Marsworth

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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Citation:

, 'Marsworth', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 2, North, (London, 1913) pp. 193-195. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/bucks/vol2/pp193-195 [accessed 22 May 2024].

. "Marsworth", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 2, North, (London, 1913) 193-195. British History Online, accessed May 22, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/bucks/vol2/pp193-195.

. "Marsworth", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 2, North, (London, 1913). 193-195. British History Online. Web. 22 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/bucks/vol2/pp193-195.

In this section

165. MARSWORTH.

(O.S. 6 in. xxix. S.E.)

Ecclesiastical

(1). Parish Church of All Saints, in the village, is built chiefly of flint and clunch in an irregular chequer pattern, much re-faced in the 19th century; the walls of the chancel, the E. wall of the S. chapel and part of the N. wall of the nave are of stone in rough courses; the tower is of flint and the parapets and dressings are of stone, much restored. Internally the walls are of clunch rubble, unplastered and partly restored; in the chancel they are smooth-faced and have modern carved panels. The roof of the chancel is tiled and the other roofs are covered with lead. The former chancel and nave are now the South Chapel and South Aisle; the nave was built possibly c. 1190, and the chancel was re-built c. 1330, when a N. chapel and N. aisle, now the Chancel and Nave, were added. In the 15th century the present nave was widened, and possibly also the chancel, and the West Tower was added; some 13th-century material which formerly may have been part of the chancel arch has been re-used in the tower arch. In 1882–91 the church was restored and the walls of the nave were heightened. The North Vestry and South Porch are modern.

The 13th-century work in the tower arch, and the 14th-century carved, stone which forms the base of the pulpit, are of special interest.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (23½ ft. by 14 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall are two windows; the eastern is modern; the western window is of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a two-centred head; the tracery internally is of the 15th century, but the rest of the window is modern. In the S. wall, opening into the S. chapel, is an arcade of c. 1330 and of two bays; the column is octagonal and the responds are semi-octagonal, all with moulded bases and capitals; the E. respond has been restored and the capital of the column partly re-cut; the arches are two-centred, of two chamfered orders, with broach-stops at the springing. The chancel arch and the wall above it are modern. The South Chapel (24 ft. by 16½ ft.) has an E. window of four lights with tracery, all modern except the chamfered internal splays, sill and rear arch, which are probably of the 14th century. In the S. wall are two windows; the eastern is of the 15th century and of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery under a four-centred head; the internal soffit has sunk panels trefoiled at each end; the external stonework has been much restored: the second window is of three plain uncusped lights, under a two-centred head, and is of the 14th century, much restored. The W. arch, opening into the aisle, and the wall above it are modern. The Nave (39 ft. by 14½ ft.) has, in the N. wall, two 15th-century windows, the eastern considerably restored; it is of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery under a four-centred head; the jambs and head are internally and externally moulded; the second window is also partly restored and is of two cinque-foiled lights under a four-centred head with a pierced spandrel and a moulded external label: between the windows is the 15th-century N. doorway, which has moulded jambs and four-centred head, with a square outer order and foiled spandrels; at the E. end of the wall is a projecting semi-octagonal stair-turret leading to the former rood-loft; the steps and the 15th-century lower and upper doorways are intact; each doorway has chamfered jambs and four-centred head. The S. arcade is of three bays, and of the same date and detail as the chancel arcade, except the bases, which are differently moulded and much restored. Above the E. respond is an opening on to the former rood-loft. The South Aisle (16 ft. wide) has, in the S. wall, at the E. end, a window similar to the S.E. window of the chapel and also restored; the S. doorway is modern, except the 13th-century segmental chamfered rear arch, and restored inner splays. In the W. wall is a window similar to the N.W. window of the nave, partly restored. The West Tower (13 ft. by 12 ft.) is of three stages with an embattled parapet covered with cement; in the S.W. angle is a staircase. The angle buttresses of the ground stage support the diagonal buttresses of the second stage, and at the foot of each diagonal buttress is a recess or niche now coated with cement. The two-centred tower arch is of three chamfered orders, and of the 13th century, re-used; the capitals are of the same date as the arch, and richly carved with stiff-leaf foliage; the responds are of the 15th century, of two chamfered orders on the E. side, and have semi-octagonal shafts. The late 15th-century W. doorway has coarsely moulded jambs and two-centred arch, under a depressed head with plain spandrels, all partly restored; the W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights under a four-centred head, and is of the same date as the doorway, but covered outside with cement. The N. and S. walls of the second stage have each a single cinque-foiled light of the 15th century; the stonework of the light in the S. wall is covered with cement. The N., E. and W. walls of the bell-chamber have each two windows, and the S. wall has one window, each of two cinque-foiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded external label, all probably of the 15th century, but restored with cement. The flat-pitched Roof of the S. chapel has one chamfered tie-beam, and possibly parts of the ridge and purlins, of late 15th or early 16th-century date. The roof of the nave is flat-pitched, of three and a half bays, with large chamfered tie-beams which have curved brackets on wood corbels; the bay and a half at the E. end are of the 15th century, the rest is modern.

Fittings—Bells: five and sanctus; 1st by Henry Knight, 1662; 2nd by Chandler, 1694; 4th by George Chandler, 1682. Brasses and Indents (see also Monument (2): In S. chapel—(1) to John Scelke and Cristine his wife, inscription only, undated; (2) of Mary Clare, wife of Edmond West, 1606, figures of woman and shrouded infant, with inscription; (3) of Nicholas West, 1586, and Joan his wife, 1585, inscription, broken in two pieces, part of group of four sons, two daughters, and two shields with arms, indents of a man and woman. Font: octagonal bowl, of marble, quatre-foiled circle in each side with carved flower or head in the middle, 15th-century, stem and base modern. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) to Nattaniell Cole, vicar of the parish, 1612, black marble tablet with alabaster frame. In S. chapel—at E. end, (2) altar tomb, of stone, on E. and W. sides alabaster panels separated by flat pilasters, each originally with slab of black marble incised with symbolical figures, two missing, the middle panel on each side containing carved shield in wreath, with the arms, a fesse dancetty with three fleurs de lis coming out of leopards' heads thereon, for West, impaling two cheverons in a border engrailed, the other panels containing carved skulls, etc., at the N. end a brass plate representing recumbent figure of a man in plate armour, his wife and six children, also symbolical figure of Death with a spear, over man's figure a shield with arms as in side panels, at the S. end alabaster panel with achievement of the same arms, covering slab of black marble, no inscription, early 17th-century; (3–4) two stone coffin lids, one coped and tapering, the other small, also coped, with raised floriated cross having stepped base, restored at foot, both 13th or 14th-century. Floor-slabs: In S. chapel—(1) to Edmond West, Sergeant at Law, 1681, inscription and shield with arms; (2) to Sarah, wife of Edmond West, 1691; (3) to Roger, 'the last male heir of the Wests of Marsworth', 1700. Niche: In S. aisle—in S. wall, with chamfered jambs and four-centred head, restored with cement, label having cherub-stops, 15th-century, modern moulded base. Painting: In S. aisle—in niche, S. wall, text from Psalm xliii, black-letter, 16th-century, imperfect. Piscina: In S. chapel—double, with moulded two-centred head, trefoiled and sub-cusped, moulded label, and jambs having small attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases, 14th-century, basins and one jamb modern. Plate: includes salver of 1685, flagon of 1697. Pulpit: modern, with moulded rail, 15th or 16th-century, re-used, base, large stone capital carved at the corners with angels holding strips of linen, sides of capital moulded, bell carved with oak foliage and acorns, 14th-century, original use and position uncertain. Tiles: In S. chapel—in floor, a few, of various patterns, mediæval. Miscellanea: In S. chapel— against E. wall, square head of window of three plain four-centred lights, late 15th or early 16th-century; in S.E. corner, carved stone, apparently part of a string-course, 14th-century: against S. wall, on modern base, moulded stone, probably 14th-century, original use uncertain, now used as seat. In nave—scratched on columns of arcade a number of shields with arms. In S. aisle—in modern recess in S. wall, fragments of tracery of window of three cinque-foiled lights, 15th-century. In tower—built into N. and S. walls, fragments of carved stone, 13th, 14th and 15th-century, including part of lancet window and richly moulded recess, 13th-century.

Condition—Good, considerably restored.

Secular

(2). Homestead Moat, at Marsworth Great Farm, 300 yards N.W. of the church, has a strong rampart at the N. end, and is a good example of its class.

(3). Russell Farm, house, now two tenements, and barn, 80 yards S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, built of timber and brick, probably in the first half of the 16th century, subsequently enlarged and much altered. The roof is tiled. The plan is rectangular, facing N.E., and originally consisted of a large hall of three bays, carried up to the roof, with a two-storeyed solar at the N. end; no traces of a kitchen wing remain; between the hall and the solar is a large chimney stack. An upper floor was inserted in the hall, probably early in the 17th century, and a second staircase has been built. The entrance doorway on the E. front opens into a lobby in the thickness of the chimney stack; on the W. side of the stack is the staircase leading to the upper floor of the solar. On the E. front the timber-framing is plastered; that of the hall is not complete and the brick filling is not original; the hall has two hipped dormer windows, and the solar a plain verge-tiled gable. At the back the wall has been re-faced or re-built with modern brick, but the solar retains a gable similar to that in front. The chimney stacks have been re-built at the top.

Interior:—On the ground floor the wide fireplaces in the hall and solar are partly blocked. On the first floor the roof-trusses of the hall are partly visible and are of crude queen-post construction, with cambered tie-beams, made up with rough axed timbers. The beam carrying the first floor of the solar is moulded and chamfered, with plain and ogee stops.

The Barn, S. of the house, and probably of the same date, is timber-framed, with filling of brick and cement, partly weather-boarded. The roof is thatched.

Condition—Fairly good; much altered.