27 LITTLE EVERSDEN
(O.S. 6 ins. TL 35 S.E.)
Little Eversden, containing only 790 acres, lies immediately E. of Great Eversden. The Roman road from
Cambridge to Arrington Bridge forms the S.E. boundary of the parish. Great and Little Eversden have had
a distinct existence from at least late Saxon times, but
the two settlements have always been closely connected
and are described as a unit in Domesday Book.
The relief and soil are similar to those of Great Eversden. The village, which can never have been large, now
lies on a spur of chalk along a N.E. and S.W. street, part
of a minor road linking the Mare Way and Comberton.
Cross and back lanes still in part surviving when the
parish was enclosed in 1811 (enclosure map in C.R.O.)
have since further decayed.
Post-enclosure dwellings not separately listed include
one or two which appear to have originated as farm
buildings. Some others are of local clunch, a material
which has been quarried in the village at least since the
mid 18th century (see Monument (7)), and probably,
on field-name evidence (see Monument (17)), very
(1) Parish Church of St. Helen stands in a slightly
raised rectangular churchyard bounded on the W. by
a decayed clunch wall. The fabric is of fieldstones and
clunch rubble, largely plastered on the outside, with
dressings of freestone and clunch; the roofs are slated.
It consists of a Chancel, Nave with North Porch, and West
Tower, and is predominantly of the 14th century except
for the porch and tower, which are of c. 1400 or of the
early 15th century. Features described below are original
unless otherwise stated. The church was restored in
Architectural Description—The Chancel (27½ ft. by 16 ft.)
has an E. window of three trefoiled lights with net tracery and
a moulded label; a window of a single trefoiled light at the W.
end of the N. wall; and two rectangular windows in the S.
wall, the first, 16th-century, of two lights with four-centred
heads, the second of two trefoiled ogee lights; all are more or
less restored. The chancel arch is modern.
The Nave (39 ft. by 20¼ ft.) has restored windows at the E.
end of either side wall, of two trefoiled lights with flowing
tracery and a label; a third window at the W. end of the S.
wall, is of two cinque-foiled lights with mullions and flowing
tracery, completely restored, and an external label, and has
moulded jambs and casement-moulded splays with small
shafts worked on the arris. The N. doorway, continuously
moulded and with a label, is much worn and crudely made
up with cement; the S. doorway is blocked and its continuous
moulding is completely eroded. A rood stair N. of the chancel
arch is entered by a modern doorway.
The North Porch (Plate 9) is framed above a modern dwarf
wall. The two-centred entrance arch is flanked by two trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a square head; the gable has
cusped barge-boards. The side walls have each seven similar
lights. The roof has a collar to each pair of rafters with a collar
purlin supported by crown posts rising from tie beams at the
The West Tower (10¾ ft. by 10 ft.) is of three stages with
three-tier diagonal buttresses at the W. angles and rises to an
embattled parapet having a gargoyle in the middle of each
face. The W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights with
vertical tracery and a label with head stops. The second stage
has loop lights to the S. and W. The third stage has a two-light
window in each face with vertical tracery. Below that to the
E. is the weathering of an earlier nave roof. The tower arch is
of two moulded orders: the outer is continuous to the E. but
dies against the side walls to the W.; the inner is carried on
attached shafts with moulded caps and bases. The vice is canted
against the N.W. corner and is entered by a doorway with
continuous chamfered jambs and four-centred head. Set high
beneath a small squinch arch at the junction of the vice with the
W. wall is a head, apparently carved and mediaeval; a corresponding head at the junction with the N. wall is partly
concealed by plaster. A doorway from the vice into the ringing
chamber is similar to that at the foot of the vice.
Little Eversden, the Parish Church of St. Helen
The Roof of the nave, divided into three bays by tie beams
which rise off braced wall posts with carved pendants, has
raking struts from the ties and braces to the side purlins; 17th-century.
Fittings—Bells: four; 1st inscribed 'MG'; 2nd by J. Eayre,
1756; 3rd by Miles Graye, 1629; 4th by Christopher Graye,
1666. Bell frame: 17th-century. Benefactor's table: framed panel,
1805, recording gifts by Charles Baron Deer to the church,
and to the sick of Great and Little Eversden; a second framed
panel is now repainted with a list of successive incumbents;
the earlier heading 'Eversden Parva' is legible. Door: to tower
vice, of vertical planks with simple furniture; old. Font:
octagonal bowl on modern stem, 13th-century, restored.
Glass: a few fragments in first window on N. side of nave and
in W. window of tower, 14th- to 15th-century. Monuments
and Floor slabs. Monuments: On S. wall of chancel, of Rev.
Peter Heaton, 1824. In churchyard, on S. side, shaped headstone carved with emblems of mortality, of Denies Baron,
date not read, late 17th- or early 18th-century; also remains of
some five similar headstones, one of John Baron, date not read.
Floor slabs: in chancel (1) of John Cranwell, 1686, (2) of Mary
(Baron) Cranwell, 1684, (3) of Mary Baron Cranwell, 1737;
in nave (4) of Rebecca Deer, 1770, and Charles Baron Deer,
1771. Plate: includes a cup by Thomas Buttell, inscribed and
dated '1569'; and a paten, unmarked, c. 1570. Stoup: rough
recess and mutilated base immediately W. of N. door. Table:
with slender corkscrew legs and lightly moulded top and
bottom rails, late 17th- or 18th-century. Miscellaneous: cross-shaped stone, loose in church, possibly a mediaeval cross or
(2) House and Barn. The House approximates to Class J,
but has an original short N. wing at the E., chimney, end.
It is two-storeyed with attics, framed and plastered, with some
brick, and is of the late 17th or early 18th century, much
altered. The Barn, aisled and of three bays, partly boarded,
with sheet-iron roof, is roughly coeval.
(3) School, clunch-built, now tiled and slated but at one
time thatched, may be partly of the first half of the 19th century.
(4) Rectory (Class U), built between 1725 and 1730 during
the incumbency of the Rev. John Warde (B.M. Add. MS.
5828, 91), two-storeyed with attic, framed and plastered,
with some later white brick, hipped tiled roof rising to a central flat. The front door of six fielded panels with moulded
architrave, pulvinated frieze and cornice, and some of the
sash windows, are original. Inside is some bolection-moulded
and fielded panelling, a moulded stone fireplace surround and
other 18th-century details.
(5) House, Buildings and Stonework. The House,
partly one and partly two storeys with some attics,
mostly framed and plastered, with various brick casing
and underbuilding, and tiled roofs, has a 15th-century
or early 16th-century nucleus, originally an open hall.
During the 17th century an addition was made on the
W. side of the hall. About the same time, this last was
floored and a comparatively large cross wing built some
7 ft. to the S., the intervening space being devoted to
chimneys and a stair. There have been infillings and
extensions since to the W. and N.W.
Recent stripping of external plaster has revealed much of the
framework of the mediaeval hall. The E. and W. side walls
each consist of verticals divided into two heights by a middle
rail, which forms the transom of a window at the S. end on
either side. At the N. end of the E. wall is a blocked door;
slots cut in the top inside edges of the middle rails immediately
S. of this may be for the screen. The hall space is divided internally into two bays by a central tie-beam and crown-post
truss with curved braces from the tie to swell-head posts and
from the crown post to the extreme ends of the collar; the
ogee moulding of the tie is returned down the posts with a
mason's mitre at the junction. The S., closed, truss is similar
to the central truss, but the N. truss, also closed, and now
fragmentary, had a chamfer in place of the moulding. Principal
rafters are, or have been, braced to side purlins, those of the
S. truss being morticed for braces on the outside suggesting
that the range continued beyond the hall. Towards the S. end
of the N. bay of the roof are remains of a louvre, the upper
part of one pair of rafters being omitted; holes and slots cut
in the trimmers of the louvre and in the flanking rafters are
probably for ventilators. The roof timbers and plaster are
partly blackened by smoke from the hall fire which would
seem to have been placed against the screen.
Little Eversden, Monument No. 5
The later fireplace bressummer in the ground floor of the
hall range is stop-chamfered; the inserted axial ceiling beam
is moulded with a hollow between two ovolos and stopped.
The S. cross wing has two rooms on the ground floor, each
divided into four bays by intersecting ceiling beams, apparently
stop-chamfered but now largely cased. A passage hall has been
taken out of the larger, E., room. The ground-floor room of
the W. addition had a ceiling similarly divided by stopped
ovolo-moulded beams with uniform wall plates, but the S.
secondary is missing. Further detail of the 17th century includes
the large external chimney between the cross wing and the
W. extension, and some reset run-through panelling including
fragments, fluted and carved with strapwork, intersecting
circles and paterae. The kitchen or outhouse annexe at the
N.W. corner of the house, of red brick with platbands, is
The Buildings, N. of the house, include a pigeon house and
a granary, both 17th-century, and an 18th-century barn. The
pigeon house, framed, part plastered and part boarded, with
hipped roof rising to two gablets and tiled, has had the nests
removed and a floor inserted. The granary, in two bays, is of
framing filled with nogging above a tall brick plinth and has
a half-hipped tiled and pantiled roof; the corn bins incorporate
some 17th-century run-through panelling. The barn is aisled,
of three bays with doors in the middle bay S. to the yard;
the roof is of sheet iron.
Stonework, loose in the garden N. of the house, includes the
monolithic base of a mediaeval cross in shelly limestone,
octagonal to square with carved stops, socket for square shaft;
also a T-shaped stone carved with part of a trefoil-headed window form beneath a moulded label, 13th- or 14th-century.
(6) House (Class I), framed and plastered, with thatched
roof, of a single storey with attics lit from the gable ends and
with continuous original outshut along the rear side, was at
one time a shop. The fenestration suggests that it was built as
such; probably soon after 1811.
(7) Quarry and Buildings (N.G. TL 367520), at the S. end
of the parish. The Quarry consists of about 4 acres of open
clunch pits, now abandoned. The Buildings on the E. side,
some ruinous, are partly of clunch ashlar; one block bears the
date '1750'. On their E. side is a circular shaft with a comparatively modern winding engine at the head.
(8–15) Houses, all probably of internal-chimney design
(Class J predominating) and originally framed and plastered,
though some have been considerably altered; of two storeys
or one storey with attic: roofs mostly gabled and thatched;
17th- or 18th-century. Monument (11) has a rebuilt square
chimney stack with four detached diagonal shafts; (14) has a
clunch fireplace surround with double ovolo moulding, and
the unheated end may originally have been open to the roof.
(16) Moated Site (Class A1 (b); not on O.S.), on a level
site of chalk marl. Probably the site of the manor of Little
Eversden. The 1811 enclosure map shows the S. part of
a rectangular moat, the S. side being 240 ft. internally, the
W. side 120 ft., and the E. side 160 ft. Only the E. side now
remains, as a pond 30 ft. across at the N. end widening to 60
ft., and 2 ft. to 3 ft. deep, with 2 ft. to 3 ft. of water. Pottery
of the 14th century and later has been collected on the ploughed
surface of the interior.
(17) Cultivation Remains (not on O.S.). Ridge and furrow
with ridges 130 yds. to 140 yds. long where complete, 7 yds.
to 11 yds. wide and 9 ins. high, survives in the N. of the parish
around N.G. TL 373545, 378545; also around 372534. These
remains, with curving ridges, apparently formed part of the
open fields, as did the slight traces visible on air photographs
to the S. of the village. There were two fields called 'Low'
and 'Quarry' Fields.
(Ref: enclosure map 1811 (C.R.O.); air photographs: