An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.
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39. HADDON (B.b.).
Parish Church of St. Mary stands towards the S. limit of the parish. The walls are of rubble with bands of ashlar in the chancel; the dressings are of Barnack stone; the roofs are covered with slates and lead. The N.E. external angle of the nave has 'large-stone' quoins and is probably part of an 11th-century church. Early in the 12th century the chancel-arch was re-built, the church probably then consisted of chancel and nave only, the latter of the same length as the existing nave. Early in the 13th century the North Aisle, arcade and Transept were added, probably in the order indicated, The South Aisle, arcade and Transept were added about the middle of the 13th century, the nave being narrowed in the process; during the same period the North Porch was added, the Chancel re-built and widened towards the S. and a western annexe added to the nave probably to support a timber belfry. The clearstorey of the nave is probably of early 16th-century date and shortly afterwards the West Tower was built over the W. annexe. There was much repair-work done in the same or the succeeding century. The church was restored in 1897 and 1901.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (22¾ ft. by 13½ ft.) has an E. window of three graduated lancet-lights under a segmental-pointed rear-arch, all extensively restored. In the N. wall is a 13th-century window (Plate 11) of two pointed lights under a re-set moulded label with defaced head-stops; the tympanum externally is carved with a foliated cross in relief; this was formerly provided with a shaft running down the central mullion, but the mullion has been renewed and only the moulded base remains; the internal head is moulded and there is a moulded base at the foot of the mullion; the internal label has mask and head-stops. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern generally similar to that in the N. wall, but with no cross on the tympanum and no moulded bases; the external label has mask-stops and the internal label has stops carved with heads of a bishop and a king; the western window is a 13th-century lancet with a moulded label and mask-stops; near the E. end of the wall are the sill and bases of the jambs of a destroyed two-light window. The early 12th-century chancel-arch (Plate 70) is round and of two moulded orders, the inner having a large roll on the soffit and the other a roll and a semi - octagonal outer member carved with diaper-ornament; the responds have each a half-round shaft to the inner order with a cushion - capital (Plate 111) carved with interlacing ornament; the outer order has a free shaft with scalloped or cushion-capital and moulded bases and a row of diaper-ornament on the outer chamfer of the respond; the abaci are chamfered and beaded; flanking the chancel-arch on the E. face are remains of recesses for seats; the northern now has only a shapeless head, the southern retains a 13th-century grouped shaft on the S. with a moulded capital and mutilated base; the remains of the arch are moulded, the rest of the recess being covered by a flat slab with a chamfered edge.
The Nave (30½ ft. by 16¾ ft.) has an early 13th-century N. arcade of three bays with round arches of two chamfered orders and plain labels with mask-stops; the octagonal columns have moulded capitals and bases; the responds have moulded capitals and short shafts resting on corbels each carved with three mask-stops. The slightly later S. arcade is of three bays with partly restored round arches of two chamfered orders; the octagonal columns have moulded capitals with nail-head ornament and 'hold-water' bases; the E. respond-corbel is mainly modern but that on the W. is original and has a moulded capital and short shaft terminating in a man's head (Plate 118). The clearstorey has on the S. side three windows each of two square-headed lights and probably of early 16th-century date; those on the N. are blocked.
The North Transept (10 ft. by 10½ ft.) has in the N. wall a 13th-century lancet-window with a moulded label and mask-stops. In the W. wall is a 13th-century two-centred arch of two chamfered orders springing from the first pier of the nave-arcade and from a short shaft with a moulded capital against the N. wall.
The South Transept (10 ft. by 9¼ ft.) has an early 14th-century window in the S. wall of three trefoiled or ogee lights with skeleton-tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and mask-stops; it has been considerably restored. In the W. wall is a 13th-century segmental-pointed arch of two chamfered orders springing from the first pier of the nave-arcade and from a detached shaft with moulded capital and base, against the S. wall.
The North Aisle (7 ft. wide) has in the N. wall a window of early 14th-century material re-used and of three crudely cusped lights in a segmental-pointed head; the early 13th-century N. doorway is set in a thickening of the wall and has a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders, the inner continuous and the outer resting on detached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the abacus is continued round the inner order as an impost and the label has mask-stops. In the W. wall is a small round-headed window, probably of the 13th century.
The South Aisle (7 ft. wide) has in the S. wall a 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights in a segmental-pointed head with a moulded label and mask-stops; the mid 13th-century S. doorway is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the inner continuous and the outer resting on detached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; there are draw-bar holes in the jambs and a plain label. In the W. wall is a 13th-century lancet-window.
The West Annexe (8¼ ft. by 16 ft.) has in the E. wall a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders with plain square responds and probably erected when the tower was added. In the W. wall is a pair of 13th-century lancet-windows with rear-arches springing from an attached shaft in the middle with moulded capital and base. High up against the N. and S. walls are rounded arches carrying the side walls of the tower. The parapet string-course of the nave-clearstorey is continued along the annexe and across the W. end as a low gable.
The Tower, of the 16th century, rises one stage above the annexe and has walls battering inwards and finished with an embattled parapet. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two four-centred lights in a square head with a moulded label.
The North Porch is of mid 13th-century date and has a two-centred outer archway of two chamfered orders; the responds have each three grouped shafts, the middle shafts are keeled on the face and all have moulded capitals, with nail-head ornament, and moulded bases. The side walls have each a window of two round-headed lights with plain chamfered imposts.
The Roof of the nave is modern but incorporates some early 16th-century material; it is of flat tie-beam type and of four bays with curved braces to the tie-beams; the two end tie-beams are old; standing on the corbels of the E. truss are crudely carved figures of men and refixed on the soffit of the roof are four carved figures of angels holding shields and several bosses carved with rose, face, faces in foliage, etc.; one stone corbel on the N. side is carved with foliage. The 16th- or 17th-century roof of the N. transept is flat with moulded principals and rafters and a pierced pendant in the middle. The roof of the N. aisle is modern except for the moulded and embattled N. cornice, which is probably of early 16th-century date.
Fittings—Chest: In S. aisle—of oak with cambered lid, two iron hinges and one lock, 16th-century, much decayed. Coffin: In churchyard —S. of nave, upper part of stone coffin with shaped head. Communion Table: of oak, incorporated in modern altar, with turned legs, moulded top and plain bottom rails, early 17th-century. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In churchyard—(1) to Francis Meas, 1702–3, head-stone; (2) to Mary, daughter of Francis Meas, 1695, head and foot-stones; (3) to W. M., 1692, foot-stone, loose; (4) to Ann, wife of Thomas Allin, 1702–3, head-stone. Floor-slab: In chancel—to Samuel Morton, 1681–2, rector of the parish. Paintings: Over chancel-arch—a 'majesty,' figure seated on a rainbow, on S. a half-figure of saint in red robe, on N. another figure, below on S. a vesica-shaped panel with a man's face at top and other figures, on N. the elect (?) and remains of architectural treatment, probably representing New Jerusalem, 15th-century, very faded and fragmentary. In N. transept—on E. wall, masonry lines and much red colour, apparently diapered. In S. transept—on E. wall, remains of masonry lines and diapering in red and black. Piscina: In S. transept—in S. wall, with chamfered two-centred head, drain cut away in front, 13th-century. Plate: includes stand-paten of 1648, with shield-of-arms of Bevill engraved on base. Recess: In chancel—in S. wall, plain square recess, use and date uncertain. Seating: In transepts and aisles—bench of solid masonry against W. walls of transepts and continued along aisle walls to N. and S. doorways. Miscellanea: In S. aisle—by S. doorway, crouching figure of lion, in stone, perhaps from an effigy, 14th- or 15th-century.