(O.S. 6 ins. aTL 26 N.W., bTL 26 N.E., cTL 26 S.W., dTL 26 S.E.)
Graveley is a parish of 1582 acres on the Huntingdonshire border, for the most part between 100 ft. and
200 ft. above O.D., and entirely on boulder clay.
Drainage is to the N.E.
The village, a small one, lies just N. of the S. boundary of the parish, about a mile from the perhaps older
settlement of Yelling. The lay-out is based on a subrectangular network of lanes between old closes; some
of these, especially on the S. side, were stopped up at the
general enclosure of 1805. The enclosure map of 1802
(C.R.O.) shows a number of kinks in hedgelines both
here and to the N.W. of the rectory (Monument (7)),
about the width of a track, suggesting that further lanes
had already been suppressed. The main street, S. of the
church, and Church Lane, to the N., both appear to have
widened out in the past into small greens: the first of
these had already been parcelled out in 1802; encroachment on the second had begun and was consolidated during the subsequent decades (see Monument
c(1) Parish Church of St. Botolph stands in the S.
half of a rectangular churchyard which forms a platform
bounded by ditches and lanes on the N. and W. It is
built of field stones and reused ashlar except the chancel
which is of brick; dressings are of limestone and clunch;
the roofs are tiled.
Although the reused stonework may include some of
12th-century origin there are no clear indications of a
structure older than the second half of the 13th century.
The Nave, including the N. arcade and the scanty
remains of the N. aisle is, apart from comparatively
extensive rebuilding and repair, of that time. The West
Tower is a 15th-century addition. The N. aisle was
abandoned and the arcade blocked in the 16th or 17th
century. The present Chancel was built by the Rev.
Henry Trotter, then incumbent, under a faculty of 1733
in place of an earlier one 'built with rough stones and
pebbles and cemented with clay and very bad mortar . . .
near as large as the body of the church'. Trotter's
chancel was heightened and fitted with a Gothic E.
window and chancel arch 'about the year 1870'. (O.
P. Fisher, 'Notes on Graveley Church', Cambs. and
Hunts. A. S. Trans., III (1914), 95). There were further
restorations in 1874–6 and 1880.
Graveley, the Parish Church of Saint Botolph
Architectural Description—The Nave (42½ ft. by 20½ ft.)
has a N. wall consisting of a blocked arcade of four bays with
openings in the blocking. The two-centred arches, which were
apparently stilted, are exposed internally: they are each of two
hollow-chamfered orders separated by a hollow under a moulded label with worn head stops. The piers, masked by buttresses
outside, mutilated and only partially visible within, were
apparently octagonal; the capitals have been cut away save at
the W. end where what is apparently part of the abacus of the
respond survives. The blocking and coeval added buttresses
are mostly of reused ashlar, some roughly coursed. A blocked
doorway in the third bay with chamfered jambs and four-centred head is 16th- or early 17th-century. Opposite it on the
S. side is a 13th-century doorway, also blocked, of two continuous chamfered orders and two-centred head with depressed
rear arch. The nave is lit by three windows in the N. wall and
two in the E. half of the S. wall. Their design is uniform, of two
trefoiled lights with a quatre-foiled circle in the head. Those on
the N. side, mutilated and reset, are also heavily restored;
those on the S. side are modern. Both side walls have a hollow-chamfered eaves course. S. of the chancel arch, set high in the
wall, is a shallow recess of the 14th century, with trefoiled
ogee head and cusped panels above; it may be the blocked
upper doorway to a former rood loft.
The North Aisle (about 5 ft. wide) has disappeared save for
the ruined W. wall, including most of its two angle buttresses,
and the beginning of the N. return; there does not seem to
have been a W. window.
The West Tower (10½ ft. square) is of three architectural
stages with four-stage diagonal buttresses at the W. corners,
moulded plinth and modern embattled parapet. The W. doorway is completely restored externally save for the square
label. Above it are four reset late 14th- or 15th-century head
stops. The modern W. window replaces that of the 18th
century given, according to the inscription on his monument,
by Rev. Henry Trotter, d. 1766; the rear arch is mediaeval.
There are three rectangular lights in the second stage and a
window of two cinque-foiled lights with a pierced head in
each face of the bell chamber. The tower arch is of two orders,
the outer moulded and continuous, the inner chamfered and
carried on attached part-circular shafts with moulded caps and
bases. There is no vice. The low gallery carried on three cross
beams, two at least of which are stop-chamfered, is an ancient
feature; it may be coeval with the floor of the ringing chamber,
one beam of which is inscribed '16 ATC 14\?\'.
Fittings—Bells: four, with continuous rhyming inscription
and date '1624', probably by William Haulsey. Books: the
surviving items of a library 'of near 1400 volumes', bequeathed
by Rev. Henry Trotter to the Rector of Graveley and his
successors, have been removed to Jesus College, Cambridge
(see also Monument (7)). Coffin: of stone, against N. wall
of nave, lid missing; mediaeval. Monuments: In chancel—
on N. wall (1) of Katharine (Dixon), wife of Rev. Henry
Trotter, 1729, and of their children Katharine, John, Mary
and Elizabeth, marble tablet flanked by scroll brackets with
pediment surmounted by an urn, and cartouche below with
painted shield of arms; (2) of Henry Waller, 1794, slate tablet
with pediment surmounted by a cherub's head; on S. wall
(3) of Rev. Henry Trotter, 1766, rector, marble tablet inscribed
with details of his benefactions to the church and parish of
Graveley and to three 'charitable societies' with cornice and
urn above and apron carved with a festoon, inscribed 'J.
Dixon Fecit'; (4) of Rev. William Wicksteed, rector, 1795,
octagonal white marble tablet in coloured frame with cornice
and small urn. In nave—on N. wall (5) of Mary wife of
William Brown, 1805, slate lozenge; on S. wall (6) of Sarah
(Brown), wife of William Mehew, 1816, uniform with the
foregoing. Outside—on S. wall of chancel (7) (Plate 15) of
Mary Warren, 1838. Plate: includes a cup, a stand paten and
a flagon, all London 1746, inscribed and presented in 1746.
Pulpit: hexagonal with one large fielded panel on each side;
c(2) Rookery Farm, two-storeyed, framed and plastered,
with tiled roof, is 17th-century. It consists of a three-cell E.
and W. range with an internal chimney, and a W. cross wing,
both gabled; chimneys have been added at both ends of the
range. Some intersecting chamfered beams are exposed in the
cross wing on the ground floor but most of the structural
timber is masked.
c(3) House, two-storeyed, of red brick with tiled roofs,
L-shaped with chimneys in the gable ends, built c. 1700. The
main front to the W. in five bays has been much altered; it has
a platband and moulded and dentilled eaves cornice. A recess
over the central front door carries a blank shield beneath a
swag in a surround of fruitage, all executed in plaster. The
recess and the adjacent windows have keystones decorated
with grotesque heads in plaster. The eaves cornice has also had
some plaster enrichment, now largely defaced. In the end
walls are platbands at the floor levels and gable parapets; one
of two bulls-eyes in the N. gable survives.
c(4) Baldock Farm (Class J?), two-storeyed, now has 18th-century end and back walls in red brick with end chimneys
and a 19th-century front in later brick. The house, which has
been extended at the rear, is probably of 17th-century origin.
b(5) House (Class J), one storey and attic, framed and plastered but partly cased in brick, with half-hipped thatched roof;
17th-century. Inside is a door of six run-through panels with
enriched frieze panel; one axial beam has a shaped stop.
b(6) Houses, three structures, in Church Lane, some if not
all encroachments, of studwork and brick with thatched roofs,
two of rough mansard form. The brickwork in some cases
replaces or conceals slightly earlier framing. A stone plaque
on the W. front of the first house is inscribed 'James Ford
August 1838' probably alluding to this later brickwork.
b(7) Rectory, of red brick, large and eclectic in style, dated
1853; reused 18th-century woodwork includes some panelled
doors and a quantity of library shelving in an attic, doubtless
from the book room provided for in the will of Rev. Henry
Trotter (d. 1766).
Secondary remains of earlier date include a small rectangular
building, 50 yds. N.W. of the rectory, of red brick with
freestone plinth and other dressings, brick eaves cornice and
hipped roof covered with tiles, converted to coach house and
stabling, perhaps to be identified with the book room mentioned
above; a length of 18th-century red brick boundary wall along
the road, to the W. of the rectory; and a rectangular pond to
b(8) House, single-storeyed with attics, part framed and
plastered, part brick replacement, with tiled roofs, is of 17th-century or earlier origin. The S.E. cross wing retains its first-floor jetty S.W. to the street and some internal structural
timber; the rest has been almost entirely rebuilt.
b(9) House, T-shaped, of one storey with attics, framed and
plastered, with thatched roofs; 17th-century with alterations.
An original chimney with shafted stack is placed at the junction
of the two ranges.
(10) Cultivation Remains (not on O.S.). Much ridge and
furrow can be seen in old closes around the village. The re
mains nearest to the village, e.g. at N.G. TL 244643 and 247642,
usually have straight ridges, 80 yds. to 170 yds. long, 7 yds.
to 11 yds. wide, and 9 ins. high, with headlands 6 yds. to 10
yds. wide, and were probably always in closes. Curved and
reversed-S ridge and furrow of similar proportions, apparently
marking enclosures from the open fields, exists, usually further
from the village, e.g. at N.G. TL 253641 and 255635.
A hollow-way 30 ft. wide and 6 ins. deep runs along the
E. and N. side of two closes at about N.G. TL 250638 and in
1802 was called Yelling Road.
There are extensive traces of ridge and furrow, visible on
air photographs all over the parish, belonging to the open
fields which prior to enclosure were divided into 'High' and
'Nill' Fields and the smaller 'Depden' and 'West' Fields.
(Ref: enclosure map 1802 (C.R.O.); air photographs:
106G/UK/1490/3374–8, 4348–50, 4364–8.)