An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 1, South. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1912.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
In this section
(O.S. 6 in. (a)lvi. N.W. (b)lvi. S.W.)
a(1). The Church and College of the Blessed Mary of Eton, stands at the N. end of the old town, on the Slough road. The original site, acquired by the founder, King Henry VI., in 1440, is low, bounded on the S. and E. by the river Thames, and on the N. and W. by the Slough road. The church is of stone, but the college buildings, which are of two and of three storeys, are of red brick with stone dressings, though parts of the walls are faced with stone. The roofs are covered with lead, tiles and slate, and the chimneys are of moulded brick. The Church is on the S. side of a large courtyard, known as the School Yard, which is bounded on the N. and W. by the Lower and Upper School Buildings, and on the E. by the W. range of the four ranges forming the Cloister Buildings. Additions have been made at various dates, and some houses connected with, but not actually part of, the old College buildings were erected on the site prior to 1700.
The group of buildings comprising the Church, School Buildings, and Cloister Buildings, is of exceptional interest as an illustration of the mediæval collegiate plan. The most noticeable features are: in the Church—the 15th-century lectern, the brasses of Provosts Bost and Lupton and the screen of Lupton's Chapel; in the Upper and Lower School Buildings—the desks, seating, etc., and the carved names of the scholars from the 16th century to the present time; in the Cloister Buildings— the 17th-century bread-bin and butler's desk, and the 15th-century ironwork of the gallery doors.
It is also to be noted that both the Church and the College buildings were sufficiently completed during the reign, and under the direct superintendence of the founder, to cause most of the later work to be of the nature of minor alterations and embellishments, or external additions to the original scheme. It may almost be said that the original buildings are still put to the purposes for which they were erected. This interest is further enhanced by the remarkable series of documents in the College Library and Muniment Room, which record and illustrate the original scheme, the actual construction of the buildings, the changes in design made during the progress of the work and the later alterations and additions. They include contemporary and official statements of the King's intentions and desires, estimates of cost and a vast mass of contracts and building accounts, which are continued, with a few breaks, from 1441 to the present day.
Work was begun in 1441; bricks were first supplied in 1442, and in the same year a contract was made with some quarrymen of Kent for a supply of stone. The site of the College and its grounds contained the old Parish Church, which probably stood to the S. of the present Church and was left standing, repaired, and even enlarged while the new Church was being built; it was not finally destroyed until shortly after 1475. In October, 1443, mass was celebrated at the High Altar of the new Church which was still unfinished. In the same year a contract was made for the joinery for ten chambers, the hall, seven towers and the cloisters in the 'quadrant' which is mentioned as then standing and must have been a part of the present Cloister Buildings. By the spring of 1448 preparations were made for completing the new Quire which was to be 103 ft. by 32 ft. in size, and for finishing the College buildings generally. The Cloister Buildings were not quite completed at that date. By 1448, the new Church was nearly ready; but in January, 1449, Roger Keys, the Clerk of the Works, visited the cathedrals of Salisbury and Winchester to measure their quires and naves, etc., and in March he spent three weeks in London arranging for further supplies of material, and submitting to the King proposals for the completion of the work. The result was a new design for a Quire 150 ft. by 40 ft., with larger and more numerous windows, which corresponds in every essential particular with the present building, and it is clear that the Quire begun in 1441 and nearly completed by 1448 was pulled down and begun again on a larger plan c. 1449–50; this is confirmed by the walling of the church; Teynton stone is largely used in the lower courses and no Teynton stone appears in the accounts before 1448. About that time the glazing of the windows in the College buildings, including the Hall, was in progress. After 1450 the work proceeded more slowly, and the accounts are somewhat imperfect. The kitchen was probably built and the Quire of the Church was nearly finished by 1458–9.
On the deposition of the King in 1460 work ceased, and was never again continued on the same scale. Up to that time between £15,000 and £16,000 had been expended and the College consisted of the following parts:—(1) The Cloister Buildings, consisting of the Provost's and the Fellows' lodgings, and a Hall with Offices and Kitchen; (2) the Lower School Building, a two-storeyed range, providing accommodation for the scholars and their masters; (3) the nearly finished Quire, including the North Vestry and Porch, of the new Church.
The school-yard was thus enclosed on the N., S., and E., but the W. side of the yard was open, or had, possibly, a wall. The Lower School Building was joined to the Cloister Buildings by a wall the height of one storey, and the Quire was completely detached.
The College was deprived of part of its revenues under Edward IV. and never regained them in full. In 1469 Bishop William Waynflete took up the work, and in 1475 arranged a contract for erecting the rood-loft and stalls of the new Church; but the large nave and aisles originally intended were for ever abandoned and, in place of them, in 1479 the Ante-chapel was begun, and, probably with its N. and S. porches, was finished about 1482. No further structural work was done in the 15th century, but many fittings were purchased, and the paintings, now hidden by the modern stalls, were executed between 1478 and 1480.
Important work began again with the Provostship of Roger Lupton (1503–1535): in 1507–8 the kitchen was partly re-built and the present roof was constructed; Lupton's Chapel was built at the expense of the Provost, and was finished by 1515; the West Range of the Cloister Buildings was re-built; the work was begun on 23rd February, 1516–17. The cloister arches and some of the walling above them were preserved, but the W. front, S. of the N.W. tower, was destroyed, and even the S.W. corner tower was probably levelled to the ground. The new range contained the Provost's Lodge, the gate, in a tower of four stages, and the library, the present Election Hall; this range was completed c. 1520. There is evidence in the detail of doorways and windows to show that some important work of restoration and repair was done at that time to the Lower School Building, which forms the N. side of the school-yard, but modern restorations make the full extent of the repairs uncertain. No further structural work was done in the 16th century. In 1603–4 the Saville House was built (see separate paragraph). During the Provostship of Dr. Allestree (1665–1680) the quadrangle of the schoolyard was completed by building a W. range; this proved to be of faulty construction, and was pulled down and replaced by the present building known as 'Upper School', between 1689 and 1691. Towards the end of the 17th century the Church was repaired and practically re-roofed. In 1714 the brewhouse and bakehouse W. of the kitchen were re-built, and between 1726 and 1729 the cloister side of the S. range of the Cloister Buildings was completely re-built in constructing the present library. In 1758 a third storey was added to the N. and E. ranges. In 1756–66 a wing projecting towards the N. from the N.W. corner of the Cloister Buildings was added to the Provost's Lodge, and in 1844 a wing parallel to it was built for the further accommodation of the collegers. Other additions made in the 19th century were of a minor character or else wholly separated and at some distance from the old buildings. The Church was fully restored between 1847 and 1852, and again in 1876. The hall was restored and re-roofed in 1858.
The Church of the Blessed Mary of Eton.
Architectural Description—The Presbytery and Quire (150 ft. by 40 ft.), which were completed by 1475, form one range of eight bays, marked externally by deep buttresses and internally by clustered wall-shafts. The floor is raised about 13 ft. above the external ground level, the space between being filled in solid; this was part of the original design, and was due to the liability of the site to floods from the river. The E. window is of nine cinque-foiled lights in two stages with an embattled transom, tracery, and a four-centred main head, and the exterior is elaborately moulded; the outer order of the mouldings and the external label are curiously distorted and appear to be old material re-used from the first and smaller church; the lights are arranged in triplets and the mastermullions have small off-set buttresses with finials; the internal reveal is elaborately moulded and panelled and is carried to the floor; the window-back is panelled, and in the splays are doorways which open into octagonal stair-turrets, set between the corner buttresses and rising above the parapet of the chapel; the turrets are finished with small wooden lanterns. The N. and S. walls have each eight windows, all of five cinque-foiled lights in two stages, with embattled transoms and tracery under two-centred main heads; the internal and external reveals are moulded; the wall-shafts which separate the windows have moulded capitals and bases, and the four eastern shafts on each side are continued down to the floor; the others are carried on small moulded corbels on an offset below the window sills, formed by a thickening of the walls of the four western bays, designed to give a flat surface for the stalls. The four eastern bays have the window reveals carried to the floor, and the backs are panelled in the same way as that of the E. window; the panelling is complete on the S. wall; on the N. wall the first bay is partly covered by the monument to Provost Murray, the second bay is pierced by the arch opening into Lupton's chapel; the panelling of the third bay is partly modern, and there was apparently, at one time, an opening into the vestry; in the fourth bay, opening into the porch, is a doorway very much restored. The rest of the lower part of both walls is almost entirely covered by the modern stalls and their canopies. In the W. wall of the quire, opening into the ante-chapel, is an arch, now almost completely hidden by the organ and the modern organ-loft; it appears to be modern or wholly restored, but during one of the 19th century restorations traces of a wider arch were discovered in the wall; above the arch is a traceried window of seven lights of the same design as the other windows.
The walls of the quire are of two stages with a moulded plinth and an embattled parapet. The buttresses, of considerable projection, are off-set at the first stage, in the middle of the second stage, at the spring of the windows, they have small crocketed and finialled gables, and they are finished with crocketed pinnacles. The basement courses are of Teynton stone (shelly oolite); up to the window sills and to the second off-set of the buttresses stone from Huddleston is used mixed with Teynton stone; above this is Kentish rag-stone; the Teynton stone is also used where extra durability is required. The pinnacles and parapet are almost entirely modern, and the window tracery is considerably restored.
Lupton's Chapel (11 ft. by 14 ft.), which was added c. 1514, has an elaborate fan-vaulted roof, with moulded ribs, forming cusped panels, and, in the centre, an elaborate traceried circle with a long pendent boss, on which is a shield with argent a cheveron sable three lilies argent thereon between three lions' heads razed sable a chief gules a tau cross between two scallops or thereon (for Lupton). In the N. wall is a window of five cinque-foiled lights in two stages, with tracery in a four-centred main head. In the W. wall is the E. window of the vestry.
The North Vestry and Porch, built at the same time as the quire, are set between the third and fourth and the fourth and fifth buttresses of the N. wall of the quire. The vestry has an E. window and a N. window, each of three trefoiled and sub-cusped lights, with tracery and an embattled transom; the E. window now opens to Lupton's chapel; the internal reveals of both windows are panelled, and a recess in the S. wall has similar panels; the back of the recess appears to be modern, and probably once formed an opening into the quire. In the W. wall the doorway opening into the porch is continuously moulded in the vestry, and has, in the porch, a deep square-headed and panelled reveal. The porch has windows in the N. and W. walls of the same character as those in the vestry; at the N. end of the W. wall is the outer doorway, of two moulded orders, the inner four-centred, the outer square; the jambs have slender shafts with moulded capitals; the doorway is approached by a flight of steps from the school yard.
The Ante-Chapel (59 ft. by 30 ft.), built 14791482, has, on each side of the quire arch, a panelled and moulded buttress on which is an image (see Fittings). The N. and the S. window are each of seven cinque-foiled lights with a four-centred main head and tracery of later character than that of the quire windows. In the W. wall are three windows, each of five cinque-foiled lights and tracery in a four-centred main head. The walls below the windows are panelled in the same manner as the eastern part of the quire, except where they are pierced by the wide N. and S. doorways which are of similar design, of two elaborately moulded orders, the outer square, the inner four-centred; the spandrels have plain tracery.
The North Porch of the Ante-Chapel is of two storeys and of the same date as the ante-chapel, but the wood staircase (see Plate, p. 269) is of 1694-5, and of four flights, three leading to the N. doorway of the ante-chapel and the fourth continuing to the first floor of the Upper School. The S. doorway of the porch is approached from the colonnade under the Upper School, and is of the same date and design as the N. and S. doorways of the ante-chapel; in the E. and W. walls are mullioned and transomed windows of two lights. The staircase has a heavy moulded handrail and closed string, square panelled newels and turned balusters. The South Porch is similar to the N. porch, but in the W. wall is an entrance for the people of the town; it has a moulded inner order with a four-centred head and a square outer order and label; the jambs have slender shafts and the whole doorway is very much restored. The staircase, of stone, was built in 1624-5. The walls of the antechapel and the porches were completely refaced, with Bath stone, in 1876.
The Roof of the quire retains the original moulded principals, purlins, etc., with arched bracing, but has been much restored; the large cusps were added in the 19th century. The original wooden ceiling of the vestry is flat, divided into panels by moulded strips, with small carved bosses.
Fittings—Bells: in S.W. turret of antechapel, two, 1st by Ellis Knight, 1637. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: in Lupton's Chapel—(1) probably of Roger Lupton, Provost of Eton, figure of ecclesiastic in cassock and cloak with cross of St. George on shoulder, scroll from breast, shield with arms, argent a cheveron sable with a chief gules a tau cross, between two scallops or therein, c. 1566; the arms, for Lupton, differ slightly from those shown on the vaulting boss (see Lupton's Chapel); (2) to Elizabeth (Barlow), wife of Provost William Day, 1575, inscription only. In AnteChapel—on floor, (3) of Henry Bost, Provost of Eton, 1503, figure of ecclesiastic in cassock, surplice and amess, set under triple crocketed and finialled canopy, with inscription, 16 lines of Latin verse, brass inlaid with white metal; on E. wall, S. of arch to Quire, (4) of Dr. Thomas Barker, Vice-Provost of Eton, Rector of Petworth, 1489, figure of ecclesiastic in cassock, surplice, amess and biretta, with inscription in 16 Latin hexameters; (5) to Jane, daughter of Edmund Woodhall, wife of George Goad, 1657, heart-shaped plate with Latin inscription and shield with arms, see indent (15); (6) to John Chelde and Margaret, Isabel and Alys, his wives, inscription only, early 16th-century; (7) of Richard Arden, Fellow of Eton, 1509, priest in Mass vestments, inscription in Latin; (8) of ecclesiastic in cassock, surplice and amess, early 16th-century; (9) to Edward Underhill, citizen and haberdasher of London, 1606, inscription only; (10) of Thomas Edgecomb, Vice-Provost of Eton, 1545, three-quarter figure of tonsured ecclesiastic in cassock and hooded tippet, with Latin inscription in elegiac verse; on E. wall, N. of arch to Quire, (11) of Thomas Allen, of Worcester, Fellow of Eton, 1636, kneeling figure of man with pointed beard, wearing quilled ruff, cloak, etc., with inscription in Latin, see indent (12); (12) of a woman in pedimental head-dress and fur-trimmed gown, early 16th-century; (13) to John Clavering, Fellow and Vice-Provost of Eton, inscription only, 1612; (14) to Thomas Smith, Master of Arts of King's College, Cambridge, and Fellow of; Eton, 1572, rhyming inscription; (15) of Richard Grey, Lord Grey, Cotenore, Wylton and Ruthyn, 1521, figure of man in plate armour with shoulder-guards, mail skirt, etc., see indent (4); (16) of William Boutrod, 'late pety canon of Wyndesore', 1522, figure of ecclesiastic in cassock, surplice and amess, with inscription, see indent (9); (17) inscription, much worn and nearly illegible, dated 1515, (said to be to Robert Rede, 1515, and Mervel, his wife); (18) of Elizabeth Stokys, 1560, woman in ruff, panier skirts, etc., with inscription to Elizabeth and her husband, Robert Stokys, also 1560, said to be palimpsest, see indent (11); (19) to Phillip Botteler, 1613, Latin inscription and five Latin hexameters; (20) to —Page, Fellow of Eton, inscription in two Latin hexameters; (21) of—Horman, 1525, figure of priest in Mass vestments, holding chalice and host, with inscription in Latin (probably William Horman, Headmaster); (22) to Elizabeth (Franklin), wife of Giles Baker, 1641; (23) to Edmond Hobart, scholar of Eton, 1607. Indents: In Ante-Chapel—(1) half hidden by font, of inscription plate; (2) of a woman; (3) of figure and two inscription plates, much worn; (4) of man in armour, inscription plate and two shields, see brass (15); (5) of inscription plate; (6) of kneeling figure, inscription plate and two shields, 16th-century; (7) of two plates; (8) of large inscription plate; (9) of ecclesiastic and inscription plate, see brass (16); (10) of inscription plate; (11) of civilian and woman, kneeling figures, with nine children, shield, scrolls, and two plates, see brass (18); (12) of man and inscription plate, see brass (11); (13) of ecclesiastic and inscription plate, 16th-century; (14) of inscription plate and shield, much worn; (15) of heart-shaped plate and shield, much worn, see brass (5); (16) of inscription plate; (17) of ecclesiastic and inscription plate. Door: of N. vestry, probably 15th-century, with pointed head, the blind tracery apparently a restoration, on the back is painted 'T.W. 1699.' Images: two, on buttresses in ante-chapel, one of St. George, the other uncertain, possibly of the Founder or St. Edward. Lectern: in quire, of latten, with heavy moulded circular base supported on four small lions, circular stem with moulded necking and capital, double bookdesk of plates with pierced cusped and foliated circles containing shields with the arms of Eton, incorrectly given, the leopard being shown rampant instead of passant, the desk also engraved with the symbols of the Evangelists and with scrolls, second half of 15th century. Monuments and Floor-slabs: Monuments: In quire—against E. end of N. wall, (1) to Thomas Murray, Provost of Eton, 1623, elaborate architectural design, in alabaster, with shallow arched niche, containing coloured bust, under enriched Corinthian order, in recess between the pedestals of the columns a carved wooden skeleton, Latin inscription and three cartouches with arms. In N. porch of quire—(2) mural, to Richard Allestree, Provost of Eton, 1680, with arms; (3) to Maria Bateman, 1657, with arms. In churchyard—(4) tomb of John Hales, 1659, slab modern. Floor-slab: In ante-chapel—to Sir Henry Wotton, Provost of Eton, 1637, large, black marble, with re-cut inscription and epitaph: 'Hic jacet hujus sententiae primus Auctor: Disputandi Pruritus fit Ecclesiarum scabies. Nomen alias quaere', and shield with arms. Paintings: in quire, on N. and S. walls, series of paintings of 1478–80; defaced portion visible on S. wall, the rest hidden by canopies of stalls. Reredos: in ante-chapel, in E. wall, N. and S. of arch to quire, range of niches with cusped heads and moulded brackets for images: under E. window of vestry, moulded and embattled string-course, probably part of a reredos. Screen: in Lupton's Chapel, of stone, pierced by arch and doorway, both with four-centred heads and elaborately moulded, whole surface enriched with panelling and mouldings, spandrels of doorway carved with rebus, 'R', 'Lup', and a tun. Stoup: in S.W. buttress of ante-chapel, with four-centred head and moulded projecting basin, part cut away, late 15th-century. Miscellanea: on the stairs of N. porch of quire, shield with the Tudor royal arms.
The Cloister Buildings.
These buildings lie on the E. side of the school-yard, and consist of four ranges enclosing a cloister garth, known as the Green Court, originally about 90 ft. square, but now slightly reduced from N. to S. The N. and E. ranges are of three storeys, the S. and W. ranges are of two storeys, with a tower of four stages in the W. range and a hall of one storey in the S. range. The walls are of red brick with stone dressings; the S. range is faced partly with stone; the roofs are covered with lead, slate and tiles. All the ranges were built in 1441–8, but the W. range was almost wholly re-built in 1517–20; the cloister side of the S. range was re-built and widened in 1726–9, the front being extended into the cloister garth; the third storeys of the N. and E. ranges were added in 1758.
The North and East Ranges appear to have contained originally ten rooms on each floor for the Fellows, conducts, etc. There are square towers at the external angles and against the external walls, which contained latrines and probably staircases. The rooms were entered from the cloister and from the gallery which corresponds to it on the first floor. The change in manners and ways of living since 1441 has resulted in the addition of one storey to these buildings, while the number of tenants has become gradually less; they now form part of the Provost's Lodge and the houses of the Headmaster, Bursar, and Vice-Provost; in consequence the interiors have been considerably altered, and much old work has been hidden, moved, and adapted to other uses. The N. range is pierced at the E. end by a passage which continues the line of the E. cloister and gives access to the Playing Fields N.E. of the college. In the corners of the Green Court are square stair-turrets giving access to the upper floors and roofs. The N.W. turret has been enlarged to give a wider staircase to the first floor of the Provost's Lodge; this is said to have been done in 1618, and the turret appears to have work of that period; but the enlargement may have been made at an earlier date.
The South Range contains the hall with its offices, standing on a vaulted basement, and, on the first floor over the cloister, the 18th-century library. A passage pierces the E. end of the range and corresponds to the passage through the N. range; it now forms part of the ViceProvost's house. The hall has, at the E. end, the screens and offices, and at the W. end the daïs from which the bay window opens on the S.; there are fireplaces on the N., S., and W., and a door and staircase on the W. leading to the Provost's Lodge in the W. range.
The West Range is pierced, near the S.W. corner of the cloisters, by a vaulted archway, under the tower, which is flanked externally by half octagonal stair-turrets. The ground floor of the range contains the porter's lodge and the conducts' rooms and some offices. On the first floor at the N. end is the Magna Parlura of the Provost; S. of this is a modern staircase with the Election Hall, built probably as the college library; it became the state room for the visit of the Provost of Kings and the Posers for the 'Election' of scholars when the library of 1827 was built, and is now used as a private dining-room by the Provost of Eton. Over the gateway is the Election Chamber, and beyond this are a number of rooms appropriated to the Provost. In the third and fourth storeys of the tower are chambers, the upper chamber containing the clock.
Cloister Elevations:—The N. and E. Ranges are of similar design. The ground floor has six continuously moulded four-centred arches, of stone, with brick relieving arches, 1½ bricks deep in the N. range, and 1 brick deep in the E. range; the deeper arch, which is also used in the cloister of the W. range, suggests that the work of building began with the E. range; the fine 18th-century railings across the arches in the N. and E. ranges are of wrought iron. The arch at the W. end of the N. arcade is partly blocked by the staircase to the Provost's Lodge, and between the arches are piers and offset stone buttresses; these are shown, on prints of late 17th-century and earlier date, to have been carried up to the embattled parapet, but have since been cut back to the wall surface above the first floor. The wall above the windows of the first floor was re-built when the third storey was added. The third storey is of stone and is surmounted by an embattled parapet. The windows of the first floor are each of four pointed lights under a square main head with a label. The second floor has 18th-century windows. The S. Range between the corner turrets on this side is wholly of the 18th century and has a classic cloister arcade, also with railings of ironwork. The W. Range retains the original cloister arches and buttresses and the original walling up to about the height of the window-sills on the first floor, but all above this and between the stair-turrets was built in 1517–22. One of the arches of the arcade is blocked by the staircase of the Provost's Lodge; the turret appears above the arch, and both there and against the turret in the S.W. corner the junction of the 15th and 16th-century work is clearly visible. In the later work the buttresses are continued up to the embattled parapet and divide the E. wall of the Election Hall into four bays; the two middle bays have each two windows of two pointed lights under square main heads with a label formed by a broken string-course; the end bays have each a single-light window in place of the second window of two lights, but that at the S. end has a pointed head and was probably once of two lights; S. of the last buttress, at the S. end of the Election Hall, is a single-light window, and further S. is the tower, which stands over one and a half of the cloister arches, and abuts on the S.W. stair-turret. The second arch from the S. in the W. cloister has been closed by a substantial buttress and wall built in 1910 to support the N.E. corner of Lupton's tower; more of the old walling remains under the tower than elsewhere, and the E. window of the Election Chamber seems to have been inserted in it; the window is of two stages of five lights; the string-course broken over the other windows is also carried over it, but with some curious irregularities, possibly connected with the design of the original range; above the string-course the walls of the tower are decorated with diamond pattern in black headers and have an embattled parapet; there are windows in the two upper stages similar to that of the Election Hall, of two lights in the second stage and of five lights in the third stage.
External Elevations:—The N. and E. Ranges are practically of the same design. At each end are the corner towers, and between them are two smaller towers. Each front thus forms three bays, which have four openings on each floor; in the N. front, on the ground floor, one of these openings is the doorway of the passage to the cloisters; it has jambs and four-centred head continuously moulded with an ogee and hollow chamfer, and the finely moulded label has diamond-shaped stops; the other openings were all originally windows of two lights in two stages, but have been much altered by the insertion of sashes at various dates; they have each a square-headed ogee-moulded outer order, within which were originally the roll-moulded mullion, transom and pointed heads of the lights. The towers have windows, without transoms, at heights suggesting original staircases or mezzanine floors, but the old sewer running under the towers bears witness to part of their original purpose. The walls have a few patches of diaper work in black headers, probably not original; the third storey, of red brick, was built in the 18th century; the towers were raised at the same time, and have embattled parapets. The S. Range is covered, E. of the screens, by the passage to the kitchen, and some modern additions to the Fellows' buildings, behind which is an original doorway similar to that in the N. front and opening into the passage to the cloisters. Above these buildings the end of the S. wall of the hall is visible rising above the walls of the buttery; this end is toothed, and appears to be unfinished, suggesting that the original intention was to build a room over the buttery. W. of the screens, the hall, with its bay window, is faced with stone up to nearly two-thirds of the height, and is buttressed; above this the wall is of 18th-century brick, and is finished with an embattled parapet. E. of the bay window there are three windows, each of two cinque-foiled lights with deep plain external reveals; they appear to have been originally of two stages, and to have been cut down to the transom line when the 18th-century work was done; as the upper lights would have been of the same height as the lower lights, the walls of the hall must have been considerably higher than they are at present, or the windows may have been dormered; the present heads are of plastered brick. The bay window has three facets, with small offset and finialled buttresses; the window in the middle facet is of three cinque-foiled lights and in each side facet is a window of two lights, all with moulded tracery, mullions, heads and jambs; above the heads is blind tracery of the same design as that in the windows. W. of the bay window is a short length of wall with a smaller window of two lights in two stages. At the S.W. corner of the hall is a buttress, and beyond it the stonework comes to an end in an irregular line, except the plinth, which is carried round to the W. front; this irregularity is partly the result of the rebuilding of the W. front by Lupton. The basement of the tower at the S.W. corner appears to be part of the original work, which then takes an irregular line to the wall of the hall; in this basement was the sluice-house, which formed the beginning of the original drainage system.
The W. Range is almost wholly of the 16th century, but is built probably partly on the old foundations. The tower is centred in the W. elevation between the S. line of the Lower School Building and the S.W. tower of the Cloister Buildings, an appearance of symmetry being thus obtained; it is of four stages, with an embattled parapet; the flanking octagonal turrets are one stage higher, and have small wooden lanterns or cupolas; the turrets are quoined with stone, and have, in each stage, pointed single-light windows with labels. In the ground stage, between the turrets, is the archway to the cloister, with continuously moulded jambs and four-centred head; above this is a great oriel window carried up two storeys and finished with an embattled parapet; it lights the Election Chamber and the room above it; in each storey of the oriel is a window of five lights in two stages, and the solid walling is faced with stone and panelled in imitation of the windows; below the window in the first storey is a panel with a representation of the Assumption of the Virgin carved in stone; below the window in the second storey is a panel with the Royal Arms. The stages of the tower are marked by stringcourses, that at the first floor lines with the string-course of the main building. The Election Hall has six windows, each of two pointed lights under a square main head and label, and there is a single-light window at the S. end of the wall; there are similar windows on the ground floor. The S. end of this range has on the first floor three windows with lights in two stages. The ground floor windows are similar to those of the Election Hall. Throughout this front a diaper of black bricks is used, mainly in diamond pattern, but also, on one of the turrets, in a design representing a jar of lilies; the diaper also appears on the S.W. tower; the N. end of this front is masked by the extension of the S. wall of the Lower School Building, but a straight joint in the brickwork shows that Lupton's rebuilding was not carried as far as the N.W. tower. This range possesses some of the few remaining old chimney stacks, which have octagonal twisted and enriched shafts, on panelled bases, with moulded capping, etc., all in brick.
Interior:—In the N. and E. Ranges the rooms on the ground floor have original stone doorways, opening into the cloister, with continuously moulded jambs and four-centred heads, which have moulded labels with diamond-shaped stops; the doorways are similar to that in the N. front, and eight of them are arranged in pairs, the junction of their labels being covered by foliated bosses; there are also two single doorways in the E. range; the plain nail-studded doors are probably original. At the W. end of the N. range is a single doorway of late 17th-century date, with a heavy moulded architrave and cornice of oak and the original panelled door. The original doorways are flanked by small windows, also of stone, all originally of two lights under square moulded heads, but most of them have been considerably mutilated, and have lost their mullions or have been blocked; there are also modern transomed and mullioned windows in the N. range. Some of the fireplaces in the E. range have wide moulded openings with four-centred heads, but are restorations. A room at the W. end of the N. range is lined with fine panelling of late 17th-century date. The Gallery, above the cloister, was panelled in the 18th century, but the original doorways remain, and have moulded wooden frames with foliated spandrels; the nail-studded doors are also original, and in many case retain their original chiselled ring handles and pierced escutcheons. The Audit Room, in the middle of the N. range, on the first floor, is lined with large bolection-moulded panels of oak of late 17th-century date. The original partitions, where visible, are of upright studding filled in with plaster. The rest of the interior of these ranges has been much altered since 1700. The S. Range has, at the E. end, a doorway from the Cloister to a small cellar, of the same date and design as the original doorways in the N. and E. ranges; W. of this doorway are the steps leading up to the screens; the head of the original arch was destroyed when the steps were reconstructed and was replaced by a higher arch, to give more headway when the steep gradient of the original steps was eased, but the original shafted jambs, moulded imposts and handrail remain; further W. is an original doorway, with a pointed head, and four single-light windows, all opening into the Cellar, which has a brick vault, constructed in 1690. N. of the buttery, on the site of the original pantry, is a staircase leading to the library, entered from a re-set or made up doorway in the Screens; two original doorways in the screens are of stone with jambs and four-centred heads of two moulded orders; both open into the buttery, one serving as a hatch. A third doorway, at the S. end, leads to the kitchen stairs and has jambs and head of two moulded orders separated by a hollow. The Buttery has an original window of two lights and retains an old bread bin and a butler's desk, both probably of the 17th century; the bread bin is of wood and has a panelled front and sloping lid, and the desk, which is rather high, has a seat attached to it with curved arms and wings. The screen of the Hall, with the gallery over it, the canopy of the daïs and the open timber roof are modern; the walls are covered with 16th-century panelling, much restored; the faces of the internal reveal of the bay window have panelling and blind tracery of the same design as the windows, and above both windows and panelling are small quatrefoil panels with shields bearing the arms of Edward the Confessor, France quartering England, or a cross gules, and St. Edmund, all repeated several times; the pilasters framing the opening from the hall into the bay window are original, but the wooden arch is modern; on the W. side of the opening is an iron grid, fixed to the wall, forming a book-rest. In the W. wall is a small original doorway of moulded stone, opening into a staircase which leads to the chambers of the Provost's Lodge. There are three fireplaces in the hall which, it is reported, were discovered hidden behind the panelling in 1858, when they were found to be without flues; the openings have moulded four-centred heads and traceried spandrels; these fireplaces are in the N., S. and W. walls, but only that in the N. wall is clearly genuine; the others have been at least much restored and re-cut.
The archway of the W. Range has conoidal vaulting, springing from moulded corbels in the angles, with moulded ribs and liernes; under it are the moulded stone doorways of the porter's lodge, etc.; the arch opening into the cloister is of similar detail to that of the arch from the school-yard. There are three old doorways from the Cloister to the rooms on the ground floor, two of them have linked labels, and are of coarser detail than the doorways of earlier date in the other ranges, they are without the diamond-shaped stops or foliated boss, but are otherwise of similar form. On the first floor only the N. end of the Gallery remains, the rest having been destroyed in Lupton's rebuilding; an original doorway opens from it to the Magna Parlura, in the N.W. corner of the Cloister Buildings; it is of the same detail as the doorways of the gallery in the N. and E. ranges; flanking it are two small wooden windows each of two pointed lights, and it is probable that originally all the rooms on the first floor had similar windows, in the same way as the rooms on the ground floor. The Magna Parlura is lined with early 17th-century panelling and has a carved oak overmantel of the same date, with two flat pilasters, a cornice of slight projection and a pair of enriched panels. In a modern staircase S. of this room is some re-set original panelling with delicate mouldings worked out of the solid. In the windows of the Election Hall are the remains of some figure subjects, representing various branches of learning, in stained glass of the 16th and 17th centuries; at the N. end of the hall is a wooden screen of early 17th-century date; it is carried up solid to a height of about 4½ ft., and above this are small Doric columns which support a cornice with small spandrelpieces forming flattened arches between the columns. The Election Chamber is lined with large bolection-moulded panelling of late 17th-century date.
The Kitchen is S. of the S. range with which it is connected only by a roofed passage with a flight of wooden stairs; it is a square building of brick; the octagonal tiled roof is pyramidal, surmounted by a lantern. The walls stand on arches, still visible on the S., and the sewer was originally carried under the building, and thence to the river. The N. and W. walls contain the great fireplaces and ovens, and rise by crow-stepped gables to the chimney stacks which have square shafts set diagonally. The roof and lantern are carried partly on the wall behind these gables and partly on arches which cut off diagonally the corners of the building. The whole building has been much repaired and most of the fittings are of later date than 1700; the great fireplaces with three-centred arched openings are original.
The Upper School Building.
The Upper School Building was constructed in 1689–91 on the W. side of the school-yard. It consists of a range of two storeys, about 120 ft. long and 30 ft. wide, and is of brick with stone dressings; the roof is covered with slate. The ground floor is pierced in the middle by an archway which forms the entrance to the college from the Slough road; it is also divided, longitudinally, into two halves, that on the E. forming an open colonnade, that on the W. being divided into a number of rooms. On the first floor is the Upper School, with the Headmaster's Class-room on the N., and in the N. end of the range is an original Staircase; at the S. end the first floor is approached by the staircase in the N. porch of the ante-chapel (see Church).
The W. Elevation is of red brick, in English bond, with a plain projecting string-course of brick at the first floor level. The wall is crowned by a classic stone cornice and a balustrade, and the angles have rusticated stone quoins. The archway has a flat rusticated head and rusticated jambs, and a cornice lining with the string-course. The windows are of two lights with mullions and transoms of wood, plain moulded stone architraves and stone sills, and the windows in the upper storey have small cornices; the glazing is leaded, with metal casements. The E. Elevation is similar to the W. elevation above the ground floor, but the three central bays are advanced 4½ in. beyond the rest of the wall-face. On the ground floor is a Doric arcade with arches, double columns and a complete entablature which is broken out and mitred at each end of the three central bays; the middle arch is three-centred, the others are semi-circular. The N. and S. Elevations are covered by the end of the Lower School Building and the N. porch of the ante-chapel.
Interior:—The ground floor has been much altered. The original Staircase, at the N. end of the building, has square newels, a heavy simply moulded hand-rail, large turned balusters and a closed outer string. The Upper School remains almost in its original condition; the ceiling is decorated with large plaster mouldings which form large oval, circular and rectangular panels; the walls, up to the level of the window sills, have small oak panels with mitred mouldings; above these, between the windows, are large panels with plaster mouldings, a frieze of small plaster panels, and a plaster cornice. The headmaster's desk and the three ushers' desks are original and have small iron candlesticks fixed to them; some of the seating for the boys is also original; the panels, desks and seats are covered with the roughly carved names of the boys.
The Lower School Building.
The Lower School Building was constructed in 1441–4 on the N. side of the school-yard. It is a rectangular range, a little over 100 ft. long, with two square towers of different sizes on the N., a third, set diagonally, at the N.W. angle, and a small wing, which forms an L, projecting towards the N. from the E. end of the range. The W. end of the building contains a classroom and rooms known as The Headmaster's Chambers; on the ground floor E. of the chambers is the Lower School, extending to the Fourth Form Passage, which pierces the range almost in the middle, and also pierces the larger tower on the N., containing a staircase; E. of the passage are some class-rooms and the second tower, which also contains a staircase; in the E. end of the range is the House of the Master in College, and, on the ground floor only, some of the Offices of the Provost's Lodge; at the S. end of the E. wall is a small turret which originally contained a circular staircase; probably this end of the range always contained the Master's rooms, but in the L-shaped wing there may have been latrines, as on the ground floor is a vaulted chamber and the old sewer runs under it; a curious feature of the wing is an irregularity in the W. wall, part of which, on the first floor, is built at a slightly different angle to the wall under it, and is carried on a brick segmental arch; the reason for this irregularity is now uncertain, owing to the complete alteration of the interior. On the first floor, between the Headmaster's rooms and the Master's house, is the Long Chamber, originally a dormitory, now partly divided into 'stalls'. The whole range, when first built, was detached, and only joined to the Cloister Buildings by a wall the height of the lower storey; the wall was raised to the full height of the building in the 19th century, and modern additions to the Provost's Lodge have been built against the N. end of the L-shaped wing; the space enclosed now forms the kitchen yard of the Provost's Lodge and buildings have been constructed in it.
The N. Elevation is broken by the two towers containing staircases. The larger or western tower has a doorway opening into the Fourth Form Passage, slightly different to the doorways on the S. (see below), the detail is coarser, and corresponds more closely to that in Lupton's range. There is one other doorway, in the tower at the N.W. angle. The windows on the first floor are of the same detail as those on the S. (see below), but the heads of the windows on the ground floor are more sharply pointed and are transomed; the rear arches have chamfered ribs; the general style corresponds more closely with the windows in the original parts of the Cloister Buildings, but all the windows of this range have been so much renewed externally that their dates are somewhat uncertain. The wall appears to have been considerably repaired in Lupton's time, for at various points are patches of black bricks in diamond pattern, which occur elsewhere mainly in Lupton's range. There are three buttresses on this side; the chimney shafts are modern or restored.
The S. Elevation, on the school-yard, presents a long unbroken front of red brick, with a slight offset and a course of sloping bricks at the first floor level, and an embattled parapet. There are doorways opening into the Headmaster's Chambers, the Lower School, the Fourth Form Passage, the class rooms and the Master's house, and another in the base of the stair-turret at the S.E. corner is now a back door of the Provost's Lodge; they are all continuously moulded with an ogee and hollow chamfer, and have four-centred heads and finely moulded labels with diamond-shaped stops. There is some evidence to suggest that there was once a lean-to cloister on this side; foundations of a wall were discovered in 1876, and there is a course of lead three courses below the windows of the first floor, which is possibly the flashing of a lean-to roof. The windows are somewhat irregularly spaced, and are mainly of two lights with hollow moulded heads and jambs, the heads being pointed; externally they are almost completely restored; internally they have plain chamfered rear arches, and in style and design closely resemble the windows in Lupton's range. The windows of the first floor are of the same detail, but are more evenly spaced as far as the Master's house, where many appear to be modern insertions; the oriel window is also modern.
Interiors:—Few of the original fittings remain, except in the Lower School, which is practically unaltered, but much defaced by deal partitions; at the W. end it has, opening into the Headmaster's room, an original doorway, with continuously moulded jambs and four-centred head; the principal beams supporting the first floor are original, but c. 1630 a double row of square posts was inserted; they have small moulded capitals and bases, and the columns are connected in pairs by low arched filling-pieces with sunk spandrel panels; fitted to these posts are rough desks and forms, apparently contemporary, and the centre of the room is railed off, probably for the Master's desk, with square, moulded balusters and 'wavy' hand-rails; nearly all the old windows have oak shutters with strap-hinges, apparently original, on which are carved the names of scholars from the 16th century; at the end of the room, over the Master's seat, is a small pointed niche.
Condition—Very good throughout, but much restored. Apart from the many large additions and alterations, a process of continuous renovation is gradually replacing the original detail by modern work in imitation of, or designed to accord with, the original work.
The Saville House.
This building, constructed in 1603–4, is on the N.W. edge of the old site and faces an irregular open space, N. of the Lower School Building, known as Weston's Yard; the back is on the Slough road. It was intended to contain Dr. Saville's printing presses, and is a long rectangular range of two storeys with an attic, built of red brick with stone window-dressings; the roofs are tiled. The interior has been completely altered and additions have been made at various dates later than 1700, but the original arrangement must have been very simple. The front is gabled and retains the jambs and heads of the original mullioned windows, into which sashes have been fitted. The back of the house has been much altered and has a series of large square chimney stacks with sloped shoulders, moulded brick corbels, etc., all much restored.
Condition—Good, much altered.
Weston's, N.W. of the Saville House, is a building of two storeys and an attic. The walls are of red brick; the roofs are tiled. It appears to have been erected in the 16th century, but has been so much enlarged and altered that an analysis of the history is now impossible. The gables and dormers of all the elevations have been removed and altered, and others added, with an irregular and picturesque effect.
Condition—Good, much altered.
Baldwin's Shore, S. of the church, is a 17th-century building, of two storeys and an attic; the walls are of brick, covered with plaster; the roof is tiled. The gabled S. front, though probably retaining part of the original form, has been completely re-faced. The interior has been much altered.
Condition—Good, much altered.
High Street, E. side
a(2–5). Houses, four, now No. 14, No. 30, Nos. 31–33 and No. 56, were built probably in the 17th century, but almost entirely re-built in the 18th and 19th centuries. No. 14 and Nos. 31–33 are each of two storeys; the walls are of brick, partly covered with rough-cast, and a little original timber-framing shows at the back. The roofs are tiled. Behind Nos. 31–33, facing Tangier Lane, is a small timber-framed building; the large wall-posts are suggestive of an early date, but the roof has been re-built and no original detail remains. No. 30 and Nos. 31–33, now shops, are each of two storeys and an attic, built of brick; in front the upper storeys have black headers and there are dormer windows. The roofs are tiled.
b(6–7). Houses, Nos. 47–50 and Bragnells Buildings, at the back of No. 48. Nos. 47–50 form an irregularrange, of two storeys, possibly of mediæval date, but much altered. The walls are partly timber-framed with brick filling, now plastered, and partly of brick. The roofs are tiled. On the street-front the overhanging upper storeys of Nos. 47 and 48 are gabled; the N. wing of No. 47 extends towards the E. and has a similar front, facing a small alley. Nos. 49 and 50 were re-fronted with brick in the 18th and 19th centuries. Inside No. 50 are some heavy wall-posts and the braced tie-beams of two rough trusses, probably part of a mediæval hall, now shortened and with a floor inserted in it. Bragnells Buildings are of two storeys, timber-framed with brick filling, of late 17th-century date; at the end of the range is an outhouse, of which the floor is formed of closely set knuckle-bones.
Condition—Good, much altered.
b(8). House, now a shop and dwelling-house, Nos. 89–90, is of two storeys and an attic, built of brick; the roof is tiled. It was probably originally of the 17th century, but has an 18th-century front, with black headers, flat arches over the windows on the first floor, a wooden cornice and four dormer windows. The walls are covered inside with canvas and paper, behind which is apparently some panelling, of the 17th century on the ground floor, and of the 18th century on the first floor.
Condition—Good, much restored.
b (9–11). Houses, three, No. 91, No. 92, now shops, and Nos. 94–97, were built probably in the 17th century, but re-fronted in the 18th century. No. 91 is of three storeys and an attic, timber-framed, and covered with plaster; the walls at the back are encased in modern brick. The roof is tiled. No. 92 is of three storeys, possibly of brick, now plastered. In front is a bay window in two storeys from the first floor, a plain cornice, and a coping which hides the roof. The staircase is original, and has a plain handrail and turned balusters. The third house, now Nos. 94–97, is also of three storeys and an attic. It was probably originally of the 17th century and timber-framed, but has been almost entirely re-built in brick. The roof is covered with slate.
b(12). The Turk's Head Inn, is of two storeys, covered with plaster. It was built probably in the 16th or 17th century, but much altered early in the 19th century; at the back a little original timber-framing remains. The roof is covered with slate.
b(13–14). House, now Nos. 107 and 108, with Cottages, enclosing the courtyard at the back. The House is of two storeys, and retains traces of a mediæval hall, but has been much altered. The walls are partly timber-framed with brick filling, partly of brick; the front is modern and covered with plaster, but there are indications that the upper storey formerly projected; at the S. end an archway opens into the courtyard. The roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped, with the main block facing the street; the short wing, at the N. end, extends towards the W., and contained the mediæval hall, in which a floor was inserted c. 1600; the roof was apparently of king-post construction, with cambered tie-beams and angle brackets; part of one truss remains. The central newel staircase is of c. 1600, and has, on the landing, some flat, shaped balusters. The small Cottages enclosing the courtyard were built probably in the 17th century. They are of two storeys, covered with weather-boarding; the roofs are tiled. The doors and windows, all of rough detail, are of various dates.
Condition—Of house, wing facing the street, good, N. wing, poor; of cottages, bad.
b(15). The Crown and Cushion Hotel, is a rectangular building of three storeys and an attic, probably of the 17th century, but much enlarged and altered at various dates; the present N. end of the ground floor has been converted into a shop; a house adjoining this end seems originally to have formed part of the hotel. The walls, probably of brick, are covered with plaster and rough-cast. The roof is covered with slate. The 18th-century front has a plain string-course and a heavy wooden cornice; the bay window over the main entrance is a 19th-century addition.
Condition—Good, much altered.
b(16). The Three Lilies Inn, is of two storeys and an attic, built probably in the middle of the 17th century, but has been much altered. The walls are covered with plaster; the roof is tiled. In front are two gables in which are windows lighting the attic; the fine iron signbracket of Italian workmanship is not original.
Condition—Good, much altered.
b(17). Outhouses, behind the George Inn, are probably of the 17th century, and are timber-framed, with brick filling; the roofs are tiled.
b (18). House, No. 8, now two tenements, built probably late in the 17th century, is of two storeys and an attic, timber-framed, and covered with plaster; the roof is tiled. The central chimney stack has a plain square shaft.
b(19). The Waterman's Arms Inn, at the corner of Meadow Lane and Brocas Street, is a rectangular building, probably of the 17th century, much altered in the 18th century. The walls are of brick; the roof is tiled. The front facing Meadow Lane is covered with plaster, and has three dormer windows, that in the middle being higher than the others, and the roof is carried down to the floor level of the attic; the front facing Brocas Street is also plastered, and has a half-hipped gable. The plain dog-legged staircase with turned balusters is original.
Condition—Good, much altered.