137. GREAT BRICKHILL.
(O.S. 6 in., xx. N.E.).
(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, at the N.
end of the village, is built of reddish sandstone
or ironstone rubble with clunch and sandstone
dressings; the tower is heavily cemented. The
roofs are tiled. The Chancel and Central Tower
were built in the middle of the 13th century; the
Nave is probably of the same date, but has no early
detail. At the end of the 14th century the W.
doorway and window of the nave and the S.
doorway and window of the tower were inserted.
In the second half of the 15th century the South
Aisle and South Chapel were built, and at the end
of the same century the North Aisle and North
Chapel were added. In 1867 the church was
completely restored and the South Porch was built.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (25 ft.
by 13½ ft.) has a modern E. window. The N. and
S. walls have each a lancet window, all modern
externally, but having a moulded rear arch, wide
splay and shafted internal jambs with circular
shafts and moulded capitals of mid 13th-century
date; W. of the window in each wall is an arch,
nearly segmental in form, and of two chamfered
orders dying into flat responds; the arches open into
the N. and S. chapels respectively, with which they
are contemporary. The Central Tower (10 ft. by
14 ft.) is of three stages, and, externally, appears to
be almost entirely modern; there is a considerable
off-set on the N. and S. sides at the second and
third stages; the parapet is embattled, and, above
the ground stage, the S.E. stair-turret projects
in octagonal form and is carried higher than the
parapet. The ground stage of the tower has,
opening into the chancel and nave, two arches of
mid 13th-century date, and of three chamfered
orders, resting on semi-octagonal pilasters with
moulded capitals; the bases of the E. arch were
re-cut in the 15th century, those of the W.
arch are modern. In the S. wall, at the E. end,
is a small 15th-century doorway opening into the
stair-turret, and at the W. end is a late 14th-century doorway with two-centred head and jambs
continuously moulded; it was originally external,
but now opens into the S. chapel; over the doorway
is a window of two lights under a two-centred
head, apparently also of late 14th-century date,
but with modern tracery; it has a four-centred
rear arch, and is partly blocked by the roof of the
chapel. The bell-chamber has four modern windows. The Nave (49½ ft. by 15½ ft.) has N. and S.
arcades of four bays; the N. arcade, of late
15th-century date, has obtuse two-centred or
four-centred arches of two chamfered orders with
long voussoirs; the octagonal columns and semi-octagonal W. respond have moulded bases and
capitals somewhat awkwardly fitted; the E.
responds of both arcades are flat, the arches dying
into them. The 15th-century S. arcade is higher
than the N. arcade, and the bases are raised
on square plinths; as the ground slopes from
S. to N., this arrangement may indicate a some
what higher level originally for the N. aisle
than for the rest of the church; the arches are
two-centred, of two chamfered orders, and the
stones are slightly smaller than those of the N.
arches; the octagonal columns and semi-octagonal
W. respond have moulded capitals and bases of
earlier detail than those of the N. arcade. The W.
doorway is a modern copy of a 14th-century
doorway with continuously moulded head and
jambs. The W. window is of three cinque-foiled
lights under a two-centred head; the opening is
of late 14th-century date, but the tracery with all
the external stonework is modern. The North
Aisle (13½ ft. wide) overlaps the tower and chancel
and, at the E. end, forms the North Chapel. In
the E. wall is a modern window. In the N. wall
are three windows, each of three cinque-foiled
lights under a square head, of late 15th-century
date, much restored; W. of the westernmost
window, and of the same date, is the N. doorway
with continuously moulded jambs and two-centred
head, now blocked. In the W. wall is a window
of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery, much
restored, but the opening and jambs are old. The
South Aisle (12 ft. wide) is continued towards the
E. to form the South Chapel. In the E. wall is a
modern window. In the S. wall are four windows,
the three eastern are entirely modern except the
third window, which has a few old stones in the
jambs; the fourth window, at the W. end of the
wall, is of two cinque-foiled lights of the 15th
century, externally much restored: between the
third and fourth windows is the S. doorway, of the
second half of the 15th century, and of two orders,
the inner order two-centred and the outer square,
with cusped spandrels and a label which has defaced angel-stops. In the W. wall is a window
with some old stones in the external jambs.
Fittings—Bells: include sanctus, inscribed 'G.C.
1681'. Chest: In N. chapel—small, with two
iron locks, and decorated with incised design,
17th-century. Communion Table: plain, with
heavy turned baluster legs, early 17th-century.
Paintings: In chancel—on splays of N. and S.
windows, traces of original colour decoration, mid
13th-century. Piscina: In N. chapel—in E.
wall, small, with chamfered pointed head and
projecting basin, late 15th-century. Plate: includes salver with feet, fastened on under side disc
of silver, with much worn hall-mark, apparently
17th-century, but salver probably of later date.
Condition—Good; much restored.
These buildings are nearly all of two storeys,
and of the 17th century. The walls are of timber and brick. Many of the roofs are tiled or
(2). House, 50 yards S. of the church. The
front and ends of the building are of 18th-century
brick. Interior:—In the principal rooms are
chamfered ceiling-beams, and in one room is a wide
fireplace, now partly converted into cupboards.
Condition—Of 17th-century work, fairly good;
of 18th-century work, good.
(3). House and Barn, 200 feet W. of (2). The
House is of one storey and an attic, and of the
central chimney type. The walls have been
restored with modern brick. The central stack
has two square attached shafts, built of thin
bricks and restored at the top.
The Barn adjoins the E. end of the house and
part of it now forms a room; it is also of the 17th
century, and of timber, weather-boarded, the W.
bay having brick filling.
(4). Cottage, on a triangular plot, about
250 yards S.E. of the church. It is of one storey
and an attic, and of late 16th or early 17th-century
date, with modern additions. The walls are
covered with rough-cast, but a large post shows
at one angle.
(5). Cottage, now a shop, about 130 yards E.
of (4). The front is covered with rough-cast above
the brick plinth, and the E. gable is weather-boarded. At the back are low modern additions.
The windows have iron casements in wood frames.
Two of the rooms have exposed joists and ceiling-beams.
A small outbuilding has a window and part of
one wall made up of fragments of 17th-century
panelling, with lozenge-pattern ornament and
(6). Cottage, on the W. side of the road, 350
yards S.S.E. of the church. The walls have been
much renewed with brick. The windows have old
iron casements, and one chimney is of thin bricks.
A barn near the cottage is also of the 17th century.
(7). Cottages, a range, on the E. side of the
road, about ¼ mile S.S.E. of the church, built late
in the 16th or early in the 17th century. The N.
side retains some original timber-framing with
brick filling of later date. The S. side, and the
gabled W. end, are of late 17th-century brick;
the gable is coped and has brick kneelers. The E.
end of the range was apparently re-built or added
in the 18th-century. Many of the windows are of
the 17th century, and have iron casements. One
chimney stack has been re-built with thin bricks.
(8). Cottage, now two tenements, on the W.
side of the road, about 560 yards S.S.E. of the
church, was almost entirely re-built with brick in
the 18th century. The roof is covered with slate.
(9). House and Outhouse, about 750 yards S.
of the church, were built late in the 16th or early in
the 17th century, and are connected by a passage;
at the back is a modern addition. The walls of
the House are covered with rough-cast, and the
roofs with slate. The large chimney stack has
diagonal shafts in front and at the ends. One
room has a wide fireplace and an old ceiling-beam.
The Outhouse is timber-framed with brick filling;
the roof is thatched. In the connecting passage
are visible two large corner posts reaching to the
Condition—Fairly good; much restored.
(10). House, opposite to (9). The timber-framing in front is cased with modern wood, and
the filling is modern. The N. end is plastered.
The roof is covered with slate. At the S. end is
a chimney, built partly of 17th-century brick.
An adjoining outhouse is of brick, with a thatched
Condition—Fairly good; much restored.
(11). Barn, on the E. side of the road, 740
yards S.S.E. of the church. The walls are
strengthened at the base with modern brick.
(12). Cottage, on the N.E. side of the road, 750
yards S.S.E. of the church, is of late 16th or early
17th-century date, and of the central chimney
type. The timber-framing of the walls is fairly
close-set. The gabled N. wall is elaborately
framed, with a cambered tie-beam and collar-beams, and diagonal braces.