BHO

Mursley

Pages 203-206

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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In this section

170. MURSLEY.

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

Ecclesiastical

b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, in the middle of the village, is built of limestone rubble in large blocks, with some red pebbles; the walls of the tower are of sandy limestone ashlar; the dressings are of sandy limestone and clunch. The roofs are tiled. The Chancel, with the arcades of the Nave, and the Aisles were built in the first half of the 14th century; there are no traces of an aisleless nave of earlier date. The West Tower was added in the 15th century, and in the 19th century the South Porch was built, the clearstorey added and the whole church restored.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (33 ft. by 16 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall are two windows, each of two trefoiled lights with flowing tracery in a two-centred head; the external stonework is almost entirely modern, but the openings are probably of the 14th century; between the windows is a modern recess. In the S. wall are two windows similar to those in the N. wall; the western window has been less restored than the others; the sill of the eastern window is carried down low to form a modern sedile: between the windows is a small modern doorway; further W. the blocked rear arch of an original doorway is visible. The 14th-century chancel arch is two-centred, and of two orders, the outer order chamfered, the inner moulded; the jambs have semi-octagonal pilasters, apparently modern, with original moulded bell-capitals. The Nave (43½ ft. by 17 ft.) has 14th-century N. and S. arcades of four bays, with two-centred arches of two orders, the outer order chamfered, the inner moulded; the labels have head-stops; the octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds have plain moulded bell-capitals. The clearstorey has four modern windows on each side. The North Aisle (7½ ft. wide) has, in the E. wall, a window of two trefoiled lights with tracery under a two-centred head, all modern, except part of the external stonework and tracery and the moulded rear arch, which are of the 14th century. In the N. wall are three windows, which retain only a few of the original stones; the easternmost and middle windows are of two trefoiled lights with tracery; the third window is of two cinque-foiled lights with tracery; all the rear arches are similar to that of the window in the E. wall: between the western windows is the N. doorway, also of the 14th century, but much restored: the weathering of the roof of a former porch is visible on the wall outside. The South Aisle (7½ ft. wide) has, in the E. wall, a window of two lights and tracery entirely restored, except the opening, which is of the 14th century. In the S. wall are three windows, similar to the N. windows in the N. aisle, and all much restored; between the two western windows is the modern S. doorway. The West Tower (10½ ft. square) is of three stages, with diagonal buttresses and an embattled parapet. The 15th-century tower arch is two-centred, and of three chamfered orders dying into slightly chamfered responds. The N. and S. walls have each a 15th-century loop light, with a trefoiled head and wide internal splay; both lights are blocked. The W. window is modern. The second stage has, in the W. wall, a window with a roughly pointed head, much weathered. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a 15th-century window of two pointed lights in a two-centred head; the heads of the lights are blocked.

Fittings—Brackets: In each aisle—on E. wall, moulded, with small ball-flower corbel, possibly 14th-century, much restored. Brasses (see Monument (1)). Monuments: In chancel—on N. side, (1) of Cecilia, daughter of Sir Edmund Ashfield, and wife of John Fortescue of Salden, 1570, altar tomb of marble, sides with cusped traceried panels, containing shields, on the top brasses of marginal inscription in black-letter, woman's figure in Elizabethan dress, and square plate with inscription in Roman capitals, tomb apparently of c. 1525; on wall above tomb, (2) of Sir John Fortescue, knight, Master of the Great Wardrobe, Chancellor and sub-treasurer of the Exchequer, and Privy Councillor to Queen Elizabeth, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to James I., 1607, two kneeling figures, painted, under plain shallow canopy, man in armour, with plain linen collar, peascod breastplate, pauldrons, arm-pieces, taces and thigh-pieces of many plates, jambs and sollerets, woman in black gown, ruff and fardingale, veil head-dress and cloak, inscription and shield with arms of Fortescue who bore azure a bend engrailed, argent cotised or, impaling Ashfield who bore argent a trefoil sable between three molets gules; on S. wall, (3) of Sir Francis Fortescue, eldest son of Sir John Fortescue (see (2)) and Grace, his wife, daughter of Sir John Manners, she erected the monument, dates of death not given; elaborate architectural design with two niches, each containing kneeling figure, painted, man in armour, woman in black robe, veil, head-dress and ruff, with prayer desk between them, on plinth panel carved in relief with figures of six sons and four daughters; in pediment shield with arms of Fortescue impaling Manners who bore or two bars azure and a chief quarterly azure and gules with two fleurs de lis or in the azure quarters and a leopard or in the gules; two helms and mantles, with crests, a tiger or for Fortescue, a peacock for Manners. Piscinae: In chancel—with cinque-foiled head and foiled bowl, credence shelf at back, 14th-century. In each aisle—with ogee head of two orders, outer order cinque-foiled, inner chamfered and cinque-foiled, credence shelf at back, round basin, 14th-century. Pulpit: hexagonal, with carved panels and cornice, of oak, 1625–50.

Condition—Good, much altered; tower much weathered.

Secular

b(2). Homestead Moat, 200 yards S.E. of the church.

Monuments (4–22)

These buildings are almost all of two storeys, built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, and are timber-framed, with brick filling, much re-built and altered; the roofs generally are thatched. Many of the plans are rectangular. Some of the chimney stacks are of thin bricks.

b(3). Cottage, S.W. of the church. The walls have some brick filling set diagonally.

Condition—Fairly good.

b (4). Cottage, on the S. side of a road leading from the E. side of the main road, 100 yards S.E. of the church.

Condition—Poor.

b(5). Cottage, now the Post Office, adjoining (4) on the E. side.

Condition—Poor.

Main road, E. side

b(6). Cottage, about 300 yards S.E. of the church.

Condition—Poor.

b(7). Manor Farm, 150 ft. E. of the church. The house was built probably early in the 16th century, and practically re-built in the 17th century; it was subsequently almost entirely re-built with brick. The roofs are tiled. On the E. side of the house is some 17th-century timber-framing, and a projecting chimney stack; the lower part is probably of the 16th century and is partly of stone in large squared blocks, with a chamfered plinth and splayed set-back; above the stonework the stack is of brick, in thin courses, probably of the 17th century, and the two diagonal shafts are of 18th-century brick, restored at the top. Inside the house are some old moulded and chamfered ceiling-beams.

One of the walls of the garden is of old thin bricks.

Condition—Good, much altered and restored.

b(8). Cottage, about 80 ft. N. of (7).

Condition—Good.

b(9). Cottage, about 200 yards N. of (8), is of two storeys and an attic. The plan is L-shaped, with the wings extending towards the S. and E.; early in the 18th century an outhouse was added at the S.E. corner, and small modern additions have been made in the angle between the wings and at the S. end of the S. wing. The walls have been much re-built with modern brick, but the W. front and the gable at the S. end of the S. wing retain original timber-framing, and filling of thin bricks set in herring-bone pattern. The central chimney stack has grouped square shafts built of thin bricks. Interior:—There are some chamfered ceiling-beams with moulded stops, and in one room is a large open fireplace.

Condition—Fairly good.

b(10). Cottage, at the back of (9).

Condition—Fairly good.

b(11). Mursley Grange, N. of (10) was built probably in the 16th century, but has been much re-built. The walls are covered with rough-cast; the roofs are tiled. The only old details visible externally are the chimney stacks which are of 17th-century brick; one stack has three square shafts set diagonally on a square base; the other stacks are rectangular and have two sunk, arched panels in each face.

Interior:—Some of the rooms have old ceiling-beams. On the ground floor the drawing room has a large stone fireplace, probably of the 16th century, with moulded jambs and four-centred arch under a square head with sunk spandrels. In the hall is a wide open fireplace, and the pavement, of large blue and white diamond-shaped stones, is apparently old. On the first floor two rooms have each a small stone fireplace with a four-centred arch; one fireplace is moulded and the other is chamfered; in one room the constructional timbers are visible in the walls. The staircase has flat-shaped balusters of the 17th century, re-used.

Condition—Good, much restored and altered.

a(12). Cottage, 200 yards N. of (11). The plan is L-shaped.

Condition—Fairly good.

a(13). Cottage, about 60 yards S.W. of (12). Condition—Good.

W. side:—

a(14). Cottage, 400 yards N. of the church.

Condition—Poor.

a(15). Cottage, S. of (14).

Condition—Poor.

b(16). The Wrestler's Inn, 250 yards N.W. of the church.

Condition—Fairly good.

b(17). Cottage, about 30 yards S. of (16).

Condition—Fairly good.

b(18). Cottage, W. of (17).

Condition—Fairly good.

b(19). Cottage, 50 yards S.E. of (18). The plan is L-shaped.

Condition—Fairly good.

b(20). Cottage, S. of (19).

Condition—Fairly good.

b(21). Spring Cottage, 270 yards S.E. of the church. The walls are much covered with plaster. In the E. gable is a stone tablet carved with the representation of a hare, oak leaves and acorns, and bearing the date 1693, possibly that of a restoration of the building.

Condition—Good.

a(22). Salden House Farm, 1,500 yards N.E. of the church, is a house of two storeys and an attic; it is the only remaining part of Salden House, built by Sir John Fortescue late in the 16th century, and almost entirely pulled down in 1738–43; the plan is rectangular, with small modern additions at the N. end and on the W. side. The walls are of red brick; the E. and W. walls have a lozenge pattern in blue bricks, a moulded stone plinth, and a moulding under the eaves, also of stone. The roofs are tiled. E. Elevation:—On the ground floor, at the N. end, over a doorway, is an original window of two lights, with jambs, mullion and head of moulded stone. On the first floor are three windows similar to that on the ground floor, but each originally of three lights with a transom; the N. window has been blocked and the S. window altered; the two dormer windows have modern frames. W. Elevation:—On the ground floor are two 16th-century windows, each originally of three lights, but now blocked; one of the windows opened into the cellar; one light of the other window is missing, a modern doorway having been inserted. On the first floor are three windows similar to those on the E. elevation; two of them have been altered, and one light of the other window has been blocked. The N. end of the house is gabled, and the rough brickwork at the angles indicates that the E. and W. walls formerly extended further towards the N. The S. end is also gabled, and has a projecting chimney stack, built of 16th-century brick; a second stack is also original, and both of them have been restored at the top.

Interior:—A doorway opening into the modern dairy at the N. end, has chamfered stone jambs and lintel; the moulded oak frame is original, but was probably brought from another part of the house. In the middle room is a wide open fireplace, now partly blocked, and in the room at the S. end is a recess lined with early 16th-century linen panelling, brought from elsewhere. On the first floor the room at the S. end has one wall covered with late 16th-century oak panelling, now painted; a cupboard door is of similar panelling with double scroll-hinges. The door of the attic staircase has small panels of late 16th or early 17th-century date. In the attic one door and part of another are of late 16th or early 17th-century panelling, and in the floor are several heavy beams.

N. of the house are remains of a massive brick wall with some plain arched openings, almost hidden by the ground; it was possibly part of the original building, or a garden wall: W. of the house is a double terrace, belonging to the original garden.

Condition—Good, but the wall N. of the house is cracked and somewhat decayed.

Unclassified

a(23). Mound, 300 yards S. of Salden House Farm and 1 mile N.E. of the church, stands on high ground about 500 feet above O.D., but is commanded by higher ground on the W. The mound is apparently artificially scarped on the E., S. and W. sides, and is possibly a gravel-digging; in a hollow W. of the mound are some large drift stones.

Condition—Fairly good.