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)xxix. N.E. (b)xxx. N.W. (c)xxx. S.W.)
b(1). Contour Camp, on Beacon Hill, stands 760 ft. above O.D.; the ground falls away on all sides except the E., where a narrow ridge runs out for about half a mile. The work covers about 6 acres, and the defences, which were never very strong, consist of a scarp with an external ditch, the earth being thrown outwards to form a parapet. The ditch has been reduced to a ledge or platform. On the S. the scarp becomes double for about 400 ft. There is a bowl-barrow within the area and another without, E. of the camp. No original entrance can be traced, but a path enters the work at the E. end. The work is not shown on the Ordnance Survey maps.
b(2). Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, stands on the E. side of the village, and is built of flint rubble with Totternhoe stone dressings; the parapets have been cemented, and the roofs are covered with lead. The church was built c. 1230, on a cruciform plan, with Chancel, Nave, Central Tower, North and South Transepts and North and South Aisles; in the 14th century the Central Tower was re-built and the aisles were widened; in the 15th century the West Porch was added, the clearstorey of the nave heightened, and new windows were inserted in it; the walls of the chancel and transepts were also heightened, and the third stage of the tower was added or re-built. All the roofs, except that of the S. aisle, are also of the 15th century. The North and South Porches were added and the building was generally restored in 1871; all the modern stonework is of that date.
The church is especially interesting on account of the 13th-century detail of the nave arcades, the 14th-century windows in the aisles, and the 15th-century roofs. Among the fittings the effigy in the chancel, probably of the 15th century, and the bench-ends, of late 15th or early 16th-century date, in the nave are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (35 ft. by 17 ft.) has a late 15th-century E. window of four cinque-foiled lights and tracery under a drop arch, with a moulded external label; some small stones in the external jambs are remains of a 13th-century triple window. In the N. wall are three windows; the two eastern are tall lancets of the 13th century, now blocked and visible only outside; the third window is of late 15th-century date and of three cinque-foiled lights under a four-centred head with a label, all considerably restored. In the S. wall are three windows; the middle window is of the 13th century and similar to those in the N. wall, visible only outside, and partly hidden by a buttress; the eastern and western windows are of the same date and design as the 15th-century window in the N. wall: E. of the middle window is a small blocked doorway of the 15th century, with a four-centred head; the jambs have been restored. The Central Tower (14 ft. square) is of three stages, with a small spire and a modern embattled parapet. The ground stage has, in each wall, a two-centred arch of the 14th century and of three chamfered orders; the inner orders of the jambs have moulded capitals and bases, part of the bases being hidden by the modern floor; the N.W. pier is slightly larger than the others and contains a circular staircase, entered from the N. transept; a sinking high up in the W. face of the pier indicates the position of the former rood-beam. In the second stage, opening from the staircase into the ringing-chamber, is a 14th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and shouldered head; high up in each wall, except the S. wall, of the second stage are two modern circular windows, and the E. wall has, in addition, lower down, two small trefoiled lancets possibly of the 14th century, much restored. The third stage has, in each wall, a window of two cinque-foiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head, with a moulded external label; the N. window is of the 15th century, much restored; the E. window is apparently partly of the same date; the other windows are modern, and the upper part of the W. window is blocked by a clock dial. The North Transept (22½ ft. by 17 ft.) has, in the E. wall, two tall 13th-century windows, with traceried heads inserted in the 14th century; the jambs have been partly restored and the external labels are modern. In the N. wall is a large 14th-century window of three lights and tracery in a two-centred head, partly restored, and with a modern external label. In the W. wall is a doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred head, all modern, except a few 15th-century stones in the jambs: above the doorway is a 13th-century window of two uncusped lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head, much restored, and with a modern external label: the arch opening into the N. aisle is of the 14th century, and of two moulded orders with a respond only on the N. side: higher up in the W. wall are two sex-foiled circular windows of the 13th century, with internal and external labels, all much restored. In the W. pier of the arch opening into the tower, is the 14th-century doorway of the stair-turret, with chamfered jambs and shouldered head; the stonework has been re-tooled. The South Transept (22½ ft. by 17 ft.) has E., S., and W. windows and a W. arch opening into the S. aisle, similar to those in the N. transept, and all much restored; below the S. window is the line of an external string-course. The Nave (55 ft. by 19½ ft.) has 13th-century N. and S. arcades, each of five bays with octagonal pillars and semi-octagonal responds; the bases are moulded and much restored; the capitals (see Plate, p. 39) are carved with stiff-leaf foliage of different designs, well preserved, and have moulded abaci; the two-centred arches are of two chamfered orders, with plain labels in the nave; in each arcade part of the outer order and label of the easternmost arch has been cut away and re-built at a higher level, probably in the 15th century, to form a flat abutment for the rood-loft: in the spandrel over each pillar is part of a circular clearstorey window of the 13th century, originally similar to those in the transepts. The 15th-century clearstorey has five windows on each side, all of three cinque-foiled lights under depressed heads, and much restored. The W. doorway, of c. 1230, has richly moulded jambs, with detached shafts having capitals carved with stiff-leaf foliage and moulded abaci; the bases are modern; the two-centred head is elaborately moulded, and has a label with modern stops: the W. window is of three uncusped lights and tracery, externally all modern, but the internal jambs are of the 13th century, and have small attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the rear arch is moulded and has a label with modern head-stops. The North Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has, in the N. wall, two 14th-century windows, the eastern of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head, and the western of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head which has a moulded external label; both windows have been partly restored: between them is the 14th-century N. doorway with moulded jambs and head, one member being enriched with alternate ball-flower and four-leaf ornament; the external label has modern stops. In the W. wall is a window of two cinque-foiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head, externally modern, but with 14th-century inner splays and moulded rear arch. The South Aisle (11 ft. wide) has, in the S. wall, two 14th-century windows much restored and similar to those in the N. aisle, the eastern resembling the N.E. window, and the western the window in the W. wall: the S. doorway, between the windows, is similar to the N. doorway. In the W. wall is a window of the same date and design as that in the W. wall of the N. aisle. The West Porch has a 15th-century outer entrance, with moulded jambs and four-centred arch under a square head; the spandrels are traceried, and the external label is moulded: the ceiling is vaulted in three bays with four-centred moulded ribs; the filling is of flat stone slabs, partly restored. The Roofs are all flat pitched and of late 15th-century date, except that of the S. aisle. The roof of the chancel is of three bays, and has cambered and moulded principals, with curved wall-brackets, which rest on carved stone corbels representing grotesque figures and animals; the wall-plates, purlins, ridge and intermediate beams are moulded; at the foot of each intermediate beam is the carved figure of an angel with outstretched wings, holding a shield: the roofs of the N. and S. transepts are similar to that of the chancel, but each of two bays, and the carved angels bear emblems of the Passion, etc.: the roof of the nave is of five bays and is similar to those of the chancel and transepts, but more elaborate; the wall-brackets are carried on wall-posts carved with full length figures, probably representing the Apostles: the easternmost bay is boarded, and sub-divided by moulded ribs with foliated bosses: the wings of the carved angels in the nave and chancel have been considerably restored. The lean-to roof of the N. aisle has moulded wall-plates, principals and purlins. The roof of the S. aisle is probably of the 16th century, and has heavy, horizontal, stop-chamfered principals with carved brackets resting on wooden corbels; the rafters, purlins and wall-plates are chamfered.
Fittings—Bells: include sanctus, probably 17th-century; part of frame old, with moulded recesses for the swing of the bells. Brackets: In chancel— on S. wall, carved with man's head, crowned. In S. aisle—on E. wall, moulded. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In chancel—on S. side, (1) of Richard Blackhed, 1517, and Maude his wife, two figures and inscription; (2) of William Duncumbe, 1576, figures of man, three sons, two daughters, and inscription; indents of his two wives Mary and Alice, and two groups of sons and daughters, the children of the second wife; (3) to Rauf Fallywolle, 1349, and Lucie his wife, 1368, inscription in French, black-letter; on N. side, in modern slab, (4) of John Douncombe, 1594, and Alyce his wife, figures of man, woman, groups of four sons and three daughters, and inscription; on the same slab, (5) of Thomas Duncombe, 1531, with inscription to him and Joane, his wife, figure of man, groups of six sons and four daughters. Chair: In N. transept—of carved oak, with arms, mid 17th-century. Communion Table: In S. transept— with moulded top, richly carved and pierced ends, balustrade with small carved arches and spandrels, early 17th-century. Doors: In N. aisle—in N. doorway, of two thicknesses of battens, mediæval: In tower—in doorway of ringing-chamber, of three thicknesses of battens, with strap-hinges, mediæval. Lectern: In nave—of wood, with desk, hexagonal stem with wide moulded base, 15th-century, scratched on desk 'EN1686'. Monument: In chancel —in recess in N. wall, recumbent stone effigy of priest in Mass vestments, with unusually wide amice, probably 15th-century (see Recess). Painting: In tower—on W. side, in sinking for rood-beam, remains of inscription, black-letter, 16th-century; on W. arch, traces of colour decoration. In S. aisle— at E. end, traces of colour decoration. Piscinae: In N. transept—in E. wall, with trefoiled head and circular basin, 14th-century. In S. transept— in E. wall, with trefoiled head, 14th-century, circular basin restored. Plate: includes large salver of 1673 and pewter alms-dish of 1704. Pulpit: hexagonal, with elaborately mitred panels of alternate designs, carved styles, sounding-board hexagonal, carved and pierced, pierced pendants and cresting, carried on standard having panel carved in relief, with representation of the Resurrection, figures partly defaced, early 17th-century, possibly Flemish workmanship. Recess: In chancel —in N. wall with moulded jambs and four-centred foiled head, and moulded label, 15th-century, head-stops of label modern (see Monument). Screen: In communion rails, six cinque-foiled heads from screen, 15th-century. Seating: In nave—incorporated in modern benches, thirty-two poppy-head standards, some foliated and some with figures and foliation, 15th-century, others re-carved with faces, apparently at a later date. Miscellanea: In transept—table, with twisted legs, late 17th-century.
Condition—Good generally; cement on parapets, etc., poor.
Homestead Moats (3–5)
b(3). At Ford End, about 650 yards N.W. of the church, three sides of a rectangular moat.
a(4). At Great Seabrook, about 1 mile N.W. of the church.
b(5). At Tithe Farm, Ivinghoe Aston (see also (12–18)).
These buildings are all of two storeys, and most of them are timber-framed, with brick filling, considerably restored with brick. All the roofs are tiled.
High Street, S. side
c(6). The Old Town Hall, formerly a workhouse, now a parochial hall and club room, stands 70 yards S.W. of the church. It was built late in the 16th century, and has been restored. In front the lower storey is covered with rough-cast; the upper storey projects and has some original brick filling set in herring-bone pattern; the back and sides of the building are entirely of 18th-century and modern brick. The plan is rectangular; at the back is a small 18th-century projection, formerly the 'lock-up', and on each side of it is a small modern addition. The five upper windows in front are high semi-dormers with gabled heads. At each end of the building is an original chimney stack; the E. stack has two, and the W. stack three square shafts set diagonally. Interior:—On the ground floor are some moulded ceiling-joists. Two disused prison-cells at the back are of 18th-century or later date.
c(7). House, now two tenements, Nos. 23 and 24, was built early in the 17th century. In front the lower storey is of modern brick; the upper storey is original and projects under the gable at the W. end of the front, and on the W. side of the house; traces of original windows, now blocked, are visible. The back has been entirely re-built. The plan is approximately T-shaped, one end of the transverse wing being very short.
Condition—Fairly good, much re-built.
c(8). House, about 240 yards W.S.W. of the church, was built late in the 17th century. The walls are of red brick, with some blue burnt headers, much covered with rough-cast and cement. The plan is L-shaped, with the wings extending towards the S. and E., and with modern projections on the N. and W. On the E. side of the S. wing the storeys are divided by a plain projecting string-course of brick. Two chimney stacks are original.
c(9). House, No. 27, was built probably early in the 17th century. All the walls have been re-built or re-faced with modern brick, except the gables at the E. and W. ends, which retain the original timber-framing and some of the brick filling.
Condition—Fairly good, much re-built.
b(10). The King's Head Inn, 60 yards N.W. of the church, was built probably in the second half of the 16th century. The walls have been entirely re-faced with modern brick. The plan is of the central chimney type, facing S.W., with a modern addition at the back. The chimney stack is of thin bricks. Interior:—On the ground floor is an original moulded beam, with an unusually elaborate stop; the other beams are encased. On the first floor is an original stone fireplace, with a four-centred flat arch in a square head, and moulded jambs with moulded stops.
b(11). House, 90 yards N.E. of the church, was built probably c. 1536, the date inscribed at the back of the lintel of the porch. The original plan is of the central chimney type, facing S.W., probably with a small staircase wing on the N.E., now incorporated in the projecting N.E. wing, built of red brick with black headers towards the end of the 17th century. In front the porch and the upper windows are original, but the bow-windows on the ground floor are modern. At the back the wing has three gables, and the windows have solid frames with metal sashes and original iron fasteners. The chimney stacks are plain. Interior:—On the ground floor there are some chamfered beams in the ceilings, and one room is lined with panelling of late 17th or early 18th-century date.
Ivinghoe Aston, S.W. side of road
b(12). Cottage, now two tenements, near the S. end of the hamlet, 1¼ miles N.E. of the church. It was built early in the 17th century; the S. end was restored late in the same century, and has a gable of modern brick. In the W. wall, on the first floor, is an original window of two lights; one light is blocked. The plain rectangular chimney stack is of 17th-century brick.
Condition—Fairly good, but the timber-framing is becoming rotten.
b(13). Cottage, No. 6, N.W. of (12), is of late 16th or early 17th-century date. There is a modern addition at the back.
b(14). Cottage, now used as a stable and hay loft, N.W. of (13), was built in the 16th century. The plan is of the central chimney type, and the original chimney stack has four grouped square shafts with projecting nibs on each face.
The central chimney stack and the 16th-century fireplace of moulded stone are noteworthy.
Interior:—On the ground floor both rooms have moulded ceiling-beams, and open fireplaces with chamfered wood lintels; in the N. room the door is of old battens with ornamental strap-hinges. On the first floor, in the N. room, is an original fireplace with moulded stone jambs and four-centred head; the door opening into the room, and a cupboard door, are of early 17th-century moulded panelling: the S. room has a fireplace with chamfered jambs and depressed head, now blocked; two doors are of old battens with plain strap-hinges. The newel staircase from the first floor to the roof is original.
Condition—Very poor, and neglected.
b(15). Cottage, formerly used for storing hay, now a ruin, N.W. of (14), was built in the 16th century. The plan is L-shaped, with a central chimney stack between the wings. Most of the windows are original and have moulded wood frames and mullions. The chimney stack has three attached square shafts with oversailing courses.
A stone fireplace with moulded jambs and head is noteworthy.
Interior:—On the ground floor two rooms have wide open fireplaces with stone jambs and wood lintels, and all the rooms have original beams in the ceilings. On the first floor one room has an original fireplace with moulded stone jambs and square head. The newel staircase is original; the second staircase is probably a later addition.
Condition—Very bad; parts of the walls have fallen; the first floor is unsafe, and the whole building will collapse unless steps are taken for its preservation.
b(16). House, 130 yards N.W. of (15), is of the central chimney type, built probably late in the 16th century. The walls have been entirely refaced with modern brick. The original chimney stack has four grouped square shafts with oversailing courses. Interior:—One room has two large moulded ceiling-beams, and another room a chamfered ceiling-beam.
Condition—Good; almost entirely modern.
b(17). Cottage, two tenements, 50 yards N.W. of (16), was built in the 17th century. The plan is L-shaped. One chimney stack is of old thin bricks.
b(18). Cottage, set back from the road, ¼ mile N. of (17), was built in the 17th century, and has been much restored.
b(19–21). Tumuli, two on Beacon Hill, and one S. of the hill.