(O.S. 6 in. xv. S.W.)
(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, stands on
high ground N.E. of the village, and is built of
limestone rubble; the roofs are covered with lead.
The detail of earliest date is the late 12th-century
work of the S. doorway, re-set in the S. aisle, and
probably removed from the aisleless Nave of that
date. At the end of the 13th century the Chancel
was re-built and enlarged to its present size. The
South Aisle was added c. 1300, and the North Chapel
early in the 14th century; a little later in the same
century the first three bays of the North Aisle were
built, and early in the 15th century the W. bay
was added, and the West Tower built; later in the
15th century the clearstorey was re-constructed.
The South Porch was built possibly in the 14th
century, but has been re-built, or completely
restored. The whole building was restored in the
18th century and again in the 19th century.
The church is especially interesting on account
of the development of the plan. Among the fittings
the 15th-century alabaster effigy of a knight in
armour, in the chancel, is unusually fine work (see
Plate, p. 46).
Architectural Description—The Chancel (30½ ft.
by 18 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is
an early 14th-century doorway with moulded jambs
and two-centred head: W. of the doorway, opening
into the N. chapel, is an early 14th-century arcade
of two bays; the two-centred arches are of two
chamfered orders, with broach-stops and a chamfered label; the inner order of the E. respond has
a small semi-octagonal pilaster with a moulded bell-capital, carved with a four-leafed flower resembling
dog-tooth ornament; the base is moulded; the W.
respond is similar to the other, but the capital is
carved with a form of ball-flower, and the outer
order dies into the wall; the pillar is octagonal,
with a large moulded capital, also carved with ballflower ornament. In the S. wall are two windows
and a doorway, all modern. The late 13th-century
chancel arch is two-centred and of two chamfered
orders, with remains of a plain chamfered label;
the outer order is continuous, the inner rests on
moulded corbel capitals. The North Chapel (31 ft.
by 13½ ft.) has an E. window of three trefoiled lights
with tracery, almost completely restored, but the
jambs are of two moulded orders and partly of
early 14th-century date. In the N. wall are two
late 15th-century windows, each of three cinque-foiled lights under a square head, all much restored;
the rear arch of the eastern window is made up of
14th-century moulded voussoirs; in the wall W.
of the eastern window, are external traces of the
pointed head of an earlier window. In the W. wall,
opening into the aisle, is a 14th-century arch of
two chamfered orders, the inner order resting on
moulded capitals supported by carved head-corbels.
The Nave (48 ft. by 19 ft.) has a N. arcade of four
bays, the width of each bay increasing towards the
W.: the two-centred arches are of three chamfered
orders; the three eastern arches are of the 14th
century and of limestone, the fourth is of the 15th
century and of clunch; at the E. end the outer
orders die into the wall, the innermost rests on a
corbel-capital with a grotesque carved head: the
pillars are octagonal; the two eastern have moulded
14th-century capitals and plain chamfered bases:
the third pillar has an early 15th-century moulded
capital and base; the capital and pillar are of clunch,
the base is of limestone: the W. respond is that of
the 14th-century arcade, re-set; the capital, of
limestone, is moulded and carved with four-leafed
flower and ball-flower ornament. The S. arcade
is of four bays, all of late 13th or early 14th-century
date; the two-centred arches are of two chamfered
orders with a plain chamfered label on each side;
the pillars are octagonal, with moulded capitals of
slightly varied detail, and chamfered bases; the
E. respond has a moulded corbel-capital; at the
W. end the arch dies into the wall: above the
arcade are three quatrefoil openings in chamfered
circular reveals, originally the 13th-century clearstorey, now opening into the S. aisle. The 15th-century clearstorey has four windows on each side,
all of three pointed lights. The North Aisle
(13½ ft. wide) has, in the N. wall, three 15th-century
windows, each of three cinque-foiled lights in a flat
head and all much restored; between the western
windows is the N. doorway, which has a two-centred
head and is of two orders, the outer order chamfered, the inner moulded, with a moulded external
label, all of the 14th century, much restored. In
the W. wall is a window similar to those in the N.
wall. The South Aisle (10½ ft. wide) has an E.
window of c. 1330, of four trefoiled lights with
tracery in a two-centred head. In the S. wall
are two modern windows: between them is the
S. doorway; the outer order of the two-centred
head is enriched with beak ornament and of late
12th-century date, re-set c. 1200; the inner order
and the moulded jambs are of later date or
re-cut. The West Tower (14 ft. by 13 ft.) is of
three stages, with a diagonal buttress at the N.W.
angle, and an octagonal staircase at the S.W.
angle; the embattled parapet has been entirely
restored or re-built. The early 15th-century tower
arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders
separated by a hollow; the jambs are chamfered
and moulded, with semi-octagonal pilasters, which
have moulded capitals and bases. In the W.
wall is a 15th-century window of four trefoiled
lights, with tracery in a pointed head. In the
second stage, in the S. wall, is a single-light window, of the same date as the W. window, much
restored. The windows of the bell-chamber are
modern. The South Porch has been re-built or
completely restored, but the entrance archway is
apparently of the 14th century, considerably
restored, and has a two-centred head of two chamfered orders, and jambs with pilasters which have
crudely moulded capitals and bases. The 15th-century Roof of the N. chapel is low-pitched and of
three bays, with moulded ridge and purlins. The
nave has a low-pitched roof with plain bracketed
principals, probably of late 16th-century date.
The low-pitched roof of the N. aisle is of early 15th-century date, and has a moulded wall-plate, chamfered purlin and principals supported by curved
braces forming two-centred arches, with octagonal
moulded bases resting on carved stone corbels.
The S. aisle has a 15th-century roof with plain
moulded wall-plates and purlins and cambered
moulded principals; above the arcade the weathering of the former roof is visible.
Fittings—Book: At the Rectory—large Bible and
Prayer-book, dated 1638, in velvet cover with silver
mounts, 18th-century. Brass: (see Monument (2)).
Font: circular bowl, uncertain date, apparently
not mediæval, possibly 17th-century. Font-cover,
octagonal, spire-shaped with arabesque panels,
early 17th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs.
Monuments: In chancel—under N. arcade (1) altar
tomb, second quarter of 15th century, with
alabaster effigy of knight in plate armour, head
resting on helm, feet on lion, sides of tomb panelled
alternately with quatrefoils, containing shields, and
cinque-foiled panels, arms painted on shields, barry
argent and azure with a label of five points gules,
barry argent and azure with three roundels gules
in chief, painted on edge of slab inscription to
Richard Lord Grey de Wilton, lettering and
painting probably 18th-century; (2) on N. wall,
on alabaster slab with arabesque ornament, brass
of Thomas Sparke, rector of the parish, 1616,
engraved bust, figures of three sons, two daughters,
other figures, apparently of his congregation, allegorical figures of Death and Fame, and inscription.
In N. chapel—in recess under N.E. window, (3)
large coffin-slab, with floriated cross and bugle-horn
in relief, late 13th-century, defaced; on E. wall,
(4) tablet to Rose, daughter of Andrew Inckforby,
of Ipswich, wife of Thomas Sparke, 1615; (6)
remains of monument with coloured effigies of
alabaster, in relief, of man in armour, five sons,
three daughters, all kneeling, no inscription, c. 1600.
Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Alice, wife of
Thomas Willis, 1699, incised inscription and lozenge
with arms; (2) to Thomas Willis, 1699, incised
inscription and arms; (father and mother of Browne
Willis, the antiquary). In N. chapel—(3) to Faith,
wife of Edward Taylor, 1657. Piscinae (see
Sedilia): In N. chapel—with trefoiled head, early
14th-century, defaced. Plate: includes standing
paten of 1698, silver gilt, engraved with sacred
monogram, and inscription recording the donation
by Thomas Sparke, rector of the parish. Poor Box:
In nave—on a moulded baluster stem, dated 1637.
Recesses: In N. chapel—under N.E. window, for
tomb, with segmental pointed head of two moulded
orders, 14th-century, much defaced. In N. aisle—
at E. end, for altar, wall cut away from floor for
three or four feet, overhanging part carried on
moulded corbel-course, 15th-century. Sedilia:
In chancel—four recesses, one probably originally
piscina, seats divided by circular columns with
moulded capitals and bases, late 13th or early
14th-century, much scraped and restored. Miscellanea: In chancel—between N. doorway and
E. respond of arcade, small opening with trefoiled
head, now blocked; over tomb in E. bay of arcade,
elaborate funeral helm, gilt and coloured, made up
from a 17th-century close helmet; scratched on
buttress, E. of N. doorway sundial in small circle.
N. chapel—on parapet of E. wall, carved chalice
and wafer, in low relief. In bell-chamber—works
of a clock, late 17th or early 18th-century, out of
Condition—Good; very much restored.
(2). Rectory Cottages, house, now two tenements, and a Barn, about 170 yards S. of the church.
The Cottages are of two storeys and an attic; the
S. front is of modern brick and the other walls are
covered with rough-cast, but some timber-framing
is visible. They form an L-shaped building, the
wings extending towards the N.E. and N.W. At
the W. end of the N.W. wing is a rectangular block,
now used as a Barn, of one storey, timber-framed
and covered with weather-boarding; it has an
early 15th-century roof, originally of three bays;
the E. bay is now incorporated in the N.W. wing
of the L-shaped building which was built early in
the 17th century, and has been much restored.
The roofs are tiled.
The 15th-century roof of the barn is especially
The N.E. wing has a central chimney stack,
with four attached square shafts, built of thin
bricks, with a moulded brick course half-way up;
the shafts have been restored at the top. Interior:—
On the ground floor, in the N.E. wing, the timber-framing is visible, and there are moulded and
chamfered ceiling-beams and a wide fireplace,
partly blocked. On the first floor is a large fireplace, with a flat three-centred arch of stone and
an old door of wide battens with strap-hinges. The
N.W. wing also shows the 17th-century timber
The barn has an elaborately designed hammer-beam roof of the 15th century, with one bay in the
N.W. wing of the house; the main trusses are
supported on large moulded uprights, the hammer-beams have carved heads, and are supported by
curved struts, the upper collar-beams have curved
struts forming an arch, and the spandrels and space
above the hammer-beams are filled by smaller
arches; between the main trusses are intermediate
hammer-beams with carved heads, curved struts,
and vertical supports to the lower purlins; at the
level of the wall-plate is a moulded cornice.
Condition—Generally good, but the interior of
the barn is suffering from its present use for the
storage of lumber. The door described above in
the N.E. wing has been removed to the Rectory
since date of visit.
These buildings are all, except one, of two storeys,
and timber-framed, generally with brick filling
which is almost entirely modern. Almost all the
roofs are thatched. All the buildings are probably
of the 17th century, except (13), which is possibly
of earlier date. The plan is generally rectangular.
Many of the buildings have wide fireplaces, partly
blocked, and old ceiling-beams.
(3). Cottage, about 250 ft. S.W. of (2). The
walls retain some original wattle and daub filling.
The roof has original wind-braces.
(4). Cottage, 100 ft. N.W. of (3). At the W.
end is some original wattle and daub filling; on
the S. side is a modern addition. The roof has
(5). Cottage, on the S.E. side of the road, 250
yards S.W. of the church. The filling of the walls
is partly of old thin bricks. At the E. end is a
(6). Cottage, now two tenements, N.W. of (5),
on the opposite side of the road. It is of L-shaped
plan, and has two modern additions. The central
chimney stack is of old thin bricks.
(7). Well House, in a by-road, about 600 yards
S.W. of the church. The walls retain a little
original filling of wattle and daub, except the S.
front which has been re-faced with modern brick.
One chimney stack is of 17th-century brick. At
the back is a small addition, partly modern, but
containing an old bread oven.
(8). Cottage, W. of (7). The walls have filling
of thin bricks, but are covered with whitewash.
The plan is rectangular with a small wing at the
back. The central chimney stack is of 17th-century brick.
(9). Yew Tree Cottage, on a footpath 50 yards
S. of (7). Some original wattle and daub filling
remains in the walls, which are entirely covered
with plaster. The plan is rectangular, with a wing
projecting from the middle of the N. side, and a
modern addition at each end. The lower part of
the two chimney stacks is of 17th-century brick.
The Fenny Stratford road, N. side
(10). Cottages, two, adjoining, about 130 yards
S. of (9). The timber-framed skeleton of the
building remains, with a little of the brick filling.
The lower part of the central chimney stack is also
of thin bricks.
Condition—Ruinous at time of visit, since
(11). House, about 50 yards W. of (10). The
walls have been almost entirely re-built or encased
with modern brick. Both chimney stacks are
partly of 17th-century brick.
Condition—Good; much altered.
(12). Cottage, now a dwelling and shop, 5/8 mile
S.W. by W. of the church. One window at the
back has an old frame and leaded lights. The roof
is tiled. The chimney stack in the W. half of the
building is modern above the roof. Interior:—
On the first floor the old rafters and wind-braced
purlins of the roof are visible.
Condition—Fairly good; thatch of roof in bad
(13). Cottage, now two tenements, ½ mile S.W.
of the church. It was built probably late in the
16th or early in the 17th century. The N. front
has brick filling in herring-bone pattern, covered
with thick yellow wash, and on the upper floor are
windows with old frames. The roof is of corrugated iron. The chimney stack in the E. half of
the building is of thin bricks.
(14). House and Barn, about 150 yards N.W.
of (13), on the W. side of the road to Shenley Brook
End. The House is covered with pebble-dash and
whitewash. At the E. end is a projecting chimney
stack of 17th-century brick. At the W. end and
at the back are modern additions. The Barn, W.
of the house, is a rectangular building of one storey,
and of three and a half bays, originally at least one
bay longer. On the S. side the base is of large
stones. The 17th-century roof has three large
trusses with tie-beams, collar-beams, struts and
Condition—Of house, good, much restored; of