and a modern window, and in the gable is a blocked window similar to the others; the junction of the wing with the 18th-century extension is marked by a straight joint. The chimney stack at the S. end of the main block has two square shafts; over the N. end is a single square shaft; two stacks, over the E. and W. ends of the N. wing, have each three square shafts; all are of brick, and apparently of late 16th-century date.
Interior:—The hall and smoking room in the main block have each a fireplace of coarse limestone, with moulded jambs, flat four-centred arch, and moulded mantelshelf; in the ceilings are chamfered beams and the smoking room has oak panelling of c. 1630. The dining room also has a stone fireplace, a 16th-century moulded ceiling-beam, and is lined with late 16th-century oak panelling. On the first floor the room over the hall is lined partly with late 16th-century and partly with 18th-century panelling; the room over the smoking room has a stone fireplace, the room over the kitchen has a late 16th-century stone fireplace, the panelling and two doors are of the same date, one has original plain hinges; a room on the E. is lined with panelling of c. 1630, and has an old door with a cock's head hinge; the room over the dining room has a stone fireplace, late 16th-century panelling, a moulded oak cornice, and an original door opening into the room at the E. end of the N. wing, which has a dado of late 16th-century panelling, and a stone fireplace with the original head and modern jambs. The staircase wing has some original timber-framing visible in the upper part of the N. wall. A 17th-century staircase from the first floor to the attic has square turned balusters and newel, and a moulded handrail.
b(4). The Manor Farm, ¼ mile S.W. of the church, is of two storeys and an attic. It was built in the first half of the 17th century, on a rectangular plan, facing S.E.; in the 18th century a wing was added at the back, making the plan T-shaped; in the 19th century the main block was extended towards the S.W., and the exterior was much altered. The original walls are of limestone rubble with plinths and flat pilasters of brick, but the original design of the elevations is somewhat uncertain; gables have been added, or altered to a curvilinear form, and much of the house is hidden by creepers. The roofs are tiled. The only old chimney stack, on the N.W. side, is square with raked offsets, and has square shafts set diagonally. The stone gate-posts are original, and have moulded entablatures, small Tuscan pilasters, and pierced finials on which are the remains apparently of iron lamps or cressets.
Condition—Good; much altered.
b(5). Cottage, 150 yards E. of the church, is of two storeys, the upper storey partly in the roof. It was built probably in the 17th century, and a small wing was added at the back in the 18th century; the walls are of brick, partly modern; the roof is tiled. The central chimney stack is of old thin bricks.
b(6). Cottage, now three tenements, nearly opposite the E. end of the church, is a 17th-century building of two storeys. The walls are of brick, and have been almost completely refaced; the roof is tiled. The chimney stack is of old bricks. Some of the ceilings have old beams, and in one room is a wide fireplace, partly blocked.
b(7). The Swan Inn, opposite the church, is of two storeys, built of brick on stone foundations late in the 17th century; the roof is tiled. One chimney stack is of old thin bricks, and under it is a wide, open fireplace with a chimney-corner seat; in the bar parlour is some late 17th-century panelling.
b(8). Sheds, two, in the grounds of Brill House, 200 yards S.E. of the church, were built early in the 17th century, and restored later in the same century. The walls are of brick, and one shed has an open timber roof. Part of the saddle-room is also of 17th-century brick.
b(9–10). Cottages, two, adjoining, about 70 yards S.W. of the church, are of two storeys, built of brick with some stone in the 17th century, and restored with modern brick; the roof is tiled. The lower part of the chimney stack is original. In one room is a wide, open fireplace, partly blocked, and some of the ceilings have chamfered beams.
b(11–13). The Red Lion Inn, and two adjoining Cottages at the back of the inn, about 100 yards S.W. of the church, are of two storeys; the walls are of brick; the roofs are tiled. They were built in the 17th century; the inn was re-fronted in the 18th century, and all the buildings were restored in the 19th century. A chimney stack over the cottages is original.
b(14–15). Cottages, two, S.W. of the church, are each of two storeys, the upper storey partly in the roof. The first cottage, about 300 yards from the church, was built of brick in the 17th century; the frame of the entrance doorway is original, and one of the chimneys is of old thin bricks. The second cottage, now three tenements, about 250 yards from the church, was built in the middle of the 17th century, and has a modern addition at the back; the walls are of brick, restored and partly re-faced. Both cottages have tiled roofs.
b(16). Cottage, now two tenements, at the corner of the road about 120 yards S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, the upper storey partly in the roof. It was built probably in the 17th century; the walls are of brick and timber, that at the back having been re-faced; the roof is tiled. There are two old chimneys, each with an open fireplace.
b(17). Cottage, about 100 yards S.W. of the church, is a 17th-century building of two storeys and of central chimney type. The walls are of brick, and have been partly re-faced; the roof is tiled.
Main Street, W. side
b(18). House, 200 yards W. of the church, is of two storeys, built of brick probably in the 17th century, and much restored in the 19th century. The roof is tiled. The chimney stack is of old thin bricks.
b(19). House, now two tenements, N.E. of (18), is a two-storeyed building, probably of mid 17th-century date. The walls are of brick and have been restored; the roof is tiled. The plan is of the central chimney type. Some of the windows are old.
b(20). House, N. of (19), is of two storeys, built in the 17th century, but completely refaced with 18th-century brick; the roof is tiled. The chimneys are of old thin bricks. Inside the house is some 17th-century furniture, including a chair dated 1657, and a cupboard dated 1658.
Condition—Good, much restored.
b(21). Cottage, on the N.E. side of the road to Muswell Hill, about 300 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys. It has been almost completely re-built with brick and the plan much altered, but one timber-framed gable and the central chimney stack, with two square shafts set diagonally, are of c. 1600. The roof is tiled.
b(22). Windmill, about 3/8 mile N.W. of the church, is of late 17th-century date. The 'round-house' is built of red brick, and has a tiled roof. The mill is constructed of heavy timbers, and is completely covered with weather-boarding. The plan is rectangular. The two end walls are curved to a slightly ogeed point; the side walls follow this outline and are carried up to form the roof. Only the heavier timbers of the sails are old. On a beam in the lower part of the mill is carved; 'r c e (?) 68 (?) I C'. The first and last figures of the date have been destroyed, but the lettering is of late 17th-century style.
The windmill is interesting as one of the few remaining 17th-century examples of that class of building, and is still in full operation.
b(23). Cottages, on the Ludgershall road, 1½ furlongs N. of the church. One cottage, on the E. side of the road, was built of timber and brick c. 1600; the roof is tiled. It has been considerably altered, but a gable facing the road retains some old framing. On the W. side is an irregular range of brick cottages, almost completely re-built; two of the cottages retain the stumps of chimneys of c. 1600. The roofs are tiled.
Condition—Fairly good; much re-built.
b(24). Temple Farm, about 1½ furlongs N. of the church, is a 17th-century building of two storeys. The walls are of brick and timber; the roof is tiled. The plan is rectangular, with a small, low wing on the N.W. and a lean-to addition on the N.E. The upper storey retains much of the original timber-framing, but has been under-built with brick. The front is gabled. Two of the chimney stacks have square shafts set diagonally.
(25). Coldharbour Farm, about 1 mile N.E. of the church, is a house of two storeys; the walls are of brick with a little timber; the roof is tiled. It was built in the 17th century, on an L-shaped plan, but has been altered and enlarged. Some of the ceilings have chamfered beams.
d(26). Farmhouse (see Plate, p. xxx), about 1 mile S. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of brick, with some stone; the roofs are tiled. It was built about the middle of the 17th century, partly re-faced and enlarged in the 18th and 19th centuries. The plan is of modified H-shape, with the wings projecting towards the E. and W. At the S.W. corner a large barn has been built, and there are modern outbuildings at the back. The N. or main front is of 17th and 18th-century brick; in the middle is a two-storeyed porch with shallow pilasters at the sides and a semi-circular gable; towards the E. end is a projecting bay with a pointed gable, and towards the W. end is a gabled dormer window. The E. and W. walls are almost entirely of 18th-century and modern brick; on the E. side is a projecting bay similar to that on the N. front, and on the E. and W. sides the roof of the main block is carried down to within a few feet of the ground. The lower part of the S. wall is of stone, the upper part of 18th-century brick. Some of the windows are old, and one chimney stack is of 17th-century brick. On the ground floor some of the rooms have chamfered beams in the ceilings, and there is a wide fireplace, partly blocked.
Condition—Bad; now unoccupied and falling into decay.
c(27). Cottage, adjoining a modern tenement, 300 yards S.E. of Oakley Church, is a small building of mid 17th-century date, timber-framed, with brick filling; the roof is thatched.
c(28). Little London Farm, 300 yards E. of Oakley Church, is of two storeys, the upper storey partly in the roof. It was built in the 17th century, but the walls have been re-faced with modern brick; the roof is tiled. There is an original chimney stack, restored, and under it is an open fireplace, with an oven, partly blocked.
Condition—Good, much restored.
c(29). Cottage, a few yards N.W. of Little London Farm, is of two storeys, the upper storey partly in the roof, built in the 17th century. The lower part of the walling is of brick, the upper part is timber-framed, with brick filling; in front are two gabled dormer windows; the roof is tiled.
c(30). Cottage, now two tenements, on the S.W. side of Little London Green, is of one storey and an attic, built of timber and brick, probably early in the 17th century; the roof is thatched. Inside the cottage are two open fireplaces, one partly blocked.
c(31). Cottage, N.W. of (30), is of two storeys, built of brick in the 17th century, and partly re-faced with modern brick; the roof is thatched.
c(32). Line of Entrenchment, N. of the church, consists of a strong rampart and ditch, and forms part of defensive earthworks probably constructed at the time of the Civil war. Some distance towards the N., further down the hill, are traces of a second line.