An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 2, North. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1913.
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(O.S. 6 in. xxiii. N.E.)
(1). Parish Church of St. Martin, 2 miles S.W. of Stewkley, is a small building with plastered walls, partly restored with brick, except those of the tower, which are of unusually large blocks of stone. The roofs are covered with slate, except that of the chancel, which is tiled. The Nave was built c. 1140, and the Chancel re-built early in the 13th century. The West Tower was added and the chancel arch re-built in the second half of the 15th century. In the 18th or early in the 19th century the roof of the nave fell in, and subsequently the S. wall of the nave was almost entirely re-built, the South Porch was added and the church restored.
The remains of the 12th-century N. doorway, with its carvings, are of particular interest.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (27 ft. by 15 ft.) has a modern E. window with a wood frame, but the internal jambs and semi-circular rear arch of an old window are visible. In the N. wall are three windows; the easternmost is a single rectangular light, probably of the 13th century, with the jambs and sill rebated for a shutter; the second window is modern, except the internal jambs, and near the W. end of the wall is a small 13th-century lancet forming a low-side window. In the S. wall are three windows; the easternmost is similar to the middle window in the N. wall; the other windows are small 13th-century lancets, the western being a low-side window similar to that in the N. wall, but partly restored; between the lancets is a modern doorway. The two-centred chancel arch is of two chamfered orders and of the 15th century; the jambs are of the 12th century, re-built in the 15th century, and have large shafts, originally detached, with remains of richly carved capitals; no bases are now visible; built into the top of the S. jamb is a moulded and carved stone of the 12th century; in the soffit of the inner order of the arch, and also in the S. shaft, are cut several holes, probably for fitting a screen or rood-beam. The Nave (38½ ft. by 18 ft.) has, in the N. wall, two modern windows with wood frames, the eastern set in the opening of a 14th-century window; W. of the windows is the 12th-century N. doorway, now blocked, and only visible externally; it has a cheveron-moulded semi-circular head and a plain E. jamb; only traces remain of the W. jamb; at the E. end of the lintel is a carved panel containing three small figures, one prostrate, with angels and clouds above them; at the W. end of the lintel are traces of carving. In the S. wall are two modern windows with wood frames, and over the modern S. doorway is the head of a similar window. The West Tower (8 ft. by 7 ft.) is of two stages with small square buttresses at the W. angles, a plain parapet covered with cement, and a staircase in the N.E. angle. The late 15th-century tower arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, without responds. The W. doorway has chamfered jambs and four-centred head, also of late 15th-century date. The bell-chamber has four windows, each of one plain light with a chamfered triangular head; below them, in the E. and W. walls are small rectangular windows, the eastern now hidden by the roof. The Roof of the chancel is of the 15th century; the E. and W. trusses have moulded and cambered tie-beams and plain queen-posts; in the middle is a hammer-beam truss with arched braces, and remains of carved angels at the ends of the hammer-beams; between the trusses are ogee-shaped wind-braces.
Fittings—Bells: three, 2nd by James Keene, 1639, 3rd blank, possibly 17th-century. Brasses: In nave—at E. end, (1) to John Sotton, 1518, and 'Augnet' his wife, inscription only; on same slab, (2) small figures of a man and woman, of c. 1420, over each figure contemporary inscribed scroll; (3) of . . . . Collys, wife of Richard . . . ., figure of a woman, with child holding her dress, of c. 1510, inscription fragmentary. Font: In tower—square bowl, 12th-century, partly repaired, but disused, pedestal modern. Locker: In chancel—in N. wall, double, rebated for shutter, probably 15th-century. Piscina: In chancel—in S. wall, with moulded jambs and approximately three-centred head, remains of circular basin, 13th-century.
Condition—Structurally sound; buttresses of tower weatherworn.