Medmenham

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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Citation:

'Medmenham', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 1, South, (London, 1912), pp. 254-257. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/bucks/vol1/pp254-257 [accessed 14 June 2024].

. "Medmenham", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 1, South, (London, 1912) 254-257. British History Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/bucks/vol1/pp254-257.

. "Medmenham", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 1, South, (London, 1912). 254-257. British History Online. Web. 14 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/bucks/vol1/pp254-257.

In this section

73. MEDMENHAM.

(O.S. 6 in. li. N.E.)

Pre-historic:—See (11) below.

Ecclesiastical

(1). Parish Church of St. Peter, stands in the village, on the S. side of the road from Marlow to Henley. It is built of flint rubble mixed with blocks of chalk; the walls and buttresses of the chancel are of rough chequer work, and the walls of the tower are covered with plaster and rough-cast in patches; the old dressings are of chalk with some sandy limestone. The roofs are tiled. The Nave was built probably at the end of the 12th or beginning of the 13th century, and there appears to have been a N. transept of the same date. The West Tower was added in the 15th century, when the Chancel was re-built in one range with the nave. In the 19th century the whole building was restored and much of the window tracery renewed.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (18½ ft. by 20 ft.) has a 15th-century E. window, much restored; it is of three trefoiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head; the jambs and mullions are moulded and there is a moulded external label. In the N. wall is a two-light window, possibly with an old opening, and a modern doorway. In the S. wall the window and doorway are modern. The Nave (52½ft. by 20 ft.) has, at the E. end of the N. wall, a blocked arch of late 12th or early 13th-century date, originally opening into a transept of which no other trace remains; it is pointed and chamfered, with plain abaci, all of chalk, much scraped; further W. are two late 15th-century windows, each of two trefoiled lights and tracery under a square head, the western window now blocked, between them is a blocked doorway with a semi-circular head. In the S. wall are three windows each of two trefoiled lights and tracery; the two easternmost have possibly old openings; the westernmost resembles the opposite window, but is not blocked. The S. doorway, of late 12th or early 13th-century date, has a semi-circular head and plain jambs, with re-cut abaci. The West Tower (12 ft. square) is of three stages with embattled parapet, angle buttresses, and a S.E. projecting stair-turret carried up two stages. The 15th-century tower arch is of two heavy orders, the outer chamfered and continuous, the inner moulded and carried on half-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and bases. In the S. wall, opening into the stair-turret, is a small doorway with a pointed head and chamfered jambs. The W. doorway is continuously moulded with two hollow chamfers divided by a roll moulding, and has a label; the W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights and tracery in a four-centred head. In the second stage there is a single trefoiled light in each wall. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two trefoiled lights and tracery. The Roof of the nave, probably of late 15th-century date, has plain rough tie-beams, king-posts with curved struts and chamfered wall-plates. In place of the chancel arch is a cambered tie-beam with king-post, vertical struts, and curved braces, much restored.

Fittings—Bells: three, 1st, by Henry Deane, 1691, 2nd, by Ellis Knight, 1624, 3rd, by Henry Knight, 1666: elaborate bell-frame with curved struts, possibly 16th-century. Brass: In the nave—to Richard Levyng, 1412, and Alice, his wife, 1419, inscription only. Chest: in the tower, of iron, heavily strapped, large lock covering whole of lid, three bolts, probably mediæval and of foreign workmanship. Communion Table: painted and grained, with square baluster legs, early 17th-century. Monument: In nave—on N. wall, (1) to Anne Danvers, 1677, painted funeral hatchment with arms and inscription. In the churchyard—(2) gravestone to Martha Robinson, 1691. Piscina: In the chancel, small, with pointed head and circular bowl, probably 15th-century: in the nave, at E. end of S. wall, similar to that in the chancel, but with square bowl. Plate: includes silver-gilt cup and standing paten of 1637. Pulpit: incorporates some 17th-century panels, two with carvings of the Annunciation and Nativity, two with elaborately mitred mouldings and cherubs' heads. Stoup: E. of S. door, inside, recess with pointed head.

Condition—Good.

Secular

(2). Medmenham Abbey, on the bank of the river Thames, ½ mile S. of the church, is built partly on the site of a monastery; in the garden is a column of the abbey church, probably not in situ, and possibly part of the original W. range also remains. The present house, with the outbuildings and a wall, encloses a square courtyard; it is almost entirely modern, but the W. wing at least is on old foundations, and is probably part of a house built on an E-shaped plan, c. 1610; the three-storeyed porch is of that date, and is built of blocks of chalk; the entrance doorway has moulded jambs and square head and a square label; on the stone lintel is painted 'Fay ce que voudras', the motto of the 'Hell Fire Club', but the lettering appears to be of 17th-century or earlier date; the upper storeys have mullioned windows with moulded jambs and heads. Towards the N. end of the W. wall of this wing is some flint rubble, possibly part of the W. range of the monastic buildings; in it are the remains of a blocked arch with a semi-circular head, built of chalk. The ruins at the S. end of this wing may contain old stones, but are not otherwise genuine. The late 13th-century column of the church is formed of four keeled rolls, separated by two rolls and a large fillet; the bell-capital has under-cut mouldings, and a scroll-moulded abacus; the base is of modern brick. At the S. end of the garden is a stone coffin, which was dug up on the probable site of the nave; the site of the S. range is possibly marked by the foundations of a flint wall, which runs from E. to W.

Condition—Of 17th-century remains, good; of column, bad, much weather-worn; of coffin, good.

(3). The Manor House, S. of the church, on the W. side of the road to the ferry, is of two storeys. The walls are timber-framed, with brick and plaster filling, and are on brick foundations; the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 15th century; the original plan was H-shaped, with the hall in the central block; the N. wing probably contained the kitchen offices, but was much altered in the 17th century, when a floor was inserted in the hall; the entrance and porch at the S. end of the hall are possibly also of the 17th century. The house was subsequently divided into tenements, but late in the 19th century it was re-converted into a single dwelling-house, and was repaired and enlarged; part of the floor in the hall was cleared away, and the open timber roof remains; the one truss visible has curved chamfered beams, which form a two-centred arch.

Condition—Good.

(4–5). Houses, two, N.W. of the church, on the S. side of the road, were built of timber and brick in the 17th century, but have been altered and enlarged at later dates. The eastern house is of one storey and an attic; the other house of two storeys. The roofs are tiled.

Condition—Fairly good.

(6). The Dog and Badger Inn, N. of the church, is of two storeys, the upper storey partly in the roof. It was built possibly late in the 16th century, but the walls have been almost completely re-faced with modern brick. The front is covered with rough-cast, and has three dormer windows. Some original timber-framing remains at the back.

Condition—Fairly good.

(7). The Post Office, 50 yards N. of the church, is of one storey and an attic, built in the 17th century. The walls are of irregular blocks of chalk with flint rubble, except the gabled E. end, which is of brick. The roof is tiled. In front the attic is lighted by three dormer windows.

Condition—Fairly good.

(8). Lodge Farm, stands in a field, on a hill 170 yards N. of the church. It was built in the middle of the 17th century, and is of two storeys with an attic and a basement. The walls are of flint rubble, with brick quoins, copings and dressings; the roofs are tiled. The plan consists of a rectangular block, facing N. and S., with a small wing of one storey projecting towards the N. from the E. end. The main block contains the parlour and kitchen; the entrance lobby, larder and staircase are partly in the main block and partly in the wing; E. of the main block is an outhouse containing the dairy. The gables have moulded brick copings and kneelers, and the windows have brick quoins and wooden frames. On the S. elevation, in each storey, are two windows of two lights with transoms and chamfered mullions; the attic is lighted by two gabled dormer windows; at the W. end of the wall is a stone sun-dial, possibly original. On the N. elevation the main block has a small rectangular window on the ground floor, and two blind dormers, one partly hidden by a large chimney stack; the roof is continued down over the projecting wing, which has a blind dormer and a window, similar to those of the main block. On the W. elevation the main block is gabled, and has on the ground floor a window of three lights; the first floor is lighted by a small rectangular window; in the wing is the only entrance doorway except that into the dairy; it has brick quoins and a heavy wooden frame. The chimney stack on the N. and another stack at the E. end, are cross-shaped on plan, and of brick, with plain shafts.

Condition—Good; but, on the W. front and at the W. end of the N. front, is a considerable amount of ivy, which will do much damage in time, if attention is not given to it.

(9). Panelling and Shield, at Bockmer, about 1 mile N. of the church. In two rooms is some early 17th-century panelling, re-set; one room has also, over the fireplace, a carved shield of the same date, quarterly, 1 and 4, a saltire ermine; 2 and 3, two cheverons between three scallops.

Condition—Good.

Unclassified

(10). Camp, known as Dane's Ditches, is situated at Danesfield, ¾ mile E. of the church, on the N. bank of the river Thames. The work, which formerly covered approximately 20 acres, is interesting, notwithstanding its incomplete state, on account of its form and position.

The defences consist, on the N. and E., of a ditch with an inner rampart and outer bank. The W. side of the work is almost obliterated, and there are no artificial defences on the S. side, which is defended by the steep bank of the river. The original entrance is not evident. The rampart, at its strongest point, is 17½ ft. high, 63 ft. wide; the ditch is 12½ ft. deep, 70 ft. wide.

Condition—Imperfect.

Pre-historic

(11). Contour Camp, N.E. of the church and S.W. of States House, is situated from 500 to 550 ft. above O.D. and encloses an area of 162/3 acres. The defences consist of a single rampart and ditch, except about 100 yards on the W. side, where there is an outer bank. The E. side has been much reduced by the plough. There are several old gravel and chalk pits on the site. One original entrance appears to have been on the N.W.; and on the S.W. a path, apparently ancient and protected by a bank, leads towards a spring. The rampart is, on the W. side, 15½ ft. high and 46½ ft. wide; the ditch is 3½ ft. deep and 44½ ft. wide.

Condition—Much denuded.

Missenden, Great and Little, see Great Missenden and Little Missenden.