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)xli. N.E. (b)xlii. N.W. (c)xlii. S.W.)
c(1). Arch and other pieces of walling, Tiles, Pottery, and Coins, were found c. 1826 near Hazlemere Turnpike on Wycombe Heath, and possibly indicate a house on the site, which is now not ascertainable except by excavation; the arch may have belonged to a hypocaust. (Lipscomb, Hist. of Bucks, vol. iii., p. 583.)
c(2). Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels, stands about 1½ miles N. of High Wycombe. The walls are of flint, with dressings of stone and clunch; the roofs are tiled. The church was re-built in the 19th century, except the chancel and N. chapel, which were completely restored. A 12th-century corbel in the N. chapel shows that work of that date existed in the former building. The Chancel is of the 14th century or possibly of earlier date; the North Chapel was built apparently in the same century, but probably later than the chancel; the arcade between them was re-built in the 15th century.
The church contains a collection of remarkable effigies; three are almost certainly of the 16th century, but appear to be attempts to imitate work of earlier dates; two others, of the 13th and 14th centuries, were apparently partly re-cut and altered in the 16th century.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (33 ft. by 20 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall, opening into the N. chapel, is an arcade of two bays, of hard limestone and probably of late 15th-century date; the arches are four-centred and of two chamfered orders; the octagonal pillar and semi-octagonal responds have simple capitals, that of the pillar has a shield carved on each face, the E. capital has one shield only and the W. capital is probably similar, but is hidden by the organ; charges in paper are stuck on the shields; W. of the arcade are two rectangular openings, now glazed. In the S. wall are modern windows, and outside can be traced the outline of a pointed doorway, of which the dressings have disappeared. The chancel arch is modern, except possibly some clunch in the jambs which may be re-used. The North Chapel or Chancel Aisle (17 ft. wide) has an E. window of three trefoiled lights with tracery of rough workmanship, under a pointed head; it is probably of mid 14th-century date, and is of clunch, restored with modern Bath stone. The windows in the N. wall are modern. In the S. wall, W. of the arcade, is a small four-centred arch, or tomb recess, of late 15th or early 16th-century date; it is blocked on the chancel side, but the two rectangular openings are in the blocking. The rest of the building is modern.
Fittings—Bells: eight, 5th and 6th, by Henry and Ellis Knight, 1663, 7th, pre-Reformation, inscribed 'Sancta Maria Ora Pro [N]obis', in black-letter with crowned initials, marks—a lion's face, a shield and cross—probably by John Michell; 8th, inscribed 'Christe Baptista Campana Gaudeat Ista' marks—crosses and a lion's face. Brass and Indent. Brass: In N. chapel—on E. wall, of Robert Thurloe, vicar of the parish, 1483, small figure of priest in Mass vestments, with inscription. Indent: In N. chapel—on N. wall, in Purbeck marble slab in tomb recess, of man's head with scroll and two shields. Chairs: one in chancel and one in nave, high-backed, oak, probably early 17th-century. Communion Table: with turned legs and carved rails, 17th-century. Font: cylindrical, with trefoiled arcading, band of foliage at the top, one spandrel enriched with foliage, early 13th-century, band at the top repaired. Monuments: In N. chapel—on S. side, near E. end, (1) recumbent effigy of knight in chain mail armour and surcoat, with misericorde added, legs crossed, feet resting on cushion with a crescent at each end: arms—on surcoat, a griffon grasping a child in its left forepaw and a chief checky, possibly intended for the arms of Wellesborne whose shield however had a bend ermine over all and no child; on large shield, a lion with forked tail in an orle of crosslets and holding a child in its mouth, possibly to represent the arms of Montfort though their shield had no crosslets and no child; a shield on each side of cushion under head of effigy, on dexter shield bendy of ten a chief, on sinister shield apparently bendy, much defaced; on scabbard of sword, seven small shields with meaningless charges, apparently late 13th-century, but altered and additions made probably in the 16th century (see also monuments (2), (3), (4) and (5)), supposed to be one of the de Montforts from whom the Wellesbornes of this parish claimed descent: in N. wall, in recess, (2) slab with effigy rudely carved in low relief, of man in armour of extraordinary style, wearing a coif with collar of roundels, short gambeson and chausses, and large flat shield, heart-shaped shield and small shield on breast, on right side of sword, in left hand, a staff with cross end, in front of right leg another sword piercing the head of a beast at his feet; arms— on large quarterly shield, travesties, like those above, of the ancient arms of Wellesborne and Montfort; on small shield and on four shields at top of slab, other meaningless charges; probably 16th-century imitation of 13th-century work, figure broken at waist and repaired with cement: on sill of E. window, (3) effigy of knight in bascinet and aventail, short hauberk, gipon, plate, jambs and sollerets, etc., feet resting on lion, arms and hands having been destroyed or damaged an attempt has been made to carve them out of the body, on breast a heart, head rests on two griffons each with a child in the claws, dexter griffon partly destroyed; arms—on gipon and shields, more heraldry like that on monument (1) at the sides two small crescents enclosing faces and with 'flames' suspended from them; probably late 14th-century, altered in 16th century: on N. side of E. window, (4) slab, upright, with figure of man in armour in low relief, defaced, head without covering, short hair, quilted gambeson, large shield on breast, right hand holding upright sword, scabbard appearing below shield, legs and feet in profile; heraldry of similar quality to that above: on S. side of E. window, (5) slab, upright, with figure of man in profile, carved in low relief, wearing vizored helm with orle, mail skirt with articulated taces over it, articulated sollerets, shield suspended from left shoulder, right hand holding mace or club upright; arms—on shield, griffon and chief checky as above, over all a bend, the nearest approach to those of Wellesborne; on sides of slab, eleven shields, some with meaningless charges; both (4) and (5) probably 16th-century imitations of earlier work; in arched recess, S. wall, (6) effigy of corpse in shroud, probably 16th-century. In chancel—on S. wall, (7) of Thomas Lane, 1621, kneeling effigy of boy. In churchyard—S. of church, (8) small slab to William Russell, 1694. Niches: in chancel, on W. face of E. respond of arcade, small, trefoiled, late 15th-century: on N. face of middle pillar, plain, square. Piscina: in the chancel, with trefoiled ogee head and filleted edge-roll, round basin, shelf at back, early 14th-century. Recess: in N. wall of N. chapel, with two-centred drop arch, of two moulded orders, with moulded label, 14th-century. Miscellanea: in N. chapel, on sill of E. window, three small corbels, 1st, grotesque head with protruding tongue, hard limestone, apparently 12th-century; 2nd, head in coif of mail, possibly label-stop, 13th-century; 3rd, part of crowned head with long hair, of clunch, probably 14th-century: in case in nave, key, with pierced heart-shaped head, probably 15th-century.
c(3). Almshouses, a range of two-storeyed tenements, S.W. of the church, were built early in the 17th century; in 1842 Ellen, Lady Conyngham, left a legacy for repairing them, as recorded in an inscription on the E. front, which has been re-faced with brick, except one timber-framed gable; the four other gables are modern. At the back is some original timber-framing with brick filling, and at the S. end is a small modern addition. The roofs are tiled. On the ground floor there are old ceiling-beams and a large, open fireplace, partly blocked.
c(4). Shields, five, of stone, set in the walls of Rockhalls Farm, about 1 mile E. of the church; they are from the former house on the site, and are possibly of the 16th century, being charged with incorrect versions of the Montfort and Wellesborne arms, similar to those on the monuments in the church.
Condition—Of one shield, weather-worn; of others, good.
b(5). Hatches Farm, in Great Kingsmill, about 1¾ miles N.E. of the church, consists of a rectangular building of one storey and an attic, of early 17th-century date, and, at one end, an addition, of two storeys, built later in the same century. The walls are of brick, those of the later addition having a diaper pattern picked out in black bricks. The roofs are tiled. Some of the windows have old casements, and the plain square chimneys are original. Inside the house, on the ground floor, some of the roughaxed ceiling-beams are exposed.
b(6). Coombs Farm, about 1 mile N.W. of the church, is a house of two storeys, built probably early in the 17th century, on an L-shaped plan, but re-fronted with brick and flint probably in the 18th century. At the back the original timber-framing remains, but nearly all the brick filling has been renewed. The roof is tiled. The S. front has a gable at each end and a dormer window; the S.E. angle is built out of the perpendicular, evidently to follow the line of the original timber-framing, which must have settled. The central chimney stack, built of old thin bricks, has also settled, and leans towards the E.; at the W. end is a second chimney stack, built of 17th-century brick. Inside the house both stacks have large fireplaces, that at the W. end being in the kitchen, which is carried up the two storeys, and does not appear to have had an upper floor at any time; there are heavy timbers in the N. and S. walls at the level of the first floor of the rest of the house, and the open timber ceiling is of the collar-beam type.
A large barn, S. of the house, is of the 17th century, and has heavy oak timbers in the trusses.
a(7). Great Moseley Farm, at Naphill, about 1¾ miles N.W. of the church, is a house of two storeys and an attic, built probably in the 17th century, and timber-framed, now encased in flint and brick of later date. The roofs are tiled. The plan was originally rectangular, but a modern wing has been added at the back. The central chimney stack is original. Inside the house there are old ceiling-beams, and a large open fireplace with an oak lintel.