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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172. NEWPORT PAGNELL.
(O.S. 6 in. x. N.W.)
(1). Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, stands at the E. end of the High Street. It is built of stone rubble, except the tower, which is faced with ashlar; all the walls but those of the chancel have embattled parapets. The roofs are covered with lead, except that of the chancel, which is tiled. The church existing on the site in the first half of the 14th century was of cruciform plan; about the third quarter of the century the central tower was destroyed, the Nave was re-built and the Aisles were added or re-built; the great length of the nave and the thickness of the chancel arch show the existence of the former tower, and the break between the two eastern bays of the arcade on each side indicates that the W. walls of the transepts were pulled down after the arcades were built. The E. end of the N. wall of the N. aisle is probably part of the original N. transept. The North Porch, with parvise, and the South Porch were also added c. 1355. In the second half of the 15th century the Chancel was re-built, the clearstorey added, the N. wall of the N. aisle almost entirely re-built, and the whole church re-roofed. The West Tower was built between 1542 and 1548. Early in the 19th century the S. aisle was almost entirely re-built, galleries were constructed in both aisles, the embattled parapet and pinnacles of the tower were added, and the church was restored; in the second half of the century the chancel was restored, the Organ-chamber was built and the chancel re-roofed, some of the old timbers being re-used. The North Vestries were added in 1905.
The church is interesting on account of the size and development of the plan; the S. doorway and porch of c. 1355, and the late 15th-century roof of the nave (see Plate, p. 41) are especially noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (37 ft. by 18½ ft.) has an E. window of three lights and tracery, of late 15th-century design, but entirely of modern stonework, except possibly the internal splays and rear arch, which are painted. In the N. wall are two windows, each of two cinque-foiled ogee lights and tracery under a depressed head; the stonework is modern, except a few hollow-chamfered stones, of late 15th-century date, in the jambs; below the second window, opening into the modern vestry, is a doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred head, all painted and probably modern; further W. is a modern opening into the organ-chamber. In the S. wall are three windows similar to those in the N. wall, but entirely modern, except possibly the internal splays and rear arches; below the second window is a late 15th-century doorway with moulded jambs and depressed head, all externally covered with cement. The two-centred chancel arch is of three chamfered orders, and was re-built, probably in the 15th century, except the jambs, which are of the 14th century and have moulded bases to the innermost order; over the arch, on the E. side, is a small triangular-headed niche, said to have had steps leading to it from the stair-turret of the nave. The Organ-chamber is modern, but re-set in the N. wall is a window similar to those in the N. wall of the chancel; the jambs are of late 15th-century date, the rest of the stonework is modern. The Nave (94 ft. by 25½ ft. at the E. end and 24½ ft. at the W. end). At the S.E. angle is a stair-turret which rises above the roof of the nave, and has an embattled parapet. The N. and S. arcades are of the 14th century, re-tooled and restored; they are each of six bays, the easternmost bay being separated from the rest by a short length of wall; the arches are two-centred and moulded, with moulded labels and plain shield-stops in the nave; the columns have four engaged shafts with smaller shafts between them, and the capitals are moulded; the moulded bases are modern, except the two western on each side, which are much cut away; the responds are half-sections of the columns. In the S.E. corner, opening into the stair-turret, is a small doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head; the upper doorway opening into the former rood-loft has been destroyed, and the stair-turret now leads to the roof of the nave, which gives access to the W. tower. The clearstorey has six N. and seven S. windows of the 15th century, much restored, each of three cinque-foiled lights under a four-centred head, with an external label; the jambs and heads are internally and externally moulded; below the sill-level, on each wall, is an internal string-course of the 15th century, with a carved head inserted near the E. end, that on the S. side being of the 14th century. The North Aisle (10½ ft. wide at the E. end, and 11½ ft. wide at the W. end) has, in the N. wall, five windows of the 15th century, all much restored; the easternmost is of five cinque-foiled lights and uncusped tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded external label; the other windows are each of three cinque-foiled lights and tracery in a segmental pointed head with a moulded external label, and moulded jambs, head and mullions: at the W. end of the wall is the N. doorway, with moulded jambs and two-centred head; it is almost entirely modern, and the remaining old stones have been re-cut; the moulded external label is possibly of the 13th century, and re-set. The South Aisle (13½ ft. wide at the E. end and 13 ft. wide at the W. end) has, in the E. wall, a modern window. In the S. wall are five windows, all apparently modern, except part of the W. jamb of the westernmost window, which has some 14th-century moulded stones; the jambs of the other windows possibly contain similar stones, but are hidden by ivy: the S. doorway has deeply moulded jambs and a richly foiled and cusped two-centred arch under a square head; near the springing are carved lions; the doorway is of c. 1355, except the upper part of the arch and square head, which is modern; the two-centred rear arch is cusped, and apparently original. In the W. wall is a modern window. The West Tower (15½ ft. square) is of four stages with clasping buttresses at the four angles, and a restored moulded plinth; all the detail is of the 16th century, except the modern parapet with pinnacles at the angles. The two-centred tower arch is of three continuously chamfered orders. The W. doorway has continuously moulded jambs and two-centred head, with an external label, all partly restored: the W. window is of four cinque-foiled ogee lights with modern tracery in a four-centred head; the jambs, head and external label are moulded. The third stage has, in the W. wall, a small window with a four-centred head and sunk spandrels. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, two windows, all partly restored; they are each of two trefoiled lights in a two-centred head, with a pierced spandrel, and a moulded external label; the jambs, mullion and transom are chamfered. The North Porch (13 ft. by 12 ft.) has a 14th-century outer entrance with plain jambs and a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders. In the E. wall is a rectangular window; in the W. wall is a small window with a pointed head and an external label with headstops, partly hidden by ivy. The ground storey has a plain sexpartite vault with hollow-chamfered ribs, all modern except a few of the springers. The parvise has, in the E. wall, a small blocked window of the 14th century, with chamfered jambs and two-centred head and a moulded label; the carved stops are apparently modern. In the N. wall is a modern window. In the W. wall are said to be traces of a doorway, formerly approached by an external staircase, but now blocked; the wall is covered with ivy. The South Porch (12½ ft. by 9½ ft.) has an outer entrance of c. 1355, much restored; it has elaborately moulded jambs and two-centred cusped arch under a square head. On the E. and W. walls, inside, is an arcading with seven two-centred arches, cinque-foiled and sub-cusped, under a moulded and embattled string-course; the arcading is continued in the splayed internal angles of the porch, each splay having two trefoiled arches under a two-centred main arch with a quatrefoil in the spandrel, all of fine limestone and of c. 1355, but re-cut; the moulded plinth is modern. The Roof of the chancel is modern, but incorporates four moulded tie-beams of the 15th century, each with a carved boss in the middle; the embattled wall-plates, some of the head-corbels, and some carved foliage on the modern cornice are also of the 15th century; the line of a former steep-pitched roof is visible over the chancel arch. The roofs of the nave and aisles are of late 15th-century date; that of the nave is of seven bays with a half bay at the E. end, and has massive moulded tie-beams, ridge, purlins, principal and intermediate rafters; the second tie-beam from the W. end is modern; at all the main intersections are large carved bosses, some of them possibly of modern plaster; at the ends of the intermediates are carved angels holding shields; the tie-beams have each two carved angels in the middle, and rest on curved wall-brackets which spring from large wooden figures; the two eastern on each side differ from the rest, and the first pair represent angels, that in the S.E. angle having a shield carved with the date 1633, evidently that of a restoration; the other fourteen figures probably represent the twelve Apostles with St. Paul and another saint, but only those of St. Jude, St. James, St. John, St. Peter, and St. Andrew can be identified; all the figures stand on stone corbels carved as angels, holding shields. The N. aisle has a flat lean-to roof of thirteen bays, much restored with stained deal; the purlin, principals, intermediates, and wall-plate are moulded; at the N.E. and N.W. angles are carved figures supporting the principals; all the bosses are of plaster. The S. aisle has a roof similar to that of the N. aisle. The flat-pitched roof of the S. porch is also of late 15th-century date, but the rafters are probably not original; it is divided into four compartments by a moulded principal and ridge, and the ends are supported by standing figures, possibly old; in each angle of the porch is a carved face.
Fittings—Bells: include sanctus, by Anthony Chandler, 1671. In vestry—beam from former bell-frame, dated 1632. Books: In S. aisle—at E. end, two, chained by old chains to modern lectern, (1) Foxe's 'Actes and Monuments', blackletter, about first 50 pages missing, (2) 'The Works of John Jewell', partly black-letter, title and some pages missing, both probably early 17th-century. Brasses and Indents. Brass: In nave—on door of stair-turret, figure of civilian, late 14th-century, much worn and discoloured. Indents: In tower— of man's figure and of small square plate, early 16th-century. Chests: In N. porch—in parvise, two, (1) front with four panels having carved framing and lozenge-shaped pattern in each panel, scroll brackets supporting front at each end, large lock, iron bands on lid and at angles, iron ring handle at each end, front, early 17th-century, the rest mediæval; (2) front with three panels, containing semi-circular arches with guilloche ornament, each enclosing an acanthus leaf, carved spandrels, lid also panelled, mid 17th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monument: In S. aisle—on S. wall, to Roger Chapman, 1702, Rebecca his wife, 1697, and Felicia his daughter, 1698, square slab with architrave carried on consoles, cherubs' heads below it, inscription and arms. Floor-slabs: In chancel—against N. wall, (1) to Sir Richard Atkins, 1696, with shield of arms, and the Ulster badge. In tower—(2) to John Barton, 1701, and Mary Barton, 1699. In S. porch—used as paving stone, almost illegible, 1680. Piscina: In chancel—with moulded jambs and ogee head, shallow basin, partly broken away, 14th-century, re-set. Plate: includes large flagon of 1634 with inscription, 'the gift of Dame Rebecca Atkins . . . .', and arms; standing paten of 1637 inscribed on foot 'N.P. 1638'. Sedilia: In S. aisle—in S. wall, three, with shafted jambs and divisions, cinque-foiled two-centred heads under square head with traceried spandrels, massive label enriched alternately with ball-flower and four-leaf ornament, early 14th-century, re-set, restored. Miscellanea: In vestry—gate-legged table, 17th-century.
Condition—Good, except the S.W. angle of the S. aisle, with its buttresses, and the N. porch, which has serious cracks, apparently recent, in the N. and W. walls and in the vaulting.
(2). 'The Battery' (fortified mount), in the cemetery, commands the junction of the rivers Ouse and Lovat. It marks the site of a former castle, and is now about 4 ft. high and 60 ft. in diameter, with graves on the summit.
(3). Tickford Abbey, 500 yards E. of the church. The present house and outhouses are almost entirely of the 18th and 19th centuries, but are on the site of the Cluniac priory founded in the 12th century, and some fragments of the monastic buildings have been re-used. In the N. wall of the house, in the pediment of an 18th-century doorway, is a grotesquely carved half-figure of a man, apparently of the 15th century. Interior:—In the kitchen is a fragment of 15th-century glass, apparently part of a Nativity, with figures of a man, a sleeping woman and an angel.
In the W. wall of the kitchen garden, E. of the house, are fragments of worked stones, including 12th-century voussoirs with zig-zag ornament, 13th and 15th-century voussoirs with moulding, etc.
The dairy, E. of the house, has a barrel sub-vault of brick, apparently of late 16th or early 17th-century date.
Condition—Remains of the monastic buildings, fragmentary.
These buildings are nearly all of the 17th century, and have been considerably altered; some of them are timber-framed with brick filling, and almost all have tiled roofs.
High Street, S. side
(4). The Vicarage, about 550 yards W. of the church. It is of two storeys and an attic, built of brick and partly covered with plaster. The 17th-century plan apparently consisted of an irregularly shaped block with four rooms on each floor; the two rooms on the E. are divided by a staircase and those on the W. by a large chimney stack; the corridor running through the ground floor from N. to S. is possibly an arrangement of later date; in the 19th century the exterior was completely altered and a wing added at the back.
Interior:—On the ground floor, in the kitchen, is a late 17th-century dresser with carved ends and plate rack, standing on a chest with a panelled front. The 17th-century staircase has a plain handrail, plain square newels with turned tops, and flat shaped balusters. On the first floor, on the landing, is a late 17th-century doorway with a panelled architrave and a steep-pitched pediment; in the two W. rooms are overmantels with low pilasters and heavy cornices, also of late 17th-century date.
Condition—Good, much altered.
(5). The Swan Hotel, 40 yards W. of the church, is of two storeys, with cellars and an attic. The mid 17th-century building consisted apparently of a rectangular block about half the width of the present house, with a staircase wing at the back; late in the 17th or early in the 18th century an addition was built which completely enclosed the staircase wing; later in the 18th century, after being damaged by fire, the original block was re-built, the whole house was altered and a gateway was constructed at the E. end; considerable alterations and repairs were also made in the 19th century. The N. elevation is entirely of the 18th and 19th centuries; the S. elevation retains some brickwork possibly of late 17th or early 18th-century date. The original chimney stacks have been altered. Interior:—The mid 17th-century staircase has a heavy moulded handrail, square newels and turned balusters.
Some of the outbuildings have a little timber-framing and brick filling, apparently of the 17th century.
(6). Houses, two adjoining, now shops, about 200 yards W. of the church, are of three storeys, and in front are covered with plaster. At the E. end is a chimney stack built of thin bricks.
Condition—Good, much altered.
(7). House, about 330 yards W. of the church, is of three storeys and an attic, and is built of brick; on the S. front the wall is covered with modern plaster; in the middle, modern bay windows have been inserted on the ground and first floors, and the second floor and attic, with a large gable, project. At the back are modern additions. The chimney stack has three square shafts built of old thin bricks and set diagonally on a stone or plastered base. Interior:—The ceiling-beams are encased. The staircase from the ground floor to the attic is probably of the 17th century, and has a moulded handrail and twisted balusters.
St. John's Street, E. side
(8). House, No. 3, about 130 yards S.W. of the church, is of two storeys and an attic, built probably of brick, but is heavily plastered. In front, built into the wall of the second storey are two stones, each inscribed 'This house belongeth to Queen Ann's Hospital and was re-built by Madam Tasker, a citizen in St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, Anno Don., 1690'.
Condition—Good, much altered.
(9). House, No. 26, about 75 yards S.E. of (8), is of two storeys and an attic, built c. 1600. The ground floor is of brick. The plan is rectangular, with two rooms and a passage on the ground floor, and one room on the first floor; at the back is a small wing which contains the narrow twisting staircase. In front the attic has a large gabled dormer, which projects on a moulded bressumer. The plain square chimney stack is of old thin bricks.
(10). Beam, at Queen Anne's Hospital, 50 yards S.E. of (9), is from a former hospital, and has been set in the N.E. wall of the present building; on it is painted the following inscription:—'Alyov good Chrystianes that heere dooe pas by give soome thynge to thes poore people that in St. John's Hospital doeth ly An° 1615'.
Tickford Street, N.E. side
(11). The King's Arms Inn, about 150 yards S.E. of Tickford Bridge, is of two storeys and an attic; the walls are of stone and brick. It was built on a small rectangular plan late in the 16th century and re-fronted in 1690; in the 18th century a wing was added at the back. The front is of brick in Flemish bond, with a flat fillet of brick at the level of the first floor, broken upward over the covered archway, which opens into the yard at the back and has a heavy chamfered lintel-beam; between the windows on the first floor is a small stone panel with the initials and date 'IGI1690'. The central chimney stack is partly of late 16th-century brick with a moulded string-course, above which the shaft is of brick of c. 1690, and has a diamond-shaped panel in black headers. Interior:— The first floor is carried on two intersecting moulded beams of late 16th-century date.
(12). House, about 100 yards S.E. of Tickford Bridge. It is of two storeys. The plan was originally L-shaped, but has been considerably altered. The front is covered with modern plaster. Two chimney stacks are dated 1694, and a third stack has two square shafts built of old thin bricks and set diagonally.
Condition—Good, much altered.
(13). Cottage, now two tenements, Nos. 78 and 80, on the N.W. side of Silver Street, about 500 yards S.W. of the church. It is of two storeys, built of stone rubble; the roof is thatched. One window is of the 17th century and has iron casements with contemporary furniture. At the E. end is an original chimney stack.
(14). Cottage, now two tenements, on the S.W. side of the Fenny Stratford Road, opposite to the S.W. end of Silver Street. It is of two storeys, originally of the central chimney type, but now with an addition at the S. end; the walls have been much repaired with brick; the roofs are thatched.
(15). Tumulus, or boundary mound, in Bury Field, ½ mile N.W. of the church.