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. xxix. N.W.)
(1). Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, stands in the middle of the village and is built of stone rubble. The roofs of the chancel and S. porch are tiled, that of a small chamber on the N. side of the chancel is of stone, and the other roofs are covered with lead. The Chancel, with a small North Chamber, is of c. 1190, and the Nave is probably of that date. The chancel was lengthened towards the E. early in the 13th century, and the West Tower was built about the middle of the same century; c. 1370 the North and South Aisles were added. In the 15th century the walls of the chancel were heightened and the clearstorey of the nave was added. The South Vestries and Organ-chamber were built in 1887–8, when the church was extensively restored, and in 1898 the W. tower was re-built above the level of the roof of the nave and considerably heightened.
The church is especially interesting on account of the 12th-century wall arcading in the chancel, and the small vaulted chamber with wall paintings, which are probably of the 13th century; the 13th-century carved capitals of the tower arch are also noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (40½ ft. by 14 ft.) has a 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights and tracery, in a two-centred head, all much restored. In the N. wall the easternmost window is a 13th-century lancet with an external label enriched with dog-tooth ornament and continued towards the E. as a string-course; below the sill a second string-course has been cut away; the middle window is of the 14th century and of two trefoiled ogee lights and tracery under a segmental head; the westernmost is a small low-side window of one light; the jambs are of the 14th century, the trefoiled head is modern: between the two eastern windows, and leading into the N. chamber, is a doorway of c. 1190, with chamfered jambs and two-centred head; W. of the doorway, below the sill level of the middle window, is a 12th-century wall arcade of four bays with plain pointed arches springing from attached shafts which have moulded bases, partly destroyed, and carved capitals with moulded abaci; the easternmost bay has a low drop arch which was inserted in the 14th century, with the window over it; in the second bay is a small square opening, with rebated jambs, head and sill, and holes for two bars; it is possibly not in situ. In the S. wall, near the E. end, is part of a 13th-century lancet similar to that in the N. wall, now blocked, and with the label and string-course almost destroyed; below the sill are the remains of a plain string-course; further W. is a window of three trefoiled lights and tracery; the W. jamb and part of the chamfered rear arch and one carved head-stop of the internal label are of the 14th century; the rest is modern: W. of the three-light window is a doorway, originally external, but now opening into the vestry; it is probably of the 14th century, but the chamfered jambs and two-centred head have been considerably restored: at the W. end of the wall is a modern arch opening into the organ-chamber; E. of the arch are fragments of four shafts and part of three arches of an arcade similar to that in the N. wall, but extending further towards the E. The chancel arch is probably of the 14th century, but has been much restored and possibly heightened; it is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer order continuous and the inner resting on modern corbels. The North Chamber (8 ft. by 3 ft.) has a pointed barrel vault with one square cross rib springing, on the S. side, from a small moulded impost. The N. wall, half the vault and the external roof of stone are modern. The Nave (54 ft. by 18½ ft.) has N. and S. arcades of five bays of c. 1370, restored; the two-centred arches are of two chamfered orders, and the chamfers on each side of the semi-octagonal responds have trefoiled stops near the springing of the arches; the octagonal columns have moulded bases and moulded octagonal capitals. The clearstorey has five N. and five S. windows of late 15th-century date, much restored, each of three trefoiled lights under a segmental pointed head with a moulded external label. The North Aisle (11 ft. wide) has, in the E. wall, a 14th-century window, similar to the middle window in the N. wall of the chancel. In the N. wall are three windows of the 15th century, much restored, each of three cinque-foiled lights under a depressed head with an external label; between the two western windows is the modern N. doorway. The South Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has, in the E. wall, a modern opening into the organ-chamber. In the S. wall are three windows similar to the N. windows of the N. aisle, but of later date; they have been much restored: between the two western windows is the S. doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head, probably of the 15th century, but much restored. The West Tower (13½ ft. square) is of three stages and is modern above the ground stage. The mid 13th-century tower arch was originally two-centred, but has spread to a slightly four-centred form; it is of three orders with a modern label on the E. side; the two inner orders rest on semi-octagonal responds and the outer order on small attached shafts, all with moulded bases, those on the N. side being modern; the capitals have carved stiff-leaf foliage and moulded abaci. The W. window is modern, except the internal jambs and chamfered rear arch. The Roof of the chancel is modern, but part of the moulded cornice is apparently of the 15th century. The flat-pitched roof of the nave is modern, except two tie-beams, and twelve carved figures of men, holding books, and standing on carved stone corbels, all apparently of late 15th-century date. The flat-pitched roof of the N. aisle has moulded principal rafters and purlin; at the lower end of each principal is a carved wooden angel holding a shield; they are all of the 15th century, except two principals and one carved angel, which are modern.
Fittings—Bells: six and sanctus; 2nd 1618, probably by William Wakefield; 3rd by Joseph Carter, 1608; sanctus by Anthony Chandler, 1678. In ground stage of tower—original tenor, inscribed 'Intonat De Celis Vox Campana Michaelis', and with a shield of France quartering England, by John Danyell, 15th-century, now cracked. Books: (1) Foxe's Martyrs, with life of Foxe, etc., three volumes, almost entirely in black-letter, leather covers with brass mounts, staples for chains, bound in 1696, in very poor condition; (2) book on Bishop Jewel's 'Defence of the Apologie of the Church of England', 'Of Private Mass', and many other articles, partly in black-letter, in fairly good condition. Brackets: In chancel —in N. wall, fragment of projecting moulded stone. In S. aisle—built into S. face of S.E. respond of arcade, piece of moulded stone. Brass: In chancel—to Penelope Cleaver, 1657, inscription only. Chest: In vestry—front having two raised panels with enriched mouldings, arched lid with three strap-hinges, names of churchwardens and date 1684 cut in lid. Font: circular tapering bowl with cable moulding at the bottom, 12th-century, stem and base modern. Locker: In chancel—in S. wall, double, E. recess square, with one jamb and the head rebated for shutter, W. recess with two openings separated by a stop-chamfered mullion. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In S. aisle—on S. wall (1) tablet to Samuel Theed, 1676; (2) to Simon Cleaver, 1700. Floor-slabs: In nave—(1) to Thomas Cook, 1700; (2) to Samuel Theed, 1676; (3) to Richard Rose, 1682, and Alice, his wife, 1713. Paintings (see also Screen): In N. chamber —on S. wall and vaulting, two angels with haloes holding a strip of linen continued over their shoulders with fringed ends; above them, border and fragments of (?) figures; over the doorway into the chancel—scroll pattern and plain borders; all probably 13th-century. In N. aisle—on N. wall, black-letter inscription, referring to a charity, 16th-century, palimpsest. Panelling: In vestry —dado, part having small panels each with a painted leaf, mid 17th-century; part late 17th-century, rest modern; in organ case, six panels in moulded frame, three upper panels with mouldings and carved sprigs of vine ornament, three lower panels with linen pattern, early 16th-century, probably from a pew. Piscinae: In chancel—in S. wall, with trefoiled head and moulded jambs, 13th-century, almost entirely restored. In S. aisle—with moulded jambs and trefoiled head, circular basin, 14th-century, one jamb and half the head modern. Plate: includes cup of 1568, plain stand paten of 1671. Screen (see Plate, p. 48): Now in cartshed N. of the church—of three bays on each side of a wide opening with four-centred head and carved spandrels, upper panels open, with cinque-foiled ogee heads and tracery, moulded mullions, close plain lower panels, moulded cornice and rail, late 15th-century; attached to lower part of screen, two 16th-century linen panels; screen in danger of destruction in its present position. Miscellanea: In chancel—table, now used as credence, with fluted and shaped top rails, turned legs and moulded foot rail, 17th-century. Built into E. wall, two carved and moulded capitals, late 12th-century.
Condition—Good, much restored.
(2). Homestead Moat at Bell Leys Farm, fragment.
(3). Church Farm, S.W. of the church, is a house of two storeys. It is of mediæval origin and was probably originally of rectangular plan, constructed in bays, and open to the roof; late in the 16th century a floor and fireplaces were inserted, and in the 18th century the whole building was much altered and completely refaced with brick.
Interior:—On the ground floor is a late 16th-century fireplace, partly blocked; in cupboards at the sides are the remains of moulded jambs. The roof has been almost entirely renewed, but has remains of roughly constructed trusses of steep pitch.
Condition—Good, much altered.
(4). Mitchell Leys Farm, ¼ mile S. of the church, is a house of two storeys and an attic; the walls are of brick; the roof is tiled. It was built in 1668, on a rectangular plan, and apparently had a central hall and staircase, but internally has been much altered. In front are three gables, all with rough kneelers, the middle gable bearing the date 1668; at the level of the first floor is a plain string-course, which is carried over the doorway in the middle in pedimental form; above the string-course are the remains of brick pilasters. The back is similar to the front, but is not dated. The chimney stack is of old thin bricks.
(5). Windmill Farm, about 300 yards S.S.E. of the church, is a house of two storeys. The walls are covered with rough-cast, but are probably of timber and brick; the roofs are tiled. The building is of F-shaped plan, and probably of late 16th-century date, much altered, and with modern additions. The wings have gables, and there is a large central chimney stack.
(6). Maltby's Farm, house, outhouses and cottage, 400 yards S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys. It is irregular in plan; the earliest part is built of timber and brick, probably of early 17th-century date, and has additions of late 17th and 18th-century brick. The roofs are tiled. The elevations are also irregular; a few of the windows have plain solid frames.
The Outhouses adjoining the house are of wood and have thatched roofs. The Cottage, 50 yards N. of the house, is of one storey and an attic, with a little 17th-century timber-framing in the walls and in one gable, but otherwise completely re-built. The roof is tiled.
Condition—Of house and outhouses, poor; of cottage, bad.
(7). Cottage, about 70 yards N. of Maltby's Farm, is of two storeys, of timber and brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built apparently in the 17th century; the plan is rectangular, with a small wing at the back, possibly a later addition, all much altered and partly re-built. Some of the windows have solid frames with iron casements. The chimney stacks are of old thin bricks.
(8–9). Cottages, two, in Rowsham, about 1½ miles S.W. of the church, are each of two storeys, and of the central chimney type, built of timber and brick in the 17th century and partly re-faced with brick; both the buildings have modern additions. The roofs are tiled.