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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77. PRINCES RISBOROUGH.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxvii. N.W. (b)xxxvii. N.E. (c)xxxvii. S.E. (d)xli. N.E.)
b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, stands on the W. side of the town, and is built of flint with stone dressings; the spire is of stone. The roofs are tiled. A church, consisting probably of a chancel and aisleless nave, existed on the site before the beginning of the 13th century, when the North and South Aisles were added to it; the earliest work is in the arcades of the Nave, and is of c. 1220; the nave and aisles were lengthened towards the W. and finished probably c. 1290. The Chancel was re-built c. 1290, and windows were inserted in it probably c. 1340. The West Tower was added probably in the 15th century, but all detail of that date has been lost in the recent rebuilding. In 1867–8 the church was much enlarged and restored; the chancel arch was re-built with new material, the North Organ-Chamber was added, the N. aisle widened, and a new N. wall built; a small arch was inserted at the E. end of each arcade; the South Porch with doorway was built, and a new tower arch inserted; the clearstorey was re-built, and the roofs were renewed. The tower was re-built from the foundations in 1907–8.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (32½ ft. by 17½ ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a window of c. 1290, but partly restored, of two uncusped pointed lights, with a circular opening, filled by a modern quatrefoil, in a two-centred head; the jambs and arch are moulded, and the inner edges of the jambs have attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases, carrying a moulded rear arch, with a label; W. of the window is a modern arch opening into the organ-chamber. In the S. wall are two windows, each of two trefoiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head; the rear arches are moulded; the windows are of different design, but both are probably of c. 1340, though partly restored; between them is a modern doorway, and the chancel arch is modern. The Nave (60½ ft. by 26 ft.) has a N. arcade of seven bays; the easternmost arch and the first column are modern, but appear to have some old stones re-set in them; the next four bays are of c. 1220, the columns are octagonal, with chamfered bases and plain moulded abaci; the arches are of two chamfered orders with stops above the abaci, and plain labels; the fifth column and sixth arch are of slightly later detail than the others; the W. bay is of c. 1245, and the column has four half-round attached shafts with a moulded base and abacus, following the shape of the column; the W. respond is similar, but has a moulded bell-capital, probably re-cut; the arch is of two orders, without stops; the label is moulded. The S. arcade, also of seven bays, differs only slightly in detail from the N. arcade; the W. bay is of c. 1290. The clearstorey has five modern lights on each side. The North Aisle (11 ft. wide) has four modern windows in the N. wall; the N. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch, and is probably of the 14th century, with moulding re-worked when it was re-set in the 19th century. The South Aisle (8 ft. wide) has an E. window of c. 1300, much restored, of two plain pointed lights in a two-centred head; the moulded jambs have attached shafts on the inner edges, with moulded capitals and bases; the rear arch is moulded and has a label with head-stops; the external stonework and half the mullion are modern. In the S. wall are two windows: the eastern is of c. 1280, and of three lancet lights, the middle light much stilted; all the stonework is moulded, the jambs and mullions have attached shafts inside, with moulded capitals and bases; the rear arches, of which the middle arch is stilted, form an open arcade of three bays, with attached shafts in the jambs, and two intermediate detached shafts of Purbeck marble which have moulded octagonal capitals and bases: the western window is of three lights in a two-centred head; the moulded inner jambs and pointed segmental rear arch are of c. 1340, the rest is modern; a moulded string-course below the windows forms a label for two recesses on each side of the S. doorway (see Fittings); the doorway is probably of early 14th-century date, re-cut, and has a two-centred moulded arch, and shafted jambs with moulded capitals and bases; the label is modern. The West Tower is modern, except the inner quoins at the angles joining the nave.
Fittings—Piscinæ: in the chancel, with trefoiled head, shelf at back, two foiled basins, probably late 13th-century: in S. wall of S. aisle, with projecting gabled canopy, cusped ogee arch, moulded label with head-stops and foliated finial, jambs with attached shafts, moulded bases and bell-capitals, shelf at back, shallow circular basin, c. 1320. Plate: includes flagon of 1629. Pulpit: oak, hexagonal, with carved round-headed arches in square panels, carved rails and cornice, late 17th-century. Recesses: in S. wall of S. aisle, four, probably for tombs, two eastern with ogee pointed segmental arches, cinque-foiled and sub-trefoiled, moulded jambs and heads, labels cut away, E. of eastern arch next to sedile (see below), broken buttress with panelled sides and moulded abacus, probably had pinnacle, and was part of decoration of recesses, c. 1330; two western recesses, with ogee pointed segmental arches, cinque-foiled and sub-trefoiled, shafted jambs with moulded bell-capitals, bases hidden by floor, arches partly broken away, c. 1340. Sedile: in S. aisle, adjoining piscina and of similar detail, with projecting canopied head, c. 1320. Stoup: in S. wall of S. aisle, E. of S. doorway, small plain recess, much restored, probably 15th-century.
b(2). The Mount, a rectangular enclosure, probably of the homestead moat type, is situated a few yards S.W. of the church, about 350 ft. above O.D., and covers an area of about two acres; it is contained within a rampart which, on the N.W. side, has an outer ditch. There is a gap through the rampart on the S.E. side.
Condition—Much denuded and altered.
b(3). Homestead Moat, N. of the church, fragment.
b(4). The Manor House, E. of the church, is a large brick building of two storeys and an attic; the roofs are tiled. It is apparently of early 18th-century date, but contains some fittings of an earlier period; among them the early 17th-century main staircase is the most important (see Plate, p. 269); it reaches from the ground floor to the attic and has square newels with large knob finials and moulded pendants, a large moulded handrail and pierced scroll-work instead of balusters; iron rods have been added from the tops of the newels to give additional strength. The drawing room has panelled walls and a massive overmantel with circular columns, panels with bolection moulding, and a moulded cornice, all possibly of late 17th-century date. In a room on the first floor is a late 16th or early 17th-century fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred head; one side of the room is covered with early 17th-century panelling.
b(5). The Old Rectory, a cottage on the N. side of the churchyard, is of two storeys, built of brick and timber in the 17th century, but much restored. The roof is tiled. At the E. end is a large projecting chimney stack, built of flint with stone quoins, restored with brick; the original octagonal shaft is of stone. Inside the house is a wide fireplace, partly blocked. The original timbers of the roof are visible, and the beams have chamfered wind-braces. The staircase is old.
Church Street, S. side
b(6). Cottage, opposite the S. side of the churchyard, is of one storey and an attic, built in the 17th century, and timber-framed, with plaster filling, now almost completely re-faced with modern brick. The roof is tiled. The base of one chimney is original.
b(7). Cottage, facing the S. side of (6), is of two storeys, built of timber and brick late in the 17th century; it is now enlarged and much restored. The roof is tiled. The central chimney stack is original and has square shafts. One room has a large open fireplace, partly blocked.
b(8). Cottage, about 100 yards S.E. of the church, now used as a store-house, is of two storeys, built of timber and brick in the 17th century, and subsequently restored. The roof is tiled. The N. and S. walls are gabled, the S. gable being weather-boarded. On the ground floor the ceilings have exposed joists, and there are two plain open fireplaces.
b(9). House, adjoining (8), is of two storeys with an attic at the S.E. end, built of brick and timber in the 16th century, and restored in the 19th century. The roof is tiled. In front the lower storey is of modern brick; the overhanging upper storey is timber-framed, with modern brick filling. On the ground floor one room has an original moulded beam in the ceiling, and other ceilings have plain beams.
b(10–11). Houses, two, about 130 yards S.E. of the church, are each of two storeys and an attic, built possibly late in the 17th century, of red brick with blue headers; between the storeys is a projecting string-course. The roofs are tiled. Some of the windows are original and the casements have ornamental fastenings. The eastern house has some plain beams in the ceilings, and a wide open fireplace.
b(12). Cottages, in one range, about 120 yards E.S.E. of the church, are each of two storeys, built of brick and timber; the roofs are tiled. All except the three westernmost cottages were built in the first half of the 17th century. In front the upper storeys project and are much restored; the lower storeys are of modern brick. The westernmost cottages were probably added later in the same century, and are also restored. Some of the chimney stacks are original.
Condition—Fairly good; some of the cottages poor at the back.
b(13). House, at the N.W. corner of the Market Square, is of two storeys and an attic, built of timber and brick late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, now much restored and altered. The roofs are tiled. The house probably extended formerly beyond the covered gateway at the E. end. The S. front retains the original timber-framing in the upper storey, which has two gables, and has been under-built with modern brick; the two gables and a gabled dormer window over the gateway have original moulded barge-boards. The W. end of the house is gabled and retains the original timber-framing. At the back is an original dormer window of four lights, with moulded wood mullions and frame; one light is blocked. The large central chimney stack has clustered square shafts with oversailing caps. Interior:—On the ground floor is an open fireplace, partly filled in, and the timber construction is visible in some of the walls and ceilings. The plain oak staircase is apparently original.
Condition—Good; much restored.
High Street, W. side
b(14–15). Houses, two, the first about 250 yards S.E. of the church, the second now a shop, near the S. end of the street. They are each of two storeys, built possibly late in the 17th century, but now entirely restored. The chimney stacks are of old thin bricks, and the first house has an open fireplace, partly blocked.
b(16). Cottages, two, at the corner of Bell Street, are each of two storeys, built of brick and timber in the 17th century, and almost entirely restored with modern brick. The roof is thatched. One chimney stack with two square shafts is original, but restored at the top.
b(17). The White Hart Inn, at the S. end of the street, is a low two-storeyed house built in the 17th century and now much restored. The N. end is of original timber and brick; the W. front is covered with cement, and the other walls are modern. The roofs are tiled. The central chimney stack is original. Some of the ceilings have old beams, and two wide fireplaces have been partly filled in.
b(18). House, now a shop, S.E. of the Market Square, is of two storeys, built probably in the 17th century, but re-faced with brick in the 18th century. The roof is tiled. The chimney stack is partly original.
Duke Street, E. side
b(19). House, now a dwelling and shop, of two storeys, built in the 17th century, and now much restored. The front is covered with plaster and the back is modern, but the N. end is of original timber and brick. The roofs are tiled. The large original chimney stack has square shafts, with oversailing courses at the top.
b(20–21). Houses, two, each of two storeys, built of red and blue bricks, possibly late in the 17th century. The roofs are tiled.
b(22). Cottage, now two tenements, on the S. side of the road to Monks Risborough, about 200 yards E.N.E. of the church, is of one storey and an attic, built of brick and timber, possibly late in the 17th century, and much restored with 18th-century and modern brick. The roof is thatched. One chimney stack is of old thin bricks.
b(23–24). Cottages, in two blocks, on the S. side of Bell Street, about 400 yards S.E. of the church, are each of two storeys, built of timber and brick towards the end of the 17th century, and much restored with modern brick. The roofs are thatched.
Longwick, N. end
a(25). Cottages, two, adjoining, in a lane on the W. side of the main road, about 1¾ miles N.W. of the church, are each of two storeys, built in the first half of the 17th century, of timber and brick, now restored. Some of the brick filling is original and set in herringbone pattern. The roof is thatched. The large central chimney stack is original and has square shafts. Some of the ceilings have old beams and two rooms have wide fireplaces.
a(26). Cottages, four, N.E. of (25), near the E. side of the main road, form an L-shaped building of two storeys. They are of late 17th-century date, and timber-framed, with brick filling, now much restored. The roofs are thatched. Three chimney stacks are original.
a(27). Cottage, S. of (26), used for storing timber, is of two storeys, built of timber and brick in the 17th century, now partly restored and altered. The roof is thatched. Two chimney stacks are of late 17th-century brick. On the ground floor the ceiling of one room has exposed joists, and there are two wide fireplaces; the newel staircase is probably original.
S. end, E. side of the road
a(28). Chestnut Farm, about 11/8 miles N.W. of the church, is of two storeys, built of timber and brick in the first half of the 17th century; the building was restored and a small wing added at the back c. 1690; it was again restored in the 19th century. The late 17th-century work is of red and blue bricks. The roofs are tiled. One chimney stack is original, and another is of late 17th-century date. Some of the ceilings have old beams and joists, and one room has a wide open fireplace.
a(29). The Old Red Lion Inn, now three cottages, S. of (28), is of two storeys, built of timber and brick in the 17th century, now much restored. The roof is covered with slate.
a(30). Cottages, in one range, S. of (29), are of two storeys, built in the 17th century, and timber-framed; the N. end retains the original wattle and daub filling, the front and part of the back are modern, and the S. end is weather-boarded. The roof is thatched. The two square chimney stacks are original. One room has exposed ceiling-joists and an open fireplace.
Condition—Poor; to be restored shortly.
c(31). Cottages, a range of three, at Loosley Row, about 2 miles S. of the church, are of two storeys, built of timber and brick, probably late in the 17th century. The roof is thatched. The chimney stacks are original.
d(32–36) c(37–39). Speen Farm, George Farm, now an inn, and four Cottages, all on the S. side of the main road, about 3¼ miles S.E. of the church, and three Cottages in a road about ¼ mile further N., are of two storeys built probably early in the 17th century, and timber-framed, restored and partly re-faced with 18th-century brick or modern flint and brick. The roofs are tiled, except that of Speen Farm, which is thatched. The two farmhouses and one cottage, about 65 yards W of George Farm, have original chimney stacks, and the cottage retains also some original brick filling. Inside all the buildings constructional timbers are visible, and George Farm has a wide open fireplace.
Condition—Of all, fairly good.
c, d(40). Grim's Ditch (see also Aston Clinton, Bradenham, Buckland, Drayton Beauchamp, Great and Little Hampden, Great Missenden, Lee, Monks Risborough and Wendover): slight traces of the ditch remain in the field boundary running between Lilybottom Farm and Lacey Green.
Condition—Much altered and denuded.