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. xix. S.W.)
(1). Parish Church of St. Laurence, stands in the middle of the town, and is built of yellow sandstone, uncoursed, except in the chancel, the third stage of the tower, and the S. porch, which are of squared stones laid in courses; the chancel has a modern E. gable of timber and plaster. The roofs of the chancel and nave are tiled, and the rest are covered with lead. The present Chancel, Nave, North and South Aisles, and West Tower, were built in the 14th century, the aisles extending to the W. wall of the tower. In the second half of the 15th century the South Porch was added, the third stage of the tower was built, the walls of the aisles were raised, and many of the windows were altered. The church was restored in 1884, and in 1889 a North Aisle, with a Vestry at the E. end and an Organ-chamber, was added to the chancel, possibly in place of a former vestry.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (37 ft. by 19½ ft.) has a moulded stone plinth, and, below the windows, a moulded external string-course. The 15th-century E. window is of five cinque-foiled ogee lights with tracery under a straight-sided four-centred head and a moulded label; the middle light is wider than the others. In the N. wall, in the W. half, is a modern arcade of two bays, opening into the modern N. chancel aisle; E. of the arcade is a small rectangular opening with deep splays on the S. side, possibly a squint from a former vestry. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of two cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a pointed head, externally all modern, but with internal splays and a moulded rear arch of the 15th century; the western window is of the 15th century, restored, and of four cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head; the label is of the 14th century, re-used, with modern head-stops: between the windows is a priest's doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred head, of late 15th-century date, but externally almost entirely restored. The 14th-century chancel arch is two-centred, of two chamfered orders, the inner order resting on slightly restored semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and modern bases; on each side is a plain label with modern stops. The North Chancel Aisle is modern, except a few re-used stones in the window at the W. end of the N. wall. The Nave (45½ ft. by 19 ft.) has 14th-century N. and S. arcades of four bays, the westernmost bay on each side being narrower than the rest; the arches are pointed and of two chamfered orders, with plain continuous labels in the nave and aisles; the octagonal columns have moulded capitals and much restored moulded bases; at each end of both arcades the outer order is continued to the ground, and the inner rests on a semi-octagonal respond with moulded capital and base. The clearstorey has, on each side, three windows; the first and third are of three trefoiled lights under a square head, of late 15th-century date, with modern external stonework; each middle window is a quatre-foiled circular light and is of the 14th century, but the external stonework of the S. window is modern. The North Aisle (64 ft. by 10 ft.) has, at the E. end, a modern arch opening into the N. chancel aisle. In the N. wall are three windows; the easternmost is of the 14th century, restored, and of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a pointed head which has a label with modern stops; the second and third windows are of the 15th century, and each of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery, under a square head and a moulded label, the mullions being modern; the westernmost window has also a modern sill: between the two western windows is the 14th-century N. doorway with moulded jambs and much restored two-centred head which has a moulded label with modern stops; the doorway is covered inside by a bookcase. In the W. wall is a 14th-century window, restored, and of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a pointed head; in the S.W. corner is a doorway opening into the stair-turret of the tower. Under the windows, inside, is a moulded string-course, partly of the 14th century but almost entirely modern. The South Aisle (64 ft. by 10½ ft.) has, in the E. wall, a window of four cinque-foiled lights under a square head, with pierced spandrels, all of the 15th century, restored. In the S. wall are three windows: the easternmost, of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a pointed head, has 14th-century internal jambs and pointed rear arch, but is externally modern; the second and third windows are each of four cinque-foiled lights under a square head, all modern except the internal splays, which are of late 15th-century date: between the second and third windows is the late 14th-century S. doorway, with moulded jambs and two-centred head; the moulded label has modern stops. In the W. wall is a 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights with uncusped tracery in a pointed head; the sill and label are modern. Under the windows in the S. and W. walls, inside, is a string-course similar to that in the N. aisle. The West Tower (11 ft. by 14 ft.) is of three stages with an embattled parapet, a heavy string-course between the second and third stages, and a modern string-course under the parapet. The three 14th-century arches opening into the nave and aisles are two-centred, and each of two chamfered orders, with a plain label which has modern stops; the jambs have semi-octagonal shafts with small moulded capitals and bases, all much restored; the arches opening into the N. and S. aisles are lower and narrower than the other. The W. doorway, of late 14th-century date, much restored, has jambs and two-centred head of two continuously moulded orders, with a label; the W. window is of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery, the jambs, two-centred head and label being of late 14th-century date, the rest modern; N. of the window is a pointed loop lighting the stair-turret. The N. and S. walls of the second stage have each a small plain window, partly hidden by the clock. In each wall of the bell-chamber is a late 15th-century window of three trefoiled lights under a four-centred head with a label. The South Porch is gabled and has a late 15th-century moulded string-course and cornice, with a large grotesque gargoyle on each side wall, and an embattled parapet with restored pinnacles. The outer entrance is also of the 15th century, much restored, and has a four-centred arch under a square head with a label and traceried spandrels; the shafted jambs have moulded capitals and bases. The side walls have each a small quatre-foiled square window, the internal splays and lintel being old, the rest modern. The Roof of the N. aisle has 16th-century moulded tie-beams. The S. porch has a late 15th-century roof, much restored, and is of two bays with richly moulded ridge and purlins, foliage bosses and carved angels with shields at the intersections; some of the stop-chamfered rafters are old; the middle principals are supported by moulded brackets, one carved with initials and the date 1677.
Fittings—Bells: seven; 3rd, by Richard Keene, 1670; 4th and 5th, 1668, probably by Richard Keene; sanctus, by Robert Atton, 1611. Books: In N. aisle—in recess of N. doorway, including, (1) Commentary on the Old and New Testament, 7 vols., 1508, Latin, black-letter, left to church by John Croft, vicar 1684–1716; (2) Book of Homilies, 1562, reprint of twelve Homilies, 1547; (3) Bible, 1611, black-letter, oak covers; (4) Life and Works of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury, 1611; (5) Critical Commentary on the Bible, 1674, 4 vols., Old Testament volumes missing; (6) Foxe's Book of Martyrs, 4 vols., 1684. Bracket: In S. aisle—in E. wall, plain. Brasses: In chancel—in N.E. corner, (1) of Thomas Fige, 1578, and Janne his wife, two figures, man in civilian dress, with two sons, five daughters, black-letter inscription and shield of arms, a fesse between three fleurs de lis, quartered with a bend with three pierced molets thereon: in S.E. corner, (2) of Dorothy Barnard, daughter of Ralph Allwey, late of Shenley, Herts, 1634, figure and inscription. Communion Tables: In chancel—with four carved and turned front legs, two turned back legs, top rails carved, foot rails moulded, late 17th-century. In S. aisle—with four turned legs, top rails moulded, foot rails plain, early 17th-century, top modern. Lockers: In chancel—in N. wall, roughly plastered; at E. end of S. wall, with rebated jambs, head and sill, door modern. In S. aisle—at E. end of S. wall, rectangular, rebated all round. Monuments and Floor-slabs: Tombstones: In churchyard—(1) to John Watts, 1692, (2) others probably 17th-century, much worn. Floor-slab: In N. aisle—at E. end, to Richard Croft, 1691, Richard Pocock, 1695, and Elizabeth Croft, 1695, part cut off or buried in wall. Niche, for image: S. porch—over entrance, outside, carved, canopied, late 15th-century, much restored. Paintings: In N. aisle—on N. wall, between two eastern windows, traces of representation of murder of St. Thomas of Canterbury, 15th-century; surrounding N. doorway, of St. Christopher with the Christ Child, fragment of inscription over figures, late 15th-century: further W., traces of another subject. Piscina: In S. aisle—in angle of E. jamb of S.E. window, at sill level, with trefoiled ogee heads, plain angle-mullion, shallow round basin, late 14th-century, projecting sill modern. Plate: includes cup of unusual shape, probably 16th-century, and cover paten of 1569 to fit cup; large cup and cover paten of 1639, given in 1647; paten on stand, of 1693, with arms of Hill impaling Figg; salver, given in 1686, date-letter worn, apparently 1686; two spoons, silver gilt, of 1699. Pulpit: of wood, hexagonal, five sides with richly carved panels, sixth open, book-rest with round top supported by carved bird brackets, c. 1630, slightly restored. Miscellanea: In chancel—on E. internal jamb of S. doorway, two inscriptions, (1) set upside down, 'Ave Maria, Gratia Plena Dñs Tecu~'; (2) 'Robert Maynw [aring] (?) Oct. 14 an Do 1646'. In churchyard— moulded base of churchyard cross, and fragment of the top of the square shaft with trefoiled panels and a crocketed finial, 15th-century.
(2). Particular Baptist Chapel, 200 yards S. of the church; the walls are of red brick; the roofs are tiled. It is said to have been built in the second quarter of the 17th century, but over the doorway of the porch is a stone inscribed 'WMG1695', which is certainly the date of the porch, and probably that of the whole building.
The chapel is an interesting 17th-century example of its class.
Architectural Description—The building (24 ft. from E. to W. by 16½ ft.) is of rectangular plan. At the E. end is a modern doorway; two modern windows light a small gallery. In the N. wall are two small latticed, square-headed windows with wooden frames, probably contemporary with the building. In the S. wall are two windows, probably of the 18th century, with shutters. In the W. wall two windows have been inserted. The North Porch is gabled and has a moulded cornice and pulvinated frieze of wood, and a plain entrance doorway; in the gable is the stone dated 1695. The Roof is of the 17th century, and of two bays, plastered on the collar-beams and rafters; in the middle is a plain truss, hidden by the plaster, with curved angle brackets resting on wall-posts with wooden corbels, all very rough work.
Fittings—At W. end, Table, with turned baluster legs, first half of 17th century, similar to the communion tables of that period.
The small Burial Ground is enclosed by a wall of 17th-century brick.
Condition—Fairly good; the mortar in the joints of the walls is crumbling away.
Sheep Street, N. side
(3). Winslow Hall, 140 yards S.E. of the church, is a building of three storeys with an attic and cellars. It is dated 1700 and has been attributed to Sir Christopher Wren or one of his pupils. The walls are of brick with stone dressings; the roofs are covered with slate.
The house is a fine example of domestic architecture of the period.
The plan of the main building is rectangular with a projecting bay in the middle of each wall; a modern wing of one storey, containing the entrance hall, has been added at the E. end on the site of a former extension, and there are low modern additions on each side of a covered passage, which leads to a building of two storeys containing the kitchen. The arrangement of the interior of the main building is symmetrical, peculiarities being that all the fireplaces are in the axial wall, and that in each corner of the house on each floor, including the cellars, there is a small square chamber, those on the upper floors having been used probably as powdering-closets: on the ground floor the eastern two-fifths of the N. half form a Hall, with the N.E. corner chamber as an ante-room between it and the modern entrance hall, and the western three-fifths contain the Dining Room, with the N.W. corner chamber, used as a pantry, beyond it. In the S. half, the eastern three-fifths contain the Drawing Room, with the S.E. corner chamber as an anteroom, and the western two-fifths the Library, with the S.W. corner chamber opening from it and used as a Study. The staircases are in the projecting bays at the E. and W. ends of the house. The upper floors are each divided into four main rooms in the same way as the ground floor.
S. Front:—The wall is of purple brick with a stone plinth, the angles of the projecting bay and of the main block have Portland stone quoins with rusticated joints; between the first and second floors is a stone string-course and the second floor has a moulded stone cornice with modillions, the projecting bay being finished with a pediment having a similar cornice; all the windows have dressings of red brick, with moulded edges, and sills of stone; the windows of the cellar are half below the ground-level: on the ground floor is a stone doorway with architrave and frieze, a cornice on projecting consoles, and a rounded pediment; on the frieze is carved 'William Lowndes AD.MDCC'; on each side of the doorway are three windows with 'outside sashes'; the first and second floors have each seven similar windows, those on the second floor being of the same width, but half the height of the windows below them; in the pediment of the projecting bay is a small circular light. The N. Front is similar to the S. front, but the doorway is without the name and date. The E. and W. Ends resemble the other elevations, but the ground floor is masked at the E. end by the modern wing and at the W. end by the modern additions and the passage to the kitchen; at each end the upper floors have each five windows and the projecting bays have no pediments. In the middle of the building is a range of four rectangular chimney stacks, each with square panels on the N. and S. sides, and moulded stone capping: the two stacks in the middle are wider than those at the ends.
Interior:—On the Ground Floor there are moulded cornices in all the rooms, and most of the doors are of 1700, with raised panels and thin mortice locks. There is old oak panelling with moulded styles and rails and raised panels in the original hall, the dining room, the study (made out of the shutters of the blocked W. windows), and the drawing room (where it is made up with modern work); in the modern entrance hall there is similar panelling brought from another part of the house. In the drawing room is a restored fireplace dated 1647, probably brought from abroad; over the mantelpiece is a painting in a raised panel of early 18th-century date; the library has a corner fireplace with marble jambs and mantel, of 1700, and the hall has a fireplace dated 1717. The N.W. corner chamber contains cupboards brought from the extension destroyed when the modern E. wing was built. The Cellar under the library and drawing room is vaulted and has a large open fireplace with a stone edge-roll moulding: the N.W. corner chamber is also vaulted. The staircase at the W. end of the house is original, and has turned balusters, moulded rails and square newels; the original staircase at the E. end has been altered, and is partly modern. On the First Floor all the rooms have original doors, overdoors with raised panels, and oak cornices; most of the rooms, including the small corner chambers, retain the original low dado-panels, and some are panelled up to the ceiling. In the room over the original hall are some curious paintings stretched on canvas, probably of mid 18th-century date. In the N.W. corner chamber is a cupboard of 1700, brought from the present stables E. of the house. On the Second Floor the room over the drawing room has panelling, painted white, and an original marble fireplace also of 1700; the next room on the S. side has similar panelling. In the Attic, used only for storage, many of the original roof-timbers are visible.
The kitchen building W. of the house is also built of brick. The roof is covered with slate. The windows, where visible, have moulded edges similar to those of the windows of the house; some of them are blocked. The N. and S. ends are gabled. On the W. side is a large chimney stack, resembling those of the house. In the kitchen is a large open fireplace, and two stop-chamfered ceiling-beams.
On the S. side of the house there is a raised terrace with a courtyard between it and the road, at the E. end of the terrace, is a pair of ornamental iron gates, flanked on each side by a brick gate-post with a stone cap and ball, all probably of the same date as the house, but originally set in the S. wall of the courtyard opposite the S. doorway.
(4). Cottage, 60 yards S.W. of (3), is of two storeys, built probably late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. The walls are covered with plaster. The roof is thatched. The chimney stack has grouped square shafts, built of thin bricks.
(5). Cottage, now three tenements, 240 yards E. of (3), is of two storeys, built of brick and timber late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. The two western tenements are divided on the ground floor by an open gateway. The S. front of the westernmost tenement is of modern brick, the other walls are timber-framed with modern brick filling. The roofs are thatched. There are four chimney stacks of old thin bricks.
(6). Cottage, adjoining the E. end of (5), is of two storeys and an attic, built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, but the S. front is of 18th-century brick. The other walls are timber-framed with filling of thin bricks, partly in herring-bone pattern. At the back is a modern addition. At each end is an old chimney stack of thin bricks. The roofs are thatched.
(7). Cottage, 50 yards E. of (6), is a 17th-century building of two storeys, with a modern addition at the back. The walls are timber-framed; the S. front is covered with plaster; the E. gable and old N. wall have 18th-century brick filling. The roof is thatched. The base of the central chimney stack is of 17th-century brick.
(8). Curtis Farm, house and barn, E. of (7). The House is of two storeys, built of timber and brick, probably late in the 16th century. The N. side and E. gable retain the old timber-framing, but the rest of the exterior is covered with rough-cast and whitewashed. The roof is thatched. There is a central chimney stack which has grouped square shafts built of 17th-century brick. Interior:—Some old ceiling-beams and other constructional timbers are visible, and one room has a large open fireplace.
Barn, N.E. of the house, was built in the 17th century. It retains all the original timber-framing, and most of the brick filling. The roof is tiled.
Condition—Of house, good; of barn, poor.
These buildings are all probably of early 17th-century date, but have been considerably restored and altered; two of them are each of two storeys and an attic. The walls generally retain old timber-framing, with filling almost entirely of modern brick; the roofs are tiled or thatched.
Sheep Street, S. side
(9). House, now two tenements, nearly opposite to (6), is of two storeys. The plan is T-shaped, the central wing extending towards the S. The W. end of the transverse wing is of 18th-century brick, except the gable, which is timber-framed; the other walls of the W. tenement are covered with plaster. The central chimney stack has grouped square shafts built of 17th-century brick, and in it is a large open fireplace.
(10). Cottage, 80 yards S.W. of (9), on the E. side of a by-road. The central chimney stack has an original base.
(11). Cottage, now two tenements, S. of (10). The brick filling of the walls is covered with rough-cast. At each end of the building is a chimney stack with an original base.
(12). The Bell Inn, barn and stables, on the S.E. side of the Market Square. The greater part of the Inn is apparently modern; on the W. side, facing Bell Alley, is a rectangular block, of two storeys and a cellar, originally a separate inn called 'The George', built early in the 16th century. The wall in front is almost entirely of modern brick, but retains some of the original timber-framing in the lower storey, and a little old brick filling, re-used, in the upper storey; at the back the timber-framing is original, the brick filling is modern. The roof is tiled. On the E. side of the modern block is a two-storeyed gateway of late 16th or early 17th-century date; it is timber-framed, with modern brick filling, and has a tiled roof, with an old dormer window on each side. Interior:—On the ground floor the large room, now sub-divided, has richly moulded intersecting ceiling-beams, and a fireplace with a late 17th-century moulded architrave and dentil cornice. The smaller room has a large chamfered ceiling-beam, supported at one end by a 17th-century turned post, brought from elsewhere.
The Barn and Stables, E. of the gateway, are also of late 16th or early 17th-century date, and timber-framed, with modern brick filling; they form a rectangular building, with a large open gateway leading to the yard at the back; the roof is thatched.
Condition—Of inn, fairly good; of barn and stables, bad.
(13). House, now three tenements, 120 yards S. of the church at the S.W. corner of the Market Place, is of two storeys, built of timber and brick probably late in the 16th century. The roof is tiled. On the N. front, which is plastered, the upper storey projects at the W. end and has a row of old mullioned windows, restored. The W. end is gabled, and has original brick filling set in herring-bone pattern. At the back are modern additions. The central chimney stack has four shafts, built of 16th-century brick. Interior:— On the ground floor some of the ceilings show rough beams, and there are large fireplaces, now partly blocked.
Horn Street, N. side
(14). Cottage, now a bakehouse and shop, 100 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys and an attic, built probably early in the 17th century. The walls are timber-framed, with filling partly of plaster and partly of brick. The roofs are of thatch and corrugated iron. The S. front is covered with plaster, and has dormer windows; the E. end is gabled, the W. end has a half-hipped gable and, on the first floor, an old window of three lights. At the back are modern additions. The central chimney stack is of old thin bricks. Interior:— On the ground floor there are chamfered ceiling-beams and four large fireplaces, all partly blocked except one which now forms a recess.
(15–16). Cottages, two, were built probably in the 17th century. The walls are timber-framed with brick filling, partly re-faced with modern brick. The roofs are thatched. The first cottage, about 180 yards S.W. of the church, is of two storeys and an attic; the N.W. front and gabled S.W. end have each an old oak mullioned window. The second cottage, S. of the other, is of two storeys.
(17). Cottage, on the N. side of a blind alley, 100 yards W.S.W. of the church, is of two storeys and an attic, built of brick; the roof is tiled. The walling is of 1726, the date with the initials 'G.B.' appearing in a square panel over the doorway on the S. front, but at the E. end of the building is a chimney stack of 17th-century brick. Interior:— Some of the rooms have old chamfered ceiling-beams, and under the old stack is a large fireplace, partly blocked.
(18). Cottages, a range of three, N.E. of (17), are of two storeys, built apparently in the 17th century. The middle cottage shows some original timber-framing with filling of plaster and brick. The other cottages have been re-fronted with brick; the N.E. gable retains old timbers. The roofs are thatched.
High Street, E. side
(19). House, now a shop, E. of the church, is of two storeys and an attic, probably built in the 17th century, and timber-framed, but now covered with plaster. The roof is tiled. A little timber-framing is visible in the covered gateway on the N. side of the house. The central chimney stack is of old thin bricks with a V-shaped shaft on the N. side. Interior:—On the ground floor the ceilings have old chamfered beams, and in the central stack is a large fireplace, partly blocked.
(20). The Old Windmill Inn, at the corner of Back Lane, is of two storeys, built probably in the 17th century. The walls are plastered, but some timber-framing is visible in the covered archway at the N. end of the house. The roof is thatched. Inside the house are some chamfered ceiling-beams.
These buildings are all of late 16th or early 17th-century date, and all except one retain much of the original timber-framing, though the brick filling has been considerably renewed; the roofs generally are thatched.
(21). House, now four tenements, on the N. side of the Swanbourne road, about ½ mile E.S.E. of the church.
(22). Farmhouse, S. of (21). The walls have been almost completely restored. The roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped. One chimney stack has square shafts built of thin bricks.
Condition—Fairly good; much restored.
The Aylesbury road, E. side
(23). Cottage, 100 yards S.W. of (22), now two tenements.
(24). Cottage, now two tenements, S. of (23). In front the wall retains most of the original brick filling set in herring-bone pattern, but is entirely colour-washed red. At the back is a modern addition.
(25). House, now three tenements, almost opposite to (24). The two chimney stacks are of old thin bricks.