An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Middlesex. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1937.
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11 EDGWARE (C.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)V, S.E. (b)VI, S.W.)
Edgware is a parish and village on the N. border of the county and now part of the borough of Hendon.
a(1) Settlement (Sulloniacae) on Brockley Hill, 1¾ m. N.W. of the church, is mentioned in the Antonine Iter II between London and Verulamium, 12 m. from the former and 9 from the latter. Though the exact size and configuration of the settlement is quite uncertain, it seems clear, from the accounts of earlier writers and the general incidence of finds made, that the centre of occupation was on and around the top of Brockley Hill, just where the Watling Street's course turns northerly to N.N.W. The remarks of early antiquaries (e.g. Norden 1598) suggest that the remains were concentrated on the E. side of the road, but a village of this class would naturally tend to straggle along either side of the road. Though numerous finds are mentioned from 1598 onwards they are ill-recorded and give little or no clue to their date. (See below.)
Norden (1598; Speculum Britanniae; 1723 edition; Herts. 23, 4) states: "some fragments of the scituation of some decayed buildings, where sundry peeces of Romish coyne has been taken up . . . and standeth east of a regall auncient high way called Watling-street or via consularis." Camden (Britannia, ed. Gough, 4th ed., II., 64) speaks of "many ruins" being dug up and (ibid. p. 75) "coins, urns and Roman bricks were dug up when Mr. Napier built his house and in seven or eight acres round it." This house is said (Vulliamy, Arch. of Middlesex, 203) to have stood E. of the road at the top of the hill. Stukeley (Itinerarium, 2nd ed., I, 118) states "From this eminence, [Brockley Hill] where Mr. Philpot's summer-house stands, is a sweet prospect . . . this is by Kendale Wood, where formerly they found an old flint wall laid in terrace mortar, as they call it . . . they found an oven in the same place. Mr. Philpot, when digging his canal and foundations for his buildings [which were W. of the road where the hospital now is] found many coins, urns and other antiquities. . . . In the wood over against the house, great quantity of Roman bricks, gold rings and coins, have been found in digging; many arched vaults of brick and flints under the trees; the whole top of the hill is covered with foundations." In 1859 potsherds and bricks from Brockley Hill were exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries. (Proc. Soc. Ants. (1st series), IV, 211.) There is also a note in Middlesex and Herts. N. and Q. (1895), I, p. 109, describing random digging which produced inter alia, a piece of pottery stamped BRBRVC; also "5 complete necks of jars with circular grooves round the top."
b(2) Parish Church of St. Margaret stands at the S. end of the parish. The tower is of rag-stone rubble and flint with dressings of Reigate stone; the roof is lead-covered. The West Tower (Plate 2) was built probably in the 15th century. The rest of the church was re-built in 1764 and reconstructed in 1845. The Aisles were added in 1928.
Architectural Description—The West Tower (11 ft. square) is of three stages with a moulded plinth and embattled parapet. The details are of the 15th century. The two-centred tower-arch is of two continuous hollow-chamfered orders. The W. doorway has moulded and shafted jambs and a moulded four-centred arch in a square head with trefoiled spandrels; the W. window has a round head with a defaced label; the mullion and tracery have been removed. The second stage has, in the S. and W. walls, a window of one pointed light. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two trefoiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label; three of the mullions have been replaced in wood.
The Ceiling of the ground-stage of the tower has late 15th or early 16th-century moulded beams.
Fittings—Brasses: In chancel—on S. wall, (1) to Sir Richard Chau[m]berlayn, 1532, inscription only; on N. wall, (2) to Anthony, infant son of John Childe, 1599–1600, figure of swaddled infant and inscription. Monument and Floor-slab. Monument: In chancel—on N. wall, to Randulph Nicoll, 1658–9, freestone and slate tablet with scrolls, cherub-heads, cornice and broken pediment with cartouche-of-arms. Floor-slab: In churchyard—by modern cross, to Samuel Smith, A.M., rector, 1713–4 and Susanna, his wife 1702 (?). Plate: includes a cup of 1562, with engraved band and inscription and date 1605.
Condition—Good, but some stonework decayed.
b(3) Atkinson's Almshouses, four tenements, on the E. side of Watling Street, 825 yards N.W. of the church, form a block of one storey; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. The S.W. front has a central curvilinear gable with the inscription on a square panel—" The guift of Samuell Atkinson of Waltham Abbey in the county of Essex carpenter deceased, borne in the parish of Edgware: 1680." This appears to be the date of the structure, but the fittings have been renewed.
b(4) Nicoll's Farm, house 300 yards S.E. of (3), is of two storeys; the walls are of brick and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century but has been refronted. A timber-framed barn, forming a continuation to the S.E., is probably of the same period.
b(5) Bury Farm, house over 1½ m. N. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are timber-framed and weather-boarded and the roofs are tile and slate-covered. It was built probably early in the 17th century but was altered and added to in the 18th century and later. The upper storey projects on part of the S.W. side. Inside the building, the staircase has turned balusters and square newels with shaped terminals.