(O.S. 6 ins. aTL 15 S.E., bTL 25 S.W., cTL 25 S.E.)
Gamlingay is a reduced town of about 1600 inhabitants
midway between Caxton and Biggleswade. The parish
of 4460 acres, forming an enclave into the S. tip of
Huntingdonshire, is the largest in West Cambridgeshire. Its shape is irregular; the hamlet of Woodbury,
also known as 'Westthorpe', accounting for about a
quarter of the total area, adjoins its W. end and is
flanked both on the N. and S. by the Huntingdonshire
parish of Tetworth, now united with Everton in
The soils of the parish, consisting of upper and lower
greensands, are typical of Bedfordshire rather than of
Cambridgeshire; the lower parts around the Millbridge Brook, some 150 ft. above O.D., are not infertile; higher and drier land to the N. and W. came
only gradually into cultivation. The greensand yields a
kind of carstone used in the fabric of the church, and
for at least one gravestone in the churchyard, as well as
occasionally in secular buildings.
The principal manor, that of Avenells, passed to Merton College Oxford in 1599 (Merton College Records,
2391). In the next year the town was devastated by fire.
A magnificent series of maps (Plate 29) made soon after
by T. Langdon is preserved in the college muniments;
they provide valuable evidence for the topography of
the town and parish, including many place-names.
After 1600 Gamlingay gradually declined and its
market was transferred to Potton.
The town has altered surprisingly little since Langdon's day. It may have originated around a triangular
green, not much less than 20 acres in extent, bounded
on the W. by Mill Street and on the N. by Church
Street, with its N.E. angle where the church now stands.
If so, the S.E. side must have been eroded quite early in
the middle ages, and by Elizabethan times much of the
remainder had already been built upon. Nevertheless
parts of the triangle are still open, and with one exception (Monument (25) Outbuildings, not necessarily a
dwelling) the older secular buildings in Church Street
are concentrated on the N. side. Settlement was rather
more dispersed in the 16th and 17th centuries than in
many Cambridgeshire villages, and the houses of Gamlingay today are scattered over a comparatively wide area.
Early in the 18th century the Downing family
acquired a small estate known as Shackleden which had
been a grange of the abbot of Sawtry. Layer (C.A.S.
8vo. Publs. LIII (1935), 103) describes it as already emparked when he wrote and Langdon's map shows it as
such. A mansion built on it by the third Sir George
Downing in 1712–13 was demolished in 1776; the remains of the house and park are described under
Monuments (41) and (61).
Parliamentary acts of 1808 and 1841 completed the
process of enclosure which had begun in mediaeval
times. There is a large number of houses of the 18th
and early 19th centuries; these are nearly all detached.
Some, framed and plastered and built to traditional
internal-chimney designs (e.g. Monuments (43) and (48))
differ little from similar dwellings which are conjectured
to have been constructed before 1715. About one-third
are of brick, mostly red and no doubt of local manufacture, which sometimes looks older than in fact it is;
tile is more common for roofs than thatch.
b(1) Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin
(Plate 88) stands in the E. outskirts. The churchyard is
walled to the N. and W.; the walls have old stone
copings, some roll-moulded at the ridge. The fabric of
the church consists of a Chancel with Vestry; Nave with
Aisles, transeptal Chapels, and Porches; and West Tower.
The walls are of field stones and carstone, some of
which is roughly squared and coursed, with dressings
of carstone, clunch and limestone; the roofs are covered
No work certainly identifiable as earlier than the
13th century survives. The ground stage of the E. wall
of the tower is unusually thick and the tower arch
rather oddly contrived; earlier walling has possibly
been encased. The S. and somewhat later N. nave
arcades are both 13th-century, while the N. aisle and
probably the chancel are of 13th-century origin; the
S. aisle and S. chapel are of c. 1300; the W. tower and
the N. porch are 14th-century additions. Remodelling in
the 15th and 16th centuries affected the entire structure
except the nave arcades. In 1442–3 Merton College,
Oxford, who were part patrons, spent 151 shillings and
2 pence on repairs to the chancel. The N. transeptal
chapel, originally of the 14th century, was remodelled
at the cost of Walter Taylard, d. 1466 (Browne Willis
quoted by Cole, B.M. Add. MS. 5810, 13–42. cf.
5819, 8); he was steward to Merton College in Gamlingay and may have been a descendant of the founder's
sister (E. Hobhouse, Sketch of the Life of Walter de Merton
(1859), pedigree opp. p. 50). The consecration of the
high altar and an altar on the N. side of the church by
Bishop Alcock in 1490 (Gibbons, Ely Records, 413–4)
may date the completion of these alterations. 19th-century and modern repairs include a major restoration
by faculty of 1880 under the direction of J. P. St.
Aubyn, when the vestry and S. porch were rebuilt.
Among the fittings are a reredos (not in situ) and other
survivals from a bequest made by William Meadston of
Woodbury, d. 1683.
Gamlingay, the Parish Church of Saint Mary the Virgin
Architectural Description—The Chancel (43¼ ft. by 19 ft.)
is of characteristic 13th-century proportions and the walling
below sill level may be, at least in part, 13th-century; most of
the detail is of c. 1442–3. It has a chamfered plinth and embattled parapet with grotesque gargoyles, two on the N. side
and two at the E. end; a fifth, smaller, grotesque below the
apex of the E. gable supports an attached shaft for the gable
cross. The five-light E. window and four three-light windows
symmetrically disposed in the side walls, all partially restored,
have four-centred heads with cinque-foiled lights and external
moulded labels with carved stops; internally the splays are
carried down below the sills to form shallow recesses. Beneath
the western window in each side wall is a restored square-headed 'low-side' of two trefoiled lights. The S. doorway has
jambs and four-centred head with continuous double-ogee
moulding; a string which runs round the chancel at sill level
lifts over to form a label. A similar N. doorway has been reset
at the S. end of the W. wall of the rebuilt vestry which is
divided from the chancel by a modern arch. The 14th-century
chancel arch is of two orders, to the E. chamfered and with the
outer order dying against the side walls; to the W. wavemoulded with an intervening three-quarter hollow and with
the outer order carried down the responds. These responds
originally had attached part-circular shafts carrying the inner
order of the arch, but only the upper parts of the shafts with
their caps survive, the remainder having been cut back to fit
The Nave (61¾ ft. by 22 ft.) has a N. arcade (Plate 12) of five
bays with arches of two chamfered orders rising off octagonal
piers with moulded caps and bases. The E. respond has the outer
order continued down from the arch, and an attached partoctagonal shaft carrying the inner order with moulded cap
and base; this respond is late mediaeval and may have been
rebuilt in the 15th century together with the chapel; it is
pierced by a squint to the chancel. The W. respond is a half
pier with somewhat simplified cap and base. The S. arcade
resembles the N. arcade but its arches have smaller voussoirs
and the caps have simpler mouldings. Above the caps of the
first three piers towards the nave are small roundels of the
early 13th century carved with conventional motifs. The
E. respond has been remodelled to accommodate a modern
stone pulpit, an attached shaft carrying the inner order of the
arch having been corbelled off immediately below the cap.
The W. respond is a half pier. The piers on both sides include
some further modern work. The late mediaeval clearstorey has
a range of five restored square-headed windows on either side,
each of two cinque-foiled lights and with a moulded label;
above and either side of the chancel arch are two further late
mediaeval clearstorey windows, each of two cinque-foiled
lights with a pierced four-centred head. Above the E. respond
of the S. arcade facing the nave is a blocked doorway, formerly
leading on to the rood loft, with chamfered jambs and moulded
four-centred head; there is now no stair but irregularities in
the stonework at the N. end of the E. wall of the S. chapel
presumably indicate the old entry to it.
The North Aisle (10 ft. wide) is of four bays; the E. bay of
the arcade leads into the N. chapel. The W. wall has been
partially rebuilt in the 15th-century. Of the four windows
three, including the W. window, are late mediaeval; they are
similar though not completely uniform, being each of three
cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head; the other, centrally
placed in the third bay, is a lancet, heavily restored but
probably original and in situ. The N. doorway is of two
continuous hollow-chamfered orders and has a label with
defaced head stops. Immediately W. of it is a continuously
chamfered doorway to the stairs serving the upper chamber
of the porch. At the E. extremity of the long wall is the W.
half of a 13th-century tomb recess (see Monument (2)); the
E. half was destroyed together with the rest of the wall when
the N. chapel was formed.
The North Chapel (18½ ft. E. and 19 ft. W. by 14 ft.) has two
15th-century windows with four-centred heads and moulded
external labels; one, in the N. wall, of four, the other, in the
E. wall, of three cinque-foiled lights. The label of the N.
window has carved stops. The internal splays are carried down
below the sills to form recesses. A two-centred arch between
the N. chapel and the aisle is of two sunk-chamfered orders
separated by a hollow, suggesting 14th-century work.
The South Aisle (10 ft. wide) has, including the W., four
restored windows each of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with external labels. The S. doorway is of two
continuous orders, the outer chamfered, the inner wavemoulded, with a modern external label; the internal label is
old and has mask stops. The single-stage buttresses of the aisle
and restored internal and mutilated external string courses,
both returned from the W. wall of the adjoining chapel, are
The South Chapel (18 ft. by 13¼ ft.) has single-stage diagonal
buttresses at the S. corners and external and internal string
courses uniform with those of the S. aisle. In the E. and S.
walls are two restored 15th-century windows each of four
cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with an external
label. The W. wall of the chapel is carried over the junction
with the aisle by an arch of two chamfered orders.
The West Tower (11½ ft. by 11 ft.) is entered from the nave
by a small arch of three orders: the outer, chamfered and continuous with the jambs, is broach-stopped; the rectangular
middle order has the appearance of a masking piece; it and the
inner chamfered order are carried on shallow part-octagonal
responds with moulded caps and chamfered bases. The wall in
which the arch is set is thicker than the remainder; some
three feet above the apex of the arch it sets back on the E. Exter
nally the tower is in two heights divided by a string course at
the base of the belfry. The lower stage has a moulded plinth
and two-stage angle buttresses at the W. corners; the belfry
has shallow clasping buttresses, and an embattled parapet, the
alternate merlons being pierced with crosses. In each face is an
original two-light window, of three continuous chamfered
orders separated by hollows, with vertical tracery and a stop-moulded rectangular label. Above each window, set in the
string below the parapet, is a gargoyle. The inserted late
mediaeval W. doorway has a square outer and semicircular
inner head, both continuously moulded with the jambs,
panelled spandrels and a stop-moulded label. Over it is a late
mediaeval W. window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with stop-moulded label; it replaces an earlier
pointed window, the ghost of which is visible in the masonry
above. The stair turret is entered by an inside doorway at the
E. end of the N. wall and rises to the bell chamber. There is an
intermediate doorway out of it on to the nave leads. On the
E. face of the tower is the line of the earlier steep-pitched nave
roof. The acute spire rising off a base of flatter pitch, framed
and leaded, is a modern replacement save for the cross tree.
The North Porch, consisting of a vaulted lower stage and an
upper chamber reached by a turret in the S.W. corner, has a
chamfered plinth and embattled parapet. In the shallow N.
gable is a window of two cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred
head. The entrance, flanked by two-stage angle buttresses, has
continuous moulded jambs and head. In either side wall is an
original window, built inside out, of two cinque-foiled lights
with a quatrefoil in the head; above each is a gargoyle set in
a string course below the parapet. The vault is divided by
hollow-chamfered ribs into eight panels. The ribs spring from
angle shafts which stand on the stone benches and have
moulded caps and bases; at the intersection is a central boss
(Plate 116) carved as three angels bearing a shield charged
with emblems of the Passion.
The South Porch, rebuilt c. 1880, is of late mediaeval character. It has an embattled parapet, two-stage diagonal buttresses and an entrance arch with inner moulded order carried
on attached shafts and outer order with label forming a rectangular frame. The side windows are modern.
The Roofs of the nave, its aisles and the two chapels are late
mediaeval: that of the nave, low-pitched and of king-post
construction, is in five bays; the E. closing tie is inscribed
'Repd 1843'. The aisle roofs are lean-to; the low-pitched chapel
roofs are each divided into two bays by a cambered tie beam.
The chancel roof is modern but is supported by eight 15th-century corbels carved as half angels bearing blank shields.
Fittings— Bells: six; 2nd, 3rd and 6th by Miles Graye, 1653;
remainder modern or recast. Bell frame: with four pits,
perhaps c. 1490, in which year Bishop Alcock hallowed two
new bells at Gamlingay (B.M. Add. MS. 5827, 25–26.).
Brass indents: In chancel—(1) of cleric, with inscription plate,
and roundels at the corners. In nave—under third arch of N.
arcade (2) of civilian and wife, with inscription plate; under
second arch of S. arcade (3) of civilian and wife, with inscription plate and roundels at the corners; under third arch of
S. arcade (4) of civilian and wife, with inscription plate below
and prayer picture above. In S. aisle—at W. end (5) of two
figures with scrolls, inscription plate below and prayer picture
above, much worn; (6) of civilian and wife, with uncertain
feature above, the whole much worn. All are of the 15th or
16th century, and in slabs of limestone marble. Churchyard
cross: S. of church, square base with angle stops and bottom of
shaft, square to octagonal; mediaeval. Coffin lids: In N. porch
built into stone benches—(1) small portion with part of a cross
formy and omega ornament; (2) two fragments of a coffin lid
similarly decorated; (3) two fragments of a third coffin lid
similarly decorated. In nave—in S.W. corner (4) part of
limestone marble slab with undeciphered inscription
in Lombardic capitals along one margin; all 13th-century.
See also Monument (2). Communion rails: with panelled
standards, twisted balusters and moulded top and bottom
rails; by bequest of William Meadston d. 1683. Door: loose
in ground stage of tower but formerly in W. doorway,
of two leaves each divided by moulded and embattled
rail into two heights which are sub-divided into cusped
and traceried panels; late mediaeval. The lower panels
are completely missing from one leaf and mutilated in the
other. The old closing ring and remains of a lock plate are
reused in the modern W. door. Font: octagonal limestone
marble bowl with two pointed arched panels in each face;
the base consists of a cylindrical central pier with modern
peripheral shafts; 13th-century; sub-base conceivably incorporates the bowl of another font; old foot-pace; the octagonal
ogee cover with crocketed ribs and finial is perhaps 16th-century, restored. Gallery: in W. tower; the balustrade, with
coved cornice as base plate and divided into eight window bays
with vertical tracery in the heads, is late mediaeval, perhaps
from the former rood loft. Glass: in S. chapel—in top of E.
window, reset quarries and fragments of the 15th to 17th
centuries including (1) two small shields of arms of Fitzjames,
probably of Richard Fitzjames, Warden of Merton College,
1483–1507, and (2) a variant of Merton. Locker: in S. aisle—
immediately E. of S. door, part-circular on plan and about
11 ft. high, with upper and lower doors, the lower ancient;
presumably for banner staves; mediaeval.
Monuments and Floor slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on S.
wall (1) of Ann Say, 1793, oval inscription panel of white
marble against a grey background; in N. aisle wall, at junction
with N. chapel (2) mutilated tomb recess with moulded trefoil
head, now incomplete, and portion of a coffin lid with plain
cross, 13th-century; in S. aisle—on S. wall (3) of Ralph Lane
(Plate 90) of Woodbury Hall, 1732, and his wife Elizabeth,
1754, wall monument in marble polychrome by E. Bingham
of Peterborough, consisting of inscription panel in scrolled
frame flanked by urns, apron with emblems of mortality, and,
above, quarterly shield of arms in a broken pediment against an
obelisk background; (4) of Elizabeth Lane, daughter of the
foregoing, 1717, inscription panel flanked by Doric pilasters
surmounted by a scrolled pediment broken by a lozenge of
arms; in S. chapel—on E. wall (5) of Phillip Burton, 1683,
small painted wooden panel. In the churchyard are a number
of early 18th-century and later headstones, including one
apparently of local stone. Floor slabs: In chancel—(1) of
Dixie Windsor, 1743, with achievement of arms; (2) of
Thomas Sclater, 1696; (3) of Edward Sclater, 1688; (4) of
William Meadston, 1683, with achievement of arms; (5) of
Rev. Isaiah T[. . . . . . .] and Ma[. . .] his wife [dates illegible];
(6) of Elizabeth E[kins], 1702; (7) of William S[pin]kes, 1701.
In S. aisle—(8) of Elizabeth (Bury) wife of Francis Jermin,
1685. Paintings: The voussoirs of both nave arcades retain
traces of contemporary painting in red ochre, still on the N.
side comparatively distinct. It consisted of false voussoirs of
alternate dark and speckled tones separated by rectilinear joints.
Panelling: in vestry, incorporated on sides and front of lower
part of modern organ case, three tiers of 17th-century panelling
with grooved and fluted frieze panels. Another length of 17th-century panelling forms the front of a modern vestment case
in the vestry. Piscinae: In chancel—(1) (Plate 7) with moulded
jambs, ogee inner and square outer head with traceried spandrels, and circular drain; in N. chapel—at S. end of E. wall,
reset (2) similar to the foregoing, but without drain; both
15th-century. In S. chapel—(3) with hollow-chamfered jambs,
two-centred head and projecting moulded surround; octagonal drain and provision for a shelf, now missing; c. 1300.
Plate: includes a cup and cover paten, the latter inscribed
'1604', both London 1602; a paten inscribed '1681', London
1681; a paten, London 1699; a cup, marks illegible, 18th-century; and three pewter plates. Pulpit: reused as table top in
the vestry, an hexagonal inlaid sounding board; by bequest of
William Meadston, d. 1683. Recess: (Plate 7) in S. chapel—in
W. wall, plain rectangular, with piercings for a grille; probably
for a relic; mediaeval, with some modern repairs. Reredos: see
Monument (6). Scratchings: Among a large number of various
ages: on first pier of N. arcade (1) (Plate 16) in small minuscule
hand 'hic est sedes Margarete Tayl . . d' (perhaps the holograph
of Margaret, wife of Walter Taylard who rebuilt the adjoining
N. chapel), 15th-century; on third pier of N. arcade (2) draw
ing of three small houses (along a street?) perhaps mediaeval;
on second pier of S. arcade (3) in bold characters 'mors
cōparat/umbre que/semper/sequitur/corpus', late mediaeval;
on N. splay of W. window of tower (4) in a bold hand
'Th[om]as [?Jek]yll Clar[ke] of Ga[m]ly[n]gaye', 16th-century.
Screen: In five bays, the middle one, of extra width, being the
entry; the sides, divided into two heights by a moulded and
enriched rail, having solid lower panels sub-divided into four
by applied uprights with cusping in the heads, and two-centred lights above, also sub-divided into four by a central
primary and two secondary mullions, with vertical tracery in
the heads. The entry has a sub-cusped cinque-foiled head. The
cornice, infilling above the heads of the lights and gates are
modern; remainder late mediaeval extensively repaired. See
also Gallery. Seating: In N. chapel—(1) three remodelled pews
and a further pew end incorporated in modern seating; plain
rectangular framing, ends with small flanking buttresses. In S.
chapel—(2) two blocks of seating, each of four pews, similar
to the seating in the N. chapel but with original panelled fronts
to the first pews. Adjoining, at the E. end of the S. aisle, is a
third panelled front incorporated in modern seating. All late
mediaeval. Sedilia: in chancel, modern except for 15th-century moulded jambs. Stalls: (Plate 19) against E. side of
screen, three on either side of opening, with shaped and
moulded divisions and curved and moulded cappings. The
divisions have carved haunches above small attached shafts as
follows: N. side (a) modern, (b) a mitred ecclesiastic, (c) a
collared animal, (d) a bird with long wings and turned back
head; S. side (e) an angel, (f) a winged beast, (g) an animal,
mutilated, (h) a defaced head. The two seats either side of the
entry have misericords carved, on the N. side, with a crouching
man and a demon's head, on the S. side with an ape and grapes
in vine leaves. The above may be of c. 1442. Along each of the
N. and S. walls in the W. half of the chancel are somewhat
later plain continuous seats with high panelled backing in eight
bays sub-divided into two by applied mullions with vertical
tracery. The panelling is topped by a cornice and modern
brattishing and is returned to form a closure at the E. ends.
The fifth and sixth panels on either side have a transom near the
bottom of the panel above which the field slides upwards to
give access to the sills of the 'low-side' windows. The desks are
in two blocks on either side with the westernmost returned
parallel to the screen; the W. block on the N. side is modern
and the others have been extensively restored; six of the ends
are old, three being carved with embattled window forms and
blank shields, and all terminate in trefoil poppy heads (Plate 18).
Stoup: outside and immediately S. of W. door, in recess with
four-centred head, projecting bowl broken; late mediaeval.
Sundial: in S. wall of chancel, immediately W. of 'low-side'
window, incised on a block of clunch; mediaeval. Miscellaneous: in chamber over N. porch, eight panels cut from the
earlier leads bearing names and dates between 1748 and 1801.
b(2) Independent Chapel, of red brick with slated roof, was
remodelled in 1878 but incorporates at the E. end some of an
earlier fabric possibly of 1710 when the community was
founded, as well as substantial portions of an intermediate
structure of the early 19th century. Fittings include: Monuments (1) of Mary Billing, 1760, and two children; (2) of James
Paine, 1831. Related buildings (Monuments (35–37)) are
b(3) Zoar Chapel, of red brick with slated roof, has a panel
on the E. end to the street with painted inscription, now decayed, 'Zoar Chapel 1[6?]66 enlarged 1876'. The structure is
early 19th-century with late 19th-century extension. The
interior has been gutted.
b(4) Merton Manor Farm, on a site (Monument 59)
bounded by a moat to the N.E. and E., consists of a house
and buildings. The House (now Class H; Plate 76), two
storeyed, framed, partly plastered, with tile roof, is of two
main dates. The W. cross wing and the central range which
may have been originally open to the roof, are of the late 15th
or early 16th century. The wing which has a large external
chimney stack of stone with later brick heightening, is jettied
to N. and S. An E. cross wing, separately framed, and jettied
on the S., and probably replacing an earlier structure was
built in the late 16th century; at this time the fenestration in
the earlier part was altered to match that in the later wing by
the addition of ovolo-moulded mullioned windows of two
or more lights to each floor. The E. cross wing has a stop-chamfered axial ceiling beam into which a chamfered beam
is housed on its N. side. A contemporary partition divides the
wing. The roofs are apparently all of the later date, and
consist of trusses, each with upper and lower collars, short
arch braces to the wall posts, and wind braces. Each wing has
one truss, and two trusses are inferred for the central range.
The Buildings include, to the S.E. and S.W., (a) a 17th- or
18th-century brick pigeon house with hipped tiled roof rising
to four gablets; (b) an aisled barn (Plate 27) of five bays framed,
boarded and thatched, one post inscribed 'TB 1660'.
b(5) Tithe barn (?), 100 yds. S.E. of the church, now of three
aisled bays, framed and boarded, with half-hipped thatched
roof. The map of 1601 shows a structure on the site named
'Tieth barne'. The barn has an entry in the N. bay and may
have lost two bays at that end; it is of normal braced tie-beam
construction except for long raking struts from the main posts
to the aisle ground sill. It has probably been rebuilt in the 17th
or 18th century.
b(6) School and School house, now a parish room and
cottage, of brick with slate roofs; a stone panel is carved with
the date 1848 and the arms of Clare College.
Across the N. end of the school room is a reset wooden
Reredos (Plate 136), at one time painted to resemble marble,
divided into two heights of bolection-moulded panelling and
consisting of a centre piece and side panels articulated by four
fluted Corinthian pilasters rising to an entablature; the centre
piece has twin round-headed panels in the upper height inscribed in gold with the decalogue; above them is a foliated
bracket and floral knot flanked by cherub heads with garlands
of fruit, flowers and corn, all beneath a segmental pediment; a
dado of two rectangular panels, set along each of the side
walls, is apparently coeval with the rest.
The main composition exactly fits the E. end of the church
where there are old fixing scars and where Lysons saw it
(B.M. Add. MS. 9461, 47). Provision for a reredos was made
in the will of William Meadston, d. 1683. In a later note
Lysons adds 'from Ely House, London' and it is probable that
it was made for the chapel in Hatton Garden close to Ely
House (R.C.H.M., London, West, Holborn (24)), built c. 1690
and converted for use as a school in 1696 (Wren Society
XVIII (1941) 188, Pl. IX).
b(7) Emplins (Plate 86), two-storeyed, for the most part
framed and plastered, with tiled roofs, consists of a N. and S.
hall range and cross wings at either end, that at the S. end
being the larger. The plan type approximates to that of Class
B. The building is of the 15th and 16th centuries but is apparently the result of two or more operations; the eastward
extension of the N. cross wing is particularly evident. The
central chimney at the junction of the main range and S.
cross wing, the external chimney of the N. cross wing and the
inserted floor of the hall range are 17th- or 18th-century. Parts
of the original frame have been replaced in brick. The proximity of the church, allied to some idiosyncrasies of planning,
suggests a special-purpose building. The map of 1601 shows a
comparatively large establishment occupying an E. and W.
oblong, the S.W. corner of which adjoined the N.E. corner of
the churchyard; a gate or small gatehouse, a range between the
S. cross wing and the road, and a court S.E. of the surviving
fabric enclosed by subsidiary or service buildings, can be distinguished (Plate 29).
The S. cross wing is possibly the oldest part of the structure.
Its upper stage, projecting to the E., is supported at that end by
four brackets rising off part-octagonal shafts worked on the
verticals, much weathered, with moulded caps. The W. gable
has an old scalloped barge-board. The ground plan is in three
unequal bays with an original through passage along the N.
side which has been obstructed in the middle by the inserted
chimney. A segmental-headed entrance at its E. end, now
blocked, gave access to a small internal porch with an inner
doorway which survives. The S. side of the porch is made up
by an original plank-and-muntin partition. The doorway has
moulded jambs to the E. and a four-centred inner and square
outer head. Beyond it the passage is spanned by two double-chamfered beams which range with the main beams to the S.
and frame at their N. ends into chamfered main posts with
broach stops. At the extreme W. end of the N. wall is a second
door consisting of three ridged planks and having a shallow
hood carried on short solid brackets; it is old and may replace
a corresponding original feature. S. of the passage the remaining space, divided by modern partitions, is spanned by two
cross beams: the first is now cased, the second is cambered and
stop-chamfered with arch bracing to posts at either end. The
first floor, likewise in three bays, is ceiled at eaves level. Some
of the framing is exposed including down braces from the
corner posts to the intermediate plates. The N. post of the first
truss has an enlarged head worked in two orders with chamfered arch brace to a tie beam spanning the range. The N.E.
corner post, which is part of the overhanging E. wall, has a
broach stop at the base. In one of the partitions is a reset 16th-century door of linen-fold panelling. The roof is inaccessible
but a small section of it visible from that of the hall suggests
that it is similar but lighter. The hall has an inserted first floor
and is ceiled just above the eaves. The first floor is carried on
two cross beams; the N. beam is stop-chamfered and may be
the reused tie from the main truss of the hall roof; the S. beam
is cased. Some timbers in the side walls are exposed including
an internal hollow-chamfered fascia at the wall head. The hall
roof, plain and of substantial scantling, is entirely blackened
by smoke; apart from the removal of the main tie and mutilation of the feet of the adjacent primary rafters to fit in the
ceiling, it is unaltered. The roof is in three bays, two of which,
divided by the main truss, are approximately equal; the N. end
bay is shorter and may correspond to a screens passage. The
primary rafters are both chamfered; into them is framed a
heavy cambered and stop-chamfered collar and the chamfered
side purlins. The secondary truss and end trusses are similar to
the main truss but lighter, and the purlins, which have thin
plank-like wind braces, are chamfered. At the S. end of the
roof space the roof butts up against the side wall of the cross
wing; the framing of this wall is exposed and the original
pan is, like the rest, affected by smoke.
The N. cross wing is in two builds. The E. end with its jetty
to the S. is an addition and has on the ground floor a hollow-chamfered axial ceiling beam with run-out stops resting at its
W. end on a free-standing post to which it has a short arch
brace; a corresponding brace at its E. end has been cut away.
Upstairs some timbers are exposed; an original hollow-chamfered tie beam can be seen in the E. gable with traces of a
window framing into its underside. The earlier W. part of the
N. cross wing has on the ground floor a quadripartite ceiling
formed by a principal cross beam and secondary axial beams,
deeply chamfered and unstopped. In a room above is a quantity of reset 16th-century linen-fold panelling and two reset
six-panelled doors of the 17th century enriched with reels,
jewel-work and convex reeding. Some structural timbers are
also visible on the upper floor.
b(8) House(Class I), framed and rough-cast, with pantile roof;
temporarily exposed studwork in the W. gable suggests a late
16th- or 17th-century origin.
b(9) House (Class D), two-storeyed and plastered, with tiled
roofs, is late 16th- or early 17th-century. The main range is
N. and S.; it has a staircase projection towards the N. end of its
E. side. The cross wing is at the N. end and is jettied to the W.;
it has an external chimney at the E. extremity of its N. wall, of
car stone with clunch dressings.
The main range is somewhat longer than is usual in the type;
it has on the ground floor a room either side of an internal
chimney. Beyond the S. room a closet, some 6 ft. across,
occupies a short end bay. Some structural timbers are exposed
inside, including a chamfered beam with enriched stops supporting the upper floor of the cross wing. The ground-floor
room of the cross wing has a clunch fireplace with moulded
b(10) House, T-shaped and of two storeys, framed and plastered, with tiled and gabled roofs, is of 17th-century origin. A
chimney at the junction of the two ranges has a rebuilt shafted
stack. To the N. is a 17th- or 18th-century detached brewhouse of brick and studwork.
b(11) The Bull, public house, L-shaped, two-storeyed with
tiled roofs, at first partly or wholly framed, has been cased in
white brick, except for the red brick E. end, which may be
original. The rebuilt shafted chimney stack suggests a mid
b(12) House (Class L), two-storeyed, framed and plastered,
with tiled roofs having three gabled ends. The internal chimney, placed in the street range at its junction with the cross
wing, has a shafted stack (Plate 37) the base of which bears the
date 1653 cut on a brick; below is the front door. A window
on to the street in the upper floor of the main range is divided
into three lights by ovolo-moulded mullions. Some pargetting,
which was perhaps 17th-century, has been obliterated since
1950; one panel depicted a lion and a unicorn supporting a
fleur-de-lis, another was semée of oak leaves. The interior has
b(13) House (Class L), two storeys and cellar, framed and
plastered, with tiled roofs having three gabled ends. The E.
front is symmetrically designed in three bays with a central
front door. A plaster panel in the N. gable is inscribed 'ANP 1793'.
b(14) Church Farm, two-storeyed, framed, with brick
under-building and tiled roof, originated as a Class-I house
with continuous jetty along the S. side to the street. It has been
considerably altered and extended.
b(15) House and Bake-house. A brick at the door of the
bake-house is inscribed 'G. S. 1815', perhaps in reference to a
member of the Sarll family who were bakers in Gamlingay at
least as early as 1850. The House (Class J), one storey and attic,
of plastered studwork with tiled mansard roof, may be of 1815
also; it was fronted in brick in the later 19th century. The
Bake-house was heightened and remodelled at the same time.
b(16) Vicarage (Class U), two-storeyed of white brick,
partly stuccoed, with slate roofs. Described by Gardner
(Directory, 328) as 'built in the Elizabethan style of architecture. . . a great ornament to the village'; mid 19th-century.
b(17) House, Nos. 74–78 Church Street, of two storeys,
originated as a dwelling or part of a dwelling of the 16th or
early 17th century; the W. half was the main range and the E.
half a cross wing of the original framed structure. This was
drastically remodelled in the late 17th or 18th century, when a
nearly symmetrical five-bay brick front to the street was added
with segmental-headed openings and a moulded platband at
first-floor level. The composite chimney stack includes three
conjoined diagonal shafts.
b(18) House (Plate 87), two-storeyed, framed and plastered,
with tiled roofs, originated as a dwelling with narrow S.
frontage to Church Street flanked by a carriage entry, and
an attached N. and S. range of buildings at the rear alongside
a yard to the W. The whole is 17th-century.
The dwelling, on an L-shaped plan, consists of a short E. and
W. main range with a cross wing at the W. end of three bays,
the jettied S. bay projecting beyond the front of the range. The
main ridge is carried over the N. end of the cross wing to a heel
gable over the W. wall. On the N. side are chimneys either side
of a stair projection; all three may be original features. The E.
chimney has a triple diagonal shafted stack, the third flue being
perhaps an addition; it rises off a rectangular base with a
moulded capping. Some comparatively old pargetting survives. The ground floor of the main range has an ovolo-moulded axial ceiling beam with stops. In the W. wall of the
cross wing is an original two-light window on the ground
floor with ovolo-moulded mullion and jambs. These last two
features allied to the plan suggest a date in the first half of the
The back range, built perhaps somewhat later than the
dwelling as commercial premises, has been considerably altered
internally and the frame has been partly faced in brick. Five
original windows with plain diagonal mullions survive on the
upper floor: four are on the E. side, the two northern being of
four, the others of three lights; the fifth, also of four lights, is
on the W.
b(19) Industrial buildings, consisting of a range, some 225
ft. in length, of brick and tile, of varying dates from the late
17th to the 19th centuries. A kiln near the middle of the range
is one of the older features.
b(20) House (Class U), two-storeyed, brick-built and slated,
is of the early 19th century. The recessed central front door of
the three-bay front has a wooden door-case consisting of pilasters supporting a dentilled entablature and a pediment.
The Almshouses, Gamlingay
b(21) Almshouses, consisting of ten tenements forming an
E. and W. terrace on the S. side of Church Street and a chapel
at the E. end. The range of tenements is two-storeyed, brickbuilt, with continuous tiled roof; each tenement consists of a
single room on either floor. Behind are enclosed yards partly
occupied by later out-buildings. In the middle of the street
elevation is a tablet with painted legend 'Vivat obi Natus/
Johannes Jacob/Miles & Barotus AN° DoNI/1665'. The will of
William Mainstone (Meadston), d. 1683, includes a bequest
for the repair of the almshouses and chapel. The existing
chapel is structurally later than the almshouses and probably
dates from the early 18th century.
The street elevation of the tenements is symmetrically
designed about the tablet which is framed in scroll-work with
a broken pediment enclosing a shield of arms of Jacob. It has
a plinth, first-floor platband and overhanging eaves. Twopanelled entrance doors with fanlights above are flanked by
large wooden windows under flat arches, each divided into six
lights by mullions and a transom with iron casements. Threelight windows to the upper rooms, above these last, are of
similar character; in addition the upper floor has eight smaller
single-light windows with four-centred heads and oval windows either side of the tablet in moulded brick frames, each
divided into four arcs, by projecting keystones. The end
gables are finished with restored parapets.
The Chapel, also of brick and tile, has a plinth and bold
wooden eaves cornices with shaped brackets. The E. end has a
moulded platband at eaves level and restored gable parapet.
The N. door is set in an opening which has been reduced in
size; to the E. and S. are single three-light mullion-and-transom
windows in wood. Inside, blocked arches in the W. wall
suggest that the first tenement may at one time have been
converted to an ante-chapel. A segmental plaster ceiling springs
off moulded wooden cornices.
The Almshouses, Gamlingay, Monument No. 21
b(22) House, two-storeyed, part with cellar, framed and
plastered, consists of an E. and W. range with a cross wing of
the same height at the E. end. The roofs are tiled and have
gabled ends. A roundel on the street front with initials and
date 'MSIS 1712' depicts a number of trade emblems; the structure however suggests a date in the first half of the 17th century.
An external chimney at the S. end of the cross wing has a
diagonal shafted stack. Some chamfered ceiling beams are
b(23) Avenell's Farm (Class H; Plate 87), two-storeyed,
framed and plastered, with tiled roofs, is of the late 16th or
early 17th century. The smaller E. cross wing, which is set
somewhat S.E. of the main axis, housed the services, the threebay W. wing being the solar end. Alterations include the insertion of chimneys and partitions and the underbuilding in brick
of the jettied S. ends of both cross wings.
Inside the house the ground floor of the main range, now
cut up by later partitions, has a ceiling divided into two larger
W. and two smaller E. bays by intersecting beams. An unstopped ceiling beam on the ground floor of the W. cross wing
has double hollow chamfers and is probably reused. The roofs
in general are based on braced tie beams with collars above but
have no crown posts. On an upstairs landing are some reset
17th- or 18th-century shaped balusters.
b(24) The Cock, public house, consisting of a main E. and
W. range and W. cross wing, two storeys high, framed and
plastered, with tiled roofs, is of the late 16th or 17th century,
but has been much altered. The cross wing has a jetty to the S.
carried on scrolled and foliated brackets. An internal chimney
in the main range has a stack with central recess of c. 1700.
Some old pargetting consisting of scalloped panels survives on
the S. front; it is returned across the E. end where it is relieved
by a small oval depicting a flask, corkscrew, pipe and other
Internal features include a double-chamfered ceiling beam
on the ground floor of the cross wing with chamfered braces
and an original clunch or brick fireplace surround, largely
masked by infilling, with ogee-moulded, probably four-centred, head.
The inn sign is set in a wrought-iron frame carried on a
wooden standard; the frame has an old overthrow of scroll
work surmounted by a cock.
b(25) Castle House consists of a complex of buildings, most
of which are grouped around a courtyard. The House, which
is L-shaped, forms the N. and E. sides. It is of red brick, with
some framing, and has slated roofs; originally of c. 1700 but
much reconstructed in the 19th century. The N. elevation to
the street is irregular. There are no notable internal features.
The Out-buildings include a two-storeyed framed structure of
the 16th or early 17th century now used as a store; the rest are
mostly brick-built and of the 18th century.
b(26) House, No. 28 Church Street, two-storeyed, framed
and plastered except for some later brick, with slated roof, has
an inserted 18th-century internal chimney. Exposed structural
timbers inside suggest an early 17th-century origin.
b(27) Houses, Nos. 13 and 15 Church Street, at one time a
single house though not necessarily built as such, two-storeyed,
framed and plastered, with continuous jetty S. to the street
masked by an original moulded fascia, and with tiled roof, is
probably of the first half of the 16th century. An inserted internal chimney has a panelled stack in red brick of c. 1700.
The ground floor is symmetrically framed with a short
central and two longer end bays; the two E. bays form a single
room with primary moulded cross beam and secondary
moulded axial beams, that to the W. being at a somewhat
higher level. The cross beam has a carved boss (Plate 36) at the
intersection with shield of St. George surrounded by foliage,
fruit and flowers. The upper floor is in three roughly equal
bays; some tie beams and other timbers, including a number of
braces, are exposed.
b(28) The Hardwick Arms, public house, two-storeyed,
brick and slate, is now largely 19th-century. An internal chimney with panelled stack (Plate 37), partly rebuilt, dated 1703,
suggests that it may have originated as a Class-J structure of
b(29) House (Class J), 17th-century with 18th-century and
later additions, two-storeyed, framed and plastered, with tiled
roofs, has a main chimney with stack of three conjoined diagonal flues in line rising from an oblong base. Exposed timbers
inside include ovolo-moulded and chamfered ceiling beams.
b(30) Cross Farm, two-storeyed, framed and plastered, with
gabled and tiled roofs, apparently originated as a 17th-century
house intermediate in design between Class H and Class L.
The date '1648' is said to be cut on a roof timber no longer
accessible. Later additions include a large chimney at the S.
end of c. 1700. Some chamfered ceiling beams are to be seen
b(31) House, L-shaped with stair block in the re-entrant, two
storeys high with attics and cellarage, is of red brick with tiled
roofs; the chimneys are in the end gables. It was built c. 1688.
The W. front, symmetrically designed in five bays, was
remodelled in the early 19th century, the old brickwork now
being concealed by bastard tucks. An original brick panel
(Plate 91) over the front door bears a cartouche with the initials
'ᴻAF'. The remaining elevations retain to a great extent their
Original features inside the house include three plaster
ceilings which, on the grounds of close resemblances in detail,
are attributable to Henry Doogood, the craftsman responsible
for contemporary ceilings in the Old Library, Pembroke
College, and at 5, Market Hill, Cambridge (R.C.H.M.
Cambridge, 151 and 328). That in the N.W. room on the
ground floor is divided by moulded ribs into panels with small
floriated roundels at the corners and a square centrepiece. The
walls of this room are covered with paper which is said to
conceal old wall paintings depicting a church tower and spire,
a gallows, a man in a top hat, and flying birds. The corresponding room on the first floor has a more elaborate ceiling (Plate
84) with the god Cupid in clouds attended by flying birds, all
in an oval garland of fruit and flowers; a rectangular outer
frame of arabesque foliation enriched with flowers and animals
has at either end a cartouche of arms charged with plasterers'
emblems. Four quadrant panels between the garland and the
outer frame enclose the component digits of the date 1688.
Below the ceiling is an enriched cornice and in the middle of
the W. wall is a moulded eared fireplace surround and plaster
overmantel uniform with the ceiling. The overmantel (Plate
85) has a square central panel featuring a kneeling putto
proffering a basket of flowers and fruit with a landscape,
gallows and two flying birds in the background; above the
panel is a cartouche bearing the initials 'NFA', and on either
side of it are oblong panels adorned with sprays of roses.
Immediately S. of this room is a landing entered from the
stair head through an elliptical-headed arch; its keystone is
adorned with a mask, and cartouches at the springing bear
the date '1688'. The ceiling over the landing consists of a single
square panel with two crossed branches of bay in a moulded
border; it rises off a cornice enriched with cartouches and
swags of fruit and flowers.
b(32) House (Class I), two-storeyed, of brick and tile, with
platbands at first-floor level and across the base of the N. end
gable, is 18th-century. The chimney stack with recessed centre
panel has been partly rebuilt; the moulded brick corbels to
former gable parapets survive. A lead rainwater pipe E. to the
street is 18th-century. Additions to the N. and W. include a
19th-century shop; the interior has been modernised.
b(33) House, L-shaped, two-storeyed, framed and plastered,
with tiled roofs having three gabled ends, is 18th-century.
Infilling in the 19th century has brought the plan to a rough
square. A stopped beam in one of the ground-floor rooms is
moulded with a hollow between two quirks.
b(34) Blythe Farm consists of a house and buildings. The
House (Class I), two storeys and attics, is framed and plastered,
with gabled and tiled roof; the initials and date 'SM 1670' appear
on the W. side to the street. On the E. side outshuts, ranging
with an original staircase projection, and a low wing, are of
later date. The original chimney has a stack of four conjoined
diagonal flues in line on a rectangular base with decayed arcading or cusping and moulded top course. Inside some stop-chamfered beams and other timbers are exposed.
The Buildings include (a) a brick and tile pigeon house, 18th-century but partly rebuilt, with hipped roof rising to two gablets; the alighting loft and some of the nesting boxes are
preserved; (b) a late 18th-century brick barn or store roofed
with asbestos sheeting.
b(35) Houses (Plate 30), two dwellings not quite uniform in
design forming a short terrace and sharing an internal chimney,
single-storeyed and brick-built, with tiled roofs gabled at the
ends and dormer windows W. to the street, lighting attics. The
dwellings are the property of the congregation of the adjoining
Independent Chapel (Monument (2)); on a plaque below the
eaves are incised the initials and date 'WB 1721'.
b(36) Manse (Plate 30), now two tenements, Class-J but with
original outshut along the back, two-storeyed, framed and
plastered, with half-hipped and tiled roof, bears the date '1761'
on the W. front to the street. It was no doubt built for the
minister of the Independent Chapel (Monument (2)). The front
door, of six fielded panels, has a shallow moulded and dentilled
hood. Inside are some old two-panelled doors.
b(37) School, immediately S.E. of Independent Chapel,
Monument (2), of white brick with red brick semicircular
heads to the windows and to the door in the E. end towards the
street; dated '1848'. It was designed for 200 children; the W.
end, divided into two floors, was the master's residence.
b(38) House (Class I), 17th-century, now two tenements, of
one storey and attic, framed and plastered, with gabled and
thatched roof and added outshuts at the ends, has a red brick
chimney stack (Plate 37) of conjoined diagonal flues rising from
a square base with moulded top course and panel carved with
initials and date 'SAM 1675'.
b(39) House (Class T), two storeys and attic, of brick and tile,
is mid 18th-century. There are platbands at first-floor level and
at the bases of the end gables. The symmetrical front to the S.
is in three bays with a pair of set-back dormers in the roof;
the central front door and windows have been altered. There
are later additions at the rear. Interior details include some
dentil cornices, an original fireplace surround and two recesses
with shell heads.
b(40) House (Class J; Plate 30), at Dennis Green, brick-cased
over the original frame, with tiled roof gabled at the ends. The
date 1621 is embossed in the plaster of a partition on the upper
floor. Among structural timbers exposed are two hollow-chamfered axial beams, on the ground floor either side of the
internal chimney, stopped at their outer extremities.
b(41) Folly (N.G. TL 22275267), sometimes called the 'Full
Moon Gate', of red brick, now ruinous and standing some
25 ft. high, was put up by Sir George Downing c. 1712. It
apparently consisted of two rusticated piers flanking a large
b(42) Tetworth Hall (N.G. TL 21775305; Plate 106),
stands on high ground with a prospect to the N. It is
two storeys high with basement and attics, and of
red brick partly masked by bastard tucks with some
stone dressings; the roofs are tiled. Scratched on two
bricks immediately W. of the back door are the initials
and date 'J P ESqr 1710' and '[?T]R 1710'. The house was
no doubt built in that year for John Pedley, M.P. for
Huntingdonshire 1706–8, who died in 1722. The arms
of Pedley impaling Foley placed over the front door
allude to his marriage with Essex Foley. Later in the
18th century the E. domestic wing was added; it and the
18th-century cottage and stables beyond are in the
Huntingdonshire parish of Everton with which the
parish of Tetworth is now merged. At much the same
time the existing hung-sash windows, some of which
are blind, were put in, a curved bay of full height and a
single-storey loggia added on the W. end and the parapets rebuilt. In 1961 the loggia was replaced by a singlestorey neo-Georgian addition.
The principal elevation to the S. is in five bays and two
equal heights and is framed by rusticated stone pilasters at the
ends with stone bands at the first floor and below the parapet.
The windows have flat arches of gauged brick and stone keys.
The central front door has a stone frame consisting of three-quarter Corinthian columns supporting an enriched entablature with segmental pediment broken for the cartouche of
arms described above. Behind the parapet, which may have had
urns at the corners, are three flat-topped dormers symmetrically
disposed in the hipped roof. The N. front, also in five bays, is
similar, but without the stone dressings. It has a basement stage,
necessitated by the falling ground, with a small back door in
the first bay. The original features of the W. elevation have
been largely masked or replaced.
Tetworth Hall, Gamlingay
Inside the house the detail is largely of c. 1710. The plan is
based on an E. and W. spine wall, to the S. of which is a large
entrance hall flanked by the staircases. The principal staircase
is at the W. end and is separated from the body of the hall by
two Corinthian columns supporting an entablature; it rises in
three flights against the side walls to a first-floor landing and
has three twisted balusters to each tread, a moulded rail and cut
string with carved scrolls. The balustrade is returned along the
landing, but with turned balusters. At the foot of the stair the
balustrade and newel have been renewed; a number of balusters are replacements. Opposite the balustrade is a dado of
fielded panelling. The stairhall has a coved ceiling. The secondary stair, divided from the hall by a partition, rises in four dog-leg flights from ground floor to attics, winding at the S. end
round a continuous vertical newel; it has turned balusters and
closed string. The hall itself is lined with ovolo-moulded fielded
panelling in two heights with dado rail and dentilled cornice.
The doors are eight-panelled with bolection-moulded panels
above. The fireplace has a stone bolection-moulded surround
and bolection-moulded overmantel. The floor is paved with
square stone flags set diagonally.
The dining room is lined with bolection-moulded panelling
in two heights with a dado rail and a moulded cornice. The
drawing room includes the added bay and the original cornice
has been extended. It and the room above have marble fireplace
surrounds in rococo taste.
Upstairs are three bedrooms off the landing: two on the N.
side are entered by twin doors through a small panelled lobby
(Plate 108) under an elliptical semi-dome enriched with a vignette of palm branches; the S.E. bedroom has a moulded and
enriched door-case to the landing with panelled architrave and
consoles, carved with foliage and cherub heads, supporting a
moulded and enriched broken scroll pediment. All three bed-rooms are lined with fielded panelling and have bolection-moulded overmantels and overdoors; that in the N.W. room
has been altered and extended. A small fourth bedroom in the
N.W. corner, also with fielded panelling, has been converted
to a bathroom.
b(43) Old Woodbury Farm (N.G. TL 21385286), consists of
a house and buildings. The House (Class I), two-storeyed,
framed and plastered, with tiled roof, is apparently early 19th-century. The Buildings include, to the S. of the house, a fourbay barn, of brick-nogging between the timbers of the frame,
and tiles; it is 17th-century, possibly curtailed at the N. end.
A smaller barn, W. of the house, stands on an old plinth of
brick and large carstones.
b(44) Old Woodbury (N.G. TL 21375280), site of the former
manor house of Woodbury, is now occupied by a house in
'Perpendicular' revival. It may have been built c. 1837 for the
Rev. W. Wilkieson who in that year was advertising the Hall
for sale or to let. Documentary evidence suggests that the old
house was completely demolished but the present building
appears to incorporate some earlier work, e.g. the N. gable.
b(45) Woodbury Hall (N.G. TL 20855211) consists of a
house and lodge in the Georgian style. The House was
built for the Rev. John Wilkieson between 1803, when he
purchased the property, and 1806 (letter from R. Hepworth to
S. Lysons, B.M. Add. MS. 9412, 238), and subsequently
altered and enlarged; it was gutted by fire on 3rd June 1944
and has been restored. Some features of the mid 19th century
survive. The Lodge (N.G. TL 21575171), about ½ mile to the
S.E., was built about the same time and was enlarged and
restored in 1961.
b(46) Milestone (N.G. TL 21735205) on S.E. side of the road
from Waresley to Everton, with pyramidal top, is inscribed
'50 Miles from London The six Miles Stone from e/y 44 Mile
Stone in Baldock Lane to this Place was set up by Rog. Burgoyne Bart in 17[?51]'. The last two digits have been eroded;
Sir Roger Burgoyne died in 1780.
b(47) Colony (approximate centre N.G. TL 215513), originally comprising 60 dwellings in 14 blocks, was built c. 1850 on
two parcels of land about 61 acres in extent by William Wilkieson who acquired them at the general enclosure in 1844
(Gardner's Directory, 328; enclosure map, 1844 (C.R.O.)).
Brick and slate are the prevailing materials, and the general
idiom is gothic with rusticated openings and cast-iron casements. Many of the buildings have been modified or enlarged
and the original holdings can no longer be distinguished. The
block nearest Woodbury Hall (Monument (45)) is to a superior
specification, of white brick and carstone with thatched roof.
At the S.E. corner of the colony is a brickfield which may have
provided the bricks.
b(48) House (Class I; N.G. TL 22825290), framed and plastered, with tiled gable-ended roof, of one storey and attics,
lit by probably original gabled dormers symmetrically placed
towards the street; late 18th-century.
b(49) Merton Grange (Class U; N.G. TL 24795218) consists
of a house and stables with garden to the W. bounded by a
ha-ha and an ornamental oval moat to the N., now partly
filled in. The House, which is of brick, two storeys high with
attics, has a five-bay W. front with central door and symmetrically disposed sash windows. Its tiled roofs rise to two
parallel ridges separated by a shallow valley. The fabric is of
the first half of the 18th century, but during the 19th century
it was remodelled and extended and the exterior covered with
A number of original features have been retained internally:
two rooms are lined with bolection-moulded panelling in two
heights with moulded rail and cornice; the principal staircase,
divided from the entrance hall by an arch with panelled side
pilasters, has twisted balusters, three to a tread, square newels
and cut string with carved scrolls; it is flanked by a dado of
The Stables, to the E., are original; they include a coach
house and are crowned with a later cupola.
b(50) Windmill (N.G. TL 23705119), now without sails or
roof, octagonal, with framed and boarded smock on a brick
stage, is of the first half of the 19th century. It contains some
b(51–58) Houses, of 17th- and 18th-century origin, mostly of
internal-chimney design, of one or two storeys, some with
attics, framed and plastered, with tiled roofs. No. (56) was at
one time two houses which have been altered beyond recognition; all the others have been modified or enlarged. Nos.
(51–53) are outliers (N.G. TL 23735148, 22765282 and
b(59) Moated site (Class A 4; N.G. TL 242521) at Merton
Manor Farm (Monument (4)) on a slope falling E. to Millbridge Brook; it is that of the 'Mertonage' or manor given to
Merton College Oxford in 1268 by its founder (Merton
College Records 2353 and 2349, 903, K.B. 26/185 m. 22; cf.
Rot. Hund. (1818) II, 529). The moat, which is L-shaped
encloses the farm on the N.E. and E. The N.E. side, probably
a natural gully, is 224 ft. long, 50 ft. wide and 7 ft. to 8 ft.
deep with a small stream running E. along the bottom, 12 ft.
wide; the E. side is 102 ft. long, 50 ft. wide, 10 ft. deep below
the interior and 4 ft. below the exterior (the ground inside the
angle to the N.E. of the farmhouse has been built up); the
ditches are much overgrown and are being filled with rubbish.
There is no sign of any other sides.
b(60) Moated site (Class A 4; N.G. TL 245524) at Dutter
End, on greensand to the N. of the alluvium along Millbridge
Brook; probably that of the manor of Avenells, later acquired
by Merton College (Lysons', Cambridgeshire 200); in 1602 it
lay in Berrie Close, a field forming part of Avenell's manor
(maps of 1602 at Merton College, Oxford). 11th- to early
14th-century pottery has been found inside the moat as well
as mesolithic flints.
Gamlingay, Monument 60
The moat forms three sides of a rectangle, 415 ft. S. by 229
ft. E. by 225 ft. W. The flat interior is ploughed and the ditch
is covered with grass and broom; it is 35 ft. to 52 ft. wide
and 2 ft. to 7 ft. deep, but the W. side is a natural gully
artificially widened and narrowing towards the N., and the
S. side is a scarp 5 ft. to 6 ft. high, with a slight ditch 35 ft. wide
and an external bank 30 ft. wide and 2½ ft. high rising at the
S.E. angle to form a mound 50 ft. across and 7 ft. high. This
bank was probably a dam directing the stream along the S.
and W. sides.
b(61) House and garden remains (centre at N.G. TL
22615188, not on O.S.; Plate 3), being those of the
mansion of Gamlingay Park and surrounding lay-out.
These were constructed for the third Sir George
Downing in 1712–13, material from a demolished
manor house at East Hatley being incorporated.
Gamlingay Park was demolished in its turn in 1776
(William Cole, B.M. Add. MS. 5810, 135, 152; 5820,
47. Lysons' Cambridgeshire 200–1, 209), the only
structure now standing being the so-called 'Full Moon
Gate' (Monument (41)). The individual earthworks
described below have been elucidated by reference to
a plan of the park (Plate 28), dated 1801, preserved at
Downing College, Cambridge. A vignette of the S.
front of the house on the plan shows a main block,
three storeys high, with four pilasters rising to a heavy
cornice crowned with urns, and single-storeyed wings
with similar pilasters and urns.
(a) the house, extended round three sides of a rectangular
forecourt, open to the S. towards the road from Gamlingay to
Everton and measuring 225 ft. N. to S. by 150 ft.; in the centre
a circular feature, 120 ft. in diameter and I ft. lower than the
court, equates with the lawn. On the site of the main block an
E. to W. hollow 105 ft. by 35 ft. and 6 ft. to 7 ft. deep has
brickwork visible in the sides, presumably that of the cellars.
Gamlingay, Monument 61
Site of Gamlingay Park
(b) terraces, on the fairly steep slope N. of the house down
to the stream. The first terrace, immediately N. of the house
site, is 500 ft. long, 30 ft. wide, raised 10 ft. above the ground
to the E. and 6 ft. above the second terrace. This second terrace
is reached by ramps, 25 ft. wide, at either end of the first and
is rectangular except for a semicircular indentation corresponding to the similarly shaped bay in the lake (c), described below;
it is 460 ft. E. to W. by 230 ft. with scarps falling 6 ft. to 10 ft.
on the N. and E. and a scarp rising 4 ft. to 6½ ft. on the W.
A projection to the N.E. is presumably the site of a summer
house or arbour. A third terrace, 7 ft. to 8 ft. lower than the
second and shaped like it to the lake, is only 22 ft. to 50 ft
wide; it is also reached by ramps.
(c) lake, now drained, on the floor of the valley, some 4 ft.
deep and a trapezium in shape. The short S. side, 400 ft. long,
ranges with the third terrace and has a semi-circular bay 100 ft.
wide projecting 40 ft. to the S. The E. side is formed by an earth
dam 800 ft. long, 80 ft. wide at the base, 20 ft. across the flat
top and 5½ ft. high on both sides; this held back the stream
flowing E. through the valley. The N. and W. sides are
indicated by scarps 2 ft. to 5 ft. high. An oval mound 30 ft.
to 40 ft. across and 2½ ft. high is approximately on the N. to
S. axis of the lake 250 ft. from the N. side.
(d) two series of rectangular ponds, respectively W. and
S.E. of (c), formed by further damming of the stream. There
are only faint traces of the W. series, but on the S.E. four ponds
survive: they are 40 ft. wide and 150 ft. to 400 ft. long; the
first is separated from the second by an earth dam, 7 ft. to
8 ft. high, constructed at the level of the lowest terrace.
(e) stables (?), to the E. of the E. wing of the house (a). The
remains consist of an E. to W. depression 6 ins. deep.
(f) platform, to the N. of (e), roughly rectangular and
raised 2 ft. to 2½ ft.
(g) pond, to the N.E. of (f), rectangular 45 ft. N. to S. by
15 ft., on the site of the kitchen garden; a length of brick
culvert 200 ft. to the N.E. carries water to the nearest of the
larger ponds (d).
(h) wall footings, W. of (a), indicated by parallel depressions
suggesting two walls, some 9 ft. apart, enclosing a path.
(i) walled garden, in the form of a rectangular depression
90 ft. N. to S. by 30 ft., in the angle between the foregoing S.
wall and the site of the W. wing of the house.
(j) another garden, to the N.W. of (i); the serpentine
pathway shown on the Downing College plan can still be
a(62) Settlement remains (around N.G. TL 214529, not on
O.S.) at Old Woodbury. They are those of a hamlet adjoining
the manor house of Woodbury, a separate manor at least from
1140 (Rot. Hund. (1818), II, 529), with its own field system
(see Monument (63) below). The site, on greensand, now pasture, is a steep slope about 100 ft. high facing N. and W. The
remains consist of two hollow-ways, three apparent building
sites, and two closes.
(a) hollow-way, 200 yds. N.E. of Old Woodbury Farm,
runs N.W. and S.E. down the slope but can only be traced
for 125 yds.; it is 40 ft. wide and 2 ft. to 3 ft. deep where best
preserved at the S.E. end.
(b) another hollow-way, to the S.W. of Old Woodbury,
curves for 130 yds. N.W. and N.E. along the edge of Woodbury Sinks; it is 10 ft. to 12 ft. wide with a rounded bottom and
has scarps 6 ft. to 8 ft. deep on the E. and 2 ft. deep on the
W. A track to Old Woodbury ran along this line in c. 1800.
(c) building sites (?), between Old Woodbury Farm and
(a): the first is a triangular platform 25 ft. to 30 ft. across and
2 ft. high; the second, to the E. of the first, is a platform 60 ft.
square and 2 ft to 3 ft. high; the third, to the S.E. of the second
and projecting into it, is a semicircular platform with a scarp
4 ft. high on the N.W. A ramp 8 ft. wide on the N.E. side of
the third platform leads down on to the second.
(d) two closes, both rectangular and much disturbed, each
400 ft. N.W. to S.E. by 40 ft.; they are separated by a ditch
6 ft. wide and 9 ins. deep and contained on the S.W. and N.E.
by banks 20 ft. wide and 6 ins. to 9 ins. high.
(63) Cultivation remains (not on O.S.). Ridge and furrow
with ridges 170 yds. to 260 yds. long, 5 yds. to 9 yds. wide and
6 ins. to 1 ft. high, with headlands 7 yds. to 11 yds. wide,
survives around Woodbury at N.G. TL 187537, 196540 and
210521, indicating old enclosures. At N.G. TL 268513 in Hatley
Park, where there are curved ridges 170 yds. long, blocks of
strips had already been enclosed into small fields in 1602.
The most extensive traces of ridge and furrow visible on
air photographs, some reversed-S, are to the N.W. of Woodbury and E. of Gamlingay; these are all in former open fields.
During the mediaeval period Gamlingay Park and Great Heath
were apparently heath and scrub, and not cultivated.
The maps made by T. Langdon in 1602 show each strip
and give many names (Plate 29). The three open fields were
'East', 'Middle' and 'South' Fields. Woodbury, a narrow strip
projecting into Huntingdonshire on the W., formed a separate
manor apparently with its own field system, and is not
covered by these maps; it was known also as 'Westthorpe'.
Shackleden, another outlying settlement, mostly heathland,
later became the Park.
A large area S. and N.W. of the village is now divided into
long rectangular allotments unconnected with the open-field
lay-out; these result from allocations at the time of parliamentary enclosure to the large number of freeholders in the
parish. At a few places baulks, 1 ft. wide and 6 ins. high, remain
between these allotments.
(Ref: maps of 1602 (Merton College, Oxford); copies of
1602 maps made in 1767 by William Cole (Merton College,
Oxford); map of Woodbury, undated but c. 1800 (C.R.O.);
enclosure map, 1844 (C.R.O.); tithe map, 1850 (T.R.C.); I. S.
Leadam, Royal Hist. Soc. Trans., N.S. VIII (1894), 298–305;
air photographs: 106G/UK.635. 2429–31, 3425–7, 3433–7.
106G/UK.1635. 1454–64. 106G/UK. 2024. 3026–30, 4063–73,