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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(O.S. 6 in. xviii. S.W.)
(1). Parish Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, at the N. end of the village, is built of stone rubble, that of the chancel walls being small with much mortar; the N. wall of the N. aisle is almost entirely covered with cement; the tower is built of coursed rubble. The roofs are covered with lead, except that of the nave, which is tiled. Of the 12th-century church on the site, the only remains are the doorway re-set in the S. aisle and some re-used stones in the jambs of the chancel arch. The present Nave is probably of the same plan as the former nave or possibly a little longer; c. 1260 the South Aisle, with the S. arcade, was added, and was probably a narrow one, with a wider chapel or transept at the E. end; c. 1280 the Chancel was lengthened or re-built, the chancel arch widened, and the North Aisle and N. arcade were added; c. 1320 the West Tower was built, and the aisles were lengthened towards the W. to enclose it. Several windows were altered at various dates in the 14th century; early in the 15th century the clearstorey was added, the N. windows being of that date, the nave was re-roofed, and the staircase to the rood-loft was built; late in the same century, the tower was re-built above the arches, the S. aisle was widened to line with the S. wall of the former transept, some windows were inserted and the South Porch was added. The present E. window of the N. aisle and the S. windows of the clearstorey were inserted and the chancel was re-roofed probably in the 16th century. The roof of the porch was altered in the 17th century. The chancel, nave, S. aisle and W. tower were restored, the S. porch was twice repaired and the staircase to the rood-loft was removed in the 19th century.
The church is interesting on account of the development of the plan; the 12th-century S. doorway and the 15th-century roof of the nave (see Plate, p. 41) are especially noteworthy. The most remarkable fittings are, a fine effigy of a knight, of c. 1230 (see Plate, p. 46), a palimpsest brass of the 14th-16th centuries, now on an altar tomb, the brass of John Everdon, half-figure of a priest, 1413, and the 15th-century seating.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (29½ ft. by 16½ ft.) has an E. window of c. 1390, of three cinque-foiled ogee lights and tracery in a two-centred head, with an external label and an irregularly pointed rear arch. In the N. wall, at the W. end, is a window, probably of the 15th century, of two pointed lights and tracery in a square head; in the middle of the wall is a 13th-century doorway with stop-chamfered jambs and shouldered head. In the S. wall are two windows; the eastern, probably of the 16th century, is of three four-centred lights under a square head with sunk spandrels and a moulded external label; the western window is of c. 1340, and of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a square head. The two-centred chancel arch is of two chamfered orders, of c. 1280, with some 12th-century stones re-used in the jambs, the N. jamb having, on the W. side, an edge roll with beak-head ornament, and the S. jamb a roll-and-hollow zig-zag moulding; each jamb has a small attached shaft with a modern base and moulded bell-capital; the moulding on the N. capital is slightly different from that of the other; above each capital is a roughly formed tapering corbel of semi-octagonal section, carried up to the main abacus to support the inner order of the arch; the moulding of the abaci is similar to that of the N. capital. The Nave (50½ ft. by 18 ft.) has N. and S. arcades of four bays. The N. arcade is of c. 1280, and has two-centred arches of two chamfered orders, with round labels on both sides; the third arch from the E. end is distorted by settlement; the piers are of quatrefoil plan, each consisting of four clustered shafts, with bell-capitals and moulded bases; the first and second piers and all the bases are modern; the capitals of the E. respond and third pier are of c. 1280, but that of the W. respond is of c. 1320, when the tower was first built. The S. arcade is of c. 1260, except the W. respond, which is of the same date and type as the N.W. respond; the two-centred arches are of two chamfered orders, having on both sides keeled labels with small masks and flowers at the intersections; the piers are similar to those of the N. arcade, with moulded bases and bell-capitals. Over the N.E. respond, formerly opening into the rood-loft, is a 15th-century doorway with a pointed head; the rear arch, towards the nave, is four-centred. The clearstorey has four windows on each side; those on the N. are of early 15th-century date, and each of two trefoiled lights under a square head, the easternmost with high pierced spandrels and the others with sunk spandrels; the S. windows are probably of the 16th century and are each of two square-headed lights. The North Aisle (average width 6 ft.) has, in the E. wall, a small 16th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights and tracery under a square head with a plain external label and a wooden internal lintel; over the window, carried on a rough arch of small stones, is a closed passage which formerly led from the stair-turret to the rood-loft, and is lighted by a very small trefoiled loop in the E. wall. In the N. wall, at the E. end, is the E. jamb of the 15th-century doorway which opened into the stair-turret; further W. is an early 15th-century window, of two trefoiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head with a plain external label; the N. doorway has chamfered jambs and two-centred head with an external label, and is probably of late 13th-century date: W. of the doorway is a window of two pointed lights with a plain spandrel in a two-centred head, the stonework is covered with cement, and is either of the 13th century or modern. In the W. wall is a late 15th-century window of one cinque-foiled light with a two-centred head and a moulded external label. The South Aisle (15½ ft. wide) has, in the E. wall, the two outermost jambs of a 13th-century triplet of lancets; all the heads, with the exception of one stone over the S. jamb, were destroyed when the low-pitched 15th-century roof was placed in position; the jambs are internally and externally visible; between them, but hidden internally by a large monument is a window of c. 1330; it is of three trefoiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head, somewhat distorted by a settlement of the wall, and has a plain label; the window is glazed. In the S. wall are three windows; the easternmost is of late 13th-century date and of two pointed lights with a plain spandrel in a two-centred head having a plain external label, all of dark brown ironstone; the second window is of the 15th century, partly restored, and is of three cinque-foiled roughly pointed lights under a segmental head with a moulded external label having head-stops; the third window is similar to the first, and of the same date, but re-set, and having an external label enriched with large nail-head ornament; one of the head-stops has a coif: between the two western windows is the S. doorway, of c. 1180, with jambs and semi-circular head of two richly moulded orders, the inner continuous and carved with a zig-zag treble-roll; the outer order of the arch has an edge-roll with beak-head ornament, the faces on the heads being apparently a later addition; the label has a shallow zig-zag moulding; the outer order of the jambs has flowers, or suns with eight rays, carved in relief, and between the orders are modern shafts with 12th-century capitals, the western carved with two beasts; and the other defaced; the abaci have shallow diaper ornament and are continued to the side walls of the porch. In the W. wall is a late 15th-century window of three trefoiled four-centred lights and tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded external label. The West Tower (11½ ft. square) is of two stages with diagonal buttresses at the W. angles, much restored, and an embattled parapet with gargoyles at the corners; some of the gargoyles are broken. The three arches opening into the nave and aisles are each of c. 1320, two-centred and of one chamfered order with a label on both sides; the jambs have moulded imposts, and broach-stops above the chamfered plinths. The W. doorway and all the windows are of late 15th-century date; the doorway has been partly restored, and has moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label; the W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights and tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded external label. The bell-chamber has windows in the N., E. and W. walls, each of two trefoiled lights under a square head with a label; the S. window is of two trefoiled lights under a segmental head: the heads of the lights in the N. window are modern; in the E. and W. walls are also single trefoiled lights, S. of the principal windows. The South Porch has an embattled parapet, and in the gable over the entrance archway are the dates 1619 and 1833; the late 15th-century archway is two-centred and of two moulded orders with a moulded label, all much restored. The side walls have each a single trefoiled light under a square head, the E. window having a shouldered rear arch, and in one jamb a carved head. The flat-pitched Roof of the chancel is of four bays with moulded tie-beams and plain purlins, and is probably of the 16th century. The roof of the nave is of early 15th-century date and of four bays with five trusses, each having a king-post with a capital, and foliated braces and principals; the moulded tie-beams rest on curved braces with tracery in the spandrels, and have, on each side below the king-post, a small carved head and uplifted hands; the wall-plates are moulded and embattled; the easternmost truss retains traces of original colour; all the trusses are carried on stone corbels, some modern or re-cut: the westernmost pair are pointed and moulded, and the rest are head-corbels. The N. aisle has a lean-to roof with principals and purlins, probably of the 15th century. The S. aisle has a lean-to roof of late 15th-century date, with plain tie-beams, small curved braces, and carved corbels of grotesque and floriated designs.
Fittings—Bells: six and sanctus; 5th, with letters A to K, possibly 16th-century; sanctus plain. Brasses and Indents. Brass (see also monument (6)): In chancel—on large slab in N. wall, of John Everdon, 1413, rector of the parish, half-figure of priest in Mass vestments, with inscription in black-letter. Indents: In S. aisle— at E. end, of two figures, inscription and four shields. Communion Table and Rails: Now in vestry at W. end of N. aisle—table, with thin turned legs; in position in chancel—rails, with similar turned balusters; both probably late 17th-century. Doors: In N. aisle—of N. doorway, with strap-hinges, probably 15th-century. In S. aisle—of S. doorway, similar to N. door, with plain strap-hinges, traces of coloured decoration, probably 15th-century. Font: round bowl, circular central stem with four attached rolls, square plinth, with an animal's head carved on N.W. and a human face on S.W. angle, bowl, 13th-century, re-cut, plinth restored, four detached shafts surrounding stem, modern. Glass: In nave—in heads of two western windows on N. side of clearstorey, fragments, one piece with yellow cross on white ground, 15th-century. In S. aisle—in W. window, quarries white with yellow ornament, 15th-century. Locker: In chancel—in N. wall, with rebated jambs and lintel, date uncertain. Monuments and Floor-slabs: Monuments: In N. aisle—on N. wall, at E. end, (1) to Anne (Langham) Payne, 1624, and Margaret, her daughter, 1641, by whom the monument was set up, black and white marble, with inscription and arms. In S. aisle—against E. wall, (2) to Richard, 1st Viscount Wenman, 1640, and Agnes his first wife, daughter of Sir George Fermor of East Neston, 1617, and to their son Thomas, Viscount Wenman, 1664, who erected the monument, and to Margaret his wife, daughter of Edmund Hampden of Hartwell, 1658; also to Philip, 3rd Viscount Wenman of Tuam, 1686, and to Ferdinando, son of Sir Francis Wenman, baronet, of Carswell, Oxon, 1671, large monument of stone and marble, of classical design, with three inscriptions; at the top achievement of arms, fifteen quarters, surrounding principal inscription; four cartouches of arms all painted and gilded; enclosed by contemporary iron railings: adjoining (2), on N. side, (3) to Richard Wenman, 1572, son of Thomas Wenman of Carswell, Oxon, panel containing painted wooden shields of arms, flanked by Corinthian columns with entablature and pediment, inscription between brackets below columns; middle shield of ten quarters, 1, party palewise gules and azure a cross paty or for Wenman of Carswell: adjoining (2), on S. side, (4) monument similar to (3), inscription obliterated, middle shield of twelve quarters—1, gules three lions passant argent for Gifford: in middle of aisle, near second S. window, (5) recumbent effigy of knight in banded mail and long divided surcoat tied at the waist, slightly ridged pot helm with floriated cross in front, long shield suspended from right shoulder, remains of long sword suspended from belt at waist, legs crossed, of Purbeck marble, c. 1230, much worn, left leg missing below knee: adjoining (5), on N. side, (6) altar tomb, each end having two cinque-foiled ogee-headed panels with carved crockets, pinnacles between heads of panels, each panel enclosing shield suspended from an animal's head, in the spandrels four small shields, 15th-century, sides modern; lying loose in recess in S. aisle, piece of the former cornice of the tomb with finials of panels and pinnacle, and carved hooks from which the small shields were suspended; now on top of tomb, massive floor slab, of Purbeck marble with brasses of Thomas Giffard of Twyford, 1550, figure of man in plate armour with mail standard and skirt, inscription to Thomas Giffard and Marie his wife, daughter of William Staveley of Bignell, at corners of slab four shields of arms, 1st and 4th, three lions passant, 2nd, the same impaling a cheveron between three lozenges with three harts' heads on the cheveron, 3rd, as the impaled coat of the 2nd; figure and inscription palimpsest, fastened to slab, but rubbings of reverse in vestry; figure made up of two pieces with smaller fragments soldered on, reverse, upper piece, fragment of figure of priest in Mass vestments, part of hands visible, possibly of William Stortford, Treasurer of St. Paul's, 1387—1393, Archdeacon of Middlesex, 1393—1416 (see reverse of inscription below), lower piece, lower part of figure in academical habit, c. 1450; inscription made up of three fragments, reverse, part of two figures, one being that of priest in surplice, mid 15th-century, third fragment, part of inscription to William Stortford, 1416, 'Canonicus et Residanciarius presentis Ecclesie archidiaconus middlesexia'; lower dexter shield also palimpsest, reverse, canopy work 15th-century. In churchyard—S. of chancel, tombstones, (7) to John Hilton, 1630; (8) to Thomas Williams, 1606. Floor-slabs: In chancel—on S. side, (1) to Elizabeth, wife of Moses Baxter, 1700; (2) inscription hidden by quire stalls, 1677. In S. aisle—at E. end, (3) to Mary, daughter of Phillip, Viscount Wenman, and wife of William Crofts, 1680, with inscription and arms; small lozenges, of marble, (4) to Richard, Viscount Wenman, 1640; (5) to Ferdinando Wenman, 1671; (6) to Phillip, Lord Wenman, 1686; in S.E. window-sill, loose, (7) illegible, 17th-century. Niches: In S. aisle— in S. wall, at E. end, two, with small pointed heads, probably 13th-century. Paintings: In S. aisle— over S. arcade, at E. end, circular design containing texts in black-letter, English, probably 16th-century. (See also Roof, Doors, and Screens). Panelling (see Screens). Piscina: In chancel— in S. wall, attached pillar piscina with semi-hexagonal shaft having moulded stops, in ogee-headed recess with label, quatrefoil basin, 14th-century, finial modern. Plate: includes cup of 1569, band of ornament on bowl, egg-and-tongue ornament on base. Pulpit: hexagonal, four sides remaining, panels with round arches having guilloche ornament fluted pilasters and frieze, c. 1620. Recess: In S. aisle—with wide ogee arch, moulded label having head-stop at E. end, 15th-century, partly restored. Screens: Under chancel arch—lower part including middle rail, moulded muntins and doorposts, close panels pierced with quatrefoils, and retaining painted pattern of white flowers, 15th-century. In N. aisle—cutting off space for vestry at W. end, panelled, with raised panels in frieze and a dentil cornice, mid or late 17th-century. Seating: In chancel—two seats and two panelled desks, with standards, 15th-century. In nave—twenty-two seats and desks, with trefoiled standards, first and last standards buttressed, 15th-century, slightly restored. In S. aisle—three seats similar to those in nave, ends next S. wall joined by rail formerly capping of panelling, all 15th-century; three other seats with plainer standards, 15th-century. Sedilia: In chancel—three, two outer recesses with roughly rounded heads, flanked by semi-octagonal pilasters, middle recess with trefoiled ogee head; pierced partitions with round attached shafts; 14th-century, but altered. Tiles: In S. aisle—loose in recess, a few, red and yellow, mediæval. Miscellanea: In S. aisle—in recess, carved stones, (1) capital of shaft, late 12th-century, (2) voussoir of label, 13th-century, (3) piece of grotesque gargoyle, late 15th-century, (4) fragment of altar tomb (see Monument, (6) ); scratched on stones of S.E. window, outside, sundials. In churchyard—base and part of shaft of cross, at each corner of base remains of small figures in niches, much defaced, on two sides traces of trefoil ornament, shaft octagonal, one side broken away, in the top several large-headed nails, late 14th or early 15th-century; E. of chancel, slab, panelled with quatrefoils in squares, probably side of altar tomb of 15th century, broken in two and apparently piece missing from one end.
Condition—Good; unequal settlements have occurred in different parts of the building, but it is uncertain whether any of them are recent.
(2). The Vicarage, N.E. of the church, is of two storeys, re-faced with modern brick and tilehanging; the roofs are covered partly with tiles and partly with slate. The building incorporates the remains of a late 15th-century house, consisting of a hall of three bays with a solar at the S. end; a rectangular block at the N. end was built c. 1560, probably on the site of the former kitchen and domestic offices; at the same time an upper floor was inserted in the hall, which has been divided by modern partitions, a modern roof has been constructed over the original roof of the solar, the whole house much altered and a modern addition built at the back, making the plan L-shaped. On the E. front the doorway is of c. 1560; it has a moulded frame and a panelled oak door with an original drop handle; some of the upper windows have moulded jambs and mullions. One chimney stack has three square attached shafts, built of thin bricks.
The remains of the 15th-century roof of the hall, and the 16th-century staircase, panelling and door are of especial interest.
Interior:—On the ground floor the hall is partly lined with oak panelling, probably of late 16th-century date, and there are two wide fireplaces, one partly blocked; both of them were inserted probably in the 16th century. The staircase is of late 16th-century date; it has moulded balusters and rails and square newel posts with pointed finials. On the first floor is a door of old oak battens and the wide floor-boards are also of oak. Above the ceilings are visible the remains of the roof of the hall, with collar-beams having large chamfered arched, braces, chamfered purlins and wind-braces; the roofs of the solar and 16th-century addition are also visible, that of the addition being of queen-post construction.
These buildings are of two storeys and of the 17th century. Some of the walls are of original timber and brick; three of the roofs are thatched.
Main street, W. side
(3). The Red Lion Inn, 70 yards W. of the church. The walls have been re-faced with modern brick; the roof is covered with tiles and slate. One chimney stack is of 17th-century brick. Inside the house there are some chamfered ceiling-beams and a wide open fireplace.
(4). Cottage, 130 yards S. of (3). The timber-framed walls retain some original wattle and daub filling, but have been partly re-filled and re-faced with modern brick. Some of the windows have old metal casements, and two chimney stacks are of 17th-century brick.
(5). Cottage, now two tenements, 400 yards S.S.W. of the church. The upper storey is partly in the roof. The S. wall has been re-faced with modern brick.
(6). Farmhouse, 240 yards S. of the church; it has been lengthened towards the E., and a low addition built at the back, the roof being brought down to within a few feet of the ground. The central chimney stack is original.
(7). Belville House, 70 yards S. of the church. The walls have been re-faced with 18th-century red and blue bricks; the roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped with wings projecting towards the N. and E.; at the E. end is a modern addition. The chimney stacks are of 17th-century brick.
Condition—Good; much restored and altered.