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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160. LITTLE WOOLSTONE.
(O.S. 6 in. x. S.W.)
(1). Parish Church of the Holy Trinity, in the middle of the village, is built of limestone rubble, with dressings of yellow stone. The roofs are tiled, except that of the bell-cot which is covered with lead. The oldest detail in the church is the late 12th-century font; the chancel arch was built in the second half of the same century, and the foundations of the chancel are possibly of that date. About the middle of the 14th century the Nave was re-built, and a transept was either built or preparations were made for it; at the same time the nave was re-roofed and the Bell-cot added. The South Porch was built early in the 16th century. In the 19th century the Chancel was re-built, possibly on the old foundations, and a North Vestry was added.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (20½ ft. by 13½ ft.) has, in the W. half of the N. wall, a lancet window in which, apparently, a few old stones have been re-used. The 13th-century chancel arch is two-centred and of three chamfered orders; the responds have each three engaged circular shafts with moulded capitals. The Nave (49 ft. by 23 ft.) has a small hollow-chamfered coping under the eaves; at the E. angles are square buttresses, those on the S.E. have a moulded string-course broken round them and carried across the E. wall and some distance along the S. wall, apparently part of an uncompleted scheme of the 15th century; the N. wall has two mid 14th-century buttresses, weathered on the three sides, the S. wall one buttress, weathered only at the top, and at the W. angles are diagonal buttresses which have the stumps of former square pinnacles. On the E. wall, above the N. side of the chancel arch, is a plain square corbel, which probably supported the rood-beam. In the N. wall, about 14½ ft. from the E. end, is the chamfered W. jamb of an opening, probably intended for access into a small transept now destroyed, or possibly never built; outside, little of the jamb is visible, as the wall is partly plastered; further W. is a 14th-century window of three lights with net tracery in a two-centred head, which has an external label with carved stops, one being the head of a man in a liripipe hood: at the W. end of the wall is the 14th-century N. doorway, now blocked; the jambs and two-centred head are of one continuously moulded order. In the S. wall are two windows of the same date and design as that in the N. wall; in the E. jamb of the eastern window, inside, is a plain stone corbel: E. of the window, at the same level as the corbel, is a slight off-set in the wall, possibly to support the former rood-loft: the 14th-century S. doorway, W. of the windows, has continuously moulded jambs and two-centred head. In the W. wall is a window similar to the others, but with a rough internal relieving arch above it. The Bell-cot, over the W. end of the nave, is probably of mid 14th-century date, except the external weather-boarding, which is modern; it is carried on four roughly chamfered posts, with diagonal braces on the E. side. The South Porch (8½ ft. by 10½ ft.) is entirely of early 16th-century date. The entrance archway is of two moulded orders, the inner three-centred, the outer square with a moulded label: above it two small windows, now blocked, have heads and jambs of two orders; the E. and W. walls have each a window originally of two lights having three-centred heads in a square outer order with a label; the mullion is now missing. The Roof of the nave is of unusually steep pitch and apparently of mid 14th-century date; it has naturally cambered tie-beams, rough octagonal king-posts with moulded capitals and bases, and four-way struts, and is ceiled with plaster on the rafters and collar-beams.
Fittings—Bells: three, all by Anthony Chandler, 1662; frame probably of the same date. Font (see Plate, p. 45): circular, with arcading of interlaced semi-circular arches, row of dog-tooth ornament at the top, moulded base, late 12th-century. Glass: In nave—in tracery of W. window, at the top two fragments, part of winged lion, and (?) another animal, below them fragments, including a fish, part of leopard, and scraps of ornament, 14th-century. In vestry—in trefoiled head of E. window, a few small fragments, including bird standing in cinque-foiled niche, tracery work, and two heads protruding from quatrefoils, 14th-century. Piscina: In nave—in S. wall, with cinque-foiled head having ogee cusps and moulded label, no basin, 14th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1569. Stoup: In porch—in N.E. corner, rough block of stone, apparently remains of stoup. Tiles: In nave—in S.W. corner, rectangular raised patch of 'slip' tiles, each with quarter of circular pattern, 14th-century.
Condition—No structural weakness at present, but mortar crumbling away in walls of nave.
(2). The Mill House, E. of the church, is of two storeys, built on a rectangular plan, facing S., probably early in the 17th century; a wing was added at the back late in the same century, making the plan T-shaped. The lower storey of the original block is of stone: in front and at the back the upper storey is covered with plaster, probably on timber-framing; at the E. and W. ends it is of timber and whitewashed brick, and the heads of the gables are hung with slates; the windows of the upper storey have old frames of oak. The W. wall of the late 17th-century wing is of timber and brick; the gabled N. wall is of modern brick but retains the old angle-posts, and the E. side is covered with cement. The roofs are thatched. Inside the house are some chamfered ceiling-beams, and two large fireplaces, partly blocked.
(3). Farmhouse, W. of the church, is of two storeys with an attic or loft; the walls are of timber and brick, with some stone; the roofs are tiled. The house was built c. 1600 on a rectangular plan, facing S., and containing three rooms on each floor, with two chimney stacks at the back, and a third near the E. end; an addition was built on the N.W., possibly in the 17th century, making the plan L-shaped; the S. front was re-built and the roof altered c. 1700; in the 19th century the whole house was much altered and another addition was built at the back, making the plan of half-H shape. The S. wall is of red brick in English bond with many black headers; the windows on the ground floor have segmental heads of brick and mullioned wooden frames, those on the first floor are similar to the other windows, but have square heads. The N. wall is plastered. The E. and W. walls retain some timber-framing with filling of 18th or 19th-century brick and have each a blocked window, the western being partly visible under the plaster and of five lights with moulded mullions. The chimney stacks have stone bases, capped with brick, and square shafts of brick, set diagonally. Interior:—In the roof of the N.W. wing is a truss with a cambered tie-beam and angle-bracing, possibly of c. 1700.
(4). Cottage, 350 yards W. of the church, is of two storeys, built late in the 17th century. The walls are timber-framed, with modern brick filling, except the N. wall, which is partly of stone and partly of modern brick. The roof is thatched. The chimney is of late 17th-century brick.