An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 1, South. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1912.
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3. ASHLEY GREEN.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxix. N.W. (b)xxxix. N.E.)
(fn. 1)b (1). Plateau Camp, S. of Whelpley Hill and 1½ miles S.E. by E. of the modern church, is on level ground nearly 530 ft. above O.D., and covers about 4½ acres. The work is roughly circular in shape, and the defences consist of a single rampart and ditch, the ditch being 62 ft. wide and 3 ft. deep. There is a slight gap in the rampart to the S.E., possibly the original entrance.
Condition—Much denuded, and in danger of complete obliteration by the plough.
a(2). Barn and Moated Site with Ramparts at Grove Farm, nearly 1 mile S.E. of the modern church, are probably of the 15th century; a wall and the bases of two towers or gatehouses also remain. The Barn (see Plate, p. xxx.) is said to have been originally the chapel, but there is little evidence to support this theory; it is of flint, with original stone dressings, and brick dressings of later date. Early in the 17th century the walls were heightened; the floor inserted at that date has been removed. The roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped, with the inner angle facing N.; the wing projecting towards the N.E. is small, and the walls are lower than those of the main block.
The structure is of especial interest as the remains of a mediæval domestic building, strongly defended by a curtain wall and double moat.
S.E. Elevation—The wall of the main block is of flint, except the 17th-century gable, which is timber-framed with plaster filling, and much restored; the lower part of the wall has stone dressings, those of the upper part are of brick. There are two windows in the main block; the lower window is of the 15th century, and of two lights under a square head, with chamfered jambs and lintel, all of stone; it is rebated inside for shutters; the upper window has a modern wood frame, probably a restoration of 17th-century work. The small wing is of flint, with quoins of stone; at the S. end is a 15th-century doorway, of stone, with chamfered jambs and two-centred drop arch; E. of the doorway is a small window altered for a 17th-century wood frame. N.E. Elevation— The wall is of flint, the lower quoins are of 15th-century clunch, and the upper quoins of 17th-century brick; near the W. end is a 15th-century blocked doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, of stone; the rear lintel is outside; further E. is a single-light window, also blocked; a large central doorway with brick jambs is probably of the 18th century. The gable at the end of the small wing is weather-boarded. N.W. Elevation— The end of the main block resembles the S.E. end, but both the windows have wood frames, and are blocked. The S.W. Elevation has modern additions of timber, with doors in the middle; at each end is a blocked window, that at the E. end having stone jambs and an oak lintel. Interior:—The main block now forms one chamber, open to the roof; the level of the former upper floor is marked by a set-back in the walls, and the end of a floor-beam remains in the S.W. wall. A 15th-century doorway, formerly opening into the small wing, is now blocked; it has chamfered jambs and two-centred head of stone, with an oak lintel visible inside the wing; an oak doorway over it is probably of later date, and is now blocked; part of the outline is visible in the wall outside, above the roof of the wing. The roof of the main block is in three bays with plain ties, struts and curved wind-braces; it is probably the original roof, raised to its present height in the 17th century.
Almost opposite the barn, on the E. side, are the bases of two polygonal towers or gatehouses, and the remains of a curtain wall running N. and S.
The site of the mediæval dwelling is surrounded by a Moat with ramparts. It is an excellent example of a strongly defended enclosure of its class, and is remarkable for the size of the ramparts and ditches.
The moat, about 520 ft. above O.D., has, at some points, both an inner and an outer rampart; parts still contain water, and the outer bank is thickly planted. On the N. side the ditch is 12½ ft. deep and 73 ft. wide, and the outer rampart is 5½ ft. above the exterior level. The position of the original entrance to the outer enclosure is doubtful. The N.W. part of the site, in which are the remains of the mediæval building, is divided from the main enclosure by an inner moat.
Condition—Of structure, fairly good, but the walls are cracking, and the building suffers from its present use as a barn. Of earthworks, good.
b(3). Sale's Farm, now three cottages, about 1 mile E.S.E. of the modern church, is a two-storeyed house, built late in the 17th century; the walls are of brick with a little timber, much restored; the roofs are tiled. One chimney stack is original. Some of the rooms have old ceiling-beams and oak floor-boards; one room has a wide fireplace, and on the first floor is a roof-truss supported by curved brackets. One cottage has winding stairs of old oak.
a(4). Oak Farm, 400 yards N.W. of the modern church, is of two storeys and an attic, built partly of timber and brick, and partly of flint and brick, early in the 17th century, but much restored, the S. end being entirely re-built. The roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped, with the longer wing projecting towards the N., and the shorter wing towards the E. On the E. front the longer wing is of modern flint and brick; the shorter wing is covered with rough-cast, which has broken away in places, showing the lower part of the wall to be of old flint and brick; the upper storey projects and is gabled. At the back the lower storey is almost entirely covered with cement, but the upper part is of late 17th-century brick with a little timber. On the S. side of the shorter wing is a large original chimney stack of flint and brick, with three hexagonal shafts; the tops of the shafts and of the rectangular base have ovolo mouldings of brick. Inside the house several rooms have old ceiling-beams, and there are five original doors of moulded battens. The kitchen has a large open fireplace, and the room above it has a stone fireplace with splayed jambs and a four-centred head, of one square moulded order, with plain spandrels and a pediment over it. At the foot of the staircase is a small piece of early 17th-century panelling. The staircase has an old central newel, and the short balustrade at the top is original. The winding stairs from the first floor to the attic, also original, are of plain oak.
a (5). Hog Lane Farm, about 1 mile N.W. of the church, is a house of two storeys and an attic. The walls are of brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built apparently early in the 17th century on a rectangular plan, facing W., and with a central chimney stack; in the 19th century a large wing was added on the N.E., making the plan L-shaped, and the original walls were re-faced. The present front faces N., and is of modern brick, but there is a straight joint between the old part of the house, which is gabled, and the new wing; in the gable is a window with an old oak frame, and some of the original glass in rectangular leaded quarries. The central chimney stack is of old thin bricks. One room has a stop-chamfered beam in the ceiling and a large open fireplace with chimney-corner seats, a small recess for the tinder box, and, under the mantel, a cupboard.
a(6). Nashleigh Farm, about a mile S.S.W. of the church, is a house of two storeys and an attic, built probably late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. The walls are covered with plaster; the roof is tiled. The plan is rectangular, with two modern additions at the back. There are four gables on the W. front and four at the back; a gable at the N. end projects and has an old bressumer, moulded and embattled. At the S. end is a small blocked window of two chamfered orders, apparently of stone. A chimney stack at the back, and another at the N. end, are of old thin bricks. Some of the rooms have stop-chamfered beams in the ceilings and two large fireplaces with chimney-corner seats remain, one with a cambered lintel. One door is of mid 17th-century panelling and a staircase is of old oak.
b(7). Cottage, about 1½ miles E.S.E. of the church, on the N. side of the road, is of two storeys, built of timber and brick probably in the 17th century, re-fronted at the end of the same century; a wing was added on the E. side in the 18th century. The roofs are tiled. The W. half of the S. front is of red brick, with black headers in diaper pattern; at the level of the first floor is a plain string-course; the E. half is of 18th-century brick on flint foundations. The W. end is of brick, with plastered timber-framing in the gable. The W. room on the ground floor has a large open fireplace with chimney-corner seats and an old oven; the room over it has an open timber roof with chamfered beams. At the back is an old staircase of oak.
b(8). Berries Farm (or Whelpley Hill Farm), 1½ miles E.S.E. of the church, is a two-storeyed house, built of timber and brick; the roofs are tiled, except that of the modern W. wing, which is covered with slate. The house was built in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the N. and W.; modern additions have been made at the W. end and S.E. corner, and the original building has been restored. The longer wing is partly of modern brick, partly covered with cement, and has an original square chimney stack with four shafts set diagonally. The N. wing has, in the N. and W. walls, closely-set vertical timber-framing, but the brick filling is modern; the chimney is apparently of late 17th-century date. Inside the house is a wide open fireplace, now partly blocked.