An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 2, North. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1913.
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(O.S. 6 in. (a)xix. S.W. (b)xxiii. N.W.)
b(1). Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, in the village, is built of stone rubble with dressings of clunch and stone; the tower is of large squared stones in courses. The roofs are covered with lead, except that of the chancel, which is tiled. The present Nave was built c. 1330. The Chancel was re-built between 1396 and 1401. The West Tower was added and the walls of the nave were heightened late in the 15th century. The church was restored in 1880–81.
Among the fittings is a rare example of a 15th-century chrismatory (see Plate, p. 50), and a carved alabaster panel, also of the 15th century, is interesting.
Architectural Description:—The Chancel (20½ ft. by 14½ ft.) has an E. window of three cinque-foiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head with an external label, of 1396–1401, restored and re-tooled. In the N. wall is a window of the same date as the E. window and of two cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head; externally the label and part of the tracery have been restored: further W. is a doorway, with chamfered jambs and two-centred head and a moulded external label, of late 15th-century date, restored; the date 1589 is scratched on the internal E. splay. In the S. wall are two windows of 1396–1401; the eastern window is similar to that in the N. wall, with tracery of clunch, externally much restored; the western is a low-side window of one trefoiled light with moulded jambs and head. The chancel arch is of the 14th century, restored, and is two-centred, of two chamfered orders, the outer order continuous, and the inner resting on semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and bases, probably re-cut when the chancel was re-built; on the W. side is a plain label with modern stops. The Nave (43½ ft. by 21 ft.) has, in the N. wall, two windows; the eastern window is of late 15th-century date, and of three cinque-foiled lights under a square head with pierced spandrels; parts of the mullions and the moulded external label are modern; further W. is one jamb and part of the chamfered two-centred rear arch of an early 14th-century window: the second window is of mid 15th-century date, and of two trefoiled lights under a square head with pierced spandrels and a moulded external label; the mullion is modern; a flat wooden lintel with a hollow-chamfered edge takes the place of a rear arch: between the windows is the N. doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head, of early 14th-century date, much restored; the label is modern, but the head-stops are original. In the S. wall are three windows; the easternmost is similar to the corresponding window in the N. wall, but much restored; near the E. jamb is a fragment of an early 14th-century window; the second window is of early 14th-century date and of two trefoiled lights under a two-centred head, with a modern external label and restored tracery; the westernmost window is similar to the second window in the N. wall, and is also much restored: the S. doorway, between the second and third windows, resembles the N. doorway, but the label has uncarved stops. The West Tower (9½ ft. by 9 ft.) is of three stages with an embattled parapet; between the two upper stages there is a string-course only on the N. and E. sides; in the S.W. angle is a staircase. All the detail is of late 15th-century date. The two-centred tower arch is of two chamfered orders, with square jambs. The W. doorway has heavily moulded jambs and depressed head, under a moulded external label with much worn stops; the W. window is of two cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head, and has a moulded external label with carved head-stops, one almost worn away; the mullion is modern. In the S.W. angle, opening into the staircase, is a small doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred head; one jamb has been restored. In the second stage, in the E. wall, is a small doorway with a straight-sided head, opening on to the roof of the nave; the S. and W. walls have each a small loop light opening into the staircase. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two trefoiled lights under a square head with a moulded external label; the mullions are modern. The Roof of the chancel is of trussed rafter construction of late 15th or early 16th-century date, restored; there is a moulded cornice on each side wall, and at the W. end is a plain tie-beam. The flat-pitched roof of the nave has one 15th-century moulded tie-beam, mortised for wall-brackets, which are now missing; on the W. face of the beam are initials and a date, apparently 1695.
Fittings—Bells: five and sanctus; 1st by Ellis Knight, 1637; 3rd by Robert Atton, 1623; 4th inscribed 'Robert Atton. Nathaniel Bolter, 1628'; 5th inscribed 'In Multis Annis Resonet Campana Johannis', probably by Roger Landen, mid 15th-century; sanctus, blank, possibly by one of the Chandlers, 17th or 18th-century. Book: At vicarage—Bible, of 1613, black-letter. Bracket (or corbel): In nave—on N. wall, at E. end, high up, square, double-chamfered. Chair: In chancel —with carved back and top rail, shaped arms, turned legs and arm-supports, plain foot rail, late 17th-century. Communion Table: of oak, with large turned legs, moulded top rail with inscription 'Annis Hopper 1625' at N. end, moulded foot rail, top modern; formerly at Middle Claydon church. Locker: In chancel—in E. wall, at N. end, rectangular, rebated; oak door with moulded panel and two strap-hinges with floriated ends. Piscinae: In chancel—in S. wall, with chamfered jambs and cinque-foiled two-centred head, cinquefoil basin with projecting moulded edge, c. 1400. In nave—in remaining jamb of 14th-century window in S. wall, angle piscina, with plain angle-mullion, ogee head in wall and pointed head in splay, cinquefoil basin, early 14th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1569. Miscellanea: In chancel—alabaster panel (15 in. by 9¾ in.) with representation of the Crucifixion and four or more attendant figures, top of panel coved, probably part of a reredos, slight indication of colouring on background, alabaster very white, 15th-century, was built into gable of a farmhouse in the village, badly weathered, legs of the figure of Christ broken away; chrismatory, consisting of rectangular box, 6 in. long, of pewter, with 'lion' feet at three corners (fourth missing), fitted with three removable cups, two cups retain lids, knobs missing; attached to each lid a hook for the tow with which the oil was administered, tow remains in the bottom of each cup, and though dry, brown and friable, still appears oily; of gabled lid of box two fragments remain, the larger with flat flowered cresting, and two bits of the sloping sides, now pressed together; part of hinge, with pin, remains on box; 15th-century, found during a restoration, built into E. wall of nave, S. of chancel arch; stone fragment, apparently part of four-centred head of fireplace, with carved frieze and part of jamb, late 15th or early 16th-century.
Condition—Good, except W. doorway which is badly weathered.
These buildings are of two storeys and of the 17th century, considerably restored; they are almost all of brick and timber; the roofs are thatched.
The Hoggeston road, S. side
b(2). Cottage, 60 yards N.E. of the church, is of the central chimney type, with modern additions on the E. and N. The front is covered with rough-cast. The central stack has square shafts built of early 17th-century brick.
b(3). Cottage, 180 yards E.N.E. of the church. One chimney is of old thin bricks.
b(4). Cottage, 140 yards E. of (3). The walls are partly covered with plaster. The plan is L-shaped. A large chimney stack at the E. end, and two small square chimneys are of 17th-century brick. Interior:—On the ground floor is a large open fireplace, partly filled in. One room, now sub-divided, has a large chamfered ceiling-beam and exposed joists.
b(5–6). Cottages, two, opposite to (3). The walls in front are of modern brick, the other walls are partly covered with rough-cast. The buildings are of the central chimney type, with stacks built of 17th-century brick. Interior:—In each cottage is a large fireplace, one partly blocked, and the ceilings have old beams.
b(7). Cottages, a range of three, opposite to the N. side of the church and set back from the road. At the E. end is a modern addition and in front the lower storey is almost entirely of modern brick. One chimney stack has four grouped shafts, built of 17th-century brick, and a small square chimney is possibly also original. Two rooms have each a large open fireplace.
b(8). Cottage, now two tenements, opposite to the N. side of the church, has a modern addition at the back. The central chimney stack is of late 17th-century brick.
The North Marston road, W. side
b(9). Cottage, opposite to the W. end of the church, has been entirely re-faced with modern brick, except the central chimney stack, which is of the 17th century.
b(10). Cottage, now a shop, about 40 yards N.W. of (9). The plan is L-shaped. One chimney is of 17th-century brick.
b(11). The Sovereign Inn, 240 yards N.N.W. of the church, is of two storeys, built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. The walls are partly covered with rough-cast or cement, and partly of modern brick; the roofs are tiled. The plan was originally T-shaped, the short central wing projecting towards the N.; a modern addition has been built in the N.E. angle. Over the central wing is an original chimney stack with square shafts set diagonally on a rectangular base moulded at the top. Interior:—One room has a large ceiling-beam and an open fireplace, and some of the other rooms have original ceiling-beams.
Condition—Fairly good; the cement is cracking badly.
These cottages are of two storeys, built of brick and timber in the 17th century, and are of the central chimney type, with small modern additions. The roofs are thatched.
b(12). Cottage, about 180 yards N. of (11). At the back is a modern addition.
b(13). Cottage, about 60 yards S.W. of (12). The walls have been restored with modern brick.
b(14). Cottage, about 80 yards S. of (13). The walls are covered with modern rough-cast.
Condition—Of all the cottages, good.
b(15). Rookery Farm, ¼ mile N.W. of the church, is a house of two storeys, built of brick and timber, probably early in the 17th century, and much restored with modern brick in front; at the back are 18th-century or modern additions. The roofs are tiled. Interior:—One room has a plain ceiling-beam, and another room has a moulded beam with a moulded stop. The cellar at the W. end of the house has an old ceiling-beam; the E. wall is timber-framed, with plaster filling, which retains traces of painted lozenges, foliage, etc.
A barn E. of the house is of the 17th century. The walls are timber-framed, partly with filling of thin bricks, and partly weather-boarded.
a(16). Tumulus, or site of windmill, on Millknob Hill, is about 60 ft. in diameter and 4 ft. high.
a(17). Enclosure, in Biggin Field, ¾ mile N. of the church, is said to mark the site of the former farm or Manor house of Biggin. The enclosure is pear-shaped, and is surrounded partly by a bank and partly by a ditch. The surface of the field shows traces of other enclosures, and further W., running parallel to the field boundary, is a straight line of entrenchment consisting of a strong rampart and ditch, with gaps, resembling embrasures, in the rampart.
Condition—Of enclosure, poor; of line of entrenchment, good.