141. GRENDON UNDERWOOD.
(O.S. 6 in. xxii. S.W.)
(1). Parish Church of St. Leonard, at the
N.W. end of the village, is built of stone rubble
with ashlar facings to the buttresses, etc. The
roofs are covered with lead, except that of the
chancel, which is tiled. The Nave was built
probably in the 12th century; the S. doorway
was inserted c. 1220. The Chancel was re-built
c. 1310. In the second half of the 15th century
the West Tower was added, most of the S. wall
of the nave was re-built, some windows were
inserted, and parapets were added to the walls of
the nave. The church was restored inside in 1866,
and outside in 1902. The North Vestry is modern.
The S. porch was destroyed a few years ago.
The S. doorway, of c. 1220, is of especial interest
(see Plate, p. 220).
Architectural Description—The Chancel (33½ ft.
by 16 ft.) inclines towards the N., and has a modern
E. window. In the N. wall are two windows of
c. 1310, each of two uncusped lights with a pierced
spandrel in a two-centred head, which has moulded
internal and external labels; the internal jambs
and two-centred rear arches are also moulded, and
there are broach-stops at the sill: between the
windows is a doorway of the same date, restored,
originally external, but now opening into the
modern vestry; the jambs and two-centred head
are chamfered; the internal jambs, flat segmental
rear arch and internal and external labels are
similar to those of the windows. In the S. wall
are three windows, of the same date and design as
those in the N. wall, but with the internal labels
carried from head to head as a string-course; all
the walls have moulded string-courses below the
internal sills; that on the N. wall has been cut away
for the large mural monuments. The two-centred
chancel arch was re-built probably in the 15th century, and is of two chamfered orders, but the jambs
are of c. 1310; they have broach stops at the bases
of both orders, and have spread slightly from the
weight of the arch and wall above them. The Nave
(45½ ft. by 23 ft.): The masonry of the N. wall and
of the W. part of the S. wall is original and of small
stones; the older part of the S. wall is 3 ft. 2 in.
thick and the other part 2 ft. 9 in. thick; both walls
have moulded parapets with grotesque heads at the
angles, and on the N. side are remains of a gargoyle.
In the N. wall are two windows; the eastern is
similar to the N. and S. windows of the chancel, but
recently re-built and much restored; the western
window is of the 15th century, restored, and of two
cinque-foiled lights under a square head with an
external label; under the sill a change in the external masonry of the wall probably marks the position
of a former N. doorway. In the S. wall the roofline of the former porch is visible, and there are
two late 15th-century windows, each of three
cinque-foiled lights under a four-centred head, that
of the western window being straight-sided; the
external labels are moulded; the mullions of the
western window are modern: between the windows
is a doorway of c. 1220, with jambs and two-centred
head of two richly moulded orders; in the jambs,
between the orders, there were originally detached
shafts, but only the capitals remain; the E. capital
is much damaged, the W. capital is carved with
stiff-leaf foliage; the outer order of the head has
a deep hollow moulding, with remains of large
richly carved and undercut dog-tooth ornament;
the moulded label has badly defaced head-stops.
The West Tower (10 ft. by 9½ ft.) is of two stages,
with an embattled parapet and a projecting S.E.
stair turret. The 15th-century tower arch is the
full width of the tower; it is two-centred and of
three moulded orders of unusual detail; the second
order is possibly work of earlier date, re-used. In
the S. wall is the doorway of the stair turret,
with rebated jambs and four-centred head. The
W. doorway, of late 15th-century date, has moulded
jambs and four-centred arch in a square head, with
sunk trefoiled spandrels and a moulded label; the
W. window, of the same date as the doorway, is of
three cinque-foiled lights under a straight-sided
four-centred head with a moulded external label.
The upper stage has, in each wall, a 15th-century
window of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head; the N. and S. walls have each, below
the other windows, a small trefoiled light of the
same date. The late 15th-century Roof of the nave
is of four bays, and of flat pitch, with moulded tie-beams and wall-pieces, curved brackets with
traceried spandrels, chamfered purlins and ridge;
the moulded wall-plates and one tie-beam have
Fittings—Bells: three and sanctus; 1st, by
Robert Atton, 1621; 2nd, by Richard Chandler,
1677; 3rd, by Anthony Chandler, 1664; oak frame,
old. Bracket: In nave—on S. wall, semi-octagonal,
date uncertain, probably not in situ. Chair: In
chancel—with carved back, shaped arms, turned
legs, plain rails, 17th-century. Chest: In tower—of
oak, with three locks, possibly late 17th-century.
Door: In stair-turret—opening into ringing-chamber, of oak, with plain strap-hinges, probably 15th-century. Font: octagonal bowl and stem, possibly
15th-century, re-worked. Monuments: In churchyard—S. of the church, gravestones, (1) to Martha,
wife of Edward Pilkerton, 1689; (2) broken, no
name, 1698; (3) inscription illegible, 1676; others,
worn and half buried, probably 17th-century.
Painting: On soffit of chancel arch—traces of
foliated design, 15th-century. Piscinae: In chancel—in S. wall, tall, with cinque-foiled gabled
head, having sunk trefoil in spandrel, richly
foliated finial, diagonal pilaster on W. side with
panelled and gabled head, and carved finial, pilaster
on E. side destroyed for monument, moulded sill,
sexfoil basin, moulded stone shelf at back of recess,
14th-century. In nave—with cinque-foiled pointed
head, moulded stone shelf at back, traces of label,
15th-century. Plate: small chased cup of 1569,
with cover paten of 1570. Pulpit: hexagonal,
of oak, with carved panels, early 17th-century,
cornice and base modern. Seating: At rectory—
removed from church in 19th century, fragments
of poppy-heads, cut up and re-used for ornament,
15th-century. Stoup: In nave—in S. wall, E. of
S. doorway, small, with four-centred head, projecting sill with basin, 15th-century. Miscellanea:
On gable over chancel arch—base of cross; on
W. jamb of S. doorway, crosslet, incised; sundials:
Chancel—on S.E. buttress, iron pointer only.
Nave—on S.E. buttress, several, scratched on the
stone; on buttress, E. side of S. doorway, scratched
on one stone.
Condition—Apparently structurally sound; foundations formerly insecure and buttresses have been
Homestead Moats (2–3)
(2). By the roadside, about 350 yards N. of
(3). About 350 yards N.W. of the church. Not
shown on the Ordnance Survey maps.
Main road, S. side
(4). Shakespeare Farm, formerly the Ship Inn,
about 200 yards S.E. of the church, is a house of
two storeys, with attic and cellar, partly timber-framed with brick filling, and partly of brick; the
roofs are tiled. The plan is rectangular, facing
approximately N.; the E. half was built probably
late in the 16th century, and is now unoccupied;
the W. half was re-built late in the 17th century,
some of the original bricks being re-used. On the
N. front the E. half of the building is timber-framed
with filling of thin bricks, on brick foundations, and
is gabled; on the ground and first floors it has
original windows each of two lights with oak
mullion and transom, and retaining some of the
old leaded quarries of white glass; the attic has a
small oval light, probably not original. The W.
half of the front is of brick; that of the ground
floor is of late 16th-century date, re-used; some
courses of the first floor are of late 17th or early
18th-century date, and the rest is modern: in the
middle is a modern porch. The chimney stack,
between the two blocks, is of late 16th-century
date, and of cross plan, set diagonally. The E. end
and the back of the original block are timber-framed with filling of thin bricks; the back is
gabled, and has, on the first floor, an old window,
now without the mullion and transom, and boarded
up; a small addition near the middle is also of old
timbers, but is probably not original; beyond it
is a low modern addition and the back of the W.
block is of modern brick. The W. end is gabled
and has a little diaper work of black glazed bricks.
Interior:—In the original block the room on
the ground floor has two moulded ceiling-beams
and a large open fireplace with moulded jambs and
three-centred arch of brick covered with plaster.
On the first floor is a similar but smaller fireplace.
The staircase on the S. side of the large chimney
stack is in four flights from the ground floor to the
attic; it has plain posts from floor to ceiling on
the ground and first floors, at the half-landing are
octagonal newels with turned acorn heads; the
handrail has a small moulding at the top and is
carried on flat-shaped balusters. The roof has
plain timbers, the purlins being supported by
straight braces; it is probably not original. There
is now no internal communication between the E.
and W. parts of the house. The 17th-century
block has plain chamfered ceiling-beams.
Condition—Of the older part, bad, the cellar
being half full of water, the floors and stair-treads
rotten and dangerous, and the plaster falling from
the walls and ceilings. The inhabited part of the
house is fairly good, but has some cracks in the
walls caused by settlements owing to the clay soil.
These buildings are all of two storeys; the walls
generally retain old timber-framing, with filling
of brick, much of it modern, or plaster; the roofs are
thatched. They were each built on a rectangular
plan, probably early in the 17th century; some
of them were lengthened towards the W. or N.W.
late in the 17th century and have modern additions.
Internally all the buildings have chamfered ceiling-beams and many have wide fireplaces, partly
blocked; a considerable number of the upper
floors are out of the horizontal, owing to unequal
settlements in the walls caused by the clay subsoil.
(5). House, now two tenements, ¼ mile S.E. of
the church. The walls are on stone foundations
and partly weather-boarded; the E. wall is of
modern brick, and the central chimney stack has
been re-built, also with modern brick.
(6). House, now two tenements, 570 yards S.E.
of the church. The foundations are of stone and
brick. The original part of the house is higher
and has wider timbers than the W. addition; at
the back it has been partly refaced with modern
brick. The chimney stack, originally at the W.
end of the building, now central, has three square
shafts, one original, the others probably of late
(7). House, probably formerly two tenements,
about 1,000 yards S.E. of the church. The E. half
of the chimney stack, now central, is original; the
other half, of late 17th-century date, was built when
the N.W. addition was made to the house.
(8). Grove Farm, about 2/3 mile S.E. of the church,
facing N.W. At the back of the original building
a wing was added in the 18th century, making the
plan L-shaped, and the S.E. wall of the main part
has been re-faced with modern brick. The central
chimney stack is original; another stack, at the
N.E. end, is of late 17th-century date.
Condition—Fairly good, but some cracks are
visible in the brickwork, caused by settlements
owing to the clay sub-soil.
(9). House, now two tenements, about ¾ mile
S.E. of the church. The original building was
lengthened towards the S.E. late in the 17th
century and a wing was added at the back of the
house in the 18th century, making the plan
L-shaped, with the internal angle facing S. The
walls have been partly re-faced with modern brick.
The central chimney stack is original; another
stack, which projects from the S.E. end, is of late
(10). Cottage, E. of (9). At the S.E. end is an
original chimney stack; at the N.W. end is a
window, apparently also original.
(11). House, now two tenements, about 670
yards S.E. of the church, facing S.W. The early
17th-century part of the house is lower than the
N.W. addition. At the N.W. end the gabled wall
is of stone, and there is a chimney stack of late
17th-century brick. The original central stack
is also of brick.
(12). Cottage, about 830 yards S.E. of the
church, set back from the road, and facing S.W.
The foundations are partly of brick and partly
of stone. The central chimney stack has two
square shafts, the western of early 17th-century
brick, and the eastern of late 17th-century brick.
(13). House, about ¾ mile S.E. of the church.
The early 17th-century building is higher than
the N.W. addition and, in front, has an original
window on the upper floor; the chimney stack,
originally at the N.W. end, is now central. The
late 17th-century addition has a gabled N.W. wall
of modern brick.
(14). Lawn Farm, 13/8 miles S.E. of the church.
The original house was partly re-faced with brick
and lengthened towards the N.W. in the 18th
century. On the N.E. front is a modern addition,
making the plan L-shaped; the doorway and three
oak-mullioned windows are of early 17th-century
(15). Rookery Farm, about ¾ mile N.N.E. of
the church, is a house of two storeys, facing S.E.
It was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th
century, probably on a rectangular plan, and
altered later in the 17th century to a T-shape by
the addition of a small wing at the back; there are
also modern additions, and the house has been
restored. The main block retains some original
timber-framing, with brick filling set partly in
herring-bone pattern, but otherwise the walls are
of 18th-century or modern brick. The small wing
has walls of 17th-century brick with plain stringcourses between the storeys and at the foot of the
N.W. gable. The roofs are tiled. Two chimney
stacks of brick are original.
Interior:—On the ground floor one room is lined
with 17th-century panelling, and two rooms have
old ceiling-beams; there is also a wide fireplace.
On the first floor, there is an old stone fireplace,
with chamfered jambs and depressed head; some
rooms have old floor-boards, and the timber-framing is visible in the walls. At the top of the
staircase is a short balustrade, with a panelled
newel, moulded handrail and turned balusters of
the 17th century.