(O.S. 6 ins. aTL 35 N.E., bTL 45 N.W., cTL 35 S.E., dTL 45 S.W.)
Barton village, 3½ m. S.W. of Cambridge, is at the S.
end of the parish near the Roman road from Arrington
Bridge to Cambridge which probably ran to the S.,
although its course over this stretch is uncertain. The
nucleus of the village lay on a long and narrow E. and
W. strip of river gravel which accommodates a short
and wide main street flanked on the S. by several of the
older houses. To the E. of this strip the church and
University Farm (Monument (2)) are on gault; Town's
End Farm at the W. end of the street is first mentioned
in 1279. Some movement S. in the middle ages on to the
original or altered course of the Roman road can be inferred from the position and antiquity of Bird's Farm
(Monument (9)); houses on or near the road now account
for about half the village, which makes in consequence a
scattered and amorphous lay-out.
The parish, 1834 acres, extends some 3 m. from the
Bourn Brook in the S. as far as the Cambridge-Eltisley
road in the N. It is dissected by the Bin Brook and
another small tributary, giving varied soils derived from
boulder clay, lower chalk and gault. The N. part of the
parish includes the hamlet of Whitwell, now little more
than a single farm (N.G. TL 402596). Whitwell appeared
as a distinct vill in Domesday but seems to have decayed
by the end of the 13th century, when it was united with
Barton. The enclosure map of 1839 shows two separate
field systems separated by a stretch of intercommonable
No house certainly built as such after 1715 has been
listed; the later dwellings, a number with cladding of
boards replacing or supplementing external plaster, are
b(1) Parish Church of St. Peter (Plate 53), consisting
of Chancel, aisleless Nave with South Porch and West
Tower, stands in the village. The walls of the nave are
covered with cement; the rest are of field stones and
other rubble. The dressings are of clunch and limestone.
The roofs are tiled. The western half of the existing
chancel incorporates the side walls, including the remains of an apparent S. doorway, of a small chancel
perhaps of the 11th century, extended to its present
length in the 12th century. The church was remodelled
or rebuilt soon after 1300 and the tower and S. porch
were added later in the 14th century. There was a
general restoration in 1885–6 and the tower was again
restored in 1926.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (36½ ft. by 16¼ ft.)
has side walls in a variety of materials reflecting their eastward
extension in the 12th century. The W. half of the N. wall has
a rough plinth of rubble, and the E. half of the S. wall has the
remains of a chamfered plinth in dressed stone, diagonally
tooled. The 15th-century E. window is of three lights with
vertical tracery in a four-centred head; its external label is a
reused one of late 13th-century profile and has mask stops.
Below and to the S. of it on the inside is a short length of
mutilated string-course, possibly 12th-century. The remaining
windows, two in either side wall, of clunch more or less
restored in Roman cement, vary somewhat in design but are
all of c. 1300, with external and internal labels with mask
stops: the first on the N. side is of two trefoiled ogee lights
with a pierced head and the second is similar but with plain
lights; the first on the S. side is of three trefoiled ogee lights
with pierced depressed head, and the second is of two trefoiled
ogee lights beneath a quatrefoil. Below this last, visible externally, are the jambs of a small blocked doorway or other
opening. All the windows have hollow-chamfered rear arches,
that of the last window on the S. side being round. Between
the windows on the S. side is a contemporary doorway of two
continuous chamfered orders heavily restored in cement with
hollow-chamfered depressed rear arch. The side walls are
finished with an internal cornice mould of c. 1300. The
chancel arch springs from square responds and is of two chamfered orders.
Barton, the Parish Church of St. Peter
The Nave (65½ ft. by 19½ ft.) is unusually long for its width
and height. The side walls are divided externally by two-stage
buttresses into four bays with a window in each bay, the third
bay being longer in each case to provide for the N. and S.
doorways. The uniform windows are each of two trefoiled
lights with a quatrefoil in the head and external and internal
moulded labels, but the internal label of the first window on the
N. side has been cut away; their jambs have a double hollow
chamfer and each window has a hollow-chamfered rear arch.
On the S. side the first two windows are modern copies replacing larger late mediaeval ones which had ousted the
originals. External and internal string-courses at sill level lift
over the N. and S. doorways as labels; the external one returns
around the buttresses; the internal one drops on either side at
the E. end to accommodate a seat below the windows in the
first bay. The N. and S. doorways are uniform, being each of
two continuous hollow-chamfered orders. The side walls are
finished internally by a contemporary cornice mould. A rood
stair intruded into the N.E. corner of the nave, with upper and
lower continuously chamfered four-centred doorways, is
presumably of c. 1380 (see Screen below).
The West Tower (12½ ft. by 11¼ ft.) was built against the
earlier W. wall of the nave, which was breached and partially
rebuilt to admit the tower arch but still retains its W. buttresses. These have been heightened to provide the tower with
lateral buttresses at its E. corners. Externally the tower has a
moulded plinth and is divided by string-courses into three
stages and crowned by an embattled parapet with gargoyles at
the angles. There are diagonal buttresses at the W. corners;
that at the S.W. corner is irregular on plan, its S.E. side being
some 30° out of parallel to provide for a vice. The W. window
is of three lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head.
Above it in the second stage is a lancet. The four belfry windows, each of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in the
head, are of clunch and much decayed. The lofty tower arch
is of three continuous boldly moulded orders to the E. and of
one plain chamfered order to the W. Access to the vice is by
a four-centred doorway in the S.W. corner, and there are
similar doorways off the vice to the ringing and bell chambers.
The S. Porch is of 14th-century origin and has been extensively restored. Above the entrance, flanked by niches, is a
window of two pointed lights which may have lighted a
former upper chamber.
Fittings—Bells: five; 1st, 2nd and 3rd inscribed '1608'.
Bracket: on the W. side of the N. respond of the chancel arch
with moulded shelf and mask stop below, c. 1300. Brass: in the
chancel floor, to John and Margaret Martin, 'circiter .. 1593',
consisting of an inscription plate and two figures. Chair: with
shaped arms and solid carved back, 17th-century. Communion table: with moulded top and longitudinal strainer in
the form of five semicircular arches supported by turned legs;
the ends, each of two arches, are similar; 17th-century, restored.
Doors: S. door of nave (1) 17th- or 18th-century, restored; N.
door of nave (2) similar; at the foot of the tower vice (3), and
to the ringing chamber (4), both ancient. Font: plain bowl of
limestone, an irregular octagon, perhaps reshaped in the 13th
century, on a 14th-century panelled and cusped stem of clunch;
the base appears to be the inverted lower part of a second bowl,
octagonal and panelled, conceivably from the former adjoining
parish of Whitwell. Glass: in nave—reset in the quatrefoil
head of the second window on the S. side, quarterly shield of
arms (unidentified 1); c. 1500. Locker: in N. wall of chancel,
straight-sided and rebated for door; possibly c. 1300.
Monuments and Floor slabs. Monuments: In churchyard—to
the E. of the S. Porch (1) of Martha Deave, 1708, headstone;
(2) of Daniel Deave, 1701, headstone; both broken. Floor
slabs: In chancel—(1) of Mathyas Martine, 1613, with shield
of arms. In nave—by chancel step (2) of Sanders Holben, 1787,
and John Holben, 1815; (3) of Mary, wife of Sanders Holben,
1814, and Mary Holben, 1838; (4) of John Page, 179(?); (5)
of Henry Page, 1788; (6) of Ann, wife of Henry Page, 1789;
further to the W. (7) of Sanders Holben, date illegible; and (8)
as for (3) above. Numbers (2) and (3) appear to be later copies
of (7) and (8). Paintings: On the N., S. and W. walls of the nave
above the string-course are considerable remains of 14th-century and some later paintings. The more important were
restored by E. W. Tristram in 1929 and the following short
account is based on his detailed description (English Wall
Painting of the Fourteenth Century (1955), 137–8): On the N.
wall—between the first two windows (1) figure of a man on
a horse looking back at three small figures, with birds and
animals, subject uncertain; immediately W. of the foregoing
(2) St. John Baptist and kneeling suppliant with a hand bell;
to the W. of the second window (3) St. Antony with a pig,
flanked by a tall tree-trunk; above the foregoing (4) traces
identified by Tristram as a large head of Christ with cruciform
nimbus; E. of N. doorway (5) parts of a St. Christopher,
repainted, probably in the 15th century; above the N. doorway (6) St. Michael weighing souls, with the Virgin, St.
George, demons, etc.; W. of the N. doorway (7) St. Thomas de
Cantelupe, in a pavilion, with suppliant figure; W. of the
third window (8) Virgin and Child against a background of
foliation and birds. On the S. wall—between the first two
windoss in two tiers, top (9) Baptism of Christ flanked by
parts of two other unidentified subjects; bottom (10) Last
Supper; to the E. of and above the S. doorway (11) Annunciation, with some later over-painting; above the foregoing,
between the second and third windows (12) traces of an unidentified subject with a background of foliation and birds.
The above, unless otherwise stated, are of the 14th century;
there are in addition some fragments of similar date below the
string-course on the N. side. Towards the W. end of the S.
wall and on the E. face of the S. respond of the tower arch are
areas of 16th-century arabesque in red and yellow. Piscinae: in
chancel—in E. end of S. wall (1) straight-sided recess with
attached shaft against the E. side with moulded cap and base,
and rectangular drain; reset in the sill of the first window of
the S. wall (2) a similar drain, (3) an octofoil drain, and (4) a
second octofoil drain. Pulpit (Plate 54): on a modern stem,
hexagonal, having panelled and jewelled sides enriched with
pendants and finished with an entablature; the sounding board
has pendants at the corners braced by arches with a large
central pendant braced by radiating brackets and is supported
by a standard with a cartouche inscribed 'ANNO DO 1635' and
the initials 'IR'.
Screen (Plates 54, 55): Under chancel arch, of five bays, the
middle one open and of double width. The side bays are in
two heights with solid panels below, enriched with applied
tracery, and open lights above. These have trefoiled and sub-cusped ogee crocketed heads with foliated points to the cusping
and carved spandrels; the space between them and the top rail
is filled with pierced vertical tracery. The arched head of the
centre bay is similar in character to those of the side bays but
is depressed and cinque-foiled. The screen has been repaired
but retains traces of the old paint, and a little of the gilding,
described by Cole (B.M. Add. MS. 5821, 6–8). It is carved
with heraldic and other devices. Two of the crockets over the
entrance on the nave side are treated as birds and the spandrels
of the main cusps of the arches over the open lights are decorated as follows: E. side—(1) shield of arms of the see of Ely;
(2) shield of arms of Lisle; (3) and (4) foliated; (5) shield of arms
of Arundel; (6) and (7) foliated; (8) quarterly shield of arms
(unidentified 2); (9) shield of arms (unidentified 3); (10) shield
of arms (unidentified 4); (11) shield of arms (unidentified 5);
(12) quarterly shield of arms (unidentified 6); W. side—(13)
shield of arms (unidentified 7); (14) a winged heart; (15), (16)
and (17) foliated; (18) shield of arms (unidentified 8); (19)
shield of arms (unidentified 9); (20) angel with lute; (21) and
(22) foliated; (23) and (24) conventional flowers. If the identification of (5), first suggested by Cole, as the arms of Thomas
Arundel, Bishop of Ely 1374–1388, is correct, the screen is to
be dated accordingly. Stoup: In nave, immediately E. of S.
door, consisting of a mutilated bowl in a recess with a two-centred head; probably c. 1300.
b(2) University Farm (Plate 47), house on a moated site
(Monument (24)), two storeys framed and plastered, with tiled
roofs, is early 17th-century. The main elevation to the S. is
without old details except for barge-boards to the cross-wing
gable ends with turned pendants at the apices. It gives on to a
small rectangular forecourt, enclosed by a red brick wall,
which is of 17th-century origin. Inside, the principal ground
floor room in the W. cross wing has an original plaster ceiling
(Plate 85) composed of moulded ribs arranged in a geometric
pattern and enriched with fleurs-de-lis and roses. It is divided
into two bays by a cross beam similarly plastered, and enriched
with arabesque. In the upper room of the S.E. cross wing is a
moulded fireplace surround with square outer and four-centred inner head, the spandrels enriched with cusped tracery;
it is painted, but is probably of clunch, and may be 17th-century.
b(3) Clare College Farm, house, two storeys, of brick with
tiled roof, probably originated as a Class-J house of c. 1700.
b(4) Dale's Farm, house, of two storeys, framed and plastered, with tiled roofs, is early to mid 17th-century. It consists
of a range along and to the S. of the Comberton road, having
a short and narrow porch-like projection to the N. at its E. end
with a jettied upper storey; and some lower adjuncts, for the
most part later. On the S. side two of the modern windows on
the upper floor mask older ones: each is of four lights; one
with wooden mullions of square section diagonally set was
apparently unglazed; the other has ovolo-moulded mullions,
also of wood, and intermediate vertical bars. On the N. side,
immediately below the eaves, some panels of pargetting, perhaps original, are disposed in geometrical patterns.
b(5) House, converted farm buildings, includes a barn, of
four bays aisled on both sides on a brick plinth, framed and
boarded and with a thatched roof. Inscriptions 'ET 1766' and
'WA RA 1766', cut respectively on a tie beam and a main post,
presumably record the date of erection.
b(6) The Vatches, house, of two storeys with attics and
cellar, partly of brick, partly framed and plastered, is of 17th-century origin, but has been much altered subsequently.
b(7) College Farm, house (Class J), two storeys, framed and
plastered, with tiled roof, is 17th- or 18th-century, and has a
brick front added in the 19th century. The square red brick
chimney stack of four conjoined flues may be an original
b(8) Houses, a complex of three dwellings, all of a single
storey with attics, plastered or boarded over the frames, with
thatched roofs, arranged around a small rectangular yard. The
oldest is a mutilated Class-J house, perhaps of 17th-century
origin; the other two are converted outbuildings, probably
18th-century. The conversions, ostensibly late 18th- or 19th-century, originally provided for more than three families.
b(9) Bird's Farm, house and buildings, is so called from a
family of that name known from documents of 1440 and 1464
relating to the village. The House, of one storey with attics,
framed and plastered, with the N. side under-built in brick, is a
straight range of four bays of late mediaeval origin. Initially it
would appear to have consisted of a two-bay hall and floored
end bays, all under a common roof, and possibly with a jetty
on the E. The design does not conform to the typology of
late mediaeval small houses in the area. A floor and chimney
were inserted in the hall in the 16th and 17th centuries respectively, and there are later additions and repairs. Much of
the original frame survives, including two of the tie beams;
these are supported on swell-headed posts and chamfered
for their full length. Long, rather light, curved braces from
the posts to the tie beams have also a chamfer which is returned
along the underside of the tie beams from brace to brace on an
inner order. The roof over the hall bays is smoke-blackened,
and mortices in the rafters in the E. bay indicate a former louvre.
Apart from the tie beams already described, the roof consists
merely of common rafters placed above the ties and carrying
side purlins. The middle room on the ground floor has a
beam supporting the inserted floor, with double-ovolo
moulding and ogee stops at its E. end.
The Buildings, S. of the house, include small remnants of a
framed aisled barn, and a boarded and thatched granary of the
Barton, Monument No. 9, Bird's Farm
b(10–22) Houses, all framed and of internal-chimney designs
(Class I predominating), mostly single-storeyed with attics and
with thatched or tiled roofs having half-hipped or gabled ends.
The standard is rather poor; in addition some of the houses
have been greatly altered, others are in disrepair or derelict;
late 17th- and 18th-century.
b(23) Moated site (Class A2 (a); N.G. TL 410557; not on
O.S.) destroyed in February 1962. The moat, in gault clay, was
trapezoidal and measured 103 ft. N., 144 ft. E., 136 ft. W. and
132 ft. S., with a ditch 26 ft. to 28 ft. wide and 3 ft. to 4 ft.
deep, wet on the E. side; there was no obvious original entrance. Inside was a bank 10 ft. to 12 ft. wide and 2 ft. to 5½ ft.
high along the N. side, a scarp 1 ft. high sloping eastwards and
running N. and S. down the centre, and a slightly raised platform in the N.W. corner. The W. ditch was prolonged S. for
85 ft., then ran E. as far as the hedge on the E. side of the field.
The unpublished pottery found on the site in 1908, though
described as 'Celtic' and 'Roman' by the excavator (F. G.
Walker, C.A.S. Procs., XII (1908), 296 ff.), is mostly 12th-century (J. G. Hurst, C.A.S. Procs., XLIX (1956), 43 ff.).
Most of the finds then made came from a ditch near the N. end
of the main moat 110 ft. long, 12 ft. wide and 4 ft. to 5 ft.
deep, filled with ash, bones and occupation debris.
b(24) Moated site (Class A4; N.G. TL 408558). The moat,
300 ft. W.S.W. of the foregoing, on the N. and E. of University Farm, was apparently never more than an L-shaped
garden pond formed by deepening and widening the stream
flowing through it from the N.W. The E. side is 210 ft. long,
the N. side is 104 ft. long and the ditch, 30 ft. to 40 ft. wide,
is 4 ft. to 5 ft. deep to the water level.
Barton, Monument 24
(25) Cultivation remains (not on O.S.) consist of ridge and
furrow partly in old enclosures and partly of open-field type.
Ridge and furrow in old enclosures, with ridges 100 yds. to
230 yds. long, 7 yds. to 9 yds. wide, 6 ins. to 9 ins. high and
with headlands 7 yds. to 9 yds. wide, survives S. of the former
hamlet of Whitwell (N.G. TL 403582) and around Barton
village (N.G. TL 407559 and 402557).
Traces of ridge and furrow of open-field type are visible on
air photographs over much of the parish. The open fields were
called 'Brook', 'Hill' and 'Long' Fields and an 'Intercommon
Furlong' lay between the last two and the hamlet of Whitwell.
Whitwell, which has long formed the northern third of the
parish, presumably once had its own open fields.
(Ref: enclosure map, 1839 (C.R.O.); tithe map, 1841
(T.R.C.); air photographs: 106G/UK/1490/3027–32, 4028–34,
c(26) Barrow, Roman, of uncertain type. The remains, now
almost destroyed, lie on river-terrace gravel 300 ft. W.N.W.
of Lord's Bridge 130 ft. N.W. of the line of the Roman road
from Cambridge to Arrington Bridge on the parish boundary
with Harlton (N.G. TL 39435449). Only an irregular mound,
68 ft. long, 30 ft. wide and 5 ft. high, survives as a thickening
of the hedge bank. In 1817 a skeleton was found 9 ft. below the
surface, and in 1907 F. G. Walker excavated out of the centre
of the mound and 2 ft. down a stone coffin containing the disordered skeleton of a young woman, two bone pins, Roman
pottery, bird bones and animal teeth. Roman sandal nails and
pottery were found close by. (F. G. Walker, C.A.S. Procs.,
XII (1908), 273 ff.) The site is overgrown with dense scrub.