An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 6, Architectural Monuments in North Northamptonshire. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1984.
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Nassington is a parish of 1015 hectares on the W. bank of the R. Nene, and in the Forest of Rockingham. The present parish includes the extra-parochial forest area of Sulehay, amounting to 430 hectares and added in 1869. The village streets form three sides of a square. The church and manor houses stand in one corner, on Lower Estuarine beds, and probably mark the nucleus of the original settlement. Station Road forms the E. arm of the village and is on river gravel, suggesting that it may be an extension of the settlement. By the Conquest it was an important royal possession with a very large masonry church the greater part of which still survives. In Domesday Book Nassington included Apethorpe, and presumably also Yarwell which later became a chapelry of Nassington.
Between 1110 and 1123 Henry I endowed a prebendal stall at Lincoln with the churches of Nassington, Woodnewton, Tansor and Southwick with their lands and tithes (LRS, 27 (1931), 30–1). Interlocking boundaries suggest that the site of the prebendal house was taken from the manor house site. The prebendaries were usually able churchmen and several became bishops; the prebendal house, which dates from the 13th century, still stands (3). The prebendal estate came to form a second lesser manor. The main manor was held by the owners of Apethorpe from the late 15th century onwards. None was resident, and the manor house (4) was occupied by a tenant.
By 1673 the village was large, with 94 families; in 1801 the number had risen to 104. This is a relatively large population for a parish of this size, but rights of common in Sulehay would have alleviated the consequent land shortage. The Hearth Tax in 1673 records a less than average proportion of exemptions and of single-hearth houses, suggesting a level of wealth above normal. One basis of this prosperity was possibly the growing and weaving of hemp, a crop said in 1551 to give good returns (NRO, W(A) 4.XVI.5). Improvements to the navigation of the Nene in the early 18th century immediately gave rise to a modest trade in the village, mainly in timber, grain and coal, but the opening of the railway in 1879 diverted this trade away from the river. Wharves and a few ancillary buildings remain (30, 41, 45).
At enclosure in 1778 there were no outlying farms, and all farm buildings which survive away from the village centre are of the late 19th century. Almost 60 per cent of the tenements in the village were then copyhold and these are generally smaller than the customary and leasehold tenements associated with the manor. These leasehold tenements include most of the farms and also most of the vacant plots, indicating a policy by the Earls of Westmorland of amalgamating tenements in order to form larger farms. The copyholders had smaller areas of farmland, and trades, for example blacksmithing (7) and brickmaking (19) were associated with copyholds. Significantly most of the fashionable houses particularly those of the 19th century, are on copyhold tenements, whereas the older, thatched houses belong to the Westmorland estate. It appears that there was a change in management on the Westmorland estate at about the end of the 17th century, after which date rebuilding and repair of houses was carried out on only a modest scale.
(1) Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin and All Saints (Fig. 161; Plate 1), stands on high ground at the W. end of the village. It comprises a Chancel, Nave with North and South Aisles, West Tower with North and South Chambers, and a South Porch. The walls are mostly of squared limestone, but the lower stages of the tower are built in coursed rubble with quoins. The main roofs are flat-pitched and the porch and the two western chambers are stone-slated.
The earliest parts of the fabric belong to the Anglo-Saxon period and include the W. wall of the nave and the W. tower although the latter has been encased externally at a later date and may originally have taken the form of a tall western porch. There are two identifiable Saxon features; a small triangular-headed doorway placed high above the tower arch, and a number of long-and-short quoins which form the S. W. angle of the nave. It has been suggested that the Saxon nave may have been the same size as the present nave on the evidence of proportion, but the E., N. and S. walls appear to be entirely later (VCH, Northants. II, 588; Taylor and Taylor, I, 455). The two surviving Saxon features are probably of different dates being architecturally unrelated: the long-and-short quoins are not in line with the W. face of the tower wall. There is little evidence to show whether this disparity implies that the nave associated with the quoins was built before or after the tower, but the latter is the more probable. Such an interpretation presupposes that there was an earlier Saxon nave against which the present tower was built and that this older nave was replaced by one which has the surviving long-and-short quoins.
A number of alterations were made to the tower in the late 12th century. The exterior was encased as indicated by the greater thickness of the N., S. and W. walls; the interior masonry of all four walls is homogeneous and of the Saxon period. Also in the 12th century a wide arch was inserted in the E. wall of the tower and a large window in the W. wall. This window was replaced by a doorway in the early 13th century.
The existence of a former S. aisle, perhaps of the early 13th century, is demonstrated by the survival of a short length of wall overlapped by the W. end of the present aisle and by the exceptionally shallow S. porch, which was curtailed when the aisle was widened. There was probably a similar narrow aisle on the N. side. The present aisle is of the mid 13th century but the N. doorway is reset and may have come from the earlier aisle. The W. ends of these early aisles terminated as chambers, which survive on the N. and S. sides of the tower. The chancel arch, the N. and S. nave arcades and the S. aisle were rebuilt in the early 14th century. The chancel was entirely rebuilt in the 15th century, and a vestry of this date has been removed. Also of the 15th century are the nave clearstorey, the octagonal belfry stage and the spire, but the last was rebuilt in 1640.
The church was restored in 1885 (NRO, Faculty, M.L. 1120, 44–46 (1884)), but the ancient fabric was generally respected. It is evident that from Saxon times the church was a building of considerable size. The quality of the 13th-century N. aisle and the 15th-century upper stage of the tower also demonstrates the continuing importance of the church throughout the medieval period. The lower part of a decorated Saxon cross shaft survives. There are extensive areas of medieval wall-painting.
Architectural Description — The Chancel, of late 15th-century date, has an ogee-moulded plinth, three-stage buttresses and embattled parapets. The N. buttress is modern. Inside, the floor level is one step lower than that of the nave, a difference which is apparently original. The E. window has cinque-foiled lights with quatrefoils in a four-centred head, and jambs continuing to the floor; it was much restored in 1885 and the sill raised. Three-light windows on the N. and S. have four-centred heads and intersecting tracery. On the N. a blocked doorway to a former vestry, and on the S. a priest's doorway, have four-centred heads and continuous moulded jambs. The earlier 14th-century chancel arch is slightly off-centre with the later chancel. The capitals and bases of its responds differ in detail but conform with the responds of the adjacent nave arcades; the arch is of two chamfered orders and rests on semi-octagonal responds. Externally above the chancel arch is a steeply pitched weather course relating to the roof of the former chancel. Above this is a flat-pitched weather course of unknown significance. Between these features and near the S. E. corner of the nave is a trefoil-headed recess with cuttings in the sides to receive the bar for a sanctus bell.
The Nave (Plate 2), has an early 14th-century N. arcade with arches of three chamfered orders terminating with pyramid stops, and labels have head and mask stops (Plates 21, 29); the octagonal piers and responds have moulded capitals and roll-moulded bases uniform with the N. respond of the chancel arch. The S. arcade varies slightly from that on the N. and the E. respond is distinctly plainer; labels end on mask stops or head stops (Plate 29). In the N. E. corner are remains of a doorway to a rood loft, and patches in the chancel arch suggest beam housings associated with this loft. The 15th-century clearstorey has an embattled parapet, three windows on the N. and five on the S.; each has three cinque-foiled lights and a four-centred head.
The North Aisle, of the mid 13th-century, built in bands of high and low courses, has two-stage weathered buttresses, a half-round string with a fillet and plain parapets with gargoyles carved as grotesque heads (Plate 21). The E. window has intersecting Y-tracery with jambs having capitals and bases (Plate 26); the inner arrises have similar jamb shafts, and the labels, both in and out, have head stops. The windows in the N. wall are of different designs (Plates 26, 27), the pair to the E. perhaps emphasizing the limits of a chapel. They have graduated lancets in plate tracery and inner jamb shafts, and the remaining four to the W. have Y-tracery. The W. pair are spaced to allow for a doorway between them. This doorway of transitional character has a round head of two orders, the inner with a roll-and-fillet arris moulding supported on three quarter-round shafts with miniature moulded capitals and bases; the outer order, keel-moulded with a label enriched with paterae, rests on nook shafts with water leaf capitals (Plate 15). The whole doorway has probably been reset. The South Aisle, of the early 14th century, has a double chamfered plinth, two-stage gabled buttresses and plain parapets with gargoyles carved with grotesque heads. At the S. W. corner the aisle wall overlaps the wall of the former aisle and a buttress. The 15th-century E. window has a four-centred head, casement moulded jambs and cinquefoil headed lights. The side windows have reticulated tracery and the labels have stops carved as lion and human heads. The S. doorway has continuous wave-moulded jambs and remains of head stops.
The West Tower, of Saxon origin and cased externally in the 12th century, is of three stages separated by plain chamfered strings (Plate 1). At the N. W. and S. W. corners are chamfered plinths. Against the two lower stages on the W. are two weathered 15th-century buttrresses. The fourth, or belfry, stage was added in the 15th century and consists of a square base capped by squat broaches leading to a battlemented octagon above; rising the full height of the stage is a two-light transomed window in each face. On the diagonals are small buttresses terminating as pinnacles with small flying buttresses to the spire. The octagonal spire with crockets was rebuilt in 1640, a date cut boldly on the sill of the W. lucarne; on the S. lucarne are the initials 'F. W.' for Francis Willcocks, vicar. There are two tiers of lucarnes, the lower of two lights, the upper of one. The tower arch, of the late 12th century, has responds with square abaci and roll-moulded bases with spurs; the N. capital has stylized foliage and the S. capital has been partly renewed, the later part being carved with crude leaf-forms. Above the tower arch is the outline of a round-headed recess which Dryden records as having splayed jambs on the E. side; the W. side has been masked by new masonry but the evidence suggests a double-splayed internal window, perhaps of Saxon date (NCL, Dryden coll.). Higher up the tower is a blocked triangular-headed doorway, probably of the Saxon period (Plate 5); the jambs are plain on the E. and rebated on the W. and the threshold is worn. The 13th-century W. doorway is of three orders; the arch mouldings are enriched with two rows of dog-tooth decoration and spring from moulded abaci supported on engaged nook shafts. Above this, and visible internally, is a blocked round-headed rear arch of a 12th-century window. A 13th-century quatrefoil pierces the upper stages of the W. wall.
The North Tower-chamber, of the early 13th century, has a steep lean-to roof, and a shallow N. W. buttress. The E. wall is probably post-medieval. In the N. and W. walls are single-light lancet windows; that on the N. is entirely modern but may be a replacement. The South Tower-chamber is externally uniform with that on the N. except for a band of dog-tooth decoration at the eaves, and a post-medieval doorway in the S. wall. Of the lancet windows, that on the S. is modern and possibly a replacement, but that on the W. is largely original. Inside, the E. arch of two chamfered orders is supported on cone-shaped brackets with capitals enriched with nail-head ornament. In the N.E. corner and forming the external angle of the nave are several quoins arranged in long-and-short fashion; they are recessed to form a pilaster-like strip at the angle, and at the base is a square plinth-block. These quoins continue externally, above the aisle roof.
The 13th-century South Porch was rebuilt in 1885 on the old foundations so preserving the abnormally shallow plan which was probably the result of foreshortening when the aisle was widened in the 14th century (Plate 25). It has a gable parapet and eaves. The archway has two chamfered orders separated by a band of dog-tooth decoration, the inner carried on semi-octagonal responds, the outer on nook shafts; the label is enriched with a band of dog-tooth decoration and the respond capital is incised with leaf-forms.
The Roof of the nave is flat-pitched, of twelve bays with alternate principal and secondary cambered tie beams and side purlins. The aisle roofs, double-pitched internally, of six bays, have cambered tie beams, ridge pieces and purlins. All are 15th-century and much restored.
Fittings – Bells: five; 1st. 1874; 2nd by Toby Norris, 1686; 3rd by Eayre, 18th-century; 4th by Thomas Norris, 1642; 5th by Thomas Osborn of Downham, Norfolk, 1801. Clock: not in situ, in tower, with wooden frame, probably 18th-century. Coffins and Coffin lids: Coffin, in S. aisle, tapered, with plain lid, medieval. Coffin lids, all early 13th-century: in N. aisle – (1), complete lid with roll-moulded edge, and carved with a cross in relief, the arms linked by curved brackets, double omega ornament on shaft and a stepped base enriched with a cross paty (Plate 7); (2), fragment with omega ornament having scroll terminals; (3) fragment with cross having fleur-de-lis terminals; (4), fragment with cross having leaf terminals; (5), as (2); (6), fragment with plain cross; (7), as (2); (8), fragment with cross shaft elaborated by two cross bars; (9), fragment with cross as (1). In S. aisle – (10), as (9); (11), fragment with foliated cross. Cross shafts: (1) (Plate 6), now on modern base in N. aisle, recorded by Bonney at the W. end of the S. aisle in 1809 (NRO, 983, 49) probably dates from the end of the 10th century and consists of the lower part of the shaft. It is carved in relief within raised margins. On the front face is a representation of the Crucifixion flanked by figures bearing the lance and the sponge, and at the top are roundels showing the sun and the moon; above is the lower part of a figure in a flared skirt, with feet pointing outwards, probably from a Resurrection scene. The back face is carved with three circles and interlacing. The sides are narrower, one being carved with interlaced cables, the other a vine scroll. (2), in churchyard, rectangular base with recess for cross shaft, medieval. Door: at W. end of N. aisle, with crude planking and large horse-shoe type hinge, post-medieval. Font (Plate 39): 13th-century, on a foot-pace of 1884, octagonal bowl carved in relief with two bands of arcading; each face of the stem is incised with a large, rather crude, fleur-de-lis, possibly of the 17th century, and on the base are four ball-flowers. Glass: in heads of S. aisle windows, with decoration of foliage and acorns, and roundels with foliage pattern; probably 14th-century. Hour-glass stand: attached to pulpit, made of two iron rings with uprights, 17th-century.
Monuments and Floor slabs. Monuments: in N. aisle – on W. wall (1), of Sarah Linton, 1837, sarcophagus-shaped, by Smith of Stamford; (2), of John Males, 1833, sarcophagus-shaped. In S. aisle, on S. wall (3), of Griffin King, 1796; in S. porch (4), of Rev. Christopher Crouch, 1746, rector. Floor slabs: in chancel – (1), of Rev. Hewett Linton and his wife Sarah, 1835; (2), of John Thompson, 1820; (3), of William Linton, son of (1), 1834; in N. aisle (5), of R. H., 1744; in S. aisle (6), of G. King, 1796. Paintings: in nave – (1), above chancel arch, a Doom painting with Christ blessing, the Virgin on left and Apostles ranged on either side; colours generally red, blue, and yellow, condition poor, early 15th-century. On N. wall (2), St. Martin on white horse dividing his cloak with the beggar; early 15th-century (Plate 42). In N. aisle – (3), on splays of the windows and on the E. wall, nimbed standing figures, early 14th-century. On N. wall (4), between 2nd and 3rd windows, probably the Wheel of Fortune or possibly the Wheel of the Five Senses (Plate 42), and (5), below (4), St. Michael weighing souls with the Virgin interceding on right, a devil on the left, and a small supplicant figure in centre; late 14th-century. In S. aisle, on N. wall (6), masonry pattern in red with plant-forms, early 14th-century. Piscina: in S. aisle, on S. wall, trefoil-headed recess with sexfoil sinking, early 14th-century. Pulpit: oak, octagonal, round-headed arcade enriched with guilloche ornament, below panels of strapwork and a dentilled cornice, 17th century; the stone base dates from 1884. Screen: reset in N. aisle, two bays with cusped sub-divisions, 15th-century. Sedilia: in chancel, S. wall, sill of E. window carried down to form seats, the W. seat being at a lower level. Miscellanea: loose in S. aisle, part of a shaft enriched with lozenge-pattern filled with paterae, mid 12th-century; corbel, grotesque head, 13th-century.
(2) Former Congregational Chapel (Fig. 162) has a date-stone inscribed 'Congregational Zion Church 1839'. Rectangular plan with Welsh slate roof, round-headed E. windows, formerly with central entrance on the W. Inside, a W. gallery, since renewed, and a modern inserted upper floor.
(3) Prebendal Manor House (Fig. 163; Plate 76). The prebend of Nassington was established in Lincoln Cathedral in the early 12th century, the endowment consisting of the church of Nassington and its land, tithes, etc. The present house, built in the 13th century, was occupied by the prebendary and his tenants until the prebend was dissolved in 1836. The endowment was generous and this is reflected in the size of the house and the status of several of the prebendaries. How many of them lived here is not certain, but the house was occupied by the prebendary in the early 17th century (LRS, 23 (1925), 238).
The original house consisted of an open hall of three bays with a narrower range, now demolished, at the N end and probably a service wing, since rebuilt, at the S. end. In the 15th century the hall was remodelled. Tracery was added to the windows, a new roof was constructed and a fireplace inserted in the N. wall; at the same time the E. doorway to the screens passage was renewed and an oriel in the E. wall built. Also during the late 15th and early 16th century the service wing was built followed by a new range on the S. W. In the 17th century the hall was sub-divided and floored over, and the service wing received dividing walls. The S.W. range was re-roofed and remodelled c. 1730 and much of the remainder of the house modernized (NRO, W(A) 2. VI.Ic.3); in c. 1800 the range N. of the hall was demolished.
The Hall Range has side buttresses which have been reduced in height. On the W. are two 13th-century windows with round heads and labels with mask stops; that on the S. has two lights with cinquefoil heads of the 15th century and that on the N. is a modern restoration. The door has chamfered jambs, moulded abaci, round head and a label with mask stops (Plate 77). Above is a weathered offset of unknown significance, and above again is a single-light window perhaps of the 17th century. In the E. wall is a doorway with a pointed head and continuous roll-and-hollow moulded jambs of the 15th century. Adjacent is a sash window presumably in the position of an earlier tall window the jambs of which may survive in the stepped reveals of the first-floor sash window. At the N. end of the E. wall is a projecting bay, apparently rebuilt externally in the 19th century; the wide internal opening indicates an oriel window of the 15th century, the jambs showing no diagonal tooling characteristic of the 13th-century work elsewhere. In the side of the projection is a small squint directed towards the E. doorway. The N. gable wall against which the narrower N. range formerly abutted has a broad area of patching where a large chimney stack, perhaps of the 15th century, once stood; the fireplace with cambered bressummer and chamfered jambs survives inside. Flanking the patching are blocked doorways, two on the first floor, one on the ground. At the N. W. corner is a doorway with a distorted head and adjacent, at right angles, is the jamb of a former doorway in the W. wall of the demolished N. range; both doors are 13th-century and parts of the jambs are cut from the same blocks. The scar of the W. wall of the former N. range is visible in the surviving gable wall. Inside, the cross-passage is defined by a masonry wall with two doorways having wooden lintels. In the centre is a later door which has been blocked. The cross wall does not extend above the upper floor of the hall, inserted in the 17th century, but is probably contemporary with the stout joists over the passage. These joists may be 15th or 16th-century and support a plaster floor. The roof of the hall is in four bays and, although 15th-century in origin, has been reconstructed in the 19th century. It now consists of trusses with tie beams, arch-braced collars formerly with twin struts above, and two tiers of butt-purlins; the tie beams are double ogee-moulded but the southern is chamfered on the passage side. The internal fireplace, added in the 17th century, has continuous chamfered jambs and a wooden bressummer. The Porch over the E. doorway has a late-medieval origin. The timber-framed gable has a king post and a cambered tie beam carved with a central foliated boss. Beneath the ends of the beam are two reset carved heads, one a female with a wimple, the other a male with curled hair, c. 1300.
The S. Range, incorporating a former service wing, was sub-divided probably in the 17th century, and the exterior refaced in the 18th century. The roof is hipped. Ground-floor windows on the E. have splayed reveals, those of the N. window continuing above the ceiling into the room above. A central door in the N. wall, now blocked, led into the hall. The upper floor plan is similar to the lower. A pair of doorways with masonry jambs share a long wooden lintel. A ceiling with three cambered tie beams was added on the first floor probably in the 16th century. The roof in four bays consists of collars, clasped purlins, wind-braces and cambered tie beams with curved struts (Fig. 163); intermediate trusses have collars only. The roof is earlier than that of the S. W. range which overlaps it.
The S. W. Range, probably of the 16th century, is mostly refaced and has an asymmetrical parapeted W. gable, the S. part of the range being roofed as a lcan-to. In the W. wall at first floor is a wooden mullion-and-transom window of the 18th century, and at sill level are two reset carved heads resembling those on the S. porch. The plan is not easily explained. A series of three doorways with elliptical heads open progressively from the hall, the first being inserted in the S. wall of the hall. The existing stair is modern; one is recorded in this position in 1810 (NRO, photo-copy 983; Archdeacon Bonney's private register). A large mass of masonry in the S. W. corner of the range is probably a chimney stack; a fireplace exists in it on the first floor. The roof is 18th-century and has collars clasping purlins.
Outbuildings include: (a) a rectangular two-storey building originally with a vice in the N. W. corner, 17th-century or earlier; converted to a stable and granary in the 19th century; (b) a barn of nine bays with opposed central doors flanked by ordinary doors, probably built in c. 1777 at the time of enclosure (NRO, W(A) box 2.1.3B); (c) a dovecote (Fig. 7; Plate 128), square on plan, with original door and window above, 576 nesting boxes in 15 tiers, late-medieval but the roof with hips and gablets is 18th-century.
(4) Manor House (Fig. 164; Plate 77). In the late 15th century the manor was acquired by the Ridel family and then passed with Apethorpe and other possessions to Sir Guy Wolston. The manor remained in the same hands as Apethorpe from then on, and was consequently occupied by tenants. The house dates from the early 16th century and was probably built in two phases. A straight joint in the W. wall and a window high in the cross wall which is aligned with the straight joint, suggest that the two S. rooms are slightly earlier than the passage and parlour to the N. A rear wing was added in the 17th century and further additions were made in the 19th century. Much of the original house survives, the architectural detail bearing witness to its importance.
The two-storey house has rubble walls with some courses of squared blocks. The original house consisted of three rooms with an entrance passage between the N. and centre rooms; the wall dividing the S. room from the centre one was replaced by a chimney stack in the 17th century. On the main front, facing E., are the remains of all the original windows but some have been altered. Those windows which are original are rectangular with labels and the lights have four-centred heads. The entrance arch to the cross passage has a moulded four-centred head with a label; it was blocked in the 17th century but retains its hinge pins. Above is a single-light window and to the N. are large four-light windows on both floors, all of the early 16th century. A shallow projection in ashlar below a wide window lighting the centre room is probably the base of a destroyed oriel window.
The N. gable (Plate 77) has a blocked ground-floor window, the label of which survives. Above is an oriel window with canted sides, double-ogee moulded corbelling, weathered top and lights with four-centred heads. These windows are placed off-centre, but a two-light window above is set centrally in the gable. On the W. is an original gabled projection enveloping the chimney stack; at ground-floor level the N. wall of this projection continues W. without a break to form the N. wall of a later and lower rear wing.
The W. side of the building is largely obscured but the original entrance to the cross passage remains; the arch has a segmental-moulded head and is partly blocked. Above is a single-light casement-moulded window with a four-centred head. A straight-joint above the S. jamb of the entrance defines the earlier phase in the building. The central wing on this side is 17th-century and has walls of banded masonry, square blocks alternating with pindle. It has a two-storey mullioned bay window. Inside, an ovolo-moulded cross beam has lozenge decoration on the soffit. On each floor there is a fireplace with a four-centred head in a square frame.
The S. gable wall of the main range has a parapet and three blocked windows, the upper being in the gable. Towards the S.E. corner on the first floor is a blocked loop light with a two-centred head, cut from one stone.
Internally, the southern and plainer of the three main rooms was probably the service room, the cross passage coming abnormally between the central room, or hall, and the parlour on the N. The parlour has a high ceiling with ogee and roll-moulded intersecting beams. Hinge pins for shutters remain in the E. window. A recess in the N. wall of the cross passage may indicate the original entrance to the parlour. Other doorways in the passage are of unknown date. The hall has a ceiling with two intersecting roll-moulded beams once with battlementing. There is no indication that the room originally had a fireplace, the present internal chimney stack being 17th-century. A doorway in the rear wall has chamfered stone jambs with faint traces of decorative painting. The S. room has a heavy stop-chamfered cross beam. The first-floor rooms were originally open to the roof. The N. room had a high-level window above the oriel in the N. wall and a single-light pointed opening without glazing, placed high in the cross wall on the S.; this small N. facing opening must antedate the building, of the N. room. The room was ceiled over to form an attic probably in the late 16th century, but there is now no access to the space. The attic has a plaster floor on joists laid on the tie beams. The central room on the first floor had a fireplace on the N., the cross wall being thickened to take the stack.
The roof of the early 16th-century is of twelve bays divided by a thick wall rising from the cross passage to the ridge; each room therefore had originally four bays. The roof (Fig. 164) consists of alternate trusses, one with collars, arch braces, clasped purlins, wind-braces and struts above the collars, the other with tie beams and collars both with struts to the principals, and having purlins and wind-braces. The tie beams are chamfered, but those above the N. room are moulded. The fifth truss from the S. is a closed truss with grooved studs between the tie beam and the collar.
(8) No. 54, one storey and attics, originally class 1b, 17th-century, roofless, formerly thatched. In first half of the 19th century a pantiled roofed extension was added on the N. Mullioned window on street front.
(10) Three Mill Bills, former inn, one storey and attics, thatched roof, class 1c, of the early 17th century, extended on the N. by a slightly higher section in c. 1800 to give a class 1a plan. The 17th-century windows have chamfered wooden lintels. A window now occupies the position of the original entrance. The roof of the original house has clasped purlins. To the S. is an outbuilding with a cellar of. c. 1800 with an elliptical vault and stands for barrels.
(14) No. 45 (Plate 116), two storeys and attics, mansard roof, class 6a with rear wing, early 19th-century. On the front are two bow windows of two storeys, with recesses for external shutters to the ground floor. The doorway has an open pediment and lattice fanlight. A wide hall contains a curving staircase. Contemporary with the house is a Barn incorporating a cow-house and a two-storey granary. (Not entered)
(18) No. 35 (Fig. 165; Plate 116), two storeys and attics, single-storey bay windows on both front and back elevations, class 5 probably c. 1800. A 17th-century mullioned window in the W. gable is reset. Wide fireplace in the E. gable; all partitions of studwork. Farm buildings include a single-storey structure with a loft reached by stone steps, probably a combined cart house and stable, early 19th-century.
(19) Nassington House, two storeys, parapeted gables, long range with shorter range at rear, probably 17th-century. Two and four-light mullioned windows on W. but with sash windows on S. front. Cast-iron railings and gates, early 19th-century. (Not entered)
(21) No. 20, two storeys and attics, mansard roof, hipped dormers, class 6, early 19th-century. To W., a range of the same date, one storey and attics, central entrance, possibly converted to domestic use.
(23) Black Horse Inn (Fig. 166), two storeys, late 17th-century. The date '1674' and initials 'HP' are inscribed on the bay window. The main range has a two-storey bay window with canted sides, gable and mullioned lights. The gables have copings, and that on the N. incorporates a projecting chimney stack. The L-shaped plan has a slightly later stair turret in the entrant angle. Inside, the partitions have been removed, but there were probably three rooms originally, that in the rear wing encroaching on the S. room of the main range. On each floor is a fireplace with ovolo-moulded four-centred head in a square frame, that on the ground floor having a moulded shelf.
(25) No. 8, The Nutshell, one storey and attics, 17th-century and said to have once had a date-stone of 1640– 1649. Plan comprises a range with flanking wings. A doorway in the N. wing has a four-centred head and moulded hood. (Not entered)
(26) No. 12, two-storey two-room house with later additions at rear. Early 19th-century in present form but the gables of the former early 18th-century single-storey house are visible; the N. gable bears the date-panel 'WC 1704'. Pantile roof.
(27) No. 14, Home Farm, two storeys, the N. section thatched, the S. pantiled. It probably originated in the early 17th century as a class 1b house of one storey and attics. In the 18th century a two-storey addition was built on the S. to give a class 1a plan and in the early 19th century the earlier part was raised to two storeys to conform. The stops on axial beams and the character of the fireplace bressummer suggest an early 17th-century date. An upper room had a plaster floor until recently. Behind the house is a small barn of three bays with a panel which appears to read '1790–1799'. probably a construction-date.
(29) No. 24, range of four two-storey cottages of class 4c and a three-storey two-room house, mid 19th-century. The house, facing the street, has an ashlar front and the cottages have windows with deep stone lintels and sliding sashes. Welsh slate roof. Facing the range, on the S., is a two-storey Granary, probably early 19th-century. A pair of class 4c cottages have been built in its W. half. A stone panel inscribed 'I T M 1711', formerly in the E. gable, is now in the N. range.
(30) Nos. 28, 30. This house was owned together with the granary (29) by Griffin King in 1778 (Enclosure Map); in 1801 it was associated with a coal and timber merchant's concern (Mercury, 30 Oct.). The remains of a dock survive at the end of the plot. The house, class 6 with parapeted gables, is late 18th-century. In the early 19th century a wing was added on the front and later still the area within the angle was infilled.
(34) No. 23, two-cell house, with gable entry, late 17th or early 18th-century, now two storeys. A large central chimney stack has been removed; the fire window with chamfered surround remains. The N. stack is 19th-century in its present form.
(35) No. 44, now of two storeys, class 6b, Welsh slate roof, brick stacks, formerly of one storey and possibly with a narrower plan attained its present form by the mid 19th century. A pointed window with decorative glazing bars is 19th-century.
(36) Greystones (Fig. 167), two storeys and attics, 17th-century origin, later enlarged and remodelled. Originally built as a class 1b house to which a wing was added W. of the hall some time before 1698; a S. wing with datestone inscribed 'TR 1698' perhaps for a member of the Rippon family overlaps both buildings. The main range was increased in height in the late 18th century, and the W. and S. wings partly rebuilt in the mid 19th century and two rooms were added beside the S. wing.
The main range, of tall proportions, has a parapeted gable and ashlar chimney stacks. The roof has butt-purlins and the weathering for a lower roof is visible in the roof-space. Inside, the N. room has fielded panelling in two heights and a round-headed cupboard; a first-floor fireplace has eared surround and egg-and-dart decoration, all late 18th-century.
(40) Stoneleigh, two storeys, approximating to class 8 with the stair occupying a rear compartment, second half 18th century. Openings have flush voussoirs and keystones, and the windows have wide glazing bars. The asymmetrical roof has staggered purlins, tusk-tenoned to the principals. A one-storey shop or workshop was added on the N. in the early 19th century.
(41) Queen's Head Inn, two storeys, three-cell house probably of 17th-century origin but much altered internally in the early 19th century and again later. The central and N. rooms are now united. Behind is a range of stables, second quarter 19th century. To the W. is a wharf.
(45) Nos. 60, 62, two storeys, rubble, brick, pantiled roofs. One irregularly planned house and a separate range which originally comprised two class 4c dwellings, one with a cross passage and store. Second quarter 19th-century. Associated with former timber yard to S., of which the dock remains. (Not entered)
(55) No. 22 Woodnewton Road, one storey and attics, thatched roof, parapeted gable, three-cell house, early 17th-century. Cross beam in centre room morticed for former studwork partition. The W. end room was originally partly open to the roof.
(56) Old Sulehay Lodge (TL 052984; Fig. 169; Plate 123). Land at Sulehay, an extra-parochial area of Rockingham Forest, was held in chief by members of the Yarwell family by virtue of their office of foresters of the Bailiwick of Cliffe from at least the early 13th century (Cal. IPM vol. 1, 220; vol. 7, 304, 359; vol. 9, 285). The land and office were sold in 1392 (Cal. Pat. (1391–6), 16) and passed to Sir Guy Wolston in the late 15th century, and from then onwards Sulehay was held by the owners of Apethorpe. Wolston himself is said to have rebuilt the lodge (NRO, W(A) 4.XVI.5); there was a substantial house here in the 17th century which is said to have been demolished in c. 1718 (NRO, W(A) Misc. vol. 37). The surviving buildings consist of a gateway and stables with accommodation above, mostly built in 1642, in which year the owner, Mildmay Fane second Earl of Westmorland, was imprisoned as a Royalist. A mid 17th-century list of horses belonging to the Earl mentions two mares and two fillies at Sulehay (NRO, W(A) Misc. vol. 15) which might be taken to imply breeding rather than riding. After the demolition of the house the stables were turned into a dwelling for the tenant farmer and in this condition were seen in 1790 by John Byng (Torrington Diaries (1935), II, 253); in 1851 Browning improved the accommodation (NRO, W(A) 7.XIV) and the building was greatly enlarged after 1892.
The building comprises a central range with a gatehouse on the W. and a slightly earlier wing on the E.; a barn W. of the gatehouse is late 19th-century but it probably replaces an earlier building balancing the existing central range. In this main range there appears to have been three large loose boxes rather than stalls, with a compartment at the W. end; there was living accommodation above.
The gatehouse of two storeys has similar N. and S. elevations, each with a parapeted gable and an ogee and ovolo-moulded elliptical arch within a rectangular frame. Above is a two-light mullioned window and, in the gable, a panel inscribed '1642'. Inside, there are doorways on the E. and W., each having a round head within a square moulded frame, and a jewelled keystone (Fig. 169). Access to the upper floor was by a door, now blocked, from the central range, but no indication of a stair survives; in the W. wall is an original fireplace, also blocked.
The main range is of one storey and attics. The W. half retains few original features, all openings being later except for a single-light window on the S. and a blocked window on the N. The E. half has on the S. a three-bay arcade with continuous moulded elliptical arches united within a rectangular frame (Plate 123). The arches are now blocked but the jambs are rebated and a length of timber, drilled for closely-spaced uprights, suggests that the upper part of the openings contained grilles. The internal divisions are later, but the three cross beams aligning with the arcade have mortices for partitions, the studs for which partly remain. In the rear wall are two mullioned windows, probably secondary. On the first floor there are remains of a fireplace probably of 1642, in the W. wall, and there is another fireplace with a four-centred head in a rectangular frame in the E. wall. The roof consists of six trusses with two tiers of collars, clasped upper purlins, butt-jointed lower purlins and wide principal rafters.
The E. wing is slightly off-set from the main range and is marginally earlier. It is of one storey with attics, and is gabled on the N. and S. There are various mullioned windows. In the N. wall is a blocked round-headed doorway repeating the design of those in the gatehouse; it gave into a lobby which always contained a stair, but only the upper part of the present stair is original. It has a square-section newel with a shaped top and incorporates a seat against the landing-rail. The ground-floor room is lofty and was originally unheated. On the first floor is a fireplace with a four-centred head in a square frame. The roof has a tie beam and two raking struts, but the roof-space is not accessible.