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. x. S.E.)
(1). Parish Church of St. Laurence, stands at the N.W. corner of the village; the walls are of coursed rubble; the roofs are tiled. The Chancel is probably of c. 1320, and the Nave of c. 1330, but the two dates and the great thickness of the walls of the nave probably indicate that a church already existed on the site, and that the 14th-century work was rebuilding or alteration; the chancel was lengthened later in the 14th century, and c. 1390 new windows were inserted in the nave. The West Tower was added in the first half of the 15th century. The South Porch is modern, but has some 14th-century windows re-set in it. The whole building was restored in the 19th century.
The mediæval wall paintings still existing are unusually extensive and interesting (see Plates, pp. 71, 72).
Architectural Description—The Chancel (25½ ft. by 14 ft.) has an E. window, all modern, except the inner jambs and chamfered rear arch, which are possibly of the 14th century. In the N. wall, near the W. end, is a window of two lights, and tracery in a two-centred head, probably of c. 1320, but much restored. In the S. wall, near the W. end, is a window of one wide light; the inner jambs, chamfered rear arch and moulded label with mask-stops are of c. 1320, the outer stonework is modern. The two-centred chancel arch is of c. 1320 and of two chamfered orders; the outer order dies into the jambs, the inner order springs from moulded bell-capitals, supported by carved head-corbels; the label in the nave has mask-stops, and is much restored, if not entirely modern. The Nave (50½ ft. by 18½ ft.) has, in the N. wall, three windows; the two eastern are each of three trefoiled lights under a two-centred head with a moulded outer order and rear arch of c. 1390; the tracery is modern: the third window, of c. 1330, is of three trefoiled ogee lights and net tracery in a two-centred head: between the second and third windows a blocked doorway of c. 1330 has chamfered jambs and two-centred head, and a moulded label: at the E. end of the wall the semi-hexagonal stair-turret of the former rood-loft has upper and lower doorways, with two-centred heads, and a small looplight, which is now blocked. In the S. wall are three windows, similar to those in the N. wall, but in the two eastern windows the external stonework is modern; the third window has been restored: the S. doorway is of the same date and design as the N. doorway, and has a deep hole for a draw-bar in the E. jamb. The West Tower (10½ ft. square) is of three stages with diagonal W. buttresses and an embattled parapet; the plinth is moulded, and is continued in the W. wall of the nave. The two-centred tower arch is probably of early 15th-century date, and is of two continuously chamfered orders; the inner order has a moulded base. The W. window is of two lights in a two-centred head, all modern except the early 15th-century jambs and outer order of the head. In the N.W. corner is a doorway with a two-centred head, opening into a circular staircase in the thickness of the wall. The second stage is lighted by two rectangular loops, one in the N. wall, and the other in the S. wall. The bell-chamber has four windows, each of two lights and tracery in a two-centred head, probably of early 15th-century date, much restored. The South Porch is modern, but in each side wall is re-set a small 14th-century window of two lights with a pierced spandrel in a two-centred head.
Fittings—Bells: four and sanctus; 1st by Anthony Chandler, 1655; 2nd inscribed 'Sancte Cristine Ora Pro Nobis', by Henry Jordan, c. 1465; 3rd by James Keene and his partner or assistant, 1622; 4th inscribed 'In Multis Annis Resonet Campana Johannis', by Henry Jordan, c. 1465; sanctus, by James Keene, 1635; bell-frame, old. Books: In nave—on each side of chancel arch, large, attached to desk by chains, (1) Bishop Jewel, Defence of the Apologie, 1567, (2) Erasmus, Paraphrases, black-letter, temp. Edward VI., given to the church in 1632. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In chancel—on black slab, (1) to Mary, daughter of Charles Edmonds of Preston Denary, Northamptonshire, and wife of Thomas Duncombe of Broughton, 1655; on S. wall, (2) to Agnes, wife of John of Broughton, 1399, inscription in black-letter; (3) to John, son of Robert of Broughton, 1403, inscription in black-letter. Chest: In chancel—of carved oak, with raised panels in front, probably 17th-century. Doors: In nave—in N. doorway, of plain battens with strap-hinges, probably 15th-century; in S. doorway, of oak, with ornamental strap-hinges and round scutcheon, 15th-century, fillets on front modern. Glass: In nave—in N.W. and S.W. windows, fragments, 14th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Sarah, widow of Thomas Duncumb, 1653; (2) to Mary, daughter of Sir Anthony Chester of Chicheley, baronet, and wife of Francis Duncombe of Broughton, 1686. Paintings: In nave—on N. wall, between the two eastern windows, (1) square panel in a nebuly border of red, white and cream; in the middle, figure of the Virgin with mutilated figure of Christ on her knees, surrounded by nine figures of men in late 14th-century dress, each figure represented as holding part of the dismembered body of Christ, c. 1400; between the second and third windows, (2) large representation of a 'Doom', below the figures pattern of broad stripes, round the doorway pattern of white flowers on a grey ground, late 15th-century; on S. wall, between the two eastern windows, (3) figure of St. Helena, and of a bishop, probably St. Eloy, cream-coloured background, with pattern of spots in groups, mid 15th-century, figures much renovated, foliage border modern, under the figures, below border, a number of smith's tools and implements, also a horse with rider, possibly of earlier date than painting above it, but almost destroyed by 19th-century memorial tablet set in the middle; over S. doorway, (4) large representation of St. George and the dragon, St. George in plate armour and riding a white horse, upper part destroyed, including the head of the saint, in background small figure of woman in red and white dress, face destroyed, mid 15th-century; on E., N. and S. walls several circular designs, with scroll ornament and texts in black-letter, English, probably second half of 16th century. Miscellanea: In tower—oak bier, dated 1683. In churchyard—set in small 18th-century font, bronze sundial with Roman figures, by H. Sutton, 1657.