Bledlow

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1912

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51-57

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'Bledlow', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 1: South (1912), pp. 51-57. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=121019 Date accessed: 26 October 2014.


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9. BLEDLOW.

(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxvii. N.W. (b)xxxvii. S.W. (c)xli. N.E.)

Ecclesiastical

b(1). Parish Church of Holy Trinity, in the middle of the village, is built of flint, with dressings of limestone and a little clunch. The roofs are covered with lead, except the gabled roof of the tower, which is tiled. The aisles, porch and tower have plain parapets. The Nave is probably part of the 12th-century church on the site, and in addition to the chancel there appear to have been originally transepts and a central tower: the Aisles were added c. 1200, and during work carried on between c. 1260 and c. 1280 they were widened, probably to the depth of the former transepts, the Chancel, which is wider than the nave, was re-built on a larger scale, the West Tower added and the aisles were lengthened. In the 14th century the South Porch was built and windows were inserted in various parts of the church; the roofs were lowered, probably in the 16th century. The whole building was restored in 1909.


The Church, Plan

The Church, Plan
Reproduced by permission of the Victoria County Histories.

The church is of especial interest on account of the nave arcades, which are fine examples of early 13th-century work, and the windows, especially those of the 14th century, are noteworthy. The remains of mediæval mural paintings, notably that of St. Christopher in the N. aisle, are also interesting.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (31 ft. by 16½ ft.) has a late 13th-century E. window of three lancet lights with stilted heads; the inner jambs and mullions have engaged shafts with moulded bell-capitals and moulded bases; the external label has mask stops. In the N. wall the easternmost window is a 13th-century lancet with a trefoiled head, a moulded external label with mask stops, and a two-centred segmental rear arch: the second window, inserted c. 1345 and now partly restored, is of two lights, with tracery of unusual pattern; the mullions and jambs are chamfered, and have, inside, an attached roll continued in the tracery; the moulded external label, with head-stops, may be of a later date; the third window, a 13th-century lancet with a trefoiled head, was probably re-set in the 14th century and was used as a low-side window; it has a transom and shutter in the lower part which is now glazed; the internal stonework and the external label resemble those of the 14th-century window: an internal string-course, of c. 1260, is carried, at different levels, from the E. jamb of the easternmost window, to the E. jamb of the third window. In the S. wall is a 14th-century window of two lights with tracery, resembling that in the N. wall, but the inner edges of the jambs are moulded and have attached shafts with moulded bases and bell-capitals, one foliated; the rear arch is moulded: the second window, of the 13th century, is of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head, a chamfered rear arch and a moulded external label, with carved stops: between the windows, visible outside, is the outline, without stone dressings, of the upper part of a round-headed doorway: the 13th-century internal string-course, similar to that on the N. wall, is broken for the doorway. The chancel arch, of c. 1260, is pointed, of two square orders, the inner order resting on moulded capitals; the jambs are plain, with chamfered edges, stopped above and below; on the W. face of the arch is a roll label, cut away to admit the former rood-beam; below the capitals are head corbels, much mutilated, and higher up there are five corbels for the former rood-loft and beam. There are two buttresses at each E. angle of the chancel, and one in the middle of each side wall, probably of c. 1260, restored. The Nave (45 ft. by 15½ ft.) has N. and S. arcades of four bays, of c. 1200; the pointed arches are of two square orders with plain labels; the circular columns have foliated, octagonal capitals, the foliage differing slightly in each one, grooved and chamfered abaci, and moulded bases on square plinths; the responds are cut away below the capitals to form corbels, those on the N. side being plain and those on the S. side carved with foliage; the capital of the N.W. respond is scalloped, the three others are foliated. The clearstorey has, on each side, three wide windows, of three trefoiled lights under square heads; the inner stonework is possibly of the 13th century, the lintels and outer stonework are modern; on the N. side of the clearstorey, at the E. end, is the outline of a pointed opening which was probably connected with the former rood-loft. The North Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has a 15th-century E. window of clunch, of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head, with chamfered jambs; the lintel inside is of wood; the mullions and head are much worn: below the window and a niche N. of it (see Fittings) is a recess for an altar formed by the blocking of an earlier opening, of which the quoins remain; in the same wall, outside, is a narrow vertical off-set with quoin stones, indicating the possible former existence of an apse at the E. end of the 12th-century transept; S. of the window is a low external buttress with a grooved and chamfered abacus, below the highest off-set, possibly also part of the apse. In the N. wall are two 13th-century windows similar to the S.W. window of the chancel; between them is a window of c. 1330, of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the outer label, and the inner edges of jambs and arch are moulded: the N. doorway, of the 12th century, re-set, has a round head with moulded abaci and square jambs, and a segmental rear arch. The aisle extends as far as the W. wall of the tower, and the W. window is a trefoiled lancet with a moulded external label, probably of late 13th or early 14th-century date; in line with the E. wall of the tower is a modern half arch spanning the aisle. The South Aisle (11 ft. wide) has, in the E. wall, above the altar, a wide recess with stone dressings, possibly a blocked window, but not visible outside; the lower part is probably of the 13th century, the upper part of later date. In the S. wall the easternmost window is of mid 14th-century date, of four trefoiled lights and tracery in a pointed head, with a moulded label outside; the jambs and mullions both inside and outside, and the rear arch are also moulded: the second window resembles the S.W. window of the chancel and is of the same date; the third window is of c. 1300, of two pointed lights with a plain spandrel under a two-centred arch with a moulded external label; the mullions and jambs inside are moulded; the rear arch and the inner edge of the jambs are chamfered: the S. doorway, between the second and third windows, is of c. 1260, and has jambs of three square orders; in the angles of the outer orders are detached shafts with foliated capitals and much worn bases; the moulding of the innermost order is continued in the arch, which is of three moulded orders, and has a moulded label: in line with the E. wall of the tower is a half-arch forming a buttress to the tower arch, probably of c. 1260; it is of two chamfered orders, the inner order springing from a moulded and foliated capital with a carved head-corbel below it; W. of the arch is a modern window. In the W. wall is a round-headed window, possibly of the 12th century, re-set with a chamfered pointed segmental rear arch. The West Tower (13 ft. square) is of three stages, with an original corbel table and plain moulded parapet; some of the corbels are carved with grotesque heads, others are moulded. The walls inside are now partly of brick. The pointed arches on the E., N. and S. sides are all of similar 13th-century detail, though the E. arch is considerably higher than the others; they are of two chamfered orders, the inner order resting on halfoctagonal shafts with round moulded bases on square plinths, and moulded bell-capitals. The W. doorway has moulded jambs and pointed head with a moulded label; the W. window is of two cinque-foiled lights with a cinque-foiled spandrel in a two-centred head. In the second stage the N., S. and W. walls have each a lancet light, and on the S. wall is a clock. The bell-chamber has four windows, each of two plain pointed lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head, and a moulded label. On the E. face of the tower is visible the weather-course of the former steep-pitched roof of the nave, with a pointed doorway, now blocked, at its apex. The South Porch has a 14th-century outer arch way of two moulded orders; the inner order has moulded capitals and square bases; the W. base has been renewed; the head is pointed and has a moulded label. Over the arch, outside, is a broken head-corbel supporting a sundial of later date than the doorway. The Roof of the chancel is low-pitched; the eaves are higher than those of the original roof, but the apex is lower; only the plain westernmost tie-beam is old. The low-pitched roof of the nave is much lower than the original roof, and has chamfered tie-beams, purlins and rafters, probably of late 16th or early 17th-century date. The aisles have 15th-century roofs with moulded principals and traceried braces; the bosses at the intersection of the main timbers are carved with roses or geometrical patterns; in the N. aisle the easternmost purlin is plain, and the braces are much decayed; the corbels over the N. arcade are of wood, the others, in both aisles, are of plain stone, except one near the W. end of the N. wall, which is apparently part of a head; the roof of the S. aisle is more complete than the other. In the tower the floor of the ringing-chamber is of old timbers.

Fittings—Bells: five, four by Richard Keene, 1683. Brackets: on S. side of chancel, part of square shaft and pinnacle, of limestone, with moulded and embattled capital, at the bottom a gabled and trefoiled head of niche with foliated finial, on each side of the shaft half a similar niche, probably part of setting of tomb, late 14th-century: on N. side of chancel, similar bracket, of clunch, of later date probably. Brass: In chancel—in recess in N. wall, of Willm~ Hern~, vicar of the parish, 1525, figure of priest in Mass vestments, with inscription. Communion Table and Rails: table, at E. end of S. aisle, 17th-century: rails, at W. end of N. aisle, remains, 17th-century. Doors: in N. doorway, plain, oak, with strap-hinges: in S. doorway, plain, oak, with ornamental strap-hinges inside, with foliated ends, probably of c. 1260. Font (see Plate, p. xxvii.): of the 'Aylesbury' type, round bowl, fluted sides, with band of interlacing and foliated ornament at the top, moulded rim, cable moulding under bowl, plain round stem, and square scalloped base, carved with foliage, late 12th-century. Glass: in tracery of S.E. window of chancel, fragments with conventional design, and shield with arms (imperfect): in quatrefoil of middle window, S. wall, white glass with black pattern, green and yellow centre, 14th-century: in tracery of middle window, N. wall, small fragments, with patterns: in S.E. window of S. aisle, three shields with arms, of Henry, Earl of Lancaster, King Edward III. (the fourth quarter of modern glass) and azure, a bend argent with three pierced molets thereon (one missing) cotised or, between six scutcheons each charged with a lion or, for William de Bohun, Earl of Northampton. Lectern: in S. aisle, of oak, eagle with head looking backward, said to be of pre-Reformation date, modern stem and base. Niche: N. of E. window of N. aisle, canopied, with gabled and crocketed head, partly destroyed, remains of former pinnacles at the sides, front of sill carved with flowers, 15th-century: on N. side of chancel, low, trefoiled, with jambs and head of square section, date uncertain, probably copy of piscina on S. side. Paintings: over S. arcade of nave, masonry pattern, 13th-century: over second column and partly over third column of S. arcade, foliage, probably 13th-century: over third column of N. arcade, similar design: on N. wall of N. aisle, E. of N. doorway, large figure of St. Christopher, carrying the Child; over the N. doorway, continuation of design, with small figure, probably the hermit, in tower, a gabled and embattled house, back-ground of diaper of flowers, all in red paint and much defaced: over S. doorway, traces of design, including a kneeling figure: at E. end of S. aisle, fragment of diaper of flowers: on N. and S. jambs of chancel arch, over first and second arches of both arcades in nave, texts, small Roman lettering, 17th-century, some partly obliterated: on E. wall of nave, the Creed; at E. end of S. aisle, the Commandments, also probably 17th-century. Piscinæ: in the chancel, with trefoiled chamfered head, jambs carried down to the floor, stone shelf, ledges for higher shelf at springing level of arch, 13th-century: at E. end of S. aisle, with pointed head, square basin, 13th-century: in ledge of N.E. window in N. aisle, two basins with drains: on ledge, second N. window, N. aisle, separate slab with basin. Plate: includes cup of 1569: stand paten, date letter missing, not later than 1677: large flagon of 1672: large paten of 1689. Recesses: in S. wall of S. aisle at E. end, two, for tombs, each of two moulded orders with pointed segmental arches, 14th-century: in S. wall, E. of S. door, small, square, roughly made, date uncertain. Stoup: in N.E. corner of S. porch, plain, round bowl, probably 16th-century or of earlier date. Miscellanea: over N.E. window of chancel, inside, three head-corbels; on each side of and above S.E. window of chancel, outside, a head-stop, or corbel, probably 14th-century: at W. end of N. aisle, fragments of carved and moulded stones, various dates, mostly 12th-century, dug up or removed from different parts of the church: built into E. and N. walls of N. aisle, various worked stones, including pieces of window tracery and a head-corbel: in churchyard, on S. side of church, base of cross, octagonal, appears to have had gabled trefoiled sides, 15th-century, much weathered: near entrance, slab on modern brick base, original lettering illegible, modern copy of inscription to Margaret Babham, founder of the Bledlow Mannet Charity, 1672.

Condition—Good.

Secular

Main Road, S. side

b(2). House, now two cottages, formerly the Mill House, nearly opposite the church, is of two storeys, built probably late in the 16th century, and timber-framed, with brick filling, some of it in herringbone pattern. The roof is tiled. The plan is rectangular, facing N., with low modern additions at the back and at the E. end; there are original half-hipped gables at each end of the house. The central chimney stack is also original.

Condition—Fairly good.

b(3). House, now two cottages, 90 yards S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, the upper storey partly in the roof, built late in the 16th century, and timber-framed, with brick filling of herringbone pattern in the upper storey; the lower storey has been re-faced with modern brick. The roof is tiled. The plan was originally rectangular, facing N., but small modern additions have been made on the S. and at the E. end. The N. front has a gable at the W. end; the two dormer windows, with moulded mullions, are probably original, and project on moulded wood brackets. The two square chimney stacks over the W. half of the building are of 16th-century thin bricks, the W. stack probably of later date than the other. There are original chamfered beams in the ceilings, and a staircase or ladder in the W. half of the house has solid oak steps; on the first floor are the hooks of the hinges and staple for the trap door that formerly closed the staircase. The open fireplace in the kitchen has chimney-corner seats and recess for tinder box, etc., and the original round oven projects from the N. wall.

Condition—Not very good.

c(4). The Red Lion Inn, at the W. end of the village, is of two storeys, the upper storey partly in the roof, built of brick early in the 17th century; a brick at the N.E. angle bears the letters and date E D 1654; the front has been re-faced with modern brick. The roof is tiled. The plan was originally rectangular, but modern additions have been made on the S. and W. The chimney stack at the W. end of the old part of the house is original, and there is a large open fireplace with chimney-corner seats. On the ground floor all the ceilings have stop-chamfered beams.

Condition—Good.

N. side

b(5). The Manor Farm, 190 yards W. of the church, is of two storeys, encased in modern brick, except the top of the E. gable, which shows early 17th-century brick and timber. The roof is tiled. The building is rectangular, facing S.; at the back are 18th-century and modern additions. The central chimney stack is of thin bricks. In one room on the ground floor is a wide fireplace and there are chamfered beams in the ceiling. An original door, of moulded battens, has been moved into the 18th-century part of the house.

Condition—Good.

b(6). House, now the Forge, 100 yards W. of the church, is of two storeys, built of brick and timber in the 16th century and re-fronted with modern brick. The roofs are tiled. The original plan is L-shaped, the longer wing facing S.; on the N. is a low modern addition filling the space between the wings. At the back is an original gable and a smaller gable, probably of later date. The central chimney stack is of thin bricks, restored at the top. The entrance lobby and the forge on the E. were probably originally one room; in the ceiling is a chamfered beam; the room W. of the lobby has a moulded ceiling-beam. The original fireplaces have been partly filled in. In the E. wall of the shorter wing is a door, probably formerly external, with nine small panels, moulded muntins, old strap-hinges, and oak stock lock.

Condition—Good.

b(7). House, 70 yards W. of the church, is said to have been formerly an inn and consists of the remaining part of a late 16th-century building, with modern additions on the N. and W. The original part now forms one tenement and is of two storeys, timber-framed, with brick filling of herringbone pattern in the upper storey; the lower storey is of brick, partly modern; the roof is tiled. The E. end is gabled, and the original chimney stack is of thin bricks, with over-sailing courses at the top. In the ceilings are stop-chamfered beams, and a wide, open fireplace retains original chimney-corner seats.

Condition—Fairly good.

West Lane, E. side

b(8). House, formerly a farmhouse, now two cottages, 300 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys, built probably early in the 17th century. The S. front is modern; the upper storey on the other three sides retains the original timber-framing, with brick filling of a later date; the lower storey is of modern brick. The roof is tiled. The building is rectangular, with a half-hipped gable at the W. end, and low modern additions at the back and at the E. end. The central chimney stack is original, the stack at the E. end was probably added later in the 17th century. The wide fireplaces have been partly filled in, and the ceilings have original stop-chamfered beams.

Condition—Fairly good.

W. side

b(9). Farmhouse, 400 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys, built probably early in the 17th century, but encased in modern brick and some flint. The roof is tiled. The plan is L-shaped, the wings extending towards the S. and W., with a square projection between them; the W. end is gabled. The chimney stack is of early 17th-century brick.

Condition—Good.

b(10). House, at the corner of the Lower Icknield Way, was built early in the 17th century, and is of two storeys, the lower storey of modern brick, the upper of original brick and timber. The roof is tiled. The plan is rectangular, facing N., with a central chimney stack of thin bricks. Both ends of the house are gabled; one window on the first floor has an old oak frame with moulded mullions. The wide fireplace in the middle of the house has chimney-corners enclosed in modern cupboards. The beams in the ceilings are stop-chamfered.

Condition—Poor.

Pitch Green

a(11). House, 970 yards N. of the church, on the W. side of the road to the railway station, is in two blocks; the southern is of two storeys, of brick and timber, covered with plaster, built early in the 17th century, and the northern is of two storeys and an attic, of red brick with black headers, added late in the 17th or early in the 18th century. The roof is tiled. The older block faces E. and has a central chimney stack. Inside the house the fireplaces have been partly filled in; the ceiling-beams have chamfered edges, and there is one original battened door.

Condition—Good.

b(12). The Mill House, 870 yards N. of the church, on the S. side of the Lower Icknield Way and W. of the cross-roads, is of two storeys an an attic. It consists of two parallel blocks; the eastern, built late in the 16th century, is timber-framed, with filling of thin bricks, set in herringbone pattern, except at the S. end, where the filling is almost entirely modern; both ends are gabled: the western block, built of brick, was added late in the 17th century. The roof is tiled, and the central chimney stack is of old thin bricks. Inside the house are chamfered ceiling-beams, and a wide fireplace, partly filled in. The heavy ceiling-beams in the 17th-century part of the house are of oak. Old circular mill-stones have been laid down as pavement before the S. door.

Condition—Fairly good.

a(13). House, now two cottages, about ¾ mile N. of the church, on the N. side of the Lower Icknield Way, E. of the cross-roads, is of two storeys, built probably in the 16th century; the upper storey is timber-framed, with brick filling, partly herringbone; the lower storey is of modern brick. The roof is tiled. The plan is rectangular with low modern additions at the back and E. end, and there is a central chimney stack; the W. end is gabled. One large fireplace retains chimney-corner seats. The ceiling-beams are original, with chamfered edges.

Condition—Fairly good.

c(14). Pankridge Farm, in 'the City', Bledlow Ridge, 3½ miles S.E. of the church, is of two storeys, built of flint with brick dressings late in the 17th century, and restored in the 19th century. The roof is tiled. The brick jambs of the doors and windows on the ground floor, and a few on the upper floor, are original. The central chimney stack, of 17th-century brick, has square shafts restored at the top. The wide fireplaces have been blocked.

Condition—Good.


Bledlow Cross

Bledlow Cross

Unclassified

b(15). Bledlow Cross, is cut in the chalk on the side of a hill, about 1 mile S.S.W. of the village: it is of the Greek form and measures about 75 ft. transversely, with arms about 15 ft. in breadth.

The Cross is of especial interest as one of the two examples of turf-cuttings in the county.

Condition—Fairly good.



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