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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164. MARSH GIBBON.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxi. N.E. (b)xxii. N.W.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, in the village, is of stone rubble with limestone dressings; the W. tower is of coursed rubble. The roofs are covered with lead and with slate. The church was built in the 13th century, on a cruciform plan, with a Chancel, Nave, and North and South Transepts; the work was begun at the E. end c. 1240, and was continued towards the W.; there are no traces of a central tower, but a straight joint in the S. wall of the clearstorey indicates that it was built at two different dates, for some pre-existing reason. The South Aisle was added c. 1300, and a W. tower was built early in the 14th century. The South Porch, with the S. doorway, was added in the 15th century. The clearstorey and roof of the nave were built early in the 16th century, and windows were inserted in the 15th and 16th centuries. The E. wall of the chancel was restored in 1860, and the rest of the church in 1879–80, when the North Aisle was added and the West Tower re-built with the old material. The South Vestry is modern.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (28½ ft. by 18 ft.) has, in the E. wall, three modern lancet windows. The N. and S. walls have each three lancet windows, all modern, except some of the internal stones, which are of the 13th century. The chancel arch is modern. The Nave (50 ft. by 18 ft.) has a plain parapet of early 16th-century date. The N. and S. walls are pierced each by an arch opening into the transept, and an arcade of two bays. The two-centred arch opening into the N. transept is of c. 1260 and of two chamfered orders, with moulded labels on both sides; the responds are semi-octagonal; the capital of the E. respond (see Plate, p. 39) is carved with foliage, a man's head, and a woman's head in a wimple; the woman's head has been much cut away for the former rood-screen and loft; the respond has no base; the capital of the W. respond has carved foliage, and the base is moulded. The N. arcade is a modern copy of the S. arcade. The two-centred arch opening into the S. transept is of c. 1240 and of two chamfered orders, with a label on the N. side only; the responds are semi-octagonal and have boldly foliated capitals of different designs, the E. capital being mutilated as is that of the N. arch; the responds have no remaining bases. The S. arcade is of c. 1300; the two-centred arches are of two chamfered orders with moulded labels on the N. side; the semi-octagonal responds and the octagonal pillar have shallow moulded bell-capitals and moulded bases. The clearstorey has two windows on each side; the N. windows are modern; the S. windows are of the 16th century, and each of two plain four-centred lights under a square head with a moulded external label and a modern mullion. Over the E. respond of the arch opening into the S. transept is the 15th-century doorway of the former rood-loft; in the transept it has an oak frame; above it, immediately below the wall-plate, is a small blocked window. The North Transept (16 ft. square) has 15th-century diagonal buttresses at the angles. In the E. wall is a 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights under a four-centred head, with a moulded external label; the mullions are modern. In the N. wall are two 13th-century lancet windows with rebated and chamfered external jambs and heads; the internal and external labels are moulded, and the internal labels have each a foliated stop in the middle, and returned outer ends; under the windows, internally and externally, is a chamfered string-course. The South Transept (16 ft. square) has a plain parapet and diagonal buttresses of the 15th century. In the S. wall is a window of five flattened ogee lights with tracery in a four-centred head, of late 15th or early 16th-century date; one mullion is modern and the tracery has been restored. In the W. wall opening into the S. aisle, is a two-centred arch, apparently of the 14th century; it is of one chamfered order dying into the wall. The North Aisle (10 ft. wide) is modern, but has three old windows re-set; two of them, in the N. wall, are probably of early 16th-century date, and are each of three plain four-centred lights under a square head, with moulded jambs and modern mullions. In the W. wall is a single lancet light of the 13th century, similar to those in the N. wall of the N. transept, but with a modern sill. The South Aisle (6 ft. wide) has, in the S. wall, two windows, the eastern of the 16th century, and of three plain four-centred lights under a square head with a splayed internal lintel and moulded external jambs and head; the western window is of c. 1340, and of two trefoiled ogee lights under a square head, with a trefoiled spandrel, and a plain external label; the internal lintel is of wood: between the windows is the S. doorway, with moulded jambs and four-centred head, of the 15th century, except the E. jamb and the lower stones of the W. jamb, which are modern. The West Tower (12 ft. square) has been re-built with the old material; it is of two stages with diagonal W. buttresses and an embattled parapet, with pinnacles, apparently modern, at the corners. The tower arch is modern, except a few 14th-century stones re-used in the jambs. The W. doorway has moulded jambs and segmental pointed arch in a square head with trefoiled spandrels and a moulded label; the head is of the 15th century, but there is only one old stone in the jambs: the W. window is of three trefoiled ogee lights in a two-centred head with an external label, all of the 15th century, except the tracery, which is modern. In the upper part of the ground stage, in the W. wall, is a rectangular light. The bell-chamber has a window in each wall; the E. window is of two trefoiled lights under a square head with a label, apparently all of the 15th century; the N. window is of two trefoiled lights with a plain piercing in a two-centred head, of late 14th or early 15th-century date; the S. and W. windows are each of two cinque-foiled lights under a square head with a label, both of the 15th century, much restored. The South Porch has a 15th-century entrance archway, of detail similar to that of the S. doorway, but with modern jambs. In each side wall is a single light, all modern, except the jambs which are of the 15th century. The Roof of the nave is of four bays; the two eastern bays are possibly of late 15th-century date and are narrower than the other bays, which may be of the 16th century; all have been much restored; the trusses have thin moulded tie-beams, with curved braces; the two eastern bays have rough purlins and ridge, and the two western moulded purlins, ridge and intermediate principal rafters, and plain wall-plates; each truss rests on stone corbels, all carved as angels with shields or scrolls, except the second from the W. end, on the N. side, which is carved as a grotesque beast, and the two western on the S. side, which are plain polygonal corbels. The roof of the N. transept is of two bays, somewhat similar to the eastern bays of the nave and probably of the same date; but the middle truss has a tie-beam without braces, and a wall-post at the W. end only; there are angel-corbels in all the corners except the S.E. The roof of the S. transept is similar to that of the N. transept, but the middle truss has modern braces: in the angles of the transept are square tapering corbels with concave sides, apparently formerly moulded and embattled at the top.
Fittings—Bells: five and sanctus; 2nd, 3rd and 4th by Richard Chandler, 1678; sanctus by Henry Knight, probably early 17th-century. Brackets: In N. transept—on E. wall, two at N. end, one at S. end, all plain; belonged originally to two altars; date uncertain. Chair: In chancel—of oak, carved, 17th-century, brought from Ambrosden Hall, Oxon. Communion Table: In vestry—with plain turned legs and plain rails, probably 17th-century. Lockers: In S. transept—in S. wall, double, with rebated stone jambs, central post and rebated lintel of oak, probably late 15th or early 16th-century, post much worn. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—in recess in N. wall, (1) coffin slab with foliated long cross of elaborate design, chamfered edge, late 13th-century. In S. transept—on E. wall, (2) to the Rev. John Dod, B.D., rector of the parish, 1698, marble slab with inscription. In churchyard— headstones, (1) to Mary White, 1680; (2) to John White, 1689; (3) 1688, inscription obliterated; (4) 1689, inscription obliterated. Floor-slabs: In nave—inscriptions obliterated. Piscinae: In N. transept—in E. wall, two, one at S. end, the other in middle of wall, each with chamfered jambs and segmental pointed head, round basin, probably 15th-century. In S. transept—in S. wall, with round head, chamfered edges, quatrefoil basin, probably late 15th or 16th-century. Plate: includes large cup and cover paten of 1674, dated 1675. Recess: In chancel—in N. wall, of stone, plastered on face, probably late 13th-century, contains coffin slab of same date (see Monument (1)). Seating: In nave—many pews, five having standards with panelled sides, moulded heads and knob finials, all early 17th-century. Miscellanea: In churchyard—near S. porch, base and part of octagonal shaft of churchyard cross, 15th-century; on S.W. buttress of S. transept, two sundials.
a(2). Westbury Manor, house and moat, ¼ mile S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys and an attic, and of stone partly covered with rough-cast; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan, but has been recently almost completely altered. On the S. side there are old wood lintels over some of the windows. Interior:—The staircase is of the 17th century, with turned balusters and a moulded rail.
The only remains of the Moat are two ponds and slight indications of a ditch in the field S. of the house.
Condition—Good, much altered.
a(3). The Manor House (see Plate, p. 192), now a farmhouse, S.W. of the church, is of two storeys and an attic; the walls are chiefly of stone. The roofs are tiled. The house is of irregularly H-shaped plan, built apparently c. 1560; the central block has been less altered than the N. and S. wings; it contains the hall, and has on the E. front a porch, bay window, and small projecting staircase; at the N. end of the hall is a large chimney stack, and W. of the hall is a wing containing the principal stairs. During the first half of the 17th century the N. and S. wings were altered, the E. ends being brought out to line with the porch, bay window and staircase on the E. front, and probably the upper storey of the porch was added; the upper half of the principal stairs, the secondary stairs on the E. front, from the ground to the attic, and the whole of the attic floor are also of the 17th century. In the 18th century the N. and S. wings and part of the upper storey of the porch were re-faced, all the present S. windows inserted, and other windows altered.
The house is an interesting example of domestic late 16th-century architecture, with 17th and 18th-century alterations. The staircases are noteworthy.
The E. Elevation is divided into four gabled bays, the two outer being larger than the two inner bays; they are all on one plane on the second floor, but below it the main wall of the second bay from the N. end sets back, being part of the 16th-century elevation. The northernmost bay includes the E. wall of the N. wing and that of the staircase, and is of rough 17th-century rubble: the gable has a 17th-century moulded barge-board, with a decayed pendant at the apex: in the N. wing, the ground and first floors have each a window of six lights, with moulded oak mullions and transom, and a rough oak lintel, all probably of the 17th century; on the second floor is a window of the same type and date as the other windows, but of three lights: the staircase has, on the ground floor, a window of three lights, with frame and moulded mullions of oak, and on the first floor is a similar window with the side lights blocked; the S. wall of the staircase is corbelled out at the top on two ogee corbels, possibly to form the kneeler for a stone gable. The second bay from the N. end has a projecting bay window of semi-octagonal plan; on the ground and first floors it has four lights in front and one on each side, all with moulded transoms; over the upper lights is a moulded string-course, which is carried along the walls of the staircase: over the bay window is a plastered gable, with a wood-mullioned window of three lights, and a moulded barge-board similar to that of the northernmost bay. The third bay forms the porch; on the ground floor the 16th-century outer entrance is of moulded stone with a flat four-centred arch under a square head, which has plain spandrels and a moulded label: the inner doorway has a moulded oak frame, and an oak door with six panels enclosed by mouldings studded with nails; the door-furniture includes two floriated strap-hinges, the key-hole scutcheon and square bolts inside, and the ring scutcheon outside, all of the 16th century; the upper storey has two angle posts of the former timber-framing, but the rest of the wall is of rough stone rubble, and has a blocked window, externally hidden by ivy; the gable has a moulded barge-board and pendant, and is covered with cement; in it is a window blocked with modern brick. The southernmost bay, or E. end of the S. wing, has on the ground floor a 17th-century window of three lights with moulded oak mullions and transom, and a rough lintel; on the first floor is a similar window, now blocked; on the second floor is a three-light window, also of the 17th century, without a transom; the gable has a moulded barge-board similar to the others, but the pendant is missing. The chimney stack between the northernmost and next bay is probably of the 16th century; the four square shafts have moulded caps, and are set diagonally on a rectangular base with a moulded upper edge; in the E. side of the base is a small recess, with two round arches above it.
The S. Elevation has, in the E. half, a projecting chimney stack, with two diagonal shafts; the windows are of the 18th century. The N. Elevation has, on the ground floor, two roughly made 17th-century windows of wood; on the first floor are two similar windows, one being now blocked. On the second floor is a large gabled dormer window of four oak-mullioned lights, probably of the 17th century, and containing some old quarries of glass.
The W. Elevation is in four bays: the second bay from the N. end is the 16th-century main wall, the other bays project to various planes beyond it. The W. wall of the northernmost bay is gabled and has, on the second floor, a window of three lights with rough wood mullions and frame; the other floors are hidden by ivy; in the S. wall, on the first floor, is a roughly made window of uncertain date, now blocked. In the second bay from the N. end, on the ground floor, is a 16th-century doorway with a panelled door, which has strap-hinges and a knocker with ornamental plates, all original; on the first floor are traces of a 16th-century stone window, now blocked; on the second floor is a gabled dormer window of three lights. The third bay, or principal staircase wing, has a low modern addition against the wall of the ground floor; on the first floor are two windows, one now blocked, the other of three lights, with wood mullions, and probably of the 17th century; the second floor is gabled, and has a 16th-century stone window of three lights, now blocked; the moulded mullions and transom are similar to those on the E. front: in the N. wall are two windows with oak lintels, of the 17th or 18th century. The southernmost bay has a projecting chimney stack, with a plain rectangular shaft, of the 17th or 18th century.
Interior: Ground Floor:—In the central hall is a large stone fireplace of c. 1560, with moulded jambs and flat four-centred arch in a square head with plain spandrels; at the S. end of the W. wall, opening into the staircase wing, is a doorway also of c. 1560, with moulded oak jambs and lintel. The principal staircase is probably of mid 16th-century date from the ground to the first floor, and has square newels with moulded corners and turned acorn heads, turned balusters and a moulded handrail: from the first to the second floor it is probably of early 17th-century date; the newel heads are similar to those of the secondary staircase, which has square newels with moulded corners, and turned heads with bell-shaped tops on a moulded stem, turned balusters, and a moulded handrail, all probably of early 17th-century date; both are wellstaircases. First Floor:—The room over the hall has, opening on to the principal staircase, a doorway with a moulded oak frame of c. 1560, and a panelled oak door of the same date, set upside down. In the middle of the passage leading to the N. wing, on the W. side of the chimney stack, is a 17th-century door with moulded battens. In the room over the kitchen, in the large chimney stack, is a fireplace of c. 1560, partly blocked; it has moulded jambs, with moulded stops, and a moulded four-centred arch in a square head; the room is partly lined with panelling of late 16th or early 17th-century date. The doorway opening from the principal staircase into the S. wing is of c. 1560, and has a moulded oak frame and a panelled door with three hinges of different patterns, one being an original cock's-head hinge. In a room at the W. end of the S. wing is some panelling of late 16th or early 17th-century date. The Attic has plain roof-timbers with braced purlins: one fireplace, in the large chimney stack, has a stop-chamfered oak lintel, and is probably of early 17th-century date.
A barn, N. of the house, is of stone, and probably of the 17th century.
Condition—Good, but much covered with ivy on all sides.
These buildings are almost all of two storeys, and many of them are of the 17th century. The walls generally are of stone; the roofs are tiled or thatched. In many of the rooms are wide fireplaces, usually partly blocked, and chamfered ceiling-beams.
a(4–5). Cottages, two, about 130 feet N. of the church. The chimney stacks retain some 17th-century brick.
a(6). Barn, probably a tithe-barn, at the Rectory, E. of the church, is of rectangular plan, facing W., and is probably of the 16th century; the upper floor was possibly inserted at a later date. The building is lighted by narrow slits in the E. and W. walls, and has an external staircase of stone at the S. end. Interior:—The roof has rough queenpost trusses.
Church Street, N. side
a(7). House, about 150 yards S.W. of the church. The W. half is of timber and brick. There are some old glass quarries in the windows of the upper storey, and the two chimney stacks are of old brick, partly restored.
a(8). Cottage, about 130 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys and an attic, built probably late in the 16th century. The stone rubble in the walls is roughly squared. The plan is of the central chimney type, modified by additional rooms and a second chimney stack at the E. end. The mullioned windows have plain frames of wood, metal casements and leaded glass, and many of them retain plain wrought iron furniture, probably original. The chimney stacks are of brick and have V-shaped pilasters.
a(9). The Red Lion Inn (see Plate opposite), 100 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys and an attic. The plan is L-shaped. In front is a wood cornice, possibly of late 17th-century date. At each end is an original chimney stack.
a(10). Inn (see Plate opposite), W. of (9), is of two storeys and an attic, built on a rectangular plan, probably late in the 16th century. The stone rubble in the walls is roughly squared. In front are two original windows, each of four lights with moulded wood mullions; the other windows are modern, except the moulded lintels; the principal doorway has an original panelled door with strap-hinges. At the back one original window remains. One chimney stack is of old thin bricks and has square pilasters.
a(11). Cottage, 200 yards S.W. of the church, was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, and has a modern addition at the back. The N. front is partly of timber and brick, and has an old window of four lights with moulded wood mullions, and a doorway with a moulded wood lintel. The E. wall is timber-framed with old brick filling. The original central chimney stack has square pilasters.
a(12). House, 300 yards S.W. of the church, was built on a rectangular plan late in the 16th century. In front is an original doorway with a moulded oak frame and a panelled door which has moulded muntins and rails and ornamental strap-hinges; three small windows are probably original, but two of them have modern frames, and the third is blocked; the upper storey has gabled dormer windows. The central chimney stack has two square shafts set diagonally. Interior:—The plain oak staircase is probably original.
a(13). Ware Farm, 300 yards S.W. of the church. The house is of L-shaped plan and has been restored and altered. The N.E. gable is of timber and brick. In the windows at the back are some quarries of old glass. One chimney stack has two square shafts on a moulded base, all of old thin bricks.
a(14). Ivy Cottage, ¼ mile S.W. of the church, is a long rectangular building which has been restored, and has modern additions. One chimney stack is of 17th-century brick. Interior:—Two doors are old, one of them being on the first floor.
a(15–17). Cottages, three, on the S. side of Whale's Lane, about 600 yards S.W. of the church, have been restored. The upper storey of each building is partly in the roof. Some of the chimney stacks are of old thin bricks.
Town's End, main road, S. side:—
a(18). House, now two cottages, opposite to Mud Pond, on the S. side of the road. The plan is T-shaped, the central wing projecting towards the E. The chimney stack at the E. end is of 17th-century brick, and has two square shafts set diagonally; beyond it is an 18th-century addition, forming a third cottage; on the W. side of the transverse wing is another stack, probably of late 17th-century date. Interior:—The ground floor has stop-chamfered ceiling-beams which show that it contained originally two large rooms, now sub-divided.
a(19). The Priory (formerly Scott's Farm), at the corner of Scott's Lane, 600 yards S.W. of the church. The house was built late in the 16th century, but has been re-built. The plan is T-shaped, the middle wing projecting towards the S. The N. front is of modern brick; the other walls, up to the level of the first floor, are of original thin bricks, re-used. At the W. end of the main block is a 16th-century chimney stack, with two square shafts set diagonally on a moulded base; at the E. end is another stack, possibly of the 17th century, and inside the house, on the ground floor, it has a large arched fireplace, partly blocked.
a(20). Townsend Farm, at the W. end of the village, ½ mile S.W. of the church, is a house of two storeys and an attic. The plan is rectangular, and at each end is a chimney stack. On the N. front the windows have original mullioned and transomed frames of oak; the attic is lighted by gabled dormer windows; in the upper windows are some old glass quarries. At the back is a late 16th-century panelled door with moulded muntins, etc., and strap-hinges. Interior:—In one room is a cupboard which has doors of late 16th-century panelling with cock's-head hinges.
a(21–22). The Greyhound Inn, 600 yards S.W. of the church, and a House, W. of the inn, are each of L-shaped plan. The Inn retains one old window which is now blocked. The three chimney stacks are of 17th-century brick. The House is of two storeys and an attic, and has been much altered. The chimney stack is of 17th-century brick.
Condition—Of both, good.
a(23). Mercia Farm, W. of (22), is a house of two storeys and an attic, built on a rectangular plan in the 17th century, and has a later addition at the back. Some of the windows are old, and the S. front has gabled dormer windows. The chimney stacks are of the 17th century; that at the E. end is of stone, with two detached square shafts built of thin bricks and set diagonally on a plinth of moulded brick and stone. Interior:— The staircase, which is of elm and quite plain, and the elm floor-boards are old, and there are some old doors with strap-hinges.
b(24). House, in Clark's Yard, at Little Marsh, about 280 yards E.S.E. of the church, was built c. 1680, the date inscribed on a stone in the gable facing the road. One chimney stack is of late 17th-century brick. Interior:—On the ground floor over a fireplace, the name and date, 'Richard Clark 1681', are said to be carved, but are now covered with wall-paper.
Marston, North, see North Marston.