BHO

Hardmead

Pages 139-140

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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Citation:

In this section

144. HARDMEAD.

(O.S. 6 in. (a)v. S.E. (b)vi. S.W.)

Ecclesiastical

a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, 2¾ miles N.E. of Sherington Church, is built of stone rubble, except the E. wall of the chancel, which is of ashlar; the dressings are of yellow stone. The roof of the chancel is tiled, and the other roofs are covered with lead. The earliest structural detail is that of the West Tower, which is of c. 1250, but there are remains of a font of the 12th century, and the proportions of the Nave possibly indicate that it was built at that time. A S. aisle was added c. 1300, and c. 1320 the North Aisle was built. The Chancel was re-built c. 1340, and about the middle of the 15th century the South Aisle was re-built and widened, and the South Porch was added; late in the same century the clearstorey was added; the tower was heightened apparently also in the 15th century. In the 19th century the church was restored and the E. wall of the chancel re-built.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (32 ft. by 14½ ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall are two windows; the eastern is a modern copy of the western, which is of c. 1340, and of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a pointed head, all much restored. In the S. wall are two 14th-century windows, similar to that in the N. wall, but less restored; between them is a small 14th-century doorway with a pointed head, externally of two continuously moulded orders with an ogee label, which has head-stops, one of a man in a liripipe hood and the other of a bishop; internally it has a flat, shouldered rear arch. The two-centred chancel arch is of c. 1340 and of two chamfered orders dying into the walls. The Nave (35 ft. by 16½ ft.) retains traces of the original angles before the aisles were added. The N. arcade is of c. 1320, and of two bays, with slightly obtuse two-centred arches of two chamfered orders, having a chamfered label in the nave; the column is quatrefoil in plan, with moulded bases and bell-capitals; the responds are half-sections of the column. The S. arcade, of c. 1300, is similar to the N. arcade, but the label is moulded, and the capitals and bases are of earlier type; the E. respond is pierced by the doorway of the former rood-loft. The clearstorey has three N. and three S. windows, the W. end of each wall being blank; each window is of late 15th-century date and of two trefoiled lights under a straight-sided four-centred head, with a lozenge-shaped spandrel. The North Aisle (8 ft. wide) has, in the E. wall, a window of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a pointed head, of c. 1320, and of somewhat unusual detail. In the N. wall, at the E. end, is a window also of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a pointed head, but of the 15th century, much restored; at the W. end of the wall is a small window, of the same design, but apparently of late 14th-century date: between the windows is the 15th-century N. doorway with continuously moulded jambs and two-centred head, now blocked. The South Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has, in the E. wall, a 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights under a four-centred head. In the S. wall are two windows; the eastern is of the 15th century and of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a four-centred head; the western window is modern: between them is the S. doorway, of the same date and design as the N. doorway. The West Tower (10 ft. by 9½ ft.) is of two stages with a 15th-century embattled parapet. The tower arch is of mid 13th-century date and of two chamfered orders, resting on corbel-capitals, which have been entirely restored. Above the modern W. window is a small 13th-century lancet, chamfered and rebated externally, and having a chamfered external label. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a 13th-century window, of two trefoiled lights with a small opening above them, enclosed by a two-centred label; the mullion between the lights in the S. window has been carved to the shape of a column with a moulded capital and base. The South Porch (8 ft. square) has a 15th-century entrance archway, two-centred and of two continuously chamfered orders. The E. and W. walls have each an unglazed window of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a pointed head. The Roof of the nave is modern, but has two 16th-century carved foliated bosses fixed to the E. and W. trusses. The roof of the N. aisle has plain principals and a purlin of the 16th century, with carved bosses of foliated and arabesque designs at the intersections; on the W. principal is a shield with a voided engrailed cross between four engrailed saltires. In the modern roof of the S. aisle are a few old timbers.

Fittings—Bells: three; 1st broken, on floor of bell-chamber, inscribed 'Vox Augustini Sonet In Aure Dei', probably by Robert Crowch, 15th-century; 2nd inscribed 'Sancta maria ora p nobis', founder uncertain, early 16th-century; 3rd inscribed 'Vocor Johannes', probably by William Rufford, 14th-century; frame in poor condition. Bracket: In N. aisle—at E. end of N. wall, of stone, plain. Brass: In N. aisle—on E. respond of arcade, of Francys Catesby, 1556, figure of man in long furred robe, with inscription. Communion Table: In S. aisle—small, plain, with turned baluster legs, early 17th-century, top modern.

Fonts: In S. aisle—(1) bowl octagonal, of clunch, with sunk designs on sides forming tracery and geometrical patterns, octagonal panelled stem, late 14th or early 15th-century, much scraped; (2) set in S. wall under end of label of S. doorway, two fragments of bowl of font, with plain arcading, 12th-century, found by the present rector under the other font. Glass: In chancel—almost completely filling tracery of N.E. window, red, gold, green, white, etc., foliated designs, 14th-century. In S. aisle—in S.W. window, fragments, 15th-century. Monuments: In N. aisle—on N. wall, at E. end, (1) of Francis Catesby, 1636, recumbent effigy of man in long robe, behind him kneeling figures of a man and two women, all in niche carved as though built of books, below effigy long Latin inscription, above niche Corinthian order and curved broken pediment, in typanum achievement of arms; on W. wall, (2) to Elizabeth, wife of Sir Thomas Harbury, knight, 1665, to her father, Thomas Catesby, 1679, her mother, Elizabeth, 1699, and brother, Thomas, 1681. Piscina: In S. aisle—with trefoiled ogee head, 15th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover paten of 1692, salver or large paten of 1658, inscribed "Sacrat mensae Dom' qui alienaverit Sacrilegus R.K. de Hard-meade Rectr' 1658". Seating: In nave— six plain open seats, and two pew fronts; in N. aisle—three open seats and one front; all late 15th or early 16th-century. Stoup: In N. aisle —E. of N. doorway, rough recess, probably for a stoup. Miscellanea: In chancel—in W. splay of N.E. window, below opening, small rectangular loophole, blocked, not visible outside, purpose uncertain, possibly a squint. In porch—bier, of rough workmanship, dated 1670.

Condition—Good.

Secular

Homestead Moats (2–3)

a(2). N. of the church, large and irregularly shaped, enclosing the site of the former Manor House.

b(3). N.E. of (2), the N.W. arm is obliterated.

b(4). The Manor Farm, about 300 yards S.W. of the church, is a house of two storeys and an attic; the walls are of brick with some timber-framing; the roofs are covered with tiles and with slate. It was built apparently in the 17th century on a plan of the central chimney type, but the whole of the original building, except one gable and part of one angle, is enclosed by 18th-century and modern additions; the gable is covered with rough-cast; the walling of the exposed angle is of timber and brick.

Condition—Good, completely altered.