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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137. GREAT BRICKHILL.
(O.S. 6 in., xx. N.E.).
(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, at the N. end of the village, is built of reddish sandstone or ironstone rubble with clunch and sandstone dressings; the tower is heavily cemented. The roofs are tiled. The Chancel and Central Tower were built in the middle of the 13th century; the Nave is probably of the same date, but has no early detail. At the end of the 14th century the W. doorway and window of the nave and the S. doorway and window of the tower were inserted. In the second half of the 15th century the South Aisle and South Chapel were built, and at the end of the same century the North Aisle and North Chapel were added. In 1867 the church was completely restored and the South Porch was built.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (25 ft. by 13½ ft.) has a modern E. window. The N. and S. walls have each a lancet window, all modern externally, but having a moulded rear arch, wide splay and shafted internal jambs with circular shafts and moulded capitals of mid 13th-century date; W. of the window in each wall is an arch, nearly segmental in form, and of two chamfered orders dying into flat responds; the arches open into the N. and S. chapels respectively, with which they are contemporary. The Central Tower (10 ft. by 14 ft.) is of three stages, and, externally, appears to be almost entirely modern; there is a considerable off-set on the N. and S. sides at the second and third stages; the parapet is embattled, and, above the ground stage, the S.E. stair-turret projects in octagonal form and is carried higher than the parapet. The ground stage of the tower has, opening into the chancel and nave, two arches of mid 13th-century date, and of three chamfered orders, resting on semi-octagonal pilasters with moulded capitals; the bases of the E. arch were re-cut in the 15th century, those of the W. arch are modern. In the S. wall, at the E. end, is a small 15th-century doorway opening into the stair-turret, and at the W. end is a late 14th-century doorway with two-centred head and jambs continuously moulded; it was originally external, but now opens into the S. chapel; over the doorway is a window of two lights under a two-centred head, apparently also of late 14th-century date, but with modern tracery; it has a four-centred rear arch, and is partly blocked by the roof of the chapel. The bell-chamber has four modern windows. The Nave (49½ ft. by 15½ ft.) has N. and S. arcades of four bays; the N. arcade, of late 15th-century date, has obtuse two-centred or four-centred arches of two chamfered orders with long voussoirs; the octagonal columns and semi-octagonal W. respond have moulded bases and capitals somewhat awkwardly fitted; the E. responds of both arcades are flat, the arches dying into them. The 15th-century S. arcade is higher than the N. arcade, and the bases are raised on square plinths; as the ground slopes from S. to N., this arrangement may indicate a some what higher level originally for the N. aisle than for the rest of the church; the arches are two-centred, of two chamfered orders, and the stones are slightly smaller than those of the N. arches; the octagonal columns and semi-octagonal W. respond have moulded capitals and bases of earlier detail than those of the N. arcade. The W. doorway is a modern copy of a 14th-century doorway with continuously moulded head and jambs. The W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights under a two-centred head; the opening is of late 14th-century date, but the tracery with all the external stonework is modern. The North Aisle (13½ ft. wide) overlaps the tower and chancel and, at the E. end, forms the North Chapel. In the E. wall is a modern window. In the N. wall are three windows, each of three cinque-foiled lights under a square head, of late 15th-century date, much restored; W. of the westernmost window, and of the same date, is the N. doorway with continuously moulded jambs and two-centred head, now blocked. In the W. wall is a window of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery, much restored, but the opening and jambs are old. The South Aisle (12 ft. wide) is continued towards the E. to form the South Chapel. In the E. wall is a modern window. In the S. wall are four windows, the three eastern are entirely modern except the third window, which has a few old stones in the jambs; the fourth window, at the W. end of the wall, is of two cinque-foiled lights of the 15th century, externally much restored: between the third and fourth windows is the S. doorway, of the second half of the 15th century, and of two orders, the inner order two-centred and the outer square, with cusped spandrels and a label which has defaced angel-stops. In the W. wall is a window with some old stones in the external jambs.
Fittings—Bells: include sanctus, inscribed 'G.C. 1681'. Chest: In N. chapel—small, with two iron locks, and decorated with incised design, 17th-century. Communion Table: plain, with heavy turned baluster legs, early 17th-century. Paintings: In chancel—on splays of N. and S. windows, traces of original colour decoration, mid 13th-century. Piscina: In N. chapel—in E. wall, small, with chamfered pointed head and projecting basin, late 15th-century. Plate: includes salver with feet, fastened on under side disc of silver, with much worn hall-mark, apparently 17th-century, but salver probably of later date.
Condition—Good; much restored.
These buildings are nearly all of two storeys, and of the 17th century. The walls are of timber and brick. Many of the roofs are tiled or thatched.
(2). House, 50 yards S. of the church. The front and ends of the building are of 18th-century brick. Interior:—In the principal rooms are chamfered ceiling-beams, and in one room is a wide fireplace, now partly converted into cupboards.
Condition—Of 17th-century work, fairly good; of 18th-century work, good.
(3). House and Barn, 200 feet W. of (2). The House is of one storey and an attic, and of the central chimney type. The walls have been restored with modern brick. The central stack has two square attached shafts, built of thin bricks and restored at the top.
The Barn adjoins the E. end of the house and part of it now forms a room; it is also of the 17th century, and of timber, weather-boarded, the W. bay having brick filling.
(4). Cottage, on a triangular plot, about 250 yards S.E. of the church. It is of one storey and an attic, and of late 16th or early 17th-century date, with modern additions. The walls are covered with rough-cast, but a large post shows at one angle.
(5). Cottage, now a shop, about 130 yards E. of (4). The front is covered with rough-cast above the brick plinth, and the E. gable is weather-boarded. At the back are low modern additions. The windows have iron casements in wood frames. Two of the rooms have exposed joists and ceiling-beams.
A small outbuilding has a window and part of one wall made up of fragments of 17th-century panelling, with lozenge-pattern ornament and moulded framing.
(6). Cottage, on the W. side of the road, 350 yards S.S.E. of the church. The walls have been much renewed with brick. The windows have old iron casements, and one chimney is of thin bricks. A barn near the cottage is also of the 17th century.
(7). Cottages, a range, on the E. side of the road, about ¼ mile S.S.E. of the church, built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. The N. side retains some original timber-framing with brick filling of later date. The S. side, and the gabled W. end, are of late 17th-century brick; the gable is coped and has brick kneelers. The E. end of the range was apparently re-built or added in the 18th-century. Many of the windows are of the 17th century, and have iron casements. One chimney stack has been re-built with thin bricks.
(8). Cottage, now two tenements, on the W. side of the road, about 560 yards S.S.E. of the church, was almost entirely re-built with brick in the 18th century. The roof is covered with slate.
(9). House and Outhouse, about 750 yards S. of the church, were built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, and are connected by a passage; at the back is a modern addition. The walls of the House are covered with rough-cast, and the roofs with slate. The large chimney stack has diagonal shafts in front and at the ends. One room has a wide fireplace and an old ceiling-beam.
The Outhouse is timber-framed with brick filling; the roof is thatched. In the connecting passage are visible two large corner posts reaching to the roof.
Condition—Fairly good; much restored.
(10). House, opposite to (9). The timber-framing in front is cased with modern wood, and the filling is modern. The N. end is plastered. The roof is covered with slate. At the S. end is a chimney, built partly of 17th-century brick. An adjoining outhouse is of brick, with a thatched roof.
Condition—Fairly good; much restored.
(11). Barn, on the E. side of the road, 740 yards S.S.E. of the church. The walls are strengthened at the base with modern brick.
(12). Cottage, on the N.E. side of the road, 750 yards S.S.E. of the church, is of late 16th or early 17th-century date, and of the central chimney type. The timber-framing of the walls is fairly close-set. The gabled N. wall is elaborately framed, with a cambered tie-beam and collar-beams, and diagonal braces.