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. (a)xxv. S.W. (b)xxx. N.W.)
b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, stands on a hill S.W. of the village. The walls are covered heavily with modern plaster, except those of the chancel, which are of ashlar, and all have embattled parapets, concealing the roofs. The three eastern bays of the Nave form the earliest part of the church; in the middle of the 13th century the nave was lengthened by at least two bays, and the North and South Aisles, with the arcades, were added; c. 1280 the Chancel was re-built; c. 1330 windows were inserted in the aisles, and c. 1340 the West Tower was built in the W. end of the nave. In the 15th century the clearstorey and the North and South Porches were added, the chancel arch was re-built and windows were inserted in the N. aisle; late in the same century the North Transept was added. In 1828 the tower, with the bells, was damaged by fire, and subsequently the church was restored.
The church is a fine building in a commanding position; the 15th-century roofs are noteworthy. Among the fittings the pulpit with canopy, the stalls (see Plate, p. 160) and the rood-screen with remains of the loft, all of the 15th century, are remarkable.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (39 ft. by 21 ft.) has an E. window of c. 1280, much restored; it is of five pointed uncusped lights and tracery in a two-centred head, and has a richly moulded rear arch, and shafted jambs and mullions. In the N. wall, at the E. end, is a window, also of c. 1280, much restored, of two trefoiled lights and a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with an external label; the head and rear arch are elaborately moulded, and the inner and outer edges of the internal jambs are shafted; the internal label has stops in the form of small capitals, and mitres at the apex with an ogee cornicemoulding: W. of the window is a small doorway with a four-centred head; it is of late 15th-century date, and opens into a passage constructed in a small modern turret, leading to the N. transept: the moulded segmental pointed arch, opening into the N. transept, is of late 15th-century date, and dies into the wall on each side. In the S. wall are three late 15th-century windows, each of three cinque-foiled lights under a flat four-centred head; the sill of the easternmost window is carried down as a square recess and stepped to form two sedilia: between the two eastern windows is a small doorway of late 13th-century date, with continuously moulded jambs and two-centred head: over the doorway is a cornice similar to that on the N. wall: W. of the westernmost window, and a little above it, is a defaced fragment of a window label of late 13th-century date. The 15th-century chancel arch is two-centred and of two orders, the outer order chamfered and dying on to flat responds, the inner continuously moulded; on the W. side, above the apex, is an embattled moulding. The North Transept (16 ft. by 15 ft.) has, in the N. wall, a late 15th-century window of five cinque-foiled lights under a flat four-centred head. In the W. wall, opening into the aisle, is a segmental pointed arch of two hollow-chamfered orders, also of late 15th-century date. The Nave (56 ft. by 21 ft.) has N. and S. arcades of four bays and of mid 13th-century date; the pointed arches are of two chamfered orders with undercut labels, and the columns are octagonal with undercut moulded capitals; the third column from the E. end of each arcade is formed by two responds, back to back, and indicates the position of the original W. wall; the E. responds are semi-octagonal; at the W. end are complete columns, against which the wall of the tower is built; the bases of the two W. columns and of the double responds are moulded, and the other bases chamfered. In the S.E. corner is the upper doorway of the former rood-loft. The clearstorey has four N. and four S. windows, each of two trefoiled lights and a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the openings are of the 15th century, but the external stonework is modern. The North Aisle (10½ ft. wide) has, in the N. wall, four windows; the easternmost is of the 15th century, and of three trefoiled and transomed lights under a flat four-centred head, all much restored; the two windows in the middle are each of c. 1330 and of two trefoiled lights under a two-centred head, with internal and external labels; modern tracery has been inserted in the heads: between the 14th-century windows is the N. doorway, of late 13th-century date, with a depressed two-centred head more richly moulded than the jambs; the westernmost window is a small single light, placed low in the wall, and apparently of the 15th century. In the W. wall, 7 or 8 ft. from the ground, is the square recess of a fireplace with remains of a flue, possibly indicating, with the small window in the N. wall, that the westernmost bay of the aisle formed at one time a small lodging of two storeys. Over each column of the arcade, spanning the aisle and forming a flying buttress to the wall of the nave, is a small moulded arch of late 15th-century date. The South Aisle (10½ ft. wide) has, in the E. wall, a 15th-century window of two lights under a square head; near the N. end of the wall are the remains of the rood-loft stairs, with a doorway at some height above the floor. In the S. wall are three 14th-century windows similar to those in the N. aisle, and also with modern tracery inserted in the heads, but the labels and rear arches are of different profile; between the two western windows is the early 14th-century S. doorway with jambs and two-centred head of two continuously moulded orders. Spanning the aisle are three 15th-century arches, resembling those in the N. aisle, and there is a fourth arch over the W. wall. The West Tower (17½ ft. by 15 ft.) is of two stages with an embattled parapet, a S.W. staircase, rising above the roof of the tower, square angle buttresses and a smaller intermediate buttress against the N. and S. walls. The whole tower is of c. 1340. The two-centred tower arch is of three chamfered orders; the jambs are of one chamfered order, each having a semi-octagonal pilaster with a moulded capital and chamfered base. The W. window is a single cinque-foiled light. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, two windows, each of two trefoiled lights and a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with an external label. The North Porch has a 15th-century entrance archway, two-centred and of two chamfered orders. In each side wall is a 15th-century window of four lights. The South Porch has an entrance archway of the same date and design as that of the N. porch. All the Roofs are of the 15th century, except those of the S. aisle and S. porch. The low-pitched roof of the chancel is of three bays, and has heavy chamfered tie-beams and straining-beams, curved struts with traceried spandrels, chamfered purlins and ridge, moulded wall-plates and chamfered rafters; the easternmost tie-beam is cut away to form a hammer-beam on each side of the E. window; the trusses rest on moulded stone corbels, two carved with flowers and two with faces. The low-pitched roof of the nave is of four bays, with chamfered tie-beams and straining-beams, curved struts, plain spandrels, chamfered purlins and ridge, plain rafters and moulded wall-plates; the trusses rest on moulded stone corbels. The N. transept has a low-pitched roof of two bays with heavy cambered and chamfered tie-beams, moulded straining-beams, and curved struts with plain spandrels, moulded purlins, principals and ridge, and chamfered rafters. The N. aisle has a flat lean-to roof of four bays, having chamfered principal rafters with curved struts resting on moulded stone corbels; the wall-plates and purlins are moulded. The roof of the S. aisle is apparently modern, but rests on old stone corbels similar to those in the N. aisle. The N. porch has a low-pitched roof with a moulded ridge, bracketed and carried on corbels.
Fittings—Brackets: In N. transept—not in situ, five, of stone, carved, two as angels with shields, one as a dragon, the others as crowned heads, re-cut, one as a skull, the other as a chalice, c. 1500, Brasses and Indents: In N. transept—on W. wall, in slab with Ionic pilasters, (1) of Henry Brugis, 1647, who married Frances, daughter of John Pigott and Winefred, his wife, figures of a man and woman in 17th-century dress, two inscriptions, one to Henry Brugis, the other to Winefred Pigott, daughter of Thomas Sankye of Edlesborough, 1592, three shields, 1st, Piggott impaling quarterly indented four hunting horns counter-coloured, 2nd, Brugis (Bridges), 3rd, Piggott; indents of three other shields. In N. aisle—(2) of John Rufford, 1540, and, Brygett, Anne and Elynore his wives, four figures, man in plate armour with mail skirt, large dagger and sword, figures of wives on one brass, in close fitting headdresses, both brasses in indents of earlier date, the man in that of civilian in long robe, the wives in that of a woman with horned head-dress; black-letter inscription in two pieces, indents of children and shield. Two brasses, of John Swynstede, 1395, and John Killingworth, 1412, formerly in this church, are now in the chapel at Ashridge, Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire. Indents: In chancel—over doorway in N. wall, (1) of inscription with (?) cross over it. In N. aisle—(2) of half-figure, scroll and inscription; in large slab, broken, (3) of knight with dagger, sword, animal at feet, narrow inscription plate, four shields and a marginal inscription, late 14th-century. In S. aisle—(4) of figure and inscription. Chair: In chancel—with moulded legs, shaped arms, carved top rail and fluted rails below seat, 17th-century, or made up of 17th-century fragments. Chests: In N. transept— (1) plain, early 17th-century, (2) inscribed 'RLEL1689'.# Communion Table: In N. transept—of oak, with turned baluster legs and incised decoration, early 17th-century. Font: octagonal bowl, one side blank, other sides with quatrefoil panels, 15th-century, much scraped. Font-cover, modern, with foliated finial, of oak, 15th-century, possibly the finial of pulpit canopy re-used. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) to Margaret, wife of Thomas Bayley, S.T.P., principal of New Inn Hall, Oxford, 1701, and her daughter Margaret, by her first husband, John Theed of Horton, 1700, white marble slab. In N. transept—on E. wall, (2) to Thomas Rufford, 1599, of Purbeck marble with semi-octagonal pilasters and semi-circular arch having guilloche ornament, trefoiled spandrels, three shields of arms and inscription. Floor-slabs: In S. aisle—(1) to Elizabeth Hutchinson, 1636; near S. doorway (2) inscribed M. T. 1700; (3) inscribed J. T. 1695. Niches: In N. aisle— between two easternmost windows, shallow, with cinque-foiled head and traces of defaced canopy, 15th-century. In S. aisle—S. of E. window, with moulded ogee head, 15th-century. Painting: In N. aisle—on back of niche, traces of figure of bishop. Piscinae: In chancel—in S. wall, with shelf and curious cinque-foiled shouldered head, 15th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, with moulded ogee head, 15th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover paten, each with band of ornament, of 1607; large cup of 1636, with inscription, recording that it was given to the church by Raph Hutchinson in 1636, and shield of arms, Hutchinson impaling Bridges; stand paten of 1636, with same arms and pelican engraved on foot. Pulpit: of 'wine glass' shape, octagonal tub with moulded fan soffit resting on octagonal post with moulded cap and base; tub has square angle-posts with buttresses having crocketed finials, and panels with traceried heads and vaulted gabled canopies with tracery, crockets and finials; two sides forming door have moulded brackets in lower part of panels, other sides have modern copies of the brackets; over pulpit, octagonal canopy, in four diminishing stages of elaborate design, lowest stage has vaulted soffit with small roll ribs forming a star pattern, two vaulted gables to each face meeting at an angle and having crockets and finials, main posts and smaller posts between gables having crocketed pinnacles; two middle stages have tracery in each face, under a two-centred arch, gables and pinnacles as in lowest stage; top stage formed by eight crocketed posts tapering to a point; pulpit and canopy, 15th-century, much restored, gilded ball surmounting canopy, probably modern. Screen: Between chancel and nave—of oak and of five bays, gates in middle bay each having two open panels with cinque-foiled heads and tracery under ogee-curved rail, above them open panel with pointed arch having seven main foils, each trefoiled and sub-cusped and with foliated ends; four side bays, each divided above middle rail into three open panels, with cinque-foiled heads and tracery under pointed arch; the mullions and main posts moulded, the posts having circular attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases, the capitals on W. side carved with foliage; moulded middle rail carved on W. side; below rail, close panels, with traceried heads on W. side; moulded cornice and fan-vaulted coving of loft on E. side; 15th-century, much repaired; on W. side, painting and cornice modern. Sedilia: In chancel—in S. wall, niche for sedile with chamfered four-centred head; (see also easternmost window). Seating: In tower—front of seat, with moulded buttresses, 15th-century. Stalls: In chancel—six stalls with backs to rood-screen, having shaped standards with moulded capping, moulded edges running down to small attached shafts below the seat level, with moulded capitals and bases; on elbows of standards, small carvings, including heads of angels and a bishop, etc., some of them grotesque, seats have misericordes carved with birds, grotesque beasts, etc., 15th-century; in front of all the stalls, including the modern stalls on N. and S. sides of chancel, desks with moulded edges, poppy-head standards having buttresses with moulded offsets, and fronts with panels having foiled heads and carved spandrels, 15th-century. Tiles: In chancel—near S. doorway, in nave—on N. and S. sides at E. end, various patterns, 14th-century. Miscellanea: fixed to N. jamb of chancel arch, hour-glass stand, of iron, probably 17th-century, a ring remains on pulpit, showing probably the original position.
Condition—Fairly good; the walls of the tower are bulging outwards, apparently owing to recent settlement of the foundations.
b(2). Homestead Moat, double, at Manor Farm, about ¼ mile N.E. of the church.
b(3). Butler's Farm, house and moat, nearly 1 mile W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, almost entirely of brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably early in the 17th century, on an L-shaped plan, the internal angle facing S., and was altered apparently in 1701; there is a modern addition in the angle between the wings on the S.E. front, and another at the back. In front the S.E. wing is of red bricks with blue headers; a stone set in the wall bears a date, possibly 1701, but the last two figures are defaced; between the storeys and at the foot of the gable are stone string-courses. The N.E. wall is covered with cement. The S.W. wing has, on the S.W. side, brick in the lower part of the wall and 17th-century timber and brick in the upper part. One chimney stack is original and has four grouped square shafts.
The Moat surrounds a large site, which is sub-divided by another ditch and has the house in the S. half.
Condition—Of house, poor, one wall is bulging outwards; of moat, much denuded.
b(4). Barn, Dovecot and Moat, at Church Farm, 300 yards N.E. of the church. The Barn (see Plate, p. 112) is a long rectangular building of mid 16th-century date, and is a good example of its kind. The walls are almost entirely timber-framed with filling of thin bricks, on a projecting plinth of brick with a string-course of Totternhoe stone; on the E. side part of the plinth is entirely of stone, on the W. side it has been restored with modern brick and cement. The S. end is of late 17th-century brick and the gable is weather-boarded. In the W. wall are some narrow looplights.
Interior:—The walls are partly covered with plaster; the partitions and upper floor are modern. The open roof has nine trusses with massive timbers, curved struts, etc., supported on attached posts carried on low walls of Totternhoe stone.
The Dovecot is square, built of brick, in the second half of the 17th century. The roof is tiled, and retains two of the supporting timbers of a lantern, originally the opening to admit the doves. The walls are lined inside with small brick recesses.
The Moat is stirrup-shaped and encloses a large area, with the dove-cot in the E. half.
Condition—Of both buildings, good generally, but the timber-framing of the barn is decaying; of moat, good.
These buildings are nearly all of the 17th century, and of two storeys. The walls generally are timber-framed, with brick filling, much restored with modern brick. The roofs, except two, are tiled or thatched.
The Green, W. side
a(5). Cottages, a range, about ½ mile N.E. of the church. The S.E. front is entirely of modern brick. The central chimney stack is original and has three square shafts, one set diagonally, on a rectangular base; the tops of the shafts are missing.
a(6). Cottage, 130 yards N.E. of (5). The plan is T-shaped. The S. front is entirely of modern brick. One chimney stack is of 17th-century brick.
a(7). Cottage, about 1,000 yards N.E. of the church. It was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, but has been re-fronted with modern brick and much restored. The plain rectangular chimney stack is of old thin bricks.
a(8). Cottages, two adjoining, 70 yards S.W. of (7). At the back is a large modern addition. The plain square chimney stack is original.
a(9). Cottage, 80 yards S.W. of (8). It is of late 16th or early 17th-century date, restored and enlarged. The central chimney stack is original and has three square shafts.
a(10). The Post Office and adjoining Cottages, 150 yards S.E. of (9). The building has been almost entirely re-fronted with modern brick. The original plan is L-shaped; at the S.E. end is a modern addition. At the N.W. end is a projecting chimney stack of thin bricks; the central stack has four square shafts, and another original stack has one square shaft.
a(11). House, now four tenements, E. of (10). The plan is T-shaped, with a modern addition in the W. angle between the wings. The central chimney stack has four square shafts of original brick.
b(12). Charity Farm, house and barns, about ½ mile N.E. of the church. The House was built probably in the second half of the 16th century, but has been almost entirely restored with modern brick. The plan consists of a rectangular block, facing N., with a slightly projecting wing at each end; at the E. end is a low modern addition. In front the upper storey of the central block retains the original timber-framing, with filling of modern brick; only one of the timbers is continued to the ground; the roof is carried in one plane over the central block and the wings; between the wings it rests on a beam supported by two curved brackets. The gables at the E. and W. ends are timber-framed, with filling of very thin bricks.
Interior:—Some of the ceilings have old beams, now encased; the wide fireplaces are partly blocked. The roof retains the original large timbers.
The Barns, enclosing a courtyard in front of the house, are also of the 16th century. The walls are weather-boarded, and the open roofs are original, with large beams, curved struts, etc.
Condition—Good; much restored.
Slickett's Lane, S. side
a(13). House, about 80 yards N.E. of (12), is of one storey and an attic. In the projecting chimney stack at the N.E. end is a brick dated 1760.
a(14). Cottage, now an outhouse of the Rule and Square Inn, S.W. of (13).
Condition—Bad; the walls falling down.
b(15). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 160 yards S.W. of (12). One chimney stack is of late 17th-century brick.
b(16). Cottage, 40 yards S.W. of (15). The building has modern additions. One chimney stack is of 17th-century brick, restored.
b(17). Cottage, nearly opposite to (15), is of late 16th or early 17th-century date. In front some of the brick filling is set in herring-bone pattern. The wall at the back is covered with plaster. The central chimney stack is original. Interior:—There is one wide, open fireplace.
Condition—Very bad, uninhabited and neglected.
The Northall road, N. side
b(18). The Bell Inn, N.E. of the church. The walls are of late 17th-century brick; the plan is rectangular with a central chimney stack and a large modern addition at the back. The chimney stack is of thin bricks, with round-headed panels in the sides. Interior:—On the ground floor the ceilings have rough chamfered beams, and there is a large open fireplace with seats in the chimney corners.
b(19). The Greyhound Inn, N.W. of (18). The plan is rectangular, with a modern addition at the back. In front the original timber-framing is covered with modern boards; the upper storey formerly projected, but has been under-built with modern brick. The timber-framing of the N.W. gable is covered with cement. Interior:—The wide fireplaces are partly blocked.
b(20). House, now two tenements about 70 yards N. of the church. The walls are of red and black bricks, of c. 1700. In front, on the ground floor, the doorway in the middle has been made into a window, but retains part of the original frame; the window on each side has been lowered and made into a doorway, and the other windows have been altered. On the first floor three of the windows are blocked; two of them retain original oak mullioned frames. Interior:—Some old beams remain in the ceilings.
Northall, main road, W. side
a(21). Farmhouse, at the S.E. end of the hamlet, about 1 mile N.W. of the church. The walls have been re-faced with modern brick; the roofs are covered with slate. The large central chimney stack is of 17th-century brick, with four square shafts which have oversailing courses at the top. Interior:—A few plain ceiling-beams and large roof-timbers are visible.
Condition—Good; almost entirely modern.
a(22). House, about 1¼ miles N.W. of the church. The roofs are covered with slate. The central chimney stack has two attached square shafts; it is probably original, but is covered with cement.
a(23). The Village Green Inn (see Plate, p. 112), 240 yards N.W. of (22), was built probably in the 16th century. The original plan is rectangular, and at the S.W. end is a modern addition. On the S.E. side the upper storey projects; on the N.W. side it has been under-built with modern brick. The central chimney stack is of old thin bricks.
a(24). Cottage, No. 14, about 80 yards N.W. of (23), is of late 16th or early 17th-century date. In front the overhanging upper storey has strips of tarred cement in imitation of the original timber construction. At the S.E. end is a large projecting chimney stack with stepped and moulded offsets, and a plain shaft of original brick. Interior:—The wide fireplace has been partly blocked.
a(25). Cottage, two tenements, Nos. 12 and 13, N.W. of (24).
b(26). Lynchets, S. of the church, not well defined.