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. v. S.E.)
(1). Parish Church of St. Laurence, in the middle of the village, is built of stone rubble; the roofs are covered with lead, except that of the porch, which is tiled. The thickness of the walls and the proportions of the Nave possibly indicate that it was built in the 12th century; early in the 14th century the North Aisle was added, and extended the whole length of the chancel and nave which then existed. Late in the 15th century the Central Tower was built on the site of the chancel, and the chancel was re-built further towards the E. In the 16th century the clearstorey was added, and the South Porch built. The Chancel was again re-built early in the 18th century. The windows in the aisle were restored in the 19th century, and the lower stages of the tower in the 20th century.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (21 ft. by 14 ft.) is entirely of the 18th century. The Central Tower (15½ ft. by 12 ft.) is of three stages, with shallow square buttresses at the angles of the first and second stages and an embattled parapet. All the detail, except the gallery, is of late 15th-century date. The N., E. and W. arches are two-centred and each of three chamfered orders with semi-octagonal responds which have moulded capitals and bases; the upper part of the E. arch is now blocked; the innermost order of the S. respond of the arch opening into the nave has been cut away to make room for a pulpit, subsequently removed. The S. wall has, in the S.E. angle, a newel staircase, carried up to the bell-chamber; it led originally also to the rood-loft, and was entered from a doorway, now blocked, inside the tower; it is now entered from an external doorway n the S. wall: further W. is a high window of three cusped lights and tracery under a two-centred head and external label. An upper floor, inserted in the 18th century, forms a gallery opening into the nave; in the S.E. angle is the upper doorway opening into the stair-turret. In the second stage are two small windows; one has a square head, and is partly hidden by the clock, the other has a trefoiled head and an external label. The third stage has, in each wall, coupled windows, each of two trefoiled lights with a transom and under a two-centred head, with pierced spandrels and an external label; at each corner of the string-course below the parapet is carved a large grotesque head, and on the N. wall are two gargoyles flush with the wall. The Nave (35 ft. by 18 ft.) has an embattled parapet. The N. arcade is of three bays and of early 14th-century date, with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the outer order has scroll-stops over the clustered columns, which have moulded capitals and bases; the responds are similar to the columns. In the S. wall is a 15th-century window of three trefoiled lights with pierced spandrels under a depressed two-centred head, and W. of the window is the 15th-century S. doorway, with plain jambs and segmental head. The clearstorey has, on each side, four 16th-century windows, each of two uncusped lights under a four-centred head. In the W. wall is a mid 14th-century window of three lights and tracery under a two-centred head and external label. The North Aisle (52 ft. by 15½ ft.) has, in the E. wall, a 14th-century window, now blocked, and hidden externally by a buttress and internally by a monument. In the N. wall are two windows with 14th-century splays and rear arches; the tracery and external stonework are modern: between the windows is a 14th-century doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head. In the W. wall is a modern window. The South Porch is of two storeys. The entrance archway has chamfered jambs and two-centred head of the 16th century. In each side wall is a 16th-century window of two lights under a square head, with an external label; in the head of the gable is a small window, now blocked. The Roof of the N. aisle is of early 16th-century date, with a moulded wall-plate and purlins, etc.
Fittings—Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In nave—(1) to William, son of Henry Shelley of Patcham, Sussex, 1638, Latin inscription, on separate plate achievement of arms; (2) to Elizabeth [Noke], name on slab almost obliterated, on brass verse in English, and date 1658. In N. aisle— on E. wall, (3) of skeleton in shroud, with verses in English and Latin, black-letter, and shield with arms of Cave, 16th-century, (see brass and monument (4) ); on floor, near E. end, (4) of Anthony Cave, merchant of the Staple of Calais, 1558, two figures, man in plate armour, mail skirt, long sword suspended from belt, head (broken) resting on helmet, woman in cloak and veil head-dress, inscription and two shields, the first with arms of Cave impaling a coat of six quarters, the second shield with arms of the Staple, indents of two other shields. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) to Sir Anthony Chester, third baronet, 1697, and Mary his wife, daughter of Samuel Cranmer, 1710, large monument, of black and white marble, with inscription, curved broken pediment, and achievement of arms; (2) to Anne, daughter of William Wollaston of Shenton, Leicestershire, first wife of Sir John Chester, fourth baronet, Latin inscription, undated, monument similar to (1). In N. aisle— against E. wall, (3) of Sir Anthony Chester, knight and first baronet, 1635, and Dame Elizabeth (Boteler) his first wife, 1629, panelled altar tomb, with two kneeling figures, the man in plate armour and padded breeches, the woman in cloak and veiled head-dress; at each end of tomb Corinthian column and pilaster, supporting entablature with foliated frieze and elaborate cresting with three shields, in the middle Chester quartering Cave and Butler, at N. end Chester, at S. end Chester impaling Butler, at back inscription to Sir Anthony, recording erection of monument by his son Henry, 1637, separate inscription to Dame Elizabeth; against N. wall, (4) to Antonie Cave, 1558, erected by his wife Elizabeth [Lovett] in 1576, large monument, of stone (see Plate, p. 43), having enriched sarcophagus, with figure of corpse, at the back small kneeling figures in high relief of six daughters and two sons, at each end of tomb grotesque figure on a pedestal, supporting entablature with triglyphs in the frieze and a moulded pediment with achievement of arms of Cave; above sarcophagus inlaid inscription, above sons shield with arms of Cave, above daughters shield with arms of Lovett, on sarcophagus cartouche bearing arms of Cave impaling Lovett. In churchyard—at N.E. corner, (5) tombstone to Mary, wife of William Will, 1691. Floor-slabs: In N. aisle—(1) to Dorothy, wife of William Giles, 1652; (2) to Henry Cowley, 1653, and Elizabeth his wife, 1656; (3) to — Tubbs, widow, three dates, 1622, 1666 and 1690, inscription much obliterated; (4) to John Chester, 1669; (5) to Villiers, son of Sir William Jesson, of Coventry, 1690; (6) to Catherine, wife of John Chester, 1671; (7) to John, son of Sir Anthony Chester, baronet, date illegible, 17th-century; (8) to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Peyton of Dodington, Ely, and widow of Sir Anthony Chester, second baronet, 1692. Niche: In tower—over upper doorway opening into stair-turret. Painting: In nave— on S. wall, near W. end, traces of prayer, in black-letter, and some egg-and-tongue ornament, probably late 16th-century. Panelling: In nave— on S. wall, near W. end, and in N. aisle—at W. end. moulded framing and some carved panels, early 17th-century. Stoup: In nave—in S. wall, with cinque-foiled head, 15th-century, bowl partly restored. Miscellanea: In N. aisle—Bible-box, of oak, with carved front, early 17th-century.
Condition—Good generally, but the walls are covered with ivy, and the upper stage of the tower internally is in poor condition.
(2). Homestead Moat and four Fish-ponds, at Chicheley Hall. The Moat was formerly square, but the N.W. arm has been obliterated; on the S.W. and S.E. are high retaining banks. The Fish-ponds are near the S.E. arm of the moat.
(3). Grange Farm, about 1,100 yards N.N.E. of the church, is a house of three storeys; the walls are of stone; the roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped, the wings extending towards the S. and E.; the S. wing was built probably c. 1601, the date inscribed above the principal doorway, and the E. wing was added possibly later in the 17th century; in the angle between the wings is a small modern addition, of brick. W. Elevation:—In the middle is a doorway (see Plate, p. 24) with a segmental arch under a square head and moulded entablature; in the frieze is inscribed, in large letters, 'Sobrie Iuste Pie', and the date 1601; the mullioned windows are apparently modern or much restored. E. Elevation:—The flat-headed gable of the E. wing is of irregular shape, one side of the gable being longer than the other; one original window of four lights has moulded wood mullions and frame, with quarry glazing; the S. wing is covered by the modern addition. N. Elevation:—Some of the windows have original casements: the two large projecting chimney stacks have shafts built of 18th-century brick, one shaft bearing a tablet inscribed with the date 1773.
Interior:—The wide fireplaces have been partly blocked. The staircase has, on the first landing, 17th-century balusters, rails and a round-headed newel post, all of carved oak. On the first floor is a door of old oak battens.
A square Outbuilding, N.E. of the house, is of two storeys, and probably of late 17th-century date. The walls are of red brick with black headers; the roof is tiled. Inside the building is a large open fireplace.
(4). Farmhouse, 150 yards N. of Grange Farm, is of two storeys, built of stone, probably in the 17th century, and partly re-faced with brick later in the same century. The roofs are tiled. The plan is T-shaped, the small transverse wing facing S. S. Elevation:—The large projecting chimney stack is of stone, with a shaft of thin bricks at the top. E. Elevation:—The transverse wing is gabled; the E. wall of the N. wing has been re-faced with red brick and black headers; one old window remains, and there are some blocked windows. W. Elevation:—The chimney stack in the middle of the N. wing is of thin bricks. Interior:—On the ground floor there are some large stop-chamfered beams in the ceilings, and on the first floor some large oak floor-boards.
Condition—Poor, now uninhabited; some of the windows have fallen out and the floors are in bad repair.
These buildings are of the 17th century, except possibly one; the walls generally are timber-framed with brick filling; the roofs are thatched. The house and cottages have original chimney stacks.
(5). Cottage, at the N. end of the hamlet, about ¼ mile N.W. of the church. It is of one storey and an attic, with a central chimney stack. The W. wall has been re-faced with brick.
(6). Cottage, S. of (5), is of two storeys. The wall at the back has been partly re-faced with brick.
(7). House, now three tenements, about 400 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys, and probably of late 16th or early 17th-century date. The plan is L-shaped, the wings extending towards the N. and W., with modern additions in the angle between them. The E. front has a gable at the S. end, and a gabled dormer window near the N. end; the door is of old oak battens. The N. end of the N. wing is of stone. The S. wall is partly of red brick with black headers, and in the roof are two gabled dormer windows. The W. end of the W. wing has been re-faced with 18th-century brick. Interior:—Some of the wide open fireplaces and some original ceiling-beams remain.
(8). Barn, about 230 yards N.W. of the church, opposite the Chester Arms. The walls are partly weather-boarded.
Claydon, East, Middle and Steeple, see East Claydon, Middle Claydon and Steeple Claydon.