An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
16. CATWORTH (A.d.).
(1). Parish Church of St. Leonard stands in the village. The walls, with the exception of those of the W. tower which are of Weldon-stone ashlar, are of Weldon rubble with some pebbles and the dressings are of Weldon and Ketton stone; the roofs are covered with tiles and lead. Parts of the S. and the W. wall of the South Aisle are the earliest parts of the present building, and are of 13th-century date. In the latter part of the 14th century the Nave arcades, the rest of the S. aisle and the chancel-arch were re-built and the South Porch added; the West Tower and North Aisle are of about the same date. Late in the 15th century the Chancel was re-built and the North Vestry and clearstorey added. The church was restored in 1876.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (31¼ ft. by 17½ ft.) is of late 15th-century date and has had the gabled E. wall heightened in recent years. The partly restored E. window has two tiers of five cinque-foiled lights with an embattled transom and a four-centred head with a moulded label and modern head-stops. In the N. wall is a window of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label; further W. is a modern archway into the N. vestry. In the S. wall are three two-light windows all partly restored and similar to the window in the N. wall. The late 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two wave-moulded orders with triple-shafted responds with moulded capitals and bases.
The North Vestry (17¾ ft. by 7¾ ft.) has in the E. wall a re-set doorway, of c. 1300, with chamfered jambs and two-centred and trefoiled head with a moulded label. In the N. wall are two late 15th-century windows similar to that in the N. wall of the chancel.
The Nave (48½ ft. by 16¼ ft.) has late 14th-century N. and S. arcades each of four bays with two-centred arches of two wave-moulded orders; the piers have each four shafts separated by hollow chamfers and with moulded capitals and bases resting on square plinths. The late 15th-century clearstorey has an embattled parapet with grotesque gargoyles, three on the N. wall and five on the S. wall; it has on each side four windows, each of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatre-foiled spandrel in a four-centred head.
The North Aisle (8¾ ft. wide) has in the E. wall, a late 14th-century window of three trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label. The N. wall has three carved gargoyles on the string-course, one being of a bearded man with a flat cap; in the N. wall are three three-light windows similar to that in the E. wall; the late 14th-century N. doorway is largely of earlier material re-used and has moulded jambs of two hollow-chamfered orders, moulded imposts and a two-centred head of two chamfered orders with a moulded label. In the W. wall is a three-light window similar to those in the N. and E. walls.
The South Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has in the E. wall a late 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label with carved head-stops. In the S. wall are three late 14th-century windows; the easternmost is of two trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops; the second appears to have had the head re-set at a later date and is of two trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label with one grotesque male head and one beast's head stop; the westernmost is of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label and a carved beast-stop; the mid 13th-century S. doorway has a two-centred head of three hollow-chamfered orders; the moulded label has foliated stops; the jambs have each three detached shafts with moulded bases, and capitals carved with 'stiff-leaf' foliage; one of the shafts is modern. In the W. wall is a late 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label with carved grotesque stops.
The West Tower (9¼ ft. square) is of late 14th-century date and of four stages with a moulded plinth and an embattled parapet with four gargoyles and carved grotesque corbels to the parapet string-course; below the string-course is a band of cusped panelling. The two-centred tower-arch is of one continuous moulded order; the lines of the steep-pitched 14th-century roof of the nave are visible above the arch. In the N. wall is a small 15th- or 16th-century fireplace with a four-centred head; the outlet of the flue is masked by a re-used gargoyle. The W. window is of two transomed and trefoiled lights with simple tracery in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label; the W. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch with a moulded label and defaced head-stops. The second stage has in the N. and S. walls a cruciform loop, with lobed ends. In the W. wall is a three-sided window with trefoiled tracery and a continuous moulded label. The third stage has in the W. wall a window of two lights with tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label. The bell-chamber has in each wall a pair of windows each of two trefoiled and transomed lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and label and a head-stop at the junction of the labels. The octagonal ashlar-faced spire rises from within the parapet and is divided into five stages by string-courses; it has two tiers each of four spire-lights; the windows of the lower tier are each of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a gabled head; the windows of the upper tier are similar but smaller and have lost their mullions.
The South Porch is of late 14th-century date and has a two-centred outer archway of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from attached shafts with moulded capitals and weathered bases; the moulded label has head-stops. The side walls have each a pair of windows, each of two trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a square head. The parapet has two carved gargoyles.
The Roof of the nave is of late 15th- or early 16th-century date, low-pitched and of four bays; the moulded tie-beams have curved braces with traceried spandrels, some missing, and bosses carved with foliage and human heads; the purlins and ridge are double hollow-chamfered; the stone corbels are embattled and carved with human heads. The pent-roof of the N. aisle is of early 16th-century date and of six bays with double hollow-chamfered main timbers. The pent-roof of the S. aisle is of early 16th-century date and of six bays with moulded main timbers with carved faces at the intersections and carved bosses to the principals with geometric tracery, women's heads, etc. The early 16th-century roof of the S. porch is low-pitched and of two bays with moulded main timbers, carved face-stops to the mouldings and a central boss carved with quatrefoils.
Fittings—Altar: In vestry—stone slab with chamfered under-side on two edges, mediæval, possibly altar-slab. Bells: four; 1st by Robert Oldfield, early 16th-century and inscribed "Vox mea plene dulces laudes det Magdalene"; 3rd by Newcombe, 16th-century, and inscribed "Vox dni. ihu. xpi. wox exulta[c]ionis"; 4th by Robert Newcombe, 1585. Brackets: In N. aisle—on E. wall, rectangular moulded bracket, 15th-century; on N. wall, moulded bracket carved with 'stiff-leaf' foliage, 13th-century. Candelabrum: (Plate 59) In nave—of brass, with two tiers each of six scrolled branches, baluster-shaped centre-piece with double-headed eagle at top and ball at bottom engraved with two shields-of-arms and the inscription "Ex donis Joannis Morris de London generosi 1666." Coffin-lids: In vestry—on E. wall, moulded tapering slab (Plate 142) with coped top and double scrolled cross, late 13th-century. In churchyard—N. of chancel, tapering slab with cross on stepped base and double 'omega' ornament, 13th-century. Communion Table: (Plate 151) of oak, with enriched lower moulding to rails, massive turned and gadrooned legs, moulded lower rails, on upper front rail the inscription, "The gift of Thomas Ekins in the yeare 1634." Doors: In S. doorway—of moulded upright panels with ridged filling and frame and fillets planted on, all on trellis-framing, 15th- or 16th-century. In doorway to turret-staircase of tower—of plain battens with strap-hinges, 16th-century. Font: plain octagonal bowl and stem with square chamfered base, possibly 14th-century. Glass: In chancel—in two western windows in S. wall, some quarries with flowers, roses, and other fragments, 15th-century. In nave—in quatrefoils of clearstorey windows, some fragments with conventional foliage, 15th-century. In N. aisle— in E. window, portions of four figures of seraphim on wheels, quarries with quatrefoils and other fragments, 15th-century; in other windows in same aisle, quarries and fragments of similar character. In S. aisle—in S.E. window, conventional foliage with a border of quatrefoils, etc., 15th-century. Monuments: In chancel—on S. wall, (1) to Elizabeth (Humfrey) wife of Thomas Brudenell, 1656, remains of tablet with cornice and angel, with shield-of-arms. In S. aisle—on S. wall, (2) to Dr. John Lawton, date not given, and Rose (Driden), his second wife, 1710, tablet with moulded shelf and cornice, painted cherubs and lozenge-of-arms. Piscina: (Plate 140) In chancel —formerly double but now of one bay with moulded and trefoiled head with foliated cusp-points, jambs with detached shafts having moulded capitals and bases, the whole in a moulded panel, octofoiled drain, 13th-century, re-set. Plate: includes cup of 1568 with band of incised ornament and cover-paten, probably of the 17th century. Pulpit: (Plate 152) of oak, octagonal with moulded framing and panels of applied tracery, moulded capping and base, 15th-century, much restored, one panel of tracery modern. Scratchings: In second stage of tower—on N. window, inscription "1668 R.M."; on this and W. window of same stage, masons' marks. Screen: (Plate 33) under chancel-arch—of three equal bays including central doorway, moulded posts with attached shafts and moulded rails, side bays each of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head, close lower panels (Plate 33) with trefoiled and sub-cusped heads with carved spandrels, two with pairs of eagles and the rest foliage, main cusp-points carved with heads or flowers, doorway with traceried head as in side bays, 15th-century, arch of middle bay modern, former vaulted loft removed and heads left without cornice or cross-beam. Sundial: On S. side of tower—with iron gnomon. Miscellanea: In N. aisle—top of head-stone, round with broad-armed cross, loose, 11th- or 12th-century. Five embroidered cushions with 14th-century figures of kings and saints are now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington.
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.
(3). Manor Farm, house, 350 yards N.E. of the church, has an early 18th-century addition on the S.E. The W. part of the house has been entirely remodelled and partly re-built. S.W. of the house is a granary with exposed timber-framing. A timber with the date 1662, from a former barn, is preserved at the house.
(4). Church Farm, house, 120 yards N.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. It is a building of the 17th century except for the two large 16th-century chimney-stacks on the N.W. side. The southern of these is of ashlar; the northern is of 17th-century brick where it rises above the roofs. Inside the building is a 17th-century partition, timber-framed and with arched heads between the studs; one of these heads has moulded imposts and key-block and guilloche-ornament on the soffit. The staircase to the attics has an octagonal oak newel.
(12). House and barn, on the E. side of the road, 60 yards N.W. of (11). The house was built c. 1700 and has an original stone chimney-stack with two detached brick shafts joined at the top by a small arch. The Barn, W. of the house, has exposed timber-framing.
(14). House, on the S. side of the road, 80 yards W.S.W. of (11), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and S. The W. wing has been largely re-built. Inside the building one room has an original moulded ceiling-beam.
(15). Brook House, 530 yards W. of (14), incorporates parts of a late 16th-century house, of which the chimney-stack remains. Inside the house, the hall has an original stone fireplace with stop-moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head, with a fluted frieze.
(17). House, at Brook End, 120 yards S.S.W. of (16), is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the E. end. On the E. side of the cross-wing there is a large chimney-stack of stone and brick, partly of the 16th century. The chimney-stack on the S. side of the main block is of the 17th century with a moulded capping; the shafts have projecting pilaster strips. Inside the building is a 17th-century moulded ceiling-beam.