99. WOOLLEY (B.d.).
(O.S. 6 in. XVII N.W.)
Woolley is a parish about 6 m. W.N.W.
of Huntingdon. The Church is the principal
Woolley, Parish Church of St Mary
(1). Parish Church of St. Mary stands near
the middle of the parish. The walls are of stone and
pebble-rubble with dressings of Weldon and
Ketton stone; the roofs are covered with tiles and
lead. There is some re-used 12th-century material,
and the erratic plan indicates the existence of a
building on the site before the present church.
The existing Chancel, Nave, North and South
Transepts and Aisles were built c. 1300. Towards
the end of the 14th century the N. transept was
mostly re-built and shortened, the N. aisle repaired,
the nave lengthened towards the W. and the West
Tower added. The chancel was repaired and the
roofs renewed in the 17th century. The church was
restored in 1857 and again in 1907 and 1914. The
S. transept and aisle have been largely re-built.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (22 ft.
by 16 ft.) is of c. 1300, and has a slightly restored
E. window of three pointed lights in a two-centred
head with moulded jambs, mullions, label and
mask-stops. The N. wall has a wall-arcade of
three bays with two-centred arches of one chamfered order, continued down the responds and
springing from free shafts with moulded capitals
and bases, between the bays; the two western
bays have each a partly restored window of two
pointed lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred
head with a moulded label; the label of the western
window has mask-stops. The S. wall has a wall-arcade similar to that in the N. wall; the wall is
pierced by two windows, the eastern of one lancetlight with a moulded label and the western a mid
14th-century window of two trefoiled ogee lights
in a square head with a moulded label with mask-stops. The chancel-arch, of c. 1300, is two-centred
and of two orders, the outer hollow-chamfered and
continuous and the inner springing from moulded
corbels, the southern with a foliated termination.
The Nave (41½ ft. by 18 ft.) has N. and S. arcades
of c. 1300 and each of two bays, with two-centred
arches of two chamfered orders and with a moulded
label on the nave-side: the columns are octagonal
and the responds have engaged shafts, all with
moulded capitals and bases; the capitals of the
N.E. respond and of the S. arcade and the respondbases on the same side are modern. The nave
extends beyond the arcades and has in the S. wall
a 17th-century window of two plain square-headed
The North Transept (6 ft. by 11¼ ft.) has in the
N. wall a 14th-century window of three trefoiled
lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label.
In the W. wall is a two-centred arch of c. 1300,
and of two chamfered orders; it springs, on the
S., from the column of the arcade.
The South Transept (8¼ ft. by 11¾ ft.) has in the
S. wall a window, all modern except the hollow-chamfered jambs of c. 1300; further W. is a small
trefoiled window of the 14th-century set in a modern
recess. In the W. wall is a slightly restored arch,
uniform with the corresponding feature in the N.
The North Aisle (6¼ ft. wide) has in the N. wall
a doorway of c. 1300 with jambs and two-centred
arch of two hollow-chamfered orders, with a
moulded label and mask-stops. In the W. wall is
a lancet-window of c. 1300.
The South Aisle (5¾ ft. wide) has in the S. wall a
partly restored doorway of c. 1300, with jambs and
two-centred arch of two chamfered orders, with a
moulded label and one old head-stop; further W.
is a lancet-window of the same date.
The West Tower (8½ ft. square) is of late 14th-century date and of three stages with a splayed
plinth, embattled parapet with gargoyles at the
angles and an ashlar spire. The two-centred tower-arch is of two orders, on the E. face, the outer
moulded and continuous and the inner chamfered
and springing from moulded corbels. The W.
window is of two lights with a modern head and
an old label with beast-stops; the W. doorway,
now blocked, has moulded jambs, two-centred arch
and label with defaced stops. The second stage
has in the W. wall a window of one trefoiled light,
with a moulded label. The bell-chamber has in
each wall a window of two trefoiled lights with a
quatrefoil in a two-centred head, with a moulded
label and beast-head stops. The parapet-string has
a series of beast-head corbels. The octagonal
spire rises from within the parapet and has two
tiers, each of four spire-lights, facing the cardinal
points; the windows of the lower tier are each of
two trefoiled lights, with a quatrefoil in a gabled
head; the windows of the upper tier are each of
one trefoiled light in a gabled head.
The Roof of the nave is largely modern but retains
four tie-beams, with curved braces, two moulded
and of the 16th century and two chamfered and of
the 17th century, also some moulded wall-posts and
Fittings—Bell: one, by Thomas Norris, 1634.
Brass Indent: In S. aisle—on W. wall, slab
with marginal inscription in separate letters to
Christiane (?) de C[hartres ?] early 14th-century.
Coffins and Coffin-lids: In N. transept—stone
coffin and lid with moulded edge and ornamental
double cross. In S. transept—in S. wall, part of
coped lid, with stem of cross. In S. aisle—at
W. end, stone coffin, with shaped head. In churchyard—S. side, two tapering slabs, all 13th- and
early 14th-century. Door: In S. doorway—17th-century door, made up with modern work. Font
and Cover: octagonal bowl, with quatre-foiled
panel in each face, splayed under side, probably
15th-century, re-cut, stem and base modern. Cover
of oak and of pyramidal octagonal form, with
moulded panel in each face and shaped finial,
17th-century. Monuments: In S. aisle—(1) to
Ann, daughter of Thomas Bales, 1712–13, loose
head-stone, with cherub-head. In church-yard—
near S. aisle, (2) to Philip Bales, 1698, head-stone;
(3) to Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Bales, 1700, head-stone; (4) to.... and Katheren Bales, his wife,
1675, head-stone; (5) to Henry Fox, early 18th-century, head-stone; S. of tower, (6) to Elizabeth,
wife of Henry Fox, 1703–4, head and foot-stones.
Piscinae: In chancel—on wedge-shaped projection
with shaft cut on angle, stone mortar with lugs.
In S. transept—in S. wall, with hollow-chamfered
jambs and re-set segmental head, quatre-foiled drain,
probably 14th-century. Plate: includes cup and
cover-paten (Plate 136) of 1570, the former with
incised ornament and the latter with the words
"Woley W.B."; also a pewter alms-dish with the
arms of St. John of Bletsoe impaling Crawley,
early 18th-century. Recess: In N. transept—in
N. wall, square recess. Screen: Under tower-arch—of close bolection-moulded panelling, with
a panelled door, late 17th-century. Stool: In
chancel—with moulded and fluted legs and shaped
top rails, 17th-century. Miscellanea: Incorporated in walls of nave, various worked and moulded
stones including 12th-century cheveron-ornament.
In E. wall of chancel—grotesque carving of a woman.
In S. aisle and in rectory-garden, various worked
and moulded stones. In churchyard—S. of chancel, square socket of churchyard-cross with hollow-chamfered edge and shaped stops at angles, 14th-century. In W. tower—chest-of-drawers, with four
ranges of drawers, original handles and lock-plates,
late 17th- or early 18th-century.
Condition—Bad, the foundations generally seem
to be insufficient, and there has been considerable
and recent movement.
(2). Almshouse, four tenements, 240 yards S.E.
of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and
plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the
17th century on a rectangular plan. A wing was
added on the E. side, in the 18th century. Inside
the building the chamfered ceiling-beams are
exposed and there is a re-used moulded beam in the
(3). Cottage, 100 yards S. of (2), is of two storeys,
timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are
thatched. It was built late in the 17th century
and much of the timber-framing is exposed. Inside
the building there are chamfered ceiling-beams.