Great and Little Kimble

Pages 164-168

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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In this section


(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxiii. N.E. (b)xxxiii. S.E. (c)xxxvii. N.E.)


c(1). Hill Camp, in Chequers Park, about 200 yards N.E. of Great Kimble Church. At the W. end of a spur of the 500 ft. contour line is a short line of entrenchment, consisting of a single rampart and ditch, bisected by a small gap. About 300 yards along the ridge, to the E., is another rampart and ditch with a slight bank on the counter-scarp. The two lines of entrenchment appear to be connected on the N. by a low bank, possibly an old wood boundary, but the hillside is considerably cut up by trackways and chalk pits, and it is difficult to ascertain the original outline of the work. The W. entrenchment, being on the slope of the hill, is of greater natural strength than the E. entrenchment, which is situated on level ground. The ditch is nowhere more than 2 ft. 6 in. deep and 31 ft. wide. The work is not shown on the O.S. maps.

Condition—Much altered and denuded.

c(2). Contour Camp, on Pulpit Hill, ¾ mile S.S.E. of Great Kimble Church, stands on the edge of the escarpment of the Chilterns about 800 ft. above O.D., and is remarkable for the interesting character of the defences and the importance of the position.

The work, nearly square in shape, covers four acres; it is defended on the E. by a double rampart and ditch with a platform behind the outer rampart. The artificial defences on the W., being on a sharp slope, are less strong than those on the E. There is a very wide direct entrance in the E. side, and a break in the ramparts at the W. extremity, in the direction of an outlying spur.

Dimensions—Inner rampart, 4½ ft. to 8 ft. high, 45 ft. to 46 ft. wide. Outer rampart, 3½ ft. to 5 ft. high, 23 ft. to 25 ft. wide. Inner ditch, 3 ft. to 4½ ft. deep, 44 ft. to 47½ ft. wide. Outer ditch, 1 ft. to 1½ ft. deep, 23½ ft. to 32½ ft. wide; E. platform 15 ft. wide.

Condition—Fairly good; thickly planted and overgrown.


b(3). Structural Remains, S.E. of Little Kimble Church, including foundations, tessellated floors, wall-plaster, tiles, with Samian ware, coins, and small objects, have been found over a fairly large area in and since 1821, more especially in excavations made in 1855. They evidently denote a house of considerable size, but no plans have been preserved. Some smaller objects are now in the Aylesbury Museum. (Records of Bucks: vols, i., ii., ix.).

Condition—Of structural remains, underground.


c(4). Parish Church of St. Nicholas, stands in the village of Great Kimble, and is built of flint, with stone dressings; the roofs of the nave and chancel are tiled, the other roofs are covered with lead. In the 12th century the church probably consisted of an aisleless Nave and a small chancel; c. 1250 North and South Aisles were added to the nave, which was possibly lengthened towards the W. by one bay. The chancel was re-built, and a N. aisle added to it in the first half of the 14th century; the West Tower was built late in the 14th century; the clearstorey of the nave was added in the same century, but the S. windows were enlarged apparently in the 15th century, when a S. aisle was added to the chancel. The nave was re-roofed in the 16th century. The whole building was extensively restored in 1876–81, the Chancel and Chancel-aisles were re-built, using some of the old material, the South Porch was added and almost all the external stonework was renewed.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (26 ft. by 15½ ft.) has a modern E. window. The N. arcade of two bays is modern, except the 14th-century moulded capital of the central column and the moulded half-octagonal corbels of the responds; below each corbel is a carved crowned head; one head is modern, and all the moulding is re-tooled and restored. The 15th-century S. arcade of two bays has two-centred arches of two moulded orders, a clustered column and responds with moulded capitals and bases, re-built and much restored. The 14th-century chancel arch is two-centred, of two moulded orders, with moulded jambs, capitals and bases, all restored; the label is modern. Both the Aisles of the chancel are modern. The Nave (51½ ft. by 19 ft.) has N. and S. arcades, each of four bays, of c. 1250; the octagonal columns with moulded capitals and bases are of stone; the two-centred arches, of clunch, restored with modern stone, are of two chamfered orders, with moulded stops at the springing, and with a moulded label in the nave; the E. respond, except the capital, is modern, and both arcades have been patched and re-tooled; the W. bay of each arcade is slightly wider than the others, suggesting that the nave was lengthened when the aisles were added. The clearstorey has three windows on each side, those on the N. being each of one trefoiled light, either re-cut or modern; the internal stonework of the two western windows is apparently original; the S. windows are each of two cinque-foiled lights under a square head, modern externally. The North Aisle (6 ft. wide) has, in the N. wall, three windows of 14th-century style, but almost completely restored, each of two trefoiled ogee lights with pierced spandrels in a square head; between the western windows is a doorway, with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, probably of the 13th century, but much restored. In the W. wall is a modern window. The South Aisle (5½ ft. wide) has three windows in the S. wall, each of two lights and tracery, under a square head; almost all the stonework is modern, but the internal jambs of the westernmost window are of old clunch; between the western windows is a modern doorway, with a little re-used clunch in the label. In the W. wall is a small 13th-century lancet. The West Tower (11 ft. square) is of three stages, with a modern embattled parapet; below it is a corbel table, in which 14th-century corbels, carved as masks and faces, have been re-used. The tower arch, of late 14th-century date, is of three chamfered orders, the outer orders die into plain jambs, the inner order rests on carved and moulded corbels. The W. doorway and the window above it are modern, except the internal jambs and rear arch of the window, which have been re-cut. The second stage has, in the W. wall, a window of one light, externally modern, but with old internal jambs; in the E. wall is a small doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head; it now opens into the space between the ceiling and the steep-pitched roof of the nave, but is partly blocked. In each wall of the bell-chamber is a window of two lights, externally modern, but with original inner jambs, partly restored. The 16th-century Roof of the nave is flat-pitched, with moulded tie-beams, traceried spandrels, moulded ridge, purlins and cornice; over it is the modern steep pitched roof; above the arches of the arcades are the plain stone corbels of the original roof, five on each side. The modern roofs of the aisles also have old stone corbels above the arcades.

Fittings—Bells: six, 3rd by Henry Knight, 1587, inscribed 'gloria in excelcus deo', 4th by Henry Knight, 1587, inscribed 'ave maria gracia plena'. Chair: in chancel, with arms and carved back, 17th-century. Chest: in N. aisle of chancel, long, of oak, with ornamental ironwork, probably 13th-century. Communion Table: in N. aisle of nave, with turned legs and carved rails, 17th-century. Font: of the Aylesbury' type, with cup-shaped, fluted bowl, narrow cable-moulded rim and wide band of carved ornament with interlacing pattern and foliage, stem with cheveron moulding, square base with inverted scallops, richly carved, late 12th-century. Plate: includes Elizabethan cup with modern bowl, and cover paten of 1570, originally belonging to Little Kimble Church. Tiles: in N. aisle of chancel, on floor, and in splays of N. window, also in nave, under N. arcade, considerable number, encaustic, with patterns of foliage, etc., mediæval, those on floor much defaced. Miscellanea: in N. aisle of chancel, box with fluted front, probably for Bible, 17th-century: in S. aisle of chancel, brass candelabra, ornamented removable brackets, figure of Virgin and Child in the middle, probably 17th-century.


c(5). Church of All Saints, Little Kimble, about ¼ mile N. of the Parish Church, has walls of flint rubble with blocks of limestone; the dressings are of stone; the roofs are tiled. A church, consisting of Chancel and Nave, existed on the site before the middle of the 13th century, when the chancel was widened and the chancel arch inserted, but no details remain of any earlier date. The North and South Porches were added, and doorways and windows were inserted in the nave during the first half of the 14th century. The chancel was lengthened at some uncertain date. During the 19th century the whole church was restored.

The church is especially interesting on account of the early 14th-century wall paintings in the nave; good copies are kept at the Rectory; the 'Chertsey Abbey' tiles are also remarkable.

Architectural Description— The Chancel (18½ ft. by 14 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern, of early 14th-century date, is of two trefoiled lights with a cusped circle in a two-centred head; the workmanship is rough, and the whole head, with the label, is cut from one slab of stone; the western, low-side window is probably of the same date as the other, and of one pointed chamfered light; the jambs are rebated at the bottom and retain hinges for shutters. The window in the S. wall is modern. The chancel arch is not central with the nave; it is of two chamfered orders with an under-cut label, and was originally two-centred, but has been distorted; the responds have half octagonal pilasters, with moulded capitals and bases. The Nave (39 ft. by 15½ ft.) has, in the N. wall, two windows of the same detail as the early 14th-century N.E. window in the chancel, but of better workmanship the second window is probably of slightly later date than the other; further W. is a plain lancet window of uncertain date; the N. doorway is modern. In the S. wall are two windows of c. 1360, each of two cinque-foiled lights and tracery under a square head; the external labels have headstops, one of a knight in a mail coif: the S. doorway is of mid 14th-century date, and of two continuously moulded orders; the moulded external label has mask stops: W. of the doorway is a window of two pointed lights, probably of late 14th-century date. In the W. wall is a 14th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head. The North and South Porches are of early 14th-century date, and have pointed entrance archways, of two moulded orders, with moulded labels. In the modern Roof of the nave are incorporated a few spandrels with sunk tracery of early 16th-century date.

Fittings— Bracket: in the nave, with carved head of a woman, crowned, 14th-century. Font: round tub-shaped bowl, moulded base, of crude workmanship, late 12th or early 13th-century. Glass: in head of low-side window in chancel, with red and yellow border, late 14th-century: in nave—N.E. window, E. light, the old arms of France. W. light, arms of England, late 14th-century, much restored: in second N. window, arms of England quartering old France, 14th-century: in S.E. window of nave, in tracery and head of one light, sprigs of oak in black and yellow: in second S. window, in tracery and part of lights, same design as in first window, 14th-century. Painting: in nave—above chancel arch, on N. side, traces of colour; on N. wall, at E. end, traces of colour; in first window, on E. splay, St. Francis preaching to the birds, imperfect: on W. splay, woman in wimple, and traces of another figure; W. of the window, figure of St. George, in banded mail hauberk, coif and chausses, leather knee-cops, loose surcoat with cross gules, ailettes with cross gules, prick spurs, large sword, small shield with cross gules, right hand holding lance, scroll at feet with name in Lombardic capitals; in splays of second window, remains of cusped and crocketed canopies, with figures; W. of window, traces of colour; at W. end of wall, remains, apparently of a 'Doom'; on W. wall, traces of figures; on S. wall, large figure, in cowl, holding book; over S. doorway, entombment of a saint by two angels—all early 14th-century: E. of S. doorway, fragments, table of the Commandments, late 16th-century. Panelling: pulpit made up of panels, early 17th-century. Piscinæ: in E. wall of chancel, with pointed moulded head, stone shelf, septfoil bowl, late 13th-century: in S. wall of nave, with pointed moulded head, no bowl, early 14th-century. Plate: see Great Kimble Church. Tiles: in floor of chancel, of 'Chertsey Abbey' type, ornamented with figures and other subjects including a king on a throne, a mounted knight, knights fighting with swords, etc., 13th-century.



b(6). Mount and Bailey, situated E. of Little Kimble Church. Only the large flat-topped mound can now be seen with any distinctness, and it appears to be considerably altered and denuded. S. of the mound are faint traces of two enclosures, probably an inner and outer bailey, and E. of it is a small moated site, now partly obliterated. Roman remains have been discovered on the site. (See (3) above.) The work is not shown on the O.S. maps.

Condition—Much altered and denuded.

Homestead Moats

c(7). W. of Great Kimble Church: a small moated site defended on the N. side by a second ditch. Not shown on the O.S. maps.

b(8). At Poplar Farm, Kimble Wick, 2 miles N.W. of Great Kimble Church, fragment.

b(9). N.W. of Marsh, 2¼ miles N.N.W. of Great Kimble Church, now dry.

Great Kimble

c(10). Grange Farm, house and moat, 580 yards W.S.W. of Great Kimble Church: The House is of two storeys and an attic, partly timber-framed, partly of brick; the roof is tiled. It was built probably early in the 16th century, on a rectangular plan, facing N.E., with a staircase wing at the back; in the 18th century it was restored and additions were built at the back; in the 19th century the building was again restored. At some period a brewhouse was added at the N.W. end, and is partly of old material, re-used. On the N.E. front the S. part is of red brick with black headers, probably of the 18th century; the rest of the front and the gabled S.E. end are of modern brick. At the back the 18th-century additions are almost entirely weather-boarded, but inside them the old walls, formerly external, are timber-framed, with plaster and some modern brick filling; the gabled end of the staircase wing is timber-framed. The brewhouse is timber-framed and weather-boarded; inside it the original N.W. wall of the house is gabled and timber-framed, with modern brick filling in the lower part; in the gable the timbers are covered with wattles, formerly plastered. In the N. half of the house is a central chimney stack of old thin bricks; the stack in the S. half is probably of early 18th-century date. Interior:—On the ground floor one room has a 16th-century moulded beam in the ceiling, and another room has a plain chamfered beam; under the N. stack are two large open fireplaces, back to back, one with the original corner-seats, and both with gun-racks over them. On the first floor the lower part of a heavy arched roof-truss is visible; the upper part is hidden by the attic floor. The staircase in the wing at the back has a plain rounded hand-rail, stop-chamfered newels, with rudely worked heads, and turned balusters of rough workmanship, all of oak, and probably of the 16th century; the steps are modern. Inside the brewhouse are many old re-used timbers in the walls.

Of the Moat, only fragments remain.

Condition—Bad; house at present unoccupied; in the upper storey the floor boards are full of holes; the attic is unsafe, and now closed.

b(11). Cottage, on the N. side of the road, N. of Great Kimble Church, is of two storeys, built probably early in the 17th century, but much restored. The plan is rectangular, with a small staircase wing at the back. The front and the ends have been almost entirely re-faced with modern brick, but the N. end has old timbers in the gable, and the S. end has a half-hipped gable of timber and brick, the timbers covered with cement. At the back the walls are also of timber-framing, almost entirely covered with cement; the filling is of brick, partly old; the staircase wing is gabled. The roof is tiled. The central chimney stack is of old thin bricks. One room has an open timber ceiling.

Condition—Fairly good.

c(12). Barn, at Manor Farm, W. of Great Kimble Church, is built of 15th-century material, probably from a former Church House; the barn was erected in 1704, and apparently consisted of five bays; only four bays now remain. The timber-framed walls have been covered with modern weather-boarding; the roof is tiled. The E. and W. ends are gabled. Inside the barn the roof is open to the ridge, and is in four bays; the E. truss is the most perfect and has a cambered tie-beam, moulded and embattled on both sides, arched brackets and collar-beam and a small arch at the apex; the purlins, braces and wall-posts are chamfered; the tie-beam of the second truss resembles the other, but has an arch only under the collar-beam; the third truss is made up of re-used timbers, including a tie-beam moulded on one side, and with mortises for former uprights on the N. and S. walls; from the E. end to the third truss is a moulded and embattled cornice.

Condition—Structurally, fairly good.

a(13). Little Marsh Farm, about 2½ miles N.N.W. of Great Kimble Church, is a house of two storeys and an attic, built of timber and brick in the 17th century, on a small rectangular plan, much enlarged at the E. end in the 18th century. The roofs are tiled. The N. and W. walls retain some of the original timber-framing, but the filling and the rest of the walling is of 18th-century brick. There is one original casement window, now blocked. The chimney stack over the original part of the house is of 17th-century thin bricks. Interior:—Some of the ceilings have old beams, and there is one large, open fireplace.


b(14). Kimblewick Farm, about 1 mile N.W. of Great Kimble Church, is of two storeys. The walls are of stone, flint and brick; the roofs are tiled. The original house was built probably in the 16th century, and consisted of a small rectangular block, facing S.; a second rectangular block, containing two rooms and projecting slightly towards the W., was added on the N. side in the 17th century, and an L-shaped block, containing the dairy and another room, was built on the N. and E. in the 18th century, making the plan square, with a projection on the N.W. The whole building was considerably restored in the 19th century. The original part of the S. front is of stone rubble restored with modern brick; at the W end the original block is covered with rough-cast, and the 17th-century addition is of thin bricks; the rest of the walling is of 18th-century brick, partly restored with modern flint and brick. Two chimney stacks are of 17th-century brick. Several of the ceilings have old beams, and in the 17th-century addition is a large, open fireplace with the original gunrack over it. One door is of early 17th-century panelling, with a fragment of the original scroll-hinge; another door is of wide battens with strap-hinges.

Condition—Good; except one room on the first floor in very bad condition.

b(15). Cottage, on the N. side of the Lower Icknield Way, about ½ mile N. of All Saints' Church, is of one storey, built of clunch rubble with square quoins, probably in the 17th century. The roof is thatched. At one end of the house is a large chimney stack, the lower part of clunch rubble, with a shaft built of 17th-century brick. One room has a wide, open fireplace.

Condition—Poor; thatch in bad condition.

b(16). Cottage, at the N. end of Marsh, about 2¼ miles N. of Great Kimble Church, is of two storeys, built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century; the walls are of mud; the roof is thatched. One room has a large, open fireplace, partly filled in.



c(17). Mound and Lines of Entrenchment, about 400 ft. above O.D., W. of Great Kimble Church: The Mound, probably a tumulus, is 85 ft. in diameter at the base and 8 ft. high. On the further side of the ravine, S.W. of the mound, are traces of lines of entrenchment of shallow section in the form of a redan, probably of the 17th century.

Condition—Of mound, good; of entrenchment, apparently much denuded.