Little Horwood

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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, 'Little Horwood', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 2, North, (London, 1913) pp. 175-178. British History Online [accessed 22 May 2024].

. "Little Horwood", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 2, North, (London, 1913) 175-178. British History Online, accessed May 22, 2024,

. "Little Horwood", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 2, North, (London, 1913). 175-178. British History Online. Web. 22 May 2024,

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. (a)xix. N.W. (b)xix. N.E.)


a(1). Parish Church of St. Nicholas, stands at the N. end of the village and is built of stone rubble, except the tower, which is of ashlar; the roofs of the chancel and nave are tiled, those of the S. aisle and W. tower are covered with lead. The Nave and a S. aisle were built c. 1200. The Chancel was re-built c. 1320, when it was widened towards the S. and lengthened a few feet towards the W.; late in the 14th century the South Aisle was re-built and widened, and both aisle and nave were lengthened one bay towards the W., the arcade being partly re-built and heightened; the aisle was also lengthened a few feet towards the E., probably at the same time or a little later. The West Tower was added in the 15th century. The South Porch is dated 1828. The church was much restored in the 19th century, the chancel being practically re-built.

The church is especially interesting on account of the mural paintings of the 13th century and of later date, in the nave.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (23 ft. by 16 ft.) has an E. window of three lights and tracery, all modern, except the inner jambs and chamfered rear arch, which are probably of the 14th century. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern of two lights and tracery, all modern, except the inner jambs and rear arch which are probably of the 14th century; the western is a 15th-century low-side window of one four-centred light; the sill and jambs have been restored and the label is modern. In the S. wall are two windows similar to the N.E. window, and between them is a modern doorway. The 14th-century chancel arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the jambs have small semi-octagonal shafts with moulded bases and bell-capitals; the N. jamb is flush with the N. wall of the chancel, but the S. jamb is nearly 18 inches from the S. wall. The Nave (39 ft. by 18½ ft.) has, in the N. wall, two windows, each, of three lights and tracery; the jambs and rear arches are of the 14th century; the rest of the stonework is modern: between the windows is the N. doorway, now blocked; the W. jamb is of c. 1200, the E. jamb modern, and the two-centred head was re-built in the 14th century. The S. arcade is of four bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders, and plain labels; the westernmost arch is of smaller span than the others; the pillars are circular, the responds semi-circular, with moulded capitals and bases; the E. respond, which is partly buried in the E. wall of the nave, and the three pillars are of early 13th-century date; the W. respond and westernmost arch were built in the 14th century, and the other arches re-built, partly with the old material, and heightened; the varying height of the bases shows that the floor of the nave originally sloped down towards the W. The South Aisle (10 ft. wide) has, in the N. wall, E. of the arcade, a blocked squint formerly opening into the chancel. In the S. wall are two late 15th-century windows each of three cinque-foiled lights under a square head, with an internal lintel of wood; the eastern window has been entirely, and the other window partly restored externally: between the windows is the S. doorway, probably of late 14th-century date; the jambs and two-centred head are of two chamfered orders with an external label. In the W. wall is an early 14th-century window, partly restored; it is of three cinque-foiled lights and intersecting tracery in a two-centred head, with an external label which has mask-stops. The West Tower (10½ ft. by 9½ ft.) is of three stages with diagonal W. buttresses, and an embattled parapet, repaired with brick. The 15th-century tower arch is pointed and of two chamfered orders dying on to the walls, and having a plain label in the nave. The late 15th-century W. doorway has moulded jambs and flat four-centred head, with a moulded external label; the W. window is of the same date as the doorway, and of two cinque-foiled lights and a sexfoil in a two-centred head with an external label; externally the cusps have been broken off or cut away. The second stage has a small loop in the W. wall. The bell-chamber has four windows of the same date and design as the W. window of the ground stage, but that in the W. wall has lost the mullion and part of the tracery. The flat lean-to Roof of the S. aisle is of four bays with moulded wall-plates, purlins and cambered tie-beams, probably of the 15th century; a few of the rafters are old.

Fittings—Bells: five, 1st, 2nd and 3rd by Anthony Chandler, 1672; bell-frame old. Bracket: In S. aisle—on E. wall, carved with head and arms of a man, late 14th-century. Brass: In nave— on E. wall, S. of chancel arch, inscription with the beginning of each of the Ten Commandments, a verse, two texts and the date 1641. Door: In tower—in doorway of stair-turret, with strap-hinges, late 15th-century. Paintings: In nave— on N. wall, between the windows, remains, some palimpsest; (1) partly exposed, of St. Nicholas in episcopal vestments, next to him two figures rising from a barrel (third probably hidden under palimpsest painting), representing the resurrection of the three murdered boys, E. of barrel part of another figure; further E. part of figures of three knights in chain mail, all probably 13th-century; (2) palimpsest on (1), representation of the Seven Deadly Sins, large nude figure, possibly of Pride, with six branches proceeding from different parts of the body, each branch terminating in a monster's head with open jaws, above or within which are two small figures, one human, the other a demon, scrolls with inscriptions over each subject, all enclosed in rectangular frame; above and W. of other subjects but also included in the frame, lower part of a figure; all probably 16th-century; further E. (3), representation of St. Christopher, probably 15th-century, almost obliterated, painted on it traces of a later scroll. Piscina: In chancel— with trefoiled ogee head, 14th-century, projecting sill partly restored. Plate: includes cup of 1562 and cover paten of 1569, dated 1570. Pulpit: made up of four carved oak panels, early 17th-century, patched and restored. Sedile: In chancel —formed by ledge of S.E. window being carried down low.

Condition—Good, but steps leading to bell-chamber badly worn.


a, b(2). Homestead Moat, at Wood End, 200 yards N. E. of the church.

Monuments (3–22)

These buildings are almost all of two storeys and of the 17th century. The walls generally are timber-framed with brick filling, and much restored with modern brick. Nearly all the roofs are thatched. Many of the buildings are of rectangular plan and have original central chimney stacks.

Main road, E. side

a(3). The Vicarage, S. of the churchyard, is of two storeys and an attic, with modern additions in front and at the W. end. At the back are two gables and the original timber-framing remains; the modern filling is partly covered with rough-cast; all the other external walls are modern. The roofs are tiled. The central chimney stack has some 17th-century brick in the lower part. Interior:— Some of the ceilings have old beams; in the kitchen is a wide fireplace, partly blocked.

An outbuilding, formerly a cottage, N.E. of the house, is also of the 17th century; the timber-framed walls have modern brick filling, and are partly covered with rough-cast.

Condition—Of house, good, much restored; of outbuilding, fairly good.

a(4). Cottages, a range, 100 yards S. of the church. The chimneys are modern. At the S. end is a weather-boarded outhouse.

Condition—At time of visit good, subsequently destroyed by fire.

a(5). The Shoulder of Mutton Inn, W. of the church. The plan is L-shaped, with the wings extending towards the S. and E.; the S. wing was built probably late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, and both wings have been much restored with modern brick. On the W. front the original timber-framing with braces remains in both storeys at the N. end, and in the upper storey at the S. end. The S. wing has, at the N. end, a half-hipped gable, and on the E. side part of the upper storey projects: the S. wall of the E. wing is partly covered with rough-cast; at the E. end are stables and other outhouses. The S. wing has a tiled roof and an original chimney stack, with two square shafts connected by a modern arch at the top; the stack in the E. wing is modern above the roof.

Interior:—The tap-room in the E. wing has old chamfered ceiling-beams and a large open fireplace. A room in the S. wing has a chamfered ceiling-beam.


W. side

a(6). Farmhouse, 100 yards N.W. of (5). The walls are entirely whitewashed, except the S. front, which is covered with rough-cast. The central chimney stack has three grouped square shafts.

Condition—Fairly good.

a(7–8). Cottages, two, opposite to (3) and (4). They are each of one storey and an attic.

Condition—At time of visit fairly good, subsequently destroyed by fire.

a(9). Cottage, now two tenements, on the W. side of the road to Winslow, 200 yards S. of the church. It was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. In front the brick filling is entirely original and set in herring-bone pattern; at the S. end the half-hipped gable has brick filling of a later date. The central chimney stack has a moulded string-course immediately above the roof, and is restored at the top. Inside the cottage are two wide fireplaces, one being partly blocked.

Condition—Fairly good.

a(10). Cottage, on the Green, opposite to (9).


a(11). Hill Farm, house and three barns, 200 yards W.S.W. of the church. The House was built in the 16th century, restored and enlarged in the 19th century. The S.E. front retains the original closely spaced timber-framing, with brick filling, much restored, and the upper storey projects, except at the N.E. end, which has been re-built. At the back the wall is almost entirely covered with rough-cast. At the N.E. end of the house the timber-framed upper storey and gable are covered with cement. The roofs are tiled. The central chimney stack has grouped square shafts, and has been restored.

The Barns, S.E. of the house, are probably of the 17th century; the timber-framed walls are weather-boarded; one wall has a little brick filling, partly in herring-bone pattern.


The Mursley road, S. side

a(12). Cottage, 50 yards W. of (9), is of one storey and an attic. The walls have filling of early 17th-century brick. The original chimney stack has been restored.

Condition—Fairly good.

a(13). Cottage, 150 yards S.E. of (12).


a(14). Cottage, N. of (13). The E. half of the house is of later date than the 17th-century W. half, or possibly modern; at the E. end is a weather-boarded modern addition. The four chimney stacks are apparently modern.

Condition—Fairly good.

N. side

a(15). The Crown Inn, 120 yards E. of (12). The S. front has been re-faced with modern brick. Inside the house are some original beams in the ceilings.


Wood End, E. side of the road

b(16). House, now two tenements (see Plate, p. 112), 370 yards E. of the church. It was built probably in the second half of the 16th century; at the S. end is an addition, possibly of the 17th century, and at the N. end is a small modern addition. In front the timbers of the lower storey are more closely set than those of the projecting upper storey; the filling is partly of plaster; the doorway has a slightly cambered lintel, and some of the windows are blocked. The S. addition is of stone, except the gable at the S. end, which is of modern brick. The roofs are tiled. The central chimney stack has grouped shafts, restored at the top.


b(17). Cottage, N. of (16). Three of the walls are of modern brick. The chimney stack is partly of late 17th-century brick.


b(18). Wood End Farm, 80 yards N. of (16). The house is of two storeys and an attic. The plan is L-shaped, with the wings extending towards the N. and E. The walls of the N. wing are refaced with modern brick, or covered with cement, except part of the E. wall and the gable at the N. end; a window at the N. end is of early 17th-century date, and is of four lights with wood mullions and diamond-shaped quarries. The walls of the E. wing are partly covered with cement. The roofs are tiled. The central chimney stack has three square shafts set diagonally on a rectangular base and restored at the top.

Interior:—On the ground floor one room has a plain chamfered ceiling-beam, and the kitchen has a wide fireplace, now partly made into cupboards.

Condition—Fairly good.

b(19). Cottage, 160 yards N. of (16). It is of one storey and an attic, and has modern additions. The chimney stack is of brick, possibly of late 17th-century date.

Condition—Fairly good.

b(20). Cottage, 200 yards N. of (16). It is of one storey and an attic. The walls retain much of the 17th-century filling of wattle and daub.

Condition—Very poor, the building is about to be pulled down.

b(21). Cottage, N. of (20).

Condition—Fairly good.

b(22). Cottage, E. of (21), is of one storey and an attic.

Condition—Fairly good.

b(23). Horwood House, nearly 1 mile S.E. of the church, is of two storeys and an attic; the walls are of timber and brick; the roof is tiled. It was built probably late in the 16th century, extended towards the N. during the second half of the 17th century, and much enlarged on the S.E. and W. in the 19th century. The modern additions have been almost entirely pulled down, and the original S. wall, now exposed, is timber-framed; the brick filling is modern, and the wall is covered with rough-cast. The N. and W. walls are partly of late 17th-century timber and brick. One chimney stack is of late 17th-century, brick and has grouped square shafts.

Interior:—On the ground floor, in the principal room, is a wide open fireplace, partly blocked, and the ceiling has exposed joists and two beams; one beam is plain and probably marks the position of the original N. wall; the other is moulded.

Condition—Good; pulled down since date of visit.


b(24). Norbury Camp, N. of Norbury Coppice and about ½ mile E. of the church, is an almost rectangular work consisting of a single rampart and ditch and enclosing about 3 acres. There is an original entrance on the S.W., and the rampart and ditch turning outwards on each side for a distance of about 45 yards, form an avenue leading up to it. A second entrance has been made on the N.E. Sections have lately been cut, but have yielded little information. The work is not shown on the Ordnance Survey maps.

Condition—Much denuded.