BHO

Ravenstone

Pages 251-253

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:

In this section

188. RAVENSTONE.

(O.S. 6 in. v. N.W.)

Ecclesiastical

(1). Parish Church of All Saints, stands at the N.E. end of the village. The walls are of stone rubble with stone dressings. The roofs are covered with lead. The church was much altered and the history obscured in the second half of the 17th century, but there was apparently a church of late 11th-century date on the site, with a Nave of two bays; some original herring-bone rubble work remains in the W. wall. The South Aisle, with an arcade of two bays, was added c. 1200. The West Tower was built about the middle of the 13th century. The S. aisle was widened possibly early in the 14th century, and was extended one bay further towards the W. in the middle of the same century; the Chancel was re-built and enlarged, probably at the same time. The clearstorey was added early in the 15th century; c. 1670 a N. aisle was destroyed, the N. wall of the nave re-built and the South or Finch Memorial Chapel added, nearly all the windows and doorways were altered, and many of the fittings renewed. During the 19th century the fabric was restored.

The church is especially interesting on account of the 11th-century remains. The most noteworthy fittings are the communion rails, the screens in the S. chapel, and the Finch monument with effigy (see Plate, p. 46), all of late 17th-century date.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (28 ft. by 15 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the S. wall, opening into the chapel, is a wide two-centred arch of late 17th-century date and of two chamfered orders; the jambs have semi-circular shafts, with moulded capitals and bases. The two-centred chancel arch is of two chamfered orders dying into the walls; it is possibly of the 14th century, but is now covered with paint. The South Chapel (28 ft. by 15 ft.) is entirely of late 17th-century date. In the E. wall is a window of three transomed lights under a square head with a moulded external label. In the S. wall is a window similar to that in the E. wall; W. of the window is a small square-headed doorway. In the W. wall is an arch of the same date and design as that opening into the chancel. The Nave (39½ ft. by 21½ ft.) has three buttresses against the N. wall, one dated 1670; a length of about 6 ft. at the E. end of the wall is 10 in. thicker than the rest, and is probably the E. respond of the former N. arcade; further W. is a single-light window with chamfered jambs and ogee head, probably of late 17th-century date, but now blocked; W. of the window is a 14th-century doorway with jambs and pointed head of two chamfered orders, probably re-set in 1670. The S. arcade is of three bays; the two eastern bays are of c. 1200, with two-centred arches of one square order; on each side are plain labels with round stops; the E. respond is square, with a hollow-chamfered impost, and E. of it is a plain pointed piercing through the wall, much plastered, but apparently mediæval; the E. column is circular, with a moulded base on a square plinth; the capital is enriched with shallow leaf-ornament, springing from interlaced arcading; the square abacus is similar to the impost of the respond; the third bay is probably of mid 14th-century date; the two-centred arch is of two chamfered orders with a plain label on each side; the column replacing the former W. respond is circular and the present W. respond has a semi-circular attached shaft; the capitals and bases are moulded and the W. angles of the second arch are cut back at the springing to fit the circular capital. The clearstorey has, on each side, three 15th-century windows each of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head, which has a plain external label. The South Aisle (11½ ft. wide) has, on the N. wall, above the second column of the arcade, a plain corbel of uncertain date. In the S. wall are two windows: the eastern is of two plain lights under a segmental head, which is of late 17th-century date; the jambs are of two hollow-chamfered orders and of the 15th century: the western window has jambs of the same date and design as those of the other window; the traceried head is modern: further E. is the late 17th-century S. doorway with moulded jambs and entablature; re-set above it is a head-corbel, probably of the 15th century: between the window and doorway are some stones and a straight joint, probably indicating a former doorway. In the W. wall is a window of two lights, under a segmental head, which is of late 17th or early 18th-century date; the jambs are similar to those of the windows in the S. wall. The West Tower (10½ ft. square) is of three stages with a modern parapet, below which is a row of 13th-century head-corbels, much worn; against the W. angles are low buttresses; on the E. wall is the weather-course of the former steeppitched roof of the nave. The mid 13th-century tower arch is two-centred and of one chamfered order, with an indented label and chamfered jambs which have moulded imposts, only 3¼ ft. above the floor of the nave. The W. doorway, with a pointed head, is possibly of late 17th-century date, and above it is a small lancet window of the 13th century. The second stage is unpierced. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a two-light window: the E. window is of late 17th-century date, with keystone and imposts: the N. window is of the 13th century; the heads of the lancet lights have dog-tooth ornament and the mullion retains traces of a moulded capital and base: the S. window has old jambs, with a modern head and mullion, and the W. window has a much decayed head of limestone and a mullion repaired with cement. The lean-to Roof of the S. chapel is of late 17th-century date, low-pitched and of three bays, with moulded main timbers. The S. aisle has a 15th-century roof of three bays with moulded principals, supported on the S. side by curved braces, springing from embattled and moulded wood corbels; the intermediate principals and purlins are chamfered.

Fittings—Bells: three; 1st, by Newcombe, 1616; 2nd, inscribed 'Ave Maria', probably by John Rofford, 14th-century; 3rd, by James Keene, 1625. Chest: In S. chapel—plain, probably 17th-century. Communion Table and Rails: table with twisted legs, late 17th-century; rails with gates in the middle and twisted balusters, late 17th-century. Doors: In nave and S. aisle—in N. and S. doorways, with raised panels, both late 17th-century. Font: tapering circular bowl, with shallow trefoil-headed arcading and quatrefoil in spandrels, circular base with four reeded and voluted projections at the top, early 13th-century. Font-cover: tall, octagonal, of wood, late 17th-century. Monument: In. S. chapel—of Heneage Finch, Earl of Nottingham, Lord Chancellor, 1682, and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Daniel Harvey, 1675, large, of black and white marble, with effigy in Lord Chancellor's robes, of white marble; base with panelled pilasters at the angles and moulded cornice and plinth, canopy supported on four Corinthian columns, with curtains on the N. and S. sides and curved broken pediments above them, enclosing shields of the Finch arms, with crest and supporters. Painting: see Reredos. Panelling: Round chancel and nave —wainscotting with raised panels and moulded capping, late 17th-century. Piscina: In S. aisle— with pointed trefoiled head, early 14th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover paten, late 17th-century, without marks. Pulpit: hexagonal, on pointed ogee base, moulded side panels, sill and cornice, large flat sounding-board, with standard against N. wall, late 17th-century. Reredos: In S. chapel—on E. wall, formerly in chancel, with two large round-headed panels, painted on them the Commandments, at each side rectangular panel, painted on one the Lord's Prayer, on the other the Creed, above middle panels broken pediment with a flaming urn of wood, late 17th-century. Screens: In S. chapel—in N. and W. arches, with twisted balusters in upper half, moulded cornices; double doors in both screens; in tower—in arch, close panels, doors with raised panels; all late 17th-century. Seating: In nave—all the seats with shaped standards, backs with raised panels, late 17th-century. Sedilia: In S. aisle—two shallow recesses with pointed heads carried on attached shafts in the jambs and a detached shaft in the middle, all with moulded capitals and bases, early 14th-century, possibly re-set from chancel. Tiles: In chancel—square, of black marble and white stone; in S. chapel—square, of black and white marble; all late 17th-century. Miscellanea: In churchyard—square base of cross, 14th or 15th-century, much weathered.

Condition—Good, but the quoins and corbels of the tower are much weathered.

Secular

(2). Homestead Moat at Abbey Farm, about 120 yards N. of the church.

(3). Almshouses, N. of the church, are of two storeys, built of red brick with black headers late in the 17th century. The roofs are tiled. The plan consists of two rectangular ranges facing each other, and running N. and S.; each range contains six tenements, of one room on each floor, with a plain square chimney stack between every pair of tenements; at the back, in the width of the chimney stacks, are small enclosed staircases. In front each range has, at the level of the first floor, a plain projecting string-course of brick, and, under the eaves, a plain wooden cornice; the doorways have flat heads and solid frames; on the ground floor the windows also have flat heads; all the window-frames are solid, but apparently restored.

Condition—Very good.

(4). Robinson's Farm, about 160 yards S.W. of the church, is a house of two storeys and an attic, built of stone in the 17th century; the roofs are tiled. It consists of a rectangular block, facing S.E.; stables have been added at the back, making the plan L-shaped. In front on the ground floor are three windows with metal casements and moulded stone labels; the two upper windows are each of three lights with moulded stone mullions. At the back of the house are two gabled dormers, and the other windows have plain casements. One chimney stack is original, of stone, partly restored.

Interior:—On the ground floor are two wide open fireplaces; one has a wooden lintel and the other is partly blocked. The ceilings have chamfered beams.

Condition—Good.