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.
25. ELLINGTON (B.d.).
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XVII S.W., (b)XXI N.W.)
Ellington is a parish and village, 5 m. W. of Huntingdon. The church is the principal monument.
a(1). Parish Church of All Saints stands in the village. The walls are of rubble with some pebble and have some plaster on the W. tower and clearstorey; the dressings are of Barnack and Ketton stone. The roofs are covered with lead, slates and tiles. The chancel-arch, some re-used material of the chancel and the re-set N. doorway of the N. aisle are of 13th-century date. The main building, W. of the chancel, was, however, re-built late in the 14th and early in the 15th centuries. The West Tower was the first part of this work undertaken and is of late 14th-century date. The N. and S. arcades of the Nave and the North Aisle and North Porch followed c. 1400, but the former early 14th-century S. aisle was apparently left standing until late in the 15th century when the clearstorey was added and the South Aisle was re-built. Parts of the E. and W. walls of the former S. aisle and the lower part of the S. wall were retained when the aisle was re-built. The South Porch was added early in the 16th century. In 1863 the Chancel was re-built, the spire was restored in 1899 and the nave roof in 1907–8.
The church, W. of the chancel, is a good example of the architecture of the period and the roofs, though considerably restored, are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (34¾ ft. by 18 ft.) is modern, but a certain amount of old material has been incorporated in the new building. The E. window is of four lights in a two-centred head; it has been re-built and the tracery is modern, but most of the jambs, splays and mullions are of late 13th-century date, the latter being shafted and having original capitals carved with 'stiff-leaf' foliage, and moulded bases. In the N. wall are three windows, the easternmost has some old stones re-used in the jambs, the second window is modern and the westernmost is transomed and of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a four-centred head with a moulded label, mostly of late 15th-century date. In the S. wall are three windows; the sill and the jamb-stones in the easternmost are old; the second window is modern and the westernmost is of 15th-century date re-set and restored; it is of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatre-foiled spandrel in a four-centred head; the window is transomed and the lower W. light forms a 'low-side'; it is rebated for a shutter and retains two old hinge-hooks. The re-set late 13th-century S. doorway has been slightly restored; it has a two-centred head of two richly moulded orders with a moulded label and mask-stops; the jambs are shafted, the inner shaft being attached and the outer free; both shafts have moulded capitals and damaged bases. The late 13th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer hollow-chamfered and continuous with a moulded stop at the base and the inner carried on attached shafts with carved 'stiff-leaf' capitals and moulded bases; the S. respond has on the E. side a small attached shaft with a moulded base; the shaft only rises to a height of about four feet, above which it appears to have been broken off.
The Nave (48¼ ft. by 18½ ft.) was re-built c. 1400 and has N. and S. arcades, each of four bays with two-centred arches of two moulded orders with a moulded label towards the nave, carried up above the apex of each arch in a small ogee head and stopping against the moulded string-course below the clear-storey windows; the piers are of four grouped shafts separated by hollow chamfers and have moulded capitals and slightly damaged bases; at either end of each arcade the outer order of the arch is continuous and the inner order is carried on an attached shaft with moulded capital and base similar to those of the piers; the label over the easternmost arch of the N. arcade has a carved head-stop, and on the S. arcade, at the E. end, the label abuts against the projection containing the former rood-loft staircase; at the W. end it has a carved head-stop. Across the S.E. angle of the nave is a projection containing the former rood-loft staircase; in the lower part is a blocked doorway with chamfered jambs and four-centred head; in the upper part, which is corbelled out, are the sill and one jamb of the upper doorway. The clearstorey has on each side a range of four 15th-century windows, each of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with moulded external reveals and label. The walls have embattled parapets, and, on each side, three carved gargoyles.
The North Aisle (10¾ ft. wide) has a moulded plinth and embattled parapet with carved gargoyles on the string. The E. window is of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label and carved head-stops; internally the two southernmost lights have been damaged. In the N. wall are three similar windows; the easternmost has carved head-stops, the middle window has carved beast-stops, and the westernmost window has carved head-stops, but the mullions and tracery are mostly modern; the N. doorway is of mid 13th-century date re-set and has a two-centred arch, with deeply undercut mouldings and a moulded label; the moulded jambs have one free and two attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. window is similar to the E. window and has carved beast-stops.
The South Aisle (12 ft. wide) was largely re-built in the 15th century, but incorporates parts of the walls of an earlier aisle. It has embattled parapets with three grotesque gargoyles carved on the string-course. The E. window is of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with moulded external reveals and label, and has the splays on the inside carried down to form a recess below the sill. In the S. wall are three similar windows, the westernmost of which has carved head-stops to the label; the 14th-century S. doorway has moulded jambs and a two-centred head with a moulded label; behind the second buttress, just above the ground, is a moulded arch, now blocked; it was probably an external tomb-recess. In the W. wall is a window similar to that in the E. wall.
The West Tower (11¾ ft. by 10½ ft.) is of late 14th-century date. It has a moulded plinth and is of three stages surmounted by an octagonal broach-spire rising off a moulded cornice, below which is a frieze of quatre-foiled panels. The tower-arch is two-centred of two chamfered orders on the E. side and five on the W., the innermost order is carried on attached half-round shafts with moulded capitals; the second order is continuous and the three outer orders on the W. spring off the side walls of the tower; above the arch on the E. face towards the nave is a moulded weathering marking the slope of an earlier and low-pitched roof to the nave. The ground-stage of the tower has, just below the first floor, carved head-corbels in the N.E., N.W., and S.E. corners supporting a moulding across each angle, from which rise moulded ribs, incomplete but suggesting the intention to vault the ground-stage. The W. doorway has jambs and two-centred arch of two moulded orders with a moulded label and much decayed stops; in the splays are slots for a draw-bar. The W. window is of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops. The second stage has in the W. wall a similar but smaller window. The bell-chamber has in each wall two coupled windows, each of two transomed lights, the lower quatre-foiled and the upper trefoiled with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops; all the tracery in the W. window and some of that in the N. window has been restored. The spire has three tiers of spire-lights; the lowest and topmost windows are on the cardinal faces of the spire and the middle windows are on the alternate faces. The windows of the first two tiers are each of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a gabled head and the top windows are each of a single trefoiled light in a gabled head.
The North Porch has a low-pitched embattled gable with the stump of a cross at the apex and the remains of crocketed pinnacles at the angles; at the angles of the string below the parapet are carved beast-gargoyles. The moulded plinth is continued round from the N. aisle and on the front faces of the plinth of the diagonal buttresses, are sunk quatre-foiled panels. The outer archway has moulded jambs and a two-centred arch in a square head with moulded labels, beast-stops and carved foliage, including a wheat-ear, in the spandrels; above the head of the archway is a small niche with shafted jambs, a projecting ogee head, crocketed and finialed, a groined soffit and a carved bracket below. The side walls have each a window of two trefoiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops; both mullions are modern.
The South Porch was added early in the 16th century, and has an earlier apex-stone re-set on the gable. The outer archway has a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders with a moulded label and carved beast-stops; the outer order is continued down the jambs and the inner is carried on semi-octagonal attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. Above the arch is a small niche with chamfered jambs, a four-centred head and a much weathered bracket. The side walls have each a partly restored window of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a four-centred head with a moulded label and weathered head-stops on the E. side only.
The Roof of the nave (Plate 46) is of 15th-century date, though considerably restored, and in four bays with moulded and carved braces forming two-centred arches below the principal-rafters; these are moulded and have embattled collars just above the head of the arched braces; the ridge and purlins are moulded and each bay is sub-divided by a secondary principal-rafter, moulded and having at the foot a carved angel with outspread wings; one of the angels is modern and most of the wings have been restored and each figure holds a book, nails, etc., or has the hands in prayer or folded across the body; behind the braces to the principal-rafters are moulded wall-posts and at the foot of each is carved a figure, probably of an apostle; at the meeting of the braces are carved pendant-bosses of (a) a mask, (b) a figure holding a mitre and with the body curved back over the boss; (c, d and e) bearded heads. The pent-roof of the N. aisle is of the 15th century and divided into four bays by moulded principal-rafters supported by curved braces springing from moulded wall-posts on the N. wall, with carved figures of saints holding staff, scroll, etc.; each bay is sub-divided by moulded rafters with a large carved angel at the foot of each holding (a) a harp; (b) an organ; (c) a gittern; (d) a fiddle; the angels had large spreading wings, but these have now been broken off; at the meeting of the principal-rafters with the purlin are carved bosses all foliated except the westernmost one, which bears an angel; at the meeting of the principal-rafters with the S. wall-plate are carved bosses of (a) a swan; (b) a carved device; (c) foliage; (d) a rose; (e) and (f) each a half-angel holding a shield; (g) and (i) each a man's face; (h) foliage; the purlins and S. wall-plate are moulded. The roof of the S. aisle is similar to that of the N. aisle, but the braces at the E. end and between the third and fourth bays are missing and the purlins and principal-rafters in the third bay are not moulded; the carved figures below the braces are much damaged; the angels below the intermediate principal-rafters have (a) a scroll inscribed with much damaged 'black-letter' inscription—"Maria . . ."; (b) hands in prayer; (c) hands folded across breast; the N. wall-plate, except to the W. half of the westernmost bay, is not moulded and on it are only two carved bosses, one foliated and one a mask; the bosses on the purlin are carved with an angel holding a shield with the letters I H C, foliage and two masks.
Fittings—Bells: four, 1st by R. Chandler, 1699; 2nd by John Walgrave, inscribed in 'black-letter' "Vox Augustini sonet in Aure Dei," 15th-century; 3rd probably by John Danyell, inscribed in 'black-letter' "Sancta Margareta ora pro nobis," 15th-century. Bell-frame old, with cages for four bells. Chests: In S. aisle—at W. end, (1) hutch-type, of oak, with four panels on front, one at each end, shaped brackets below bottom rail and plain lid, three locks, early 17th-century; (2) hutch-type, of oak, with three panels on front with enriched mouldings, two panels on each end and three on lid; top rail with slight inlay-enrichment at each end, and inscribed letters 'E.L.,' late 16th- or early 17th-century. Coffin and Coffin-lid. Coffin: In S. aisle—at W. end, found under E. end of S. aisle when present organ was erected, shaped for head with roughly carved cross-shaped drain in middle and two draining holes on either side of bottom, probably 13th-century. Coffin-lid: Re-used as coping stone on churchyard-wall by S. entrancegate, coped, probably 13th-century. Font: octagonal, with sides of bowl panelled, five with quatre-foiled panels, three with four trefoils set saltire-wise; underside of bowl is moulded with concave curve to stem; stem cut down, but has at angles semi-hexagonal buttresses, moulded base and square plinth, 15th-century. Glass: In N. aisle—in tracery of head of E. window, fragments of yellow and ruby. In W. window, fragments of ruby. Painting: In nave—over chancel-arch, faint traces of painting, probably a Doom. Piscinae: In chancel—in modern rectangular recess, with sex-foiled drain, early 14th-century. In S. aisle, re-set, with chamfered jambs and ogee head with moulded label and square drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes a late 17th- or early 18th-century pewter plate. Stoup: In N. porch— in E. wall, curved on plan with broken cinque-foiled and square head with sunk spandrels and bowl broken off flush with wall, probably 15th-century. Miscellanea: A small embossed leather box, 5 in. by 3 in., inscribed in 'black-letter' on lid "Jhesus Maria." Rebuilt in W. wall of chancel, S. of S. respond, part of gable-stone with foliated top, 13th-century. Rebuilt in S. wall of chancel, on outside, fragments including a small square stone carved with spiral ornament; a stone carved with a foliated end, 13th-century. In churchyard, re-set in form of a table-tomb, several lengths of quatre-foiled panels with two moulded and coped stones as top; panelling similar to that forming frieze at top of W. tower, and may be portions of original work taken down and re-used when tower was restored. In W. tower, old thatch-hook with iron ring at lower end and two iron handles.
The Churchyard-wall on the S. side is built of rubble and is probably of mediæval date.
Condition—Good generally, but W. wall of tower bulged.
a(2). Homestead Moat, N.E. of Red Lodge and 250 yards E.N.E. of the church.
b(3). Homestead Moat, N. of Thorpe Lodge and nearly 1 m. S.S.W. of the church.
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, open fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
Main Road. N. side
a(4). College Farm, house 280 yards N.N.W. of the church, has a modern wing on the E. side. The eaves on the W. side have a plaster cove. Inside the building there is a moulded wall-post at the top of the staircase. In the yard is the springing-stone of a 14th- or 15th-century stone vault.
a(5). Cottage (Plate 73), three tenements, 80 yards N. of the church, was built in the 16th or early in the 17th century, and is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N.W. and N.E.
a(6). Cottage, two tenements, 40 yards E.S.E. of (5), has been refaced with brick. Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams.
a(7). House, 90 yards E. of (6), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N. There are later and modern additions on the N. and W.
a(8). Cottage, 60 yards N.E. of (7).
a(9). Cottage and shop, 60 yards N. of (8).
a(10). Cottage, formerly the Wheatsheaf Inn, 50 yards N. of (9), has a later addition at the N. end.
a(11). Cottage, opposite and N.E. of (10).
a(12). Cottage, N. of (11), has, inside the building, a panelled door of c. 1700.
a(13). Red Lodge, house 200 yards E.N.E. of the church, was built c. 1700 on a half H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. The N. and W. fronts have a moulded eaves-cornice and all the roofs are hipped.
a(14). Cottage, 100 yards E. of the church.
a(15). Old Mermaid Inn, 50 yards N. of the church, has an 18th-century addition on the W. side.
a(16). Cottage (Plate 71), 260 yards N.N.W. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. There is an early 18th-century addition on the W. The upper storey projects at the N. end of the E. front.
a(17). Brook House, 30 yards N.W. of (16), has extensive modern additions in front.
Ellington Thorpe. W. side
a(18). Cottage, two tenements, 820 yards S.S.W. of the church, was built probably early in the 18th century.
a(19). Cottage, four tenements, S.W. of (18).
b(20). Cottage, two tenements, 190 yards S. of (19), was built probably early in the 18th century.
b(21). House, W. of (20), has, inside the building, parts of an old dresser with moulded shelves and shaped legs.
b(22). Cottage, 80 yards S.E. of (21).