(O.S. 6 in. (a)iv. S.E. (b)v. S.W.)
b(1). Parish Church of St. Peter, 100 yards
E. of Gayhurst House, was re-built in 1728. It
contains two of the fittings from the former
Fittings—Bell: by Anthony Chandler, 1670.
Chair: of carved oak with plain arms and rail,
b(2). Gayhurst House, with fish-ponds, stands
in a park, immediately W. of the church. The
House is a large building, partly of three storeys
and partly of two storeys and a cellar; the walls
are of yellow limestone; the roofs are covered with
slate and with lead. The greater part of the house
was built late in the 16th century, apparently
incorporating a building of earlier date, as two
doorways of c. 1520 remain in the cellar below
the middle of the N.W. half of the house. The
late 16th-century plan is E-shaped, the wings
extending towards the S.E.; on the S.W. side,
at the S. end, is a small staircase wing, and beyond
it are three smaller projections; in the middle
of the N.E. side is a second porch. The N.W.
half of the main block was re-built in the 18th
century, the whole of the N.W. elevation being
re-modelled, and the middle part made flush with
the ends of the 16th-century wings; modern
additions of one storey have been made on the S.W.
side of the house. The internal arrangement was
considerably altered in the 19th century, but the
principal hall in the main block, entered from
the S.E. porch, and the staircase in the S.W. wing
are probably in their original positions.
The house is the finest example of domestic
architecture of late 16th-century date in North
S.E. Elevation:—The porch in the middle is
gabled and of three storeys; the inner doorway
has a semi-circular head with moulded imposts
and architrave; the entrance archway is semi-circular, and has a keystone with pyramidal face
and soffit, a moulded architrave and panelled
soffit; on each side are fluted columns of the Doric
order, with moulded capitals carved with egg-andtongue ornament; the bases are moulded, set on
square pedestals which have a moulded capping
and plinth, and are carved in front with an anchor;
at the first floor level is a moulded string-course
with triglyphs and circular flowers breaking
forward over the columns; over the string-course
is a niche with a crest, a dragon's head collared,
and an 18th-century shield with the arms of
Wrighte quartering Oneby, over all a scutcheon
of the arms of Bedford; the achievement is that
of George Wrighte, the purchaser of Gayhurst,
who died 1724/5, and Mary Bedford, his wife; on
the first floor is a window of four lights with a
transom; the jambs, mullions and lintel are
moulded; on each side are two Ionic columns on
square moulded bases, of which the upper and
lower members continue as string-courses between
the columns: the second floor projects to the face
of the entablature, which is supported by the
columns and by a shaped bracket on the middle
mullion of the window on the first floor; the soffit
of the entablature is panelled in squares and circles;
the moulded cornice is carried along the side walls
as a string-course: the window on the second
floor is of four lights and above it is an ogee-shaped
gable, with a pinnacle on the coping on each side,
and at the apex. The main block has moulded
string-courses dividing the storeys, and two gables
similar to that of the porch; at each end of the
block, next to the wing, is a projecting square bay,
gabled, and of three storeys, with windows, each of
six transomed lights in front and two in the return
wall, on the ground and first floors, and a similar
window without a transom on the second floor;
between each bay and the porch, on each floor,
is a window of four lights, the four lower windows
having transoms. The wings have plain parapets;
the return walls have windows of four lights and
the S.E. walls have windows of six lights on each
floor, all with transoms. The S.E. side of the
staircase wing has three windows.
The N.E. Elevation has moulded string-courses
dividing the storeys, and a plain parapet; in the
middle is a projecting porch of three storeys with
a plain parapet; on the three outer sides of the
ground floor are semi-circular arches similar to the
entrance arch of the S.E. porch, but with plain
soffits; the inner doorway is also round-headed;
on the upper floors are windows of four transomed
lights. At each end of the elevation is a bay
window of three diminishing storeys, with windows,
formerly of six lights, on each floor; between each
bay and the porch, on each floor, is a window
formerly of four lights; all the windows have transoms, except the windows on the ground floor
N. of the porch, from which the intermediate
mullions are also missing.
The N.W. Elevation is entirely of 18th-century
design, and all on one plane; straight joints show
the junction of the ends of the N.E. and S.W. wings
with the main block. The third storey of the S.E.
part of the house is visible above the flat roof of
the N.W. part, and has, in the middle, a half-hipped gable, with a doorway of moulded stone,
opening on to the flat roof.
S.W. Elevation:—The staircase wing has three
windows; two narrower projections have each a
window of two lights and a gable; between
them, over the main wall, is a gabled dormer
window of four lights, and at the N. end of the
elevation the third small projection is apparently
of the 18th century and has a window of three
lights on the second floor; the lower storeys of the
elevation are covered by modern domestic offices
built against the wall. Many of the 16th-century
windows in each elevation have been restored.
The chimney stacks are of stone with moulded
cornices, but are apparently almost all modern.
Interior:—The principal hall has, at the N.E.
end, opening into the smaller hall, a semi-circular
arch of c. 1590, with a carved soffit and imposts,
flanked by fluted Corinthian pilasters; the N.E.
wall is 3½ ft. thick. In the room at the N.W. end
of the N.E. wing is some early 17th-century
panelling, probably brought from elsewhere; the
fireplace is also made up of early 17th-century
carving. In a passage at the S.W. end of the house
is a dado of late 16th or early 17th-century
panelling, now painted. The staircase wing contains an old central-newel staircase. In the
16th-century attic are some oak door-frames, and
one plain door with strap-hinges. In the cellar,
under the 18th-century part of the house, are two
stone doorways of c. 1520, with flat, four-centred
openings in square heads; the jambs are moulded,
and have moulded stops, now much perished.
A long range of outhouses and stables, S.W. of
the house, is of stone, and built apparently in the
18th century; S. of the stables is a garden enclosed
in 16th-century walls, of stone; in the N. wall is a
doorway with moulded jambs and depressed
four-centred head, under a square outer order.
Further N. is a second small enclosed garden with a
S. doorway which has a moulded stone label.
In the gardens N. and N.E. of the house are 16th-century stone pillars with pierced finials, separated
by box hedges (see Plate, p. 74): in the N.E.
garden, set on a pillar of stone, is a bronze sundial
with Roman numerals and an ornamental pointer;
it is dated 1670, and bears the inscription 'Walter
Hayes at the Cross Daggers in Moorefields London
The two Fish-ponds are S.E. of the house.
Condition—Of house, good; but with ivy and
other creepers on the walls.
a, b(3). Bunsty Farm, about 2/3 mile N.W. of
the church, is a house of two storeys and an attic,
built probably late in the 17th century, of stone,
with a small modern extension of brick. The
roofs are tiled. The original plan is almost rectangular, facing E., with a wing, containing the
dairy, at the back; the N.W. angle is now filled
by the modern addition. All the windows are
modern, under old wooden lintels. On the S. side
is a large projecting chimney stack of stone, with
a square shaft of brick. The other chimney
stacks are of thin bricks.
b(4). Mill Farm, 2/3 mile S.E. of the church, is
a house of two storeys, built in the 17th century,
and subsequently altered and enlarged. The
walls are of stone, except those of the modern
additions, which are of brick. The roofs are tiled.
The original plan is L-shaped, with the wings
extending towards the N. and W. Two of the
chimney stacks are of thin bricks.