Pages 278-281

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


(See also Upton-cum-Chalvey.) (O.S. lvi. N.W.)


(1). Old Parish Church of St. Lawrence (Upton) stands at the S.E. corner of the town. The walls are of rough flints and puddingstone, with wide joints, and clunch quoins. The roofs are tiled. The church was built apparently at the beginning of the 12th century, and then consisted of the present Nave and Central Tower; the present Chancel was added c. 1160, when the nave was lengthened about 19 ft. In the 19th century the church became out of repair and was almost entirely disused after 1835; the tower was struck by lightning, and the building remained in a ruinous condition until 1850, when it was restored, the tower was re-roofed, and the South Aisle, South Vestry and Organ-Chamber were built. In 1906 the present parapet and roof of the tower were added, and in 1910 the S. vestry was enlarged.

The church is especially interesting on account of the 12th-century remains; the 13th-century arch of oak in the S. aisle is an elaborate example of woodwork of an unusually early date, and is well preserved. Among the fittings the most remarkable is the alabaster image, probably of the 15th century, in the tower (see Plate, p. 136).

Architectural Description—The Chancel (21 ft. by 16 ft.) is vaulted (see Roofs). In the E. wall are two modern windows, with a smaller window in the gable above them. In the N. wall are two original round-headed windows, of clunch, repaired externally with cement; the splayed inner jambs and head have an edge-roll with moulded bases. In the S. wall are two windows, similar to those in the N. wall; the eastern has been restored, the other is apparently original, of clunch, much weathered. Below the windows, on each wall, inside, is an original string-course of clunch. The N. and S. walls have each two shallow buttresses. The Central Tower (12½ ft. by 12 ft.) rises one stage above the nave, and has a plain modern parapet. In the E. and W. walls are modern arches. In the N. wall is a small modern window, and a round-headed window, of clunch, which resembles those in the chancel, but is either modern or much re-tooled. In the S. wall is a doorway, with 15th-century moulded jambs and four-centred arch, of limestone; the round-headed rear arch, of clunch, is possibly of the 12th century; W. of the doorway a modern arch opens into the organ-chamber. The second storey has a plain rectangular window on the S. side, and the bell-chamber has similar lights in the N. and S. walls; there are signs of blocked windows in the E. and W. walls. The Nave (55½ ft. by 19½ ft.) has, in the N. wall, at the E. end, a pointed recess, probably of 13th-century origin, but almost entirely restored; in it is a two-light window with tracery, probably originally of the 15th century, but only a few jamb-stones of that date remain; in the same wall are four modern windows, and E. of the second window, on a lower level, is a round-headed single light of the 12th century, now blocked; about half the rear arch is visible; the N. doorway, partly under the third window, is of the 12th century, but re-set and much restored; the arch and jambs are of two orders, with a modern label, of limestone: the outer order, of clunch, is modern; the inner order, of limestone, is original and has a cheveron moulding, which appears both inside and outside; the jambs have small original angle-shafts, also of limestone, with carved capitals, of clunch, much weathered, but probably modern, and modern stone bases; the original position of the doorway is shown by the blocking in the wall E. of the present position, to which it was removed in 1850. The S. arcade of four bays is modern. The W. window is of three lights and tracery, of 15th-century character, but the stonework is modern; above it is a 12th-century round-headed window, of clunch. The South Aisle (19 ft. wide), is entirely modern, except the three arches in the E. wall, and the S.E. window and recess, removed from the nave; the northernmost arch, opening into the organ-chamber, is pointed, and is fitted on the W. side with a 13th-century oak arch, which is of four rolls, separated by bands of dog-tooth ornament; the shafted jambs are enriched with crocket ornament; the bases are moulded, and the capitals foliated and moulded: the two other arches are built into the wall and now form large recesses; that in the middle is plain, round-headed, and of the 12th century; the southernmost arch is of the 13th century, and pointed, with continuously moulded jambs. In the S. wall, at the E. end, the arched recess and window are like those in the N. wall of the nave, and much restored. The Roof of the chancel is modern; below it is a stone vault of c. 1160, in two bays of quadripartite vaulting; the shafts are semi-circular, those at the four corners are stopped on the string-course, and have round scalloped capitals; the middle shaft is carried down on each side to a modern square base on the floor, and has square scalloped capitals with grooved and chamfered abaci; the main rib is a square between two half-rounds, and forms a semi-circular arch; the diagonal ribs are half-round on a square. The nave has a roof of four bays, with plain heavy tie-beams, king-posts, braced four ways, and open collar-beams, probably of the 15th century. In the ceiling of the ground stage of the tower are plain old timbers.

Fittings—Bells: one, said to be by Richard Eldridge, 1619, and a sanctus. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In S. aisle—in middle arch of E. wall, (1) of Edward Bulstrode, 1599, and 'Cecill', his wife, daughter of John Croke, figure of man in plate armour with sword, four sons. six daughters and inscription; (2) small plate with Hebrew inscription; (3) kneeling figure of woman in shroud, no inscription; in third arch, (4) of man in plate armour, with sword and misericorde, two women, with six boys and two girls, and four boys, on two plates, four shields bearing arms of Bulstrode with quarterings, partly defaced, no inscription, probably of Edward Bulstrode, Esquire of the Body to Henry VII. and Henry VIII., two of his three wives and their children; on W. wall, (5) to Mary, daughter of Thomas Read, first wife of Henry Bulstrode, son and heir of Edward Bulstrode, 1614, and one of their daughters, inscription only, in Latin. Indents: In S. aisle —(1) of two figures, with inscription and two shields, much worn. In churchyard—S.E. corner, in broken slab of Purbeck marble, recently removed from the church, (2) much worn. Door: in S. doorway of tower, now opening into vestry, plain, oak, 15th-century. Font: circular bowl of limestone, with arcading of round-headed arches in low relief, 12th-century, stem and base modern. Glass: in circular window over S. doorway, fragments, various designs. Image: on S. wall of tower, in modern niche, representation of the Trinity, alabaster, 1 ft. 6 in. high, with traces of colour, probably 15th-century, much mutilated. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In S. aisle—on W. wall, (1) marble tablet in alabaster frame, to Henry Bulstrode, son and heir of Edward Bulstrode, date of death not filled in, and Bridget his wife, widow of John Allen, 1631, inscription with arms, coloured. In churchyard—on S. side, (2) tomb of Bazakell Gael, 1668, and Elizabeth his wife, 1676, inscription and arms; leaning against S. wall of nave, (3) slab from tomb of Margaret, widow of Sir John Trevor, knight [1614], inscription and arms, date now illegible. Painting: on vaulting of chancel, modern, but said to be restoration of old design. Piscina: in the chancel, small pillar piscina, with scalloped and moulded head, square basin, 12th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1616. Poor-box: at E. end of nave, small, plain, with three locks, 16th or 17th-century. Screens: part of rood-screen and other fragments, now in the modern parish church of Slough.

Condition—Good; much ivy on N. side of tower and other parts will damage the building if it remains.


(2). Upton Court, S.W. of Upton Church, is a house of two storeys and an attic, built probably late in the 15th century, considerably altered in the first half of the 17th century, restored and enlarged in the 19th century. With the exception of a little old timber-framing on the W. side the walls are of modern brick, or covered with rough-cast. The roofs are tiled.

Three 15th-century oak doorways opening into the staircase, and the remains of the roof of the solar, are worthy of note.

The plan of the original house is rectangular, with a porch projecting from the E. front, and an octagonal staircase at the N.E. corner; the house probably consisted of a large central hall with the solar and staircase on the N. side, and kitchen, etc., on the S. side; considerable modern additions have been made at the N. and S. ends. The porch on the E. front has an overhanging upper storey, and the N.E. staircase has an original doorway, with richly moulded oak jambs and four-centred head with deeply sunk spandrels; the moulded stops of the jambs are modern. The central chimney stack has original square shafts, but has been enlarged and the upper part re-built. The stack at the S. end has two square shafts, set diagonally, restored at the top, and with a modern shaft between them. The N. chimney stack is rectangular, and the lower part is original.

Interior:—The porch has an old seat of wood on each side. The hall was probably originally open to the roof, but now has a modern panelled ceiling; on the N. wall two wood brackets, carved with cherubs' heads, are apparently of the 17th century; the large open fireplace has moulded jambs and four-centred head, covered with plaster; the cast-iron fire-back bears the royal arms and the date 1633; in the window is some 16th and 17th-century glass, two shields bearing arms, or fretty azure, with eagles or at the crossings of the fret, for Merton Abbey, Surrey; in the middle light is an oval cartouche with sable a cross paty or. The dining room, on the N. side of the hall, has the walls lined with small oak panels of early 17th-century date; the door opening into the hall is of similar panelling; the fireplace has moulded stone jambs and four-centred head, also of early 17th-century date; the overmantel is of oak, and appears to be a modern copy of 17th-century work: the doorway from the staircase is similar to the external doorway on the E. front, and retains the original moulded stops to the jambs: in the window is some heraldic glass, partly Flemish, with coats of arms and two names, 'Johannes Ramesii', and 'Capiten Jan Dimmesin, 1667'. The room S. of the entrance lobby has a large detached post now encased, supporting a ceiling-beam, also partly encased, which is carried across the width of the house. On the first floor there are old ceiling-beams and purlins, some of them supported by plain wall-brackets. The room over the dining room has a doorway from the staircase and a fireplace, similar to those of the dining room; in the side walls are two posts supporting two brackets which form a four-centred arch. Part of the original open roof of the solar remains at the N. end of the house, and has a large four-way truss, with stop-chamfered king-post and original rafters, collar-beams and purlins.

Condition—Good, much restored and altered.

(3). Upton Dairy, house and barn, 200 yards N. of the church. The House, formerly an inn, is of two storeys and an attic, built of brick in the first half of the 17th century, much altered and restored in the 19th century. The roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped, the wings extending towards the S. and E., with a modern addition at the E. end. The N. and W. walls are modern, and a small gabled dormer on the E. side of the S. wing contains the only original window, with moulded wood frame and mullion, now blocked. The attic windows have some ornamental fastenings. The chimney stack in the S. wing has square shafts, the upper part restored; a plain rectangular chimney in the E. wing has some old brickwork at the base.

Interior:—The entrance passage is lined with 17th-century panelling, the upper part covered with match-boarding. Two rooms on the ground floor have moulded ceiling-beams. On the first floor a small room is lined with painted panelling of early 17th-century date, irregularly put together; two rooms have large stop-chamfered beams in the ceilings, and two cupboards have 17th-century doors of moulded battens with strap-hinges.

The Barn is also L-shaped, with weather-boarded walls on a brick base, which is partly of the 17th century; in the walls and roof are large timbers, and the roof is thatched.


(4). The Red Cow Inn, 200 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys, built in the 16th century, of brick and timber, much of it now hidden by modern additions, or covered with rough-cast. The roofs are tiled. The original plan was rectangular, facing E., with a projecting porch in front; the modern additions are at the N. end, and at the back. The front is entirely re-faced, except the two-storeyed and gabled porch which has original timber-framing, the lower part filled with modern brick, the upper part covered with plaster; the doorway has moulded jambs and head. The gable N. of the porch may be original, but is covered with rough-cast. At the back some of the timber-framing is visible, and the gable is probably original, but covered with cement. The central chimney stack has four square shafts, of 16th-century brick. Interior:—On the ground floor are two wide fireplaces, partly filled in, and the beams which supported the former projection of the upper storey are visible.

Condition—Good; much altered.