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. x. N.W.)
(1). Parish Church of All Saints, 330 yards S.W. of the village, is built of limestone rubble; the dressings are of grey and yellow limestone, and the parapets of ironstone. The roofs are covered with lead. Some traces of the 12th-century church on the site remain in the Nave; the South Aisle and arcade were added c. 1190; the West Tower was built early in the 13th century and is S. of the axis of the nave. The S. aisle was widened and the S. doorway re-set c. 1300; the chancel was re-built c. 1330, and is deflected towards the S.; the North Aisle and arcade were added c. 1340. The clearstorey was built and new parapets were added to the aisles and tower early in the 15th century. The 14th-century N. doorway was replaced by another doorway in the 18th century. In 1869 the church was restored, and 15th-century mural paintings were discovered, but many of them were subsequently destroyed; a supporting arch was inserted under the tower arch. The South Porch is modern.
The church is interesting on account of the late 12th-century remains, especially the carvings on the capitals of the S. arcade and on a stone (see Plate, p. 14, and Miscellanea) in the S. aisle. The 15th-century mural paintings are noticeable.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (30 ft. by about 15½ ft.) has detail almost entirely of c. 1330, partly restored. On the N., S. and E. walls, below the windows, is an external string-course. The E. window is of four trefoiled lights and tracery, all modern, except the jambs and possibly the moulded rear arch. In the N. wall are three windows; the two eastern are each of two trefoiled ogee lights and a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the external stone work has been restored; the westernmost is a low-side window with moulded jambs, probably of the 15th century; it is now blocked and has a modern lintel. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of two trefoiled ogee lights and a circle with trefoils in a two-centred head; the label is moulded; the western window is similar to the other, but has a quatrefoil in the head: W. of the windows is a small doorway with a two-centred head, and near the chancel arch, behind the organ, is a former opening with a two-centred head, possibly a low-side window, which, with the doorway, is now blocked and visible externally only in outline. The chancel arch, of c. 1330, is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer order dying into the walls, the inner springing from semi-octagonal shafts, with moulded capitals; the bases are plain off-sets; on the E. side of the wall above the arch are traces of the weathercourse of the former roof of the chancel. The Nave (35 ft. by 15 ft.) has a 15th-century embattled parapet on the E., N. and S. walls; on the S. wall are two gargoyles, much perished; on the N. wall only one gargoyle remains; the E. wall has a low gable with the remains of a 15th-century cross at the apex. The lofty N. arcade is of c. 1340 and of two bays; the two-centred arches are of two chamfered orders with plain labels; the pillar is octagonal, with a bell-capital which has a moulded abacus; the responds are semi-octagonal, with moulded bell-capitals; all the bases are plain. The S. arcade is of c. 1190 and of two bays; the two-centred arches are of one chamfered order, with labels in the nave enriched with pyramidal and prismatic ornament; the circular column has a square capital (see Plate, p. 160) carved with monsters which have long twisted necks and tails; at the angles are branches of foliage; the abacus is moulded; the responds are square and slightly chamfered, with chamfered bases and narrow capitals carved with fleur de lis and leaf ornament; the abaci are plain: above and E. of the eastern arch is a small round-headed deep recess, probably of an early 12th-century window, partly cut away for the arch: in the S.E. corner is the 15th-century stone staircase of the former rood-loft, with a pointed rebated doorway at the foot opening into the aisle, and another doorway at the head opening into the nave; the stairs are steep and straight. In the W. wall, high up, is the N. jamb and one stone of the head of the former W. window, probably of early 12th-century date. The clearstorey has three windows on each side; the N. windows are each of two trefoiled lights under a square head, with an internal lintel of wood; the jambs are of the 15th century, the heads and mullions modern: the S. windows are also of the 15th century and each of two trefoiled lights and a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with an external label. The North Aisle (10½ ft. wide at the E. end, 11 ft. at the W. end) has a 15th-century embattled parapet and moulded string-course carried round the three walls: on the N. wall are four gargoyles; three are much perished; the fourth, at the N.E. angle, is the large figure of a demon, face downwards, and with a smaller figure of the same kind on his right shoulder. In the E. wall is a window of three lights, all modern except the jambs, part of the two-centred head, and the rear arch, which are probably of the 14th century. In the E. half of the N. wall are two 14th-century windows, almost entirely restored, and each of two lights with a plain spandrel in a two-centred head: W. of the windows is a square-headed doorway, with 14th-century inner jambs and segmental pointed rear arch; the external stonework is of the 18th century. In the W. wall is a modern window. The South Aisle (11½ ft. wide) has a 15th-century embattled parapet with moulded string-course and gargoyles similar to those of the N. aisle; the gargoyles are much perished. In the E. wall is a window of c. 1300, of two lancet lights and a circle in a two-centred head, with a moulded external label. In the E. half of the S. wall are two windows, both probably of c. 1300, the eastern of three pointed lights in a two-centred head with a moulded external label; the western window is of similar design to the other, but only of two lights: W. of the windows is the S. doorway, of c. 1190; the semi-circular head is of two slightly chamfered orders, and has a label enriched with pyramidal and prismatic ornament; the shafted jambs have carved capitals with moulded abaci; a few of the voussoirs of the arch, the shafts and bases and the E. capital are modern. In the W. wall is a window of two lights; the jambs, sill and part of the segmental pointed head are probably of late 15th-century date, the rest is modern. The South Porch is modern. The West Tower (about 9½ ft. square) is of three stages with an embattled parapet and a moulded string-course, both of the 15th century. All the other detail, except that of a window in the bell-chamber, is of early 13th-century date, considerably restored. The tower arch is chamfered and was formerly semi-circular; it is now flattened by the weight of the superstructure, and a modern arch has been inserted under it. The N., S. and W. walls of the ground stage have each a lancet window. The second stage has a lancet window in the W. wall. The N., S. and W. walls of the bell-chamber have each a window of two lancet lights in a semi-circular outer order with a plain tympanum, and in the middle an octagonal shaft with a plain square capital; in the E. wall is a window of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a depressed head, probably a 13th-century opening with 15th-century tracery inserted in it. The Roof of the nave is modern, but the trusses are supported by eight stone corbels carved as angels carrying scrolls, probably of the 15th century. The N. aisle has a 14th-century roof of two bays and two half-bays, with moulded principals and purlins; on the N. side, the trusses are carried on curiously moulded stone corbels.
Fittings—Bells: five; 3rd by Newcombe, 1614; 4th by James Keene, 1627; 5th by James Keene, 1629. Books: At the Rectory—Bible, blackletter, 1617. Brasses: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) to Richard Davies of Kynant, Montgomeryshire, father of Isaiah Davies, vicar of the parish, 1661, second inscription recording erection of brass by his son Thomas Davies, 'Agent-General for the Coast of Africa', and arms. In nave—on S. wall, (2) to Mary, wife of Isaiah Davies, vicar of the parish, 1686. Glass: In S. aisle—in head of S.E. window, small yellow and white sun, 15th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) to Alice, daughter of Edmund Pigott of Loughton, and wife of Robert Chandflower, 1604, slab of white marble, with incised kneeling figures of woman and child, and two chrisom infants, inscription and arms of Pigott with a crescent for difference, quartering a fesse [between three maids' heads]. In S. aisle— at E. end, (2) coffin-lid, incised with cross, probably 13th-century, much worn. Floor-slabs: In chancel—floor paved with squares of black and white marble, (1) on three of the squares, to Margaret, daughter of Sir Henry Andrewes, baronet, 1680, inscription and verses recording that she gave the pavement; other squares with inscriptions to the Andrewes family, undated, probably 17th and 18th-century. In N. aisle—(2) to Margaret Curti... 16..., slab broken. Paintings: In nave and aisles—on the walls, considerable remains, discovered in the 19th century, now partly destroyed; drawings of the complete set preserved in the parish: in nave—on E. wall, and at E. end of N. and S. walls, representation of a 'Doom' including, over chancel arch, figure of Christ, only head, shoulder, arm and hand remaining; on N. side of E. wall, small half-figure of man with beard, holding up right hand in blessing, below him small figures of the dead rising from their graves; on S. side, figure of archangel holding staff; at E. end of N. wall, building of stone with embattled parapet, and figures of the dead rising from their graves; at E. end of S. wall, design much defaced, remaining figure of archangel with sword; on chancel arch, traces of dark red paint; on N. wall, above arcade, representation of the 'Weighing of Souls', only figure of the Virgin remains, in white drapery and red cloak, crowned; on jambs of two eastern windows of clearstorey, and on soffits of both arches of arcade, running pattern of foliage; on capitals of pillar and responds red ornament; on S. wall, above arcade, the 'Seven Sacraments', and other subjects, those that remain being Penance, Extreme Unction, and Burial; above and below figures, also on jambs and soffits of clearstorey windows, and on arches of arcade, remains of running pattern of foliage; all 15th-century; palimpsest on painting on E. wall, diaper pattern, probably 16th-century; on clearstorey, near W. end of wall, circular pattern with remains of texts in black-letter, 16th-century; over W. respond of S. arcade, circular pattern with text, 16th-century. In N. aisle—on soffit of N. doorway, traces of pattern in red, 15th-century. In S. aisle—on soffit of S.E. window, remains of ornament, 15th-century; between windows, part of the Lord's Prayer, and ornament, 17th-century. Piscinae: In chancel— in range with sedilia, double, with trefoiled ogee recesses and chamfered mullion, quatrefoil basins, probably late 14th-century. In S. aisle—with small chamfered pointed recess, on corbel, probably early 14th-century, sill and basin modern. Plate: includes silver cup with no hall-mark, maker's mark 'E.S.', probably mid 17th-century; paten, of 1683; flagon, no hall-mark, maker's mark 'T.E.', probably c. 1680; knife with silver handle, maker's mark 'L.C.', possibly late 17th-century. Recess: In S. aisle—at E. end, plain, square, with splayed jambs, probably for reredos, 15th-century, restored. Sedilia: In chancel—in range with piscina, three, with trefoiled ogee heads, and spandrels with shallow tracery, probably late 14th-century, re-cut, label modern. Miscellanea: In chancel—pavement of black and white marble, 17th-century (see Floor-slabs). In N. aisle—on N.W. quoin, two small consecration crosses (?) enclosed in circles, incised. In S. aisle—set in N. wall, stone (see Plate, p. 14) carved with two beasts fighting a serpent, in middle, interlacing pattern, above beasts some foliage, c. 1130, formerly the tympanum of a doorway; on S.W. quoin, small sundial, incised.
The Churchyard has, on the N. side, a large mound, possibly the burial place for victims of the plague in the 17th century.
Condition—Good; many of the walls and pillars are out of the perpendicular, but are not unsafe.
(2). Flood Dyke, starts at Woad Farm, about ½ mile S.E. of the church, and runs in a wide semi-circle, following the course of the river Ouse, towards the Bedford road. It is 5½ ft. broad at the summit, has been thrown up from both sides, and is 3 ft. high.