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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4. ASTON CLINTON.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxiv. N.W. (b)xxxiv. S.E.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels, on the S. side of the village, is built of flint, with stone dressings; the chancel and lower stage of the tower are covered with rough-cast; the roofs of the chancel, nave, and N. porch are tiled, the other roofs are covered with lead. The irregular setting out of the 13th-century S. arcade possibly indicates that a 12th-century Nave of about two squares was lengthened towards the W. c. 1270, when the South Aisle was built; c. 1340 the North Aisle was added and the Chancel re-built, with a Vestry on the N. side, since destroyed; the clearstorey may have been added about the same time. In the first half of the 15th century the S. aisle was widened, and the South Porch was built. The West Tower may possibly have been added in the 14th century, but was re-built in 1800, and has since been restored. In 1867 the church was restored, and all the stonework re-tooled. The North Porch, the upper part of the S. porch, and the buttresses are modern; the upper part of the N. wall of the N. aisle has been recently re-built.
Architectural Description— The Chancel (34½ ft. by 17 ft.) has an E. window of three lights and tracery, all modern, except the moulded internal jambs, which are of the 14th century, re-tooled; a small circular light above the window is modern. In the N. wall are two windows of c. 1340, restored, each of two trefoiled ogee lights and tracery, with moulded external jambs and label; the internal jambs and rear arch are chamfered, and the internal label is moulded; near the E. end of the wall, originally opening into the vestry, is a 14th-century doorway, now blocked; the moulded jambs and two-centred arch have been restored: under the windows inside is a large moulded string-course, which runs the length of the wall and is carried over the doorway and the Easter Sepulchre (see Fittings). In the S. wall were originally three windows similar to those in the N. wall; the easternmost is now blocked, but is visible inside as a recess over the sedilia; the westernmost is hidden by the organ; below it, now blocked but visible outside, is a low-side window with moulded jambs, the width being half that of the window above it: between the two eastern windows is a priest's doorway, similar to the doorway of the vestry, but re-cut and patched with modern stone. The chancel arch, of c. 1340, is two-centred and of two moulded orders; the jambs have moulded angles and semi-circular responds, with chamfered bases and moulded capitals, which have been re-cut. The Nave (53 ft. by 17½ ft.) has N. and S. arcades of four bays. The N. arcade, of c. 1340, has a circular central column and semi-circular W. respond; the other columns are octagonal, and the E. respond semi-octagonal; the bases and capitals are moulded; the arches are two-centred, of two moulded orders, with moulded labels and headstops on both sides; some of the stops are modern. Above the E. respond of the N. arcade is the upper entrance to the former rood-loft, with chamfered jambs and four-centred head. The S. arcade, of c. 1270, is irregularly set out; the columns and responds are similar to those of the N. arcade, but have chamfered bases; the two-centred arches are of two chamfered orders with broach stops and, on both sides, moulded labels with mask stops over the responds; most of the stonework has been restored and re-cut. In the E. respond of the S. arcade is a tall narrow arched opening, formerly containing the stairs to the rood-loft, and entered from the S. aisle by a doorway, which has rebated jambs and a two-centred head; one hook for the door remains. The clearstorey has three circular foiled windows on each side; the inner splays and rear arches are probably of the 14th century, the rest is modern. The North Aisle (8 ft. wide) has a 15th-century E. window, restored, of three cinque-foiled lights and tracery under a square head, with a modern external label; the jambs, mullions and rear arch are moulded. In the N. wall are three 15th-century windows, restored, each of two cinque-foiled ogee lights and tracery under a square head, with modern external labels; the mouldings are similar to those of the E. window: the 15th-century N. doorway, between the two western windows, has moulded jambs and two-centred arch with traceried spandrels in a square head. In the W. wall is a window of c. 1340, of two trefoiled lights with sunk spandrels under a square head, and a modern external label; the window has been re-set, and is out of centre. The South Aisle (11 ft. wide) has a 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled ogee lights and tracery under a square head and modern external label; the sill has been carried down to form a reredos; the inner jamb on the S. side leans outwards. In the S. wall are three windows, each of two cinque-foiled lights and tracery in a square head; the external stonework and the tracery is almost entirely modern, but the inner splays and rear arches, all differently moulded, are probably of the 14th century: the sill of the easternmost window is carried down to form a sedile; between the two western windows is a late 14th-century doorway, with continuously moulded jambs and two-centred arch; the moulded external label has foliated stops. The window in the W. wall is possibly of late 14th-century date, restored, of three trefoiled lights, with a quatrefoil over each light under a square head and a modern external label; the window is out of centre with the aisle. The South Porch is of two storeys, with a N.W. stair-turret, and has a 15th-century outer entrance, with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch, restored. In each side wall is a small trefoiled ogee light, also of the 15th century. In the W. wall is a small doorway with chamfered jambs and shouldered head, much restored; it opens into the stair-turret, which has on the lower part of the inner wall a handrail carved in clunch. On the S. wall is incised '1686. ak cs tb', etc. The upper storey, both of the porch and turret, has been re-built. The West Tower (13 ft. by 12 ft.) is modern, except the splayed jambs of the tower arch, and possibly the bases of the walls, which are thicker than the superstructure. The Roofs are modern. A former flat pitched roof of the nave, probably of the 15th century, was destroyed at the restoration.
Fittings—Chair: in chancel, with turned legs, shaped elbows, carved panelled back, 17th-century. Chest: at W. end of N. aisle, with panelled front, plain lid, three locks, possibly late 17th-century. Communion Table: in chancel, with turned legs, fluted and pierced rail at the top, 17th-century. Easter Sepulchre: in N. wall of chancel (2 ft. 2 in. wide, 10 in. deep), with trefoiled ogee head, crocketed label and carved finial, pilasters at the sides with corbels carved as heads of knights in mail coifs, late 14th-century, much restored; the tops of knights' coifs, pilasters above them with carved angel finials, modern. Font: modern: at E. end of S. aisle, bowl of original font, top worn or broken away, but ornament indicates shallow arcading, below it series of circular flowers of sunk shell pattern, 12th-century, much defaced, used as a flower-pot in a garden, and restored to the church in the 19th century. Glass: in N.W. window of chancel, two circular pieces, red, surrounded by pattern of leaves on white ground, 14th-century. Locker: in N. wall of chancel, outside, behind Easter Sepulchre, square, shallow recess, rebated, now glazed, belonging to former vestry. Piscinæ: in chancel, with cinque-foiled ogee head, crocketed and finialled, pilasters with gabled and crocketed pinnacles, shelf at back, mid 14th-century, much scraped and partly restored: in S. aisle, with trefoiled two-centred head, shelf, 14th-century. Plate: includes cup of Elizabethan pattern with modern bowl, stem possibly original. Sedilia: in chancel, three, in line with piscina (see Plate, p. xxiv.), of clunch, with sub-cusped cinque-foiled ogee heads, crocketed and finialled, intermediate pilasters with gabled and crocketed pinnacles, recesses with ribbed vaults, the two eastern having carved bosses, the third plain, mid 14th-century, much restored. Miscellanea: in W. tower, stool with turned legs and carved rails, 17th-century.
Condition—Good, much restored.
b(2). Church of St. Leonard, stands about 3¾ miles S.E. by S. of the parish church; the walls are covered with cement, the roofs are tiled. The Chancel and Nave were built probably in the 15th century, but all details are covered with cement, and the date is uncertain; the 14th-century piscina and sedile appear to be of re-used material, possibly from an earlier building on the site. The W. end of the nave, which supports the Bell Cot, is a later addition; the church was restored late in the 17th century; the South Porch and the small North Porch are modern.
Architectural Description — The Chancel and Nave (61½ ft. by 15½ ft.) have no structural division; the E. window is of three cinque-foiled pointed lights under a four-centred head, all covered with cement. In the N. wall, at the E. end, an outline in the internal plaster possibly indicates a blocked window; about the middle of the wall is a window of two cinque-foiled lights with quatrefoil spandrels under a four-centred head, and an external label with carved angel stops, all cemented; towards the W. end of the wall is a single light with a three-centred arch in a square head, also treated with cement; the N. doorway, near the E. end, is modern. In the S. wall are two windows, each of two lights, similar to the first window in the N. wall; the S. doorway, near the W. end, is of a single moulded order, with a plain label, which has carved angel stops. In the W. wall is a window similar to the E. window, covered with cement, and painted; four posts in the wall support the bell-cot and are possibly old, but the arches and traceried spandrels between the posts are modern. The Bell-cot is square, the walls are thin, possibly timber-framed, now covered with cement, and surmounted by a tall pyramidal roof, which has a weathercock at the pinnacle. Roofs: the three bays over the W. end, or nave, are probably of the 16th century, and have tie-beams, with chamfered curved braces forming arches, moulded wall-plates and chamfered purlins; the wall-posts rest on angel corbels, apparently of plaster; the E. bay is wider than the other two.
Fittings—Bells: one, inaccessible. Piscina: in the chancel, with cinque-foiled two-centred head, label, having head stop on the E. side and carried over the sedile on the W. side, octofoil basin, partly cut away in front, probably 14th-century, the head modern. Sedile: next to piscina, with cinque-foiled two-centred head and label, also probably 14th-century, the head and W. jamb modern; the label continues towards the W. apparently for a second sedile.
a(3). N.E. of Normill Terrace, about 1 mile W.N.W. of the parish church, encloses a large rectangular site; the wide ditch is now dry and much denuded.
a(4). At the back of the Rose and Crown Inn, 1/8 mile N.W. of the parish church, small, partly natural.
b(5). Dundridge Farm, house and moat, ½ mile S.E. of St. Leonard's Church. The House is of two storeys, built in the 17th century, but almost entirely re-faced with brick in the 18th or early in the 19th century. The roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped, with the internal angle facing E.; there is a small wing on the N.W., and at the S. angle is a projecting staircase, which is partly of 17th-century brick and timber. The chimney over the S.W. wing is of original brick. Most of the rooms have old chamfered beams in the ceilings, and one room has a wall covered with 17th-century panelling, richly moulded, now partly hidden by papered canvas. The S. staircase has two 17th-century panelled doors, one having small original ornamental hinges; the stairs, also original, have a central newel. Two other original doors are of plain battens with strap-hinges. A barn, adjoining the S.E. end of the house, has some 17th-century brick in one wall; the other walls are weather-boarded.
Of the Moat only fragments remain.
Condition—Of house, good, but unoccupied and neglected at time of visit.
a(6). Rookery Park, 200 yards W. of the parish church, is a large modern house with a 17th-century wing of two storeys, built of brick and timber, at right angles to the modern building; the roof is tiled. In the wing are chamfered ceiling-beams and a large open fireplace.
a(7). House, at the gate of Rookery Park, ¼ mile W. of the parish church, is of two storeys, built in the 17th century, restored and enlarged in the 19th century. The walls are of brick and timber; the roof is thatched. The plan is of the central chimney type. One room has a large open fireplace, and a chamfered beam runs through the ceilings of the ground floor the whole length of the house.
a(8–9). Cottages, two, on the S. side of the Akeman Street, about ½ mile N.W. of the parish church, are each of two storeys, the upper storey partly in the roof. They were built of brick and timber probably late in the 17th century, but have been partly re-faced with modern brick. The roofs are thatched.
Brook Street, W. side
a(10). Cottage, half-way down the street, is a 17th-century building of one storey and an attic. The walls are of brick and timber; the roof is thatched.
a(11). Cottage, almost opposite (10), is of two storeys, the upper storey partly in the roof, built in the 17th century; the walls are timber-framed with filling of brick, wattle and daub, and partly re-faced with modern brick; the roof is thatched.
a(12). The Oak Inn, is a two-storeyed brick and timber building of the 17th century; the roof is thatched. A chimney stack is built of old thin bricks. One room has a large open fireplace, and in the ceiling is a stop-chamfered beam.
Greenend Street, N.E. side
a(13). Cottage, now two dwellings, opposite the Oak Inn, is of one storey and an attic, built in the 17th century, of brick and timber, restored with modern brick. The roof is thatched. In one room is a large open fireplace, partly blocked.
a(14). House, of two storeys, was built of brick and timber late in the 17th century, but the walls have been almost entirely re-faced with modern brick or covered with rough-cast. The roof is tiled.
Condition—Good, much restored and altered.
a(15). Cottage, S.W. of (14), is of two storeys, the upper storey partly in the roof. It was built in the 17th century, but the walls are entirely covered with modern rough-cast. The roof is thatched. The chimney stack is of old thin bricks.
a(16). Cottage, S. of (15), is of two storeys, built of brick and timber late in the 17th century, now almost entirely re-faced with brick; the roof is tiled. At the back are two blocked windows.
b(17). Grim's Ditch (see also Bradenham, Buckland, Drayton Beauchamp, Great and Little Hampden, Great Missenden, Lee, Monks Risborough, Princes Risborough, and Wendover), slight track, in field boundary between Lane's End and Layland's Farm, about 3 miles S. of the village.