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.W. (b)xli. S.W.)
a(1) Parish Church of St. Mary, 1¾ miles N.E. of Stokenchurch, is built of flint rubble, partly covered with, plaster, and partly with rough-cast; the dressings are of limestone, and the buttresses of modern brick, except those at the W. angles of the nave. The roofs are covered with lead. The Chancel, Central Tower, and the Nave, shorter than at present, were built c. 1200. In the 15th century the nave was lengthened towards the W., the walls were raised, and a new roof was added, and the South Porch built. During a recent restoration a difference in the colour of the mortar used at the western end of the building showed roughly the extent of the 15th-century lengthening. The walls of the chancel were raised probably in the 17th century, some brickwork of that date being used in the upper parts.
The church is especially interesting on account of the unusual plan, the central tower being narrower than the chancel and nave; the elaborately carved 15th-century roof of the nave is noticeable.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (21 ft. by 15 ft.) has three original lancet windows in the E. wall. Two windows in the N. wall and two in the S. wall are of the 14th century, and each of two cinque-foiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head, with a moulded external label; the lower part of the N.E. window has been built up. The Central Tower (9½ ft. square) is of two stages. Opening into the chancel and nave are pointed arches of c. 1200, each of one square order, with plain jambs having chamfered bases and moulded abaci. In the S. wall is an original doorway, with a round head in which is a small round-headed light, both now blocked. High up in the N. and S. walls are lancet windows, now blocked, and the external stonework coated with cement. The bell-chamber has four plain pointed windows, partly blocked; the S. window has a roll-label, and the N. window is of brick; the stonework has been covered with cement. The upper part of the tower has been restored, as seen from inside, with 17th-century brick. The Nave (43 ft. by 16 ft.) has one window in the N. wall and two in the S. wall, of early 14th-century date, similar to those in the chancel; the S. doorway is original, and has chamfered jambs and abaci, a plain pointed arch with a roll-label, and a segmental rear arch; in the N. wall is a similar doorway, now blocked, and without abaci or label. The W. window resembles the other windows, but the label is apparently of earlier date, and is continued as a string-course on the W. wall. The South Porch has a 15th-century trefoiled window in each side wall; the outer entrance archway, also original, has moulded jambs and flat four-centred arch with a moulded label. The 16th-century Roof of the chancel is low-pitched, with moulded purlins and principals, supported on curved brackets. The ceiling of the tower has moulded beams and stop-chamfered joists. The roof of the nave is of late 15th-century date and of higher pitch than that of the chancel; it has large embattled tie-beams, supported by arched brackets with traceried spandrels; the space between the tie-beams and the moulded principal rafters is also traceried. The roof of the porch is also of late 15th-century date, and has moulded and embattled tie-beams and wall-plates, plain rafters and curved wind-braces.
Fittings—Bells: four, 2nd and 4th, by Ellis Knight, 1637; bell-frame, probably 17th-century. Bracket: in chancel, of stone, possibly formerly supported a beam of reredos or retable. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) to William Syer, rector of the parish, 1605. In nave—on S. wall, (2) of William Este, 1534, 'Sebell' his wife, four daughters, eight sons, with inscription. Indent: In nave—at E. end, partly hidden by pews, apparently of two figures and inscription. Font: covered with plaster and paint; cover and strap-hinge, probably 17th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Floor-slab: In chancel—to Ann, daughter of Thomas Colby, 1640. Painting: on walls and windowjambs of tower, red masonry pattern, 13th-century; on E. wall of nave, fragments: on N. wall of nave, traces of panels with lettering. Piscina: in S. wall of chancel, with shouldered head and chamfered jambs, one cut away, no basin, 13th-century. Plate: cup and cover paten of 1577, cup strengthened by narrow modern band. Pulpit: hexagonal, with panelled sides, small turned supporting shaft, late 17th-century, brackets to shaft modern. Miscellanea: on E. jamb of S. doorway, small incised cross.
a(2). Cottage, now two tenements, at Town End, about 1/8 mile S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, of timber and brick, partly plastered; the W. front is re-faced with 18th-century brick; at the back the lower storey is of modern brick. The roof is tiled. The plan is of modified central chimney type, with a chimney stack at the S. end; both stacks have been re-built with old thin bricks. Some of the windows have old metal casements. The original wide fireplaces have been partly filled in.
a(3–4). Cottages, two, at Bennett's End, ½ mile S. by W. of the church, are each of two storeys, built of brick and timber late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. They were probably of the central chimney type, but have been much altered, and both have modern additions. The western cottage has, at the N. end, a small block which is possibly of an earlier date than the rest of the building and is on a lower level; it is gabled, and retains tarred, rough-axed timbers, which form in the gable two queen-post trusses with cambered tie-beams; above it the N. gable of the main block is partly exposed and also retains rough, tarred timbers. The roofs are tiled. One or two original iron casements remain in the windows. The chimney stacks have been re-built, one with old thin bricks. The eastern cottage, on the N. side of the road, is partly covered with plaster. The roof is thatched. One plain chimney stack is of old bricks and some of the windows retain original iron casements. Both cottages have wide fireplaces, partly filled in.
Condition—Poor, except where restored.
a(5). House, now three cottages and the postoffice, about ¾ mile S. of the church, is of two storeys, built of brick and timber, with some flint. The roofs are partly thatched and partly tiled. The S. wing is of late 16th or early 17th-century date, the E. wing of a later date in the 17th century, considerably restored. On the N.W. is a modern addition, now the postoffice. Some of the chimney stacks are of old bricks, restored. Interior:—Large original beams and exposed joists are visible in the ceilings, and some of the rooms have wide open fireplaces.
a(6). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, is of two storeys, built late in the 16th century, and partly timber-framed; in front some of the brick filling is set in herringbone pattern, and in the middle is an original projecting chimney stack with a rectangular shaft. At the back the wall is of flint with dressings of thin bricks; over the gable on the E. side of the house is a plain, original chimney stack. The roof is tiled.
b(7). Ashridge Farm, on Radnage Common, 1¼ miles S.S.E. of the church, is of two storeys, built towards the end of the 17th century and enlarged at later dates. The walls are partly timber-framed with brick filling, partly of flint and brick. The roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped, the wings projecting towards the S. and W., with a modern addition in the angle between them. On the E. side are some old windows, now blocked, and a projecting chimney stack of thin bricks on a moulded plinth, with square shafts, partly restored. Over the W. wing is an original chimney stack with two square shafts, which have oversailing courses at the top. Some of the ceilings retain original chamfered beams, and in the parlour the open fireplace has chimney-corner seats and a wood lintel.