An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.
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38. GRANSDEN, GREAT (D.f.).
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXVIII N.W., (b)XXVIII N.E.)
Great Gransden is a parish and village, 6 m. S.E. of St. Neots. The Church and Rippington Manor Farm are the principal monuments.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Bartholomew stands in the S. part of the village. The walls are of pebble and ironstone-rubble, with dressings of freestone and clunch. The roofs are covered with lead. The West Tower was built late in the 14th century. The whole of the rest of the church, consisting of Chancel, Nave, North and South Aisles and South Porch, was re-built in the second half of the 15th century, the nave being widened towards the S. The tower was repaired in 1676 and the church generally restored in 1873 when the North Porch was re-built and the Organ Chamber and Vestry added.
The church is of some interest as a building largely of one period.
Architectural Description—The details are all of the second half of the 15th century, unless other-wise described. The Chancel (38¼ ft. by 17¼ ft.) has a partly restored E. window of five cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label. In the N. wall is a window of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head and of similar detail to the E. window; further W. are a modern door-way and arch. In the S. wall are two much restored windows similar to that in the N. wall; between them is a blocked doorway, of which only traces of the segmental-pointed head and relieving-arch are visible. The slightly restored chancel-arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from attached shafts, with moulded capitals and bases.
The Nave (58¼ ft. by 18 ft.) has N. and S. arcades of four bays with arches and piers of similar detail to the chancel-arch and with modern labels on the nave side; the rood-loft staircase, in the N.E. angle, has a lower doorway with chamfered jambs and four-centred head and an upper doorway with splayed jambs and a four-centred head; the turret is carried up above the parapet. The clearstorey is embattled and has on each side four much restored windows, each of three trefoiled lights in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label.
The North Aisle (10¾ ft. wide) has in the E. wall a window, now opening into the organ-chamber; it is of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label; below the window is a modern doorway. In the N. wall are three partly restored windows, each of three cinque-foiled lights, with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label; the partly repaired N. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label and traceried spandrels. In the W. wall is a window similar to those in the N. wall.
The South Aisle (10¾ ft. wide) has an E. window and three windows in the S. wall all similar to the N. windows in the N. aisle; the S. doorway is uniform with the N. doorway, but is unrestored.
The West Tower (12¼ ft. by 13¼ ft.) is of late 14th-century date and of four stages with a moulded plinth and an embattled parapet. The two-centred tower-arch, altered in the 15th century, is of two moulded orders; the responds are each of two splayed orders with moulded capitals and bases, and divided by an attached shaft; there is a moulded label on the W. face. The slightly restored W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights in a segmental-pointed head with moulded external reveals and label; the 15th-century W. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label, beast-head stops and traceried spandrels enclosing foliage, roses and shields; the shields bear (a) a cheveron between three eagles (?) and (b) three cheverons impaling a cross all within a border, probably for Clare Hall. The second stage has a modern window in the N., S. and W. walls. The third stage has in the N., S. and W. walls a loop-light with a trefoiled ogee head; the N. loop appears to have been restored. The bell-chamber has in each wall a pair of windows, each of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a four-centred head with a moulded label and carved stops. The parapet has a gargoyle in the middle of each face and one at each angle; it was apparently restored in 1676 and has on the N. face a lead plate inscribed "N.L., E.E., CHWR. 1676." On the roof is a small lead-covered spirelet.
The South Porch is embattled and has a partly restored outer archway of two moulded orders, the inner two-centred and the outer square, with a moulded label; the jambs are moulded and have each an attached shaft, with moulded capital and base. The side walls have each a window, all modern except the splays and four-centred arch.
The Roof of the chancel is of flat-pitch and of four bays with moulded main timbers; the cam-bered tie-beams have curved braces forming four-centred arches; between the trusses are intermediate principals and the ridge has carved stops against the trusses and carved bosses at the intersections with the intermediates; there are smaller carved bosses at the intersections of the purlins and intermediates; the wall-posts stand on octagonal stone corbels, terminating in rosettes. The roof of the nave is of four bays and of similar character and general detail to that of the chancel; it has been repaired in the 17th century and two or three of the central bosses appear to be of that date; the third tie-beam bears the inscriptions, "William Livett, Edward Ingell (?) Churchwardens," "Matthew Bans pt." and "Carpentr" on the side of the boss; there are no bosses to the purlins, but at the feet of the intermediates are carved figures, two feathered angels holding viols and bows and the others, figures in albs holding shields or books; the corbels are modern. The roof of the N. aisle is flat-pitched and of four bays with moulded main timbers and intermediate principals; the principal intersections of the ridge have foliated bosses and at the feet of the intermediates are carved figures in albs, some holding shields; the faces have been defaced; the easternmost half-bay is panelled in eight compartments with moulded ribs and foliated bosses. The roof of the S. aisle is similar to that in the N. aisle, but two of the figures represent feathered angels; one figure is missing; the easternmost half-bay is not panelled. The fourth tie-beam has inscriptions, "Edward Edw . . .," "Church-wardens 1675"; the names have been partly cut away; the boss is of the same date.
Fittings—Bells: six, 3rd and 5th by Bryan Eldridge, 1658. Brass Indents: In churchyard— E. of chancel, (1) of stepped bracket or cross, surmounted by half-figure with label, marginal inscription, late 14th-century; (2) similar but with whole figure and foot inscription only; in angle between S. aisle and porch, (3) of civilian and wife, inscription-plate and a third figure. In tower— against N. wall, (4) to Thomas de Neusum [rector 1301–28], foliated cross or bracket with beast at foot and half-figure of priest above (Plate 127), marginal inscription in separate Lombardic letters, slab partly restored. Chest: In nave—plain with iron bands, two compartments inside, each with separate panelled lid, smaller division with three locks and hasps and larger with two old locks, 16th- or early 17th-century. Clock: In tower— said to have been placed there in 1683. Coffin-lid: In churchyard—N. side, coped fragments, with remains of ornamental cross, 13th-century. Communion Table: In vestry—with turned legs, moulded top and plain lower rail, c. 1630. Cross: In churchyard—N. of N. porch, stone base of churchyard-cross, mediæval. Door: In doorway of tower-staircase—of feathered battens with strap-hinges, late 15th-century. Font: plain octagonal bowl of limestone, stem with moulded capping and modern base, capping and stem probably 14th-century, rest 15th-century. Glass: In chancel— in S. window, fragments including small figure, crowned initials I and X, tabernacle-work, foliage and a shield bearing, argent a bend within a border engrailed gules with three martlets [or] on the bend and a molet sable for difference, mostly 15thand early 16th-century. Monument: In churchyard—S. of chancel, to Sarah (Styles), wife of Samuel Mason, 1664, flat slab. Niche: In S. aisle—in S.E. angle, large with defaced head of tabernacle-work, cusped soffit with rosette, buttresses at sides, projecting moulded shelf on attached shaft with moulded base, late 15th-century. Piscinae: In chancel—recess (Plate 140) with shafted jambs, trefoiled and sub-cusped arch with crocketed ogee label and square head with traceried spandrels and carved bosses, over all an enriched cornice, partly restored hexagonal drain with three outlets, late 15th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, recess with hollow-chamfered jambs and four-centred head, round drain, late 15th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1634, with inscriptions; cover-paten of same date with a later crest engraved on handle and a stand-paten of the same date; leather-covered case of wood made to contain the three pieces. Pulpit: (Plate 153) of oak, hexagonal, each face with moulded entablature and skirting, the former with enriched and the latter with plain straps, shaped panels in sides, with carved cartouches, mid 17th-century. Screen: formerly under chancel-arch, now between vestry and organ-chamber, now of four bays, the central doorway having been destroyed, shafted posts and moulded and partly carved rail, upper panels with cinque-foiled heads and tracery in two-centred main heads, cinque-foiled heads and tracery in two-centred main heads to lower panels also, open framing for former loft, 15th-century. Seating: In W. part of nave and S. aisle—five blocks of pews with front desks and some additional pieces, twenty-eight pieces in all, panelled bench-ends with moulded rails and small buttresses, backs of five seats and five front desks panelled and having trefoiled and sub-cusped heads (Plate 51) with points and spandrels carved with foliage, fishes, birds, animals and grotesque faces, probably early 16th-century. Stoup: On tower—S. of W. doorway, remains of stoup with pointed head and broken basin on shaft, late 15th-century.
Condition—Good generally, but crack in tower.
a(2). Homestead Moat, in Gransden Park, 750 yards W. of the church. There are remains of a second enclosure to the S.W.
a(3). Gransden Hall (Plate 148), is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built about the middle of the 17th century on an H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. The house was remodelled c. 1716 and the front between the wings refaced. There are modern additions on the S. and W. On the N. front the original ends to the wings remain; they have each a moulded band between the storeys, a heavy cornice at the base of the gable and a shaped gable finished with a segmental pediment; in the gables are round-headed recesses with key-blocks. The front between the wings bears the date 1716.
a(4). Rippington Manor Farm, house, barn and moat, 40 yards E. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 16th century on an H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the N.W. and S.E. ends; the original house was perhaps partly a timber-framed structure but was recased in brick in the 17th century. At the N.W. end of the house is an original chimney-stack of stone, with a later shaft of brick. The S.W. side of the main block has also an original chimney-stack of stone and some original and later windows with moulded oak frames and mullions. The S.E. end has an original stone chimney-stack. Inside the building, the central-block, forming the Hall, has a chamfered ceiling-beam and an original stone fire-place (Plate 158) with stop-moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head; there is a similar fireplace in the S.E. wing and some 17th-century panelling. The two doors to the hall are of 17th-century battens, nail-studded and with strap-hinges. The 'chapel' in the S.W. wing has early 18th-century panelling with a cornice and dado-rail. At the top of the staircase (Plate 165) is a balustrade with late 17th-century turned and twisted balusters. Some of the timber-framing is exposed on the first floor.
The Washhouse, to the W. of the house, is a 17th-century building of brick with some timber-framing at the N.E. end. Inside the building is an original ceiling-beam and in the fireplace is an iron fire-back with the initials G.K. and a representation of the Return of the Spies from Canaan.
The Barn (Plate 150), N.E. of the house, is of brick with a tiled roof. It was built, probably, late in the 16th century and is of six bays with two porches on the N.W. side.
The Moat is fragmentary.
Condition—Of house, fairly good, except the S.E. wing.
a(5). College Farm, house, 20 yards S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built, probably, early in the 18th century and has brick bands between the storeys, shaped gables at the ends and a modillioned eaves-cornice in front. Inside the building, are some original panelled doors and a staircase with turned balusters and a close string with brackets.
a(6). The Vicarage, 50 yards N.W. of the church, is of three storeys; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built, probably, in the middle of the 17th century by Barnabas Oley, Vicar, but has been entirely refaced and probably heightened early in the 19th century. Inside the building, the original staircase has flat-shaped balusters, moulded rails and square moulded newels. There are also some late 16th- or early 17th-century moulded ceiling-beams.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
a(7). House, cottage and shop, on the N. side of the street, 60 yards N. of the church.
a(8). Cottage, W. of (7).
a(9). House, on the S. side of the road, 85 yards N.W. of the church, was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(10). Cottage, two tenements, 40 yards W. of (9).
a(11). Cottage, two tenements, 80 yards W. of (10).
a(12). House, at W. corner of Little Gransden Lane, 25 yards W. of (11), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(13). Cottage, 30 yards N. of (12), has an original chimney-stack with the date and initials 1676, G.B.E.
a(14). Cottage, N.W. of (13).
a(15). Safford's Farm, house and barn, 50 yards W. of (14). The House has been re-built except for a wing on the S. side, with an original battened door.
The Barn (Plate 150), N.E. of the house was built, probably, late in the 16th century. The walls are of brick with tabled buttresses, long loops and a porch on the W. side. The roof is of five bays.
a(16). Crown and Cushion Inn, at the E. side of the cross-roads, 350 yards W.N.W. of the church, was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century and has a modern addition on the S. side.
a(17). Cottage, 60 yards S.E. of (16), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(18). Cottage, two tenements, 25 yards S.E. of (17).
Little Gransden Lane
a(19). Cottage on the E. side of the lane, 210 yards W. of the church, was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(20). Cottage, on the S.W. side of the lane, 110 yards S.S.W. of (19), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(21). Cottage, 20 yards W. of (20) and of the same date.
a(22). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 350 yards N.W. of the church, was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(23). House, 25 yards N. of (22), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. The original chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts and pilasters.
a(24). House, standing back from the W. side of the road, 80 yards W. of (23), has gabled cross-wings at the N. and S. ends.
a(25). House, two tenements, 45 yards N.E. of (24), has an added 18th-century wing on the N.
a(26). Mannock Manor Farm, house on the E. side of the road, 160 yards N.N.E. of (23), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(27). Cottage, two tenements, on the S.W. side of the street, 50 yards E.S.E. of (26), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N.
a(28). House, two tenements, on the N.E. side of the street, 30 yards N. of (27), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(29). House, 50 yards S.E. of (28), was built, probably, early in the 18th century.
a(30). Cottage, 35 yards S.E. of (29), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(31). Fox Inn, 20 yards S.E. of (30).
a(32). House, on the S.W. side of the street, 120 yards S.S.E. of (31).
a(33). Cottage, at the E. angle of the cross-roads, 90 yards E.S.E. of (32), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(34). Cottage, N. of (33) and of the same date.
a(35). Cottage, on the E. side of the street, 235 yards N. of the church.
a(36). Cottage, S. of (35), has an original chimney-stack at the N.W. end, with weathered offsets.
a(37). House, 60 yards S.S.W. of (36), has a much altered wing at the S. end. The original central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts and pilasters.
a(38). House, on the W. side of the street, 50 yards N.W. of (37).
a(39). Cottage, 30 yards N.E. of (38), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
a(40). Almshouses, range of five tenements, W. of (39), were founded by the Rev. Barnabas Oley, vicar, in 1676. One chimney-stack is original and has grouped diagonal shafts and pilasters. On the S. gable is a panel with the date 1676.
a(41). Cottage, 25 yards N.N.E. of (39), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
Great Gidding, see Gidding, Great.
Great Gransden, see Gransden, Great.
Great Paxton, see Paxton, Great.
Great Raveley, see Raveley, Great.
Great Staughton, see Staughton, Great.
Great Stukeley, see Stukeley, Great.