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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(O.S. 6 in. lvi. S.E.)
(1). Parish Church of St. Michael, stands in the middle of the village. The walls are of flint and clunch, with some pudding-stone and brick in the tower; the chancel is of Kentish ragstone; the external dressings are of stone; the internal dressings are of clunch. The roofs are tiled. The Nave is of c. 1160 or earlier date, a S. aisle and arcade were added c. 1190. The North Transept and the West Tower were added in the 15th century, and the tower was apparently re-built late in the 16th century. The Chancel and South Aisle were re-built in 1875–6, when the whole church was restored and the South Vestry added. The North Porch has some old timbers, re-used.
The church is especially interesting on account of the fine 12th-century N. doorway in the nave.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (20½ ft. by 17½ ft.) is modern. The two-centred chancel arch is of late 15th or early 16th-century date, and of two chamfered orders with carved head-corbels supporting the inner order, the outer order dying into the wall; in the jambs are some 12th-century stones, probably the remains of the original chancel arch. The Nave (44½ ft. by 21 ft.) has, in the N. wall, opening into the transept, a two-centred arch, of two continuously chamfered orders, probably of the 15th century, and built of clunch; further W. is a window of two plain four-centred lights probably of early 16th-century date; the N. doorway, of c. 1165, has a round head of four moulded orders, the innermost being square and continuous; the second order has cheveron and lozenge ornament, and is carried by an attached shaft in each jamb with a modern abacus, an original cushion capital with zig-zag ornament, and a moulded base; the third order is chamfered and enriched with a bead and reel moulding, and the outermost order has cheveron moulding in four rolls; only one stone in the moulded label is original. The late 12th-century S. arcade is of three bays; the two-centred arches are of one square order, with half-round labels; the circular columns and segmental responds have chamfered and moulded bases, under-pinned with brick foundations covered with plaster; the moulded capitals and chamfered abaci have been scraped. E. of the arcade is a two-centred doorway, opening on to a flight of stone steps which led to the former rood-loft. The North Transept (19½ ft. by 12 ft.) has an E. window of three lights, and two N. windows, each of two lights, of 15th-century design, retaining only a few original stones; the W. window is entirely modern. The South Aisle is modern. The West Tower (15 ft. by 12½ ft.) is of three stages, with diagonal W. buttresses, and an embattled parapet of brick; in the N.E. corner is an octagonal stair-turret, rising above the tower. The 15th-century tower arch is four-centred and of two chamfered orders, the inner order carried on semi-octagonal shafts with chamfered bases and moulded capitals. The doorway opening into the stair-turret has moulded jambs and four centred arch in a square head. The W. doorway is of the 15th century, apparently altered late in the 16th century and subsequently much restored; it has moulded jambs and two-centred arch under a square head; the spandrels are incised roughly with shields and foliage: the 15th-century W. window is of three lights and tracery; all the external stonework is modern. In the S. and W. walls of the second stage are modern, single-light windows, and at the N. end of the W. wall is a doorway with a four-centred head, blocked with 17th-century brick. The bell-chamber, which is almost entirely of brick, has four windows of late 16th-century date, each of two four-centred lights under a square head. The North Porch has on each side ten openings with moulded timber heads, sills and mullions of the 15th century, all now glazed. The Roof of the nave retains rough tie-beams and king-posts with longitudinal braces. The roof of the transept is also old. The ceiling of the ground stage of the tower has moulded beams, probably of the 15th century.
Fittings—Bells: six; 3rd, by Ellis and Francis Knight, 1647. Brasses and Indents. Indents: in chancel—(1) of man, woman, two groups of children, and inscription, probably 16th-century. Font: tapering circular bowl with large twisted edge-roll at the top, 12th-century, lower part apparently re-cut, base modern. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In churchyard—now in the path, near N. porch, (1) top of tomb, with marginal inscription to William—(name worn away), a skinner, 1612; near W. doorway, (2) headstone, laid flat, to William Tiller, 1686; on N. side of church, (3) head-stone, laid flat, to Samuel Bowry, 1695–6. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Sarah, wife of John Milton, 1637. In S. aisle—(2) to Elizabeth, wife of Edwin Griffen, 1670; (3) to Agnes, wife of Thomas Pitt, 1650, Thomas Pitt, her husband, 1667, and their three children, to Edwin Blunt, 1664, to four children of William Clifton, junior, and to Anne, wife of Robert Blunt, 1682, with arms at top of slab. Paintings: on the soffit of the W. arch of the S. arcade, remains of red line scroll pattern. Piscina: in N. transept, set high up, with trefoiled head and octagonal basin, 15th-century, the sill partly modern. Plate: includes cup and cover of 1697. Seating: in chancel, a half poppy-head standard, 15th-century, second standard of the same date was repaired in 1910. Miscellanea: in E. wall of nave, N. of chancel arch, corbel, adapted from a 12th-century cheveron-moulded voussoir, probably supported the rood-loft.
The E., W. and S. walls of the Churchyard are built partly of large old bricks about 14 in. by 6 in. by 3½ in.; the E. wall has buttresses and the W. wall semi-circular turrets and two posts of a former large gateway, all probably of late 16th-century date.
(2). At Mildridge Farm, 5/6 mile N.N.E. of the church.
(3). At Berkin Manor, fragment, ¼ mile E.N.E. of the church.
(4). The Rectory, about ¼ mile N.W. of the church, is a house of two storeys and an attic, built late in the 16th or early in the 17th contury, and entirely re-faced with modern brick. The roof is tiled. Inside the house the constructional timbers are visible, including beams in the roof with curved wind-braces; in one room is some panelling, possibly of c. 1700.
(5). Ashgood Farm, N. of the church, on the opposite side of the road, is a 17th-century building of two storeys. The walls have been almost entirely re-faced with modern brick, but in the E. and W. walls is a little of the original timber-framing and some old brickwork. The roof is tiled. The central chimney stack is of 17th-century brick, and under it is a wide fireplace, partly blocked. Some of the ceilings have original beams. Near the N. end of the house an old granary is built of timber, weather-boarded, and has a thatched roof.
Colnbrook, main road, S. side, from W. to E. (see also Langley Marish)
(6). House, formerly the Royal Standard Inn, now two shops, is of two storeys, built probably early in the 17th century, timber-framed, covered with plaster, and now much restored. The roof is tiled. In front the overhanging upper storey is supported by modern joists; the ornamental plaster is modern. The central chimney stack is of old thin bricks. Inside the house are some original ceiling-beams.
(7). House, now four cottages, is of two storeys. The walls are of brick, all modern, except the front of one cottage, which is of late 17th-century brick; a heavy oak post in the wall, between the second and third cottages, possibly indicates that the building was originally timber-framed. Some of the windows are blocked.
(8). House, now the Ostrich Inn, and two shops, on the S. side of the main street, is of two storeys, built late in the 15th or early in the 16th century, of timber and plaster, with some brick. The roof is tiled.
The building is a good example of a house of the period; the timber-framing, the bargeboards, the staircase and the ceiling-beams are all worthy of note.
The plan is of half-H shape, the wings extending towards the S.; the staircase and one room in the S.E. angle and two rooms in the S.W. angle were added in the 17th century, and the middle of the house is pierced by a covered gateway from the street to the yard at the back. In front the lower storey is much restored, but the overhanging upper storey is original and the timber-framing has curved braces; the gable at each end has foiled barge-boards, the cusping much worn and broken; the entrance to the gateway has large 17th-century panelled doors. At the back the gateway has a four-centred head with sunk spandrels and moulded jambs; above it and also on the W. side of the E. wing the upper storey projects considerably, and the principal beams are supported on curved brackets; the S. end of the W. wing is of modern brick, and the S. end of the E. wing is weather-boarded. The staircase, now covered with cement, was originally open at the sides, and retains a large twisted newel at each outer angle. The central chimney stack and a large projecting stack at the W. end are both of original thin bricks. The 17th-century addition is of thin bricks, and has a contemporary chimney stack.
Interior:—The coffee room of the inn contains panelling and an angle cupboard of c. 1700, some early 17th-century panelling, a large beam in the ceiling, and an original doorway which has moulded jambs and a four-centred head with sunk spandrels. The office also contains an angle cupboard of c. 1700. The bar has a wide fireplace, partly blocked, and two large ceiling-beams at right angles to each other, one having below it a depressed four-centred arch carried on posts in the wall, with small attached shafts which have moulded capitals; the bases are cut away. On the first floor, the room, now divided, over the bar, has panelling, mantelpiece, and double doors of c. 1700; formerly a flap used to be let down from the window to enable passengers from the top of the coach to walk into the room. The dining-room, over the coffee-room, has a large chamfered beam in the ceiling, and an early 17th-century panelled dado, with a moulded architrave round the fireplace; the doorway has moulded jambs and a four-centred head with sunk spandrels, and contains an original heavy door of studded battens. The 17th-century staircase has square newels and handrails, twisted and turned balusters; the S. side, originally open, has two large posts with attached twisted newels, similar to those outside, and having moulded capitals and bases; against the present wall there are chamfered balusters and a handrail. Other rooms have original ceiling-beams and late 17th-century doors.
In the first shop, W. of the inn, on the first floor, a large room, now divided, has panelling and a moulding round the fireplace of c. 1700. Over the fireplace is a shield with arms, argent a fesse dancetty sable; there is also a cupboard giving access to the roof. In the second shop, at the W. end of the building, on the ground floor, the front room, now divided, has in the ceiling a large beam with remains of four-centred supports, resembling that in the bar of the inn; on the first floor is a similar beam.
Condition—Good, generally, much restored, especially internally.
(9). House, now two dwellings, opposite the George Inn (see Langley Marish), is of two storeys, built late in the 17th century, and covered with plaster, probably in the 18th century. The roof is tiled. In front are two gables and the windows on the first floor have pediments over them. The central chimney stack is of 17th-century brick.
(10). House, now a shop, is of two storeys, probably of the 17th century and covered with plaster, much restored. The roof is tiled. In front the overhanging upper storey has two gables.
(11). House, E. of (9), is of two storeys. It was built probably in the 17th century, but the walls are entirely covered with 18th-century and modern plaster and rough-cast; the roof is tiled. In front the upper storey projects, and at the W. end are two gables.