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. (a)xxiii. S.E. (b)xxiv. N.W.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Nicholas, stands in the middle of the village. The walls are of stone, covered with rough-cast, except those of the tower which are of ashlar. The roofs are tiled. The Chancel, Nave, West Tower and North Porch were built at the beginning of the 15th century. In the 18th century a W. gallery was constructed, and the South Porch was built in the 19th century. The former church is said to have been at the W. end of the present village, where an enclosure can still be traced (see (2)), and a brass in the chancel to John Dervyle, 1410, describes him as the first rector of the present church.
The church is a small, but interesting example of early 15th-century architecture. Among the fittings the late 12th or early 13th-century chest in the vestry is noteworthy (see Plate, p. 50).
Architectural Description—The Chancel (27½ ft. by 13 ft.) is entirely of early 15th-century date where not restored. The E. window is of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a pointed head, externally much defaced with cement. There are two windows in the N. wall and two in the S. wall, each of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a pointed head; at the W. end of the S. wall is a low-side window, now blocked, which has plain chamfered jambs and flat head. The chancel arch is of two moulded orders, the inner order carried on grotesque corbels, that on the N. representing the crouching figure of a man in gypon, hip-belt and hose, that on the S. a monkey. The Nave (32½ ft. by 19½ ft.) is entirely of early 15th-century date. Two windows in the N. wall and two in the S. wall, are each of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a pointed head; the windows at the E. end of each wall are a little larger than the others: between the windows are the original N. and S. doorways, each with a two-centred head; the N. doorway is of one hollow chamfered orders; the S. doorway is of two moulded orders. The West Tower (6 ft. square) is of one tall stage with diagonal buttresses and an embattled parapet, which is the only part of the tower not of the 15th century. The tower arch is of three chamfered orders, the innermost resting on moulded corbels. The W. window is of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a pointed head, and is constructed with no internal splay, but with a deep external reveal of five chamfered orders. The four windows of the bell-chamber were originally each of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a pointed head, but all are much weathered and the mullions and part of the quatrefoils of the N. and E. windows are missing. The North Porch now forms a vestry and the original moulded doorway has been partly blocked and converted into a window with a wooden frame.
Fittings—Bell: one, by Anthony Chandler, 1667. Books: At the rectory—(1) Foxe's Book of Martyrs, 3 vols., 17th-century; (2) Bible of 1638. Bracket: In nave—on S. wall, small, crudely carved as head of woman, 15th-century. Brasses: In chancel—(1) to John Dervyle, 1410, 'p'mi rectoris isti ecclie~'; (2) to William Brandin, 1441, rector of the parish. Chair: In chancel—with carved back, curved arms, turned legs, late 17th-century. Chest: In vestry—of oak, plain, rough, with iron hinges and hasps, small semi-circular cable-ornament on feet, late 12th or early 13th-century. Lectern: In gallery—of wood, with turned post, curved feet and braces, revolving hexagonal desk, given by Joseph Neale, 1685, as inscribed on desk. Niches: In chancel—on each side of E. window, with trefoiled heads, small pedestals and embattled cornices, 15th-century. Piscina: In chancel—in E. splay of S.E. window (see sedile), small, with trefoiled head and stone shelf, no drain, 15th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover paten of 1692, and flagon of pewter, possibly 17th-century. Seating: In nave—some plain open seats, 16th-century. Sedile: In chancel —ledge of S.E. window cut down low to form seat.
Condition—Fairly good; the walls of the tower are much weathered.
a (2). The Beacon (Fortified Mount) and Village Enclosure, 500 yards W. of the church. The plan of the old village and part of the enclosure can still be traced; in the middle is the mount, shown on the Ordnance Survey maps as a tumulus; it is 20 feet above the bottom of the ditch and 148 feet in diameter at the base.
These buildings are all, except (7), of 17th-century origin. The walls were formerly timber-framed, but have been much restored with 18th-century and modern brick; (3–4) are of two storeys and have tiled roofs, the others of one storeys and an attic, with thatched roofs.
Main road, S. side
a(3). Cottage, about 100 yards E. by S. of the church. The plan is rectangular with a projecting chimney stack at each end. The chimneys have been partly re-built and enlarged.
a (4). The Unicorn Inn, about 50 yards S. of the church, has been enlarged and the original walling completely re-faced with 18th and 19th-century brick. The plan was probably originally rectangular, but is now T-shaped. In the barparlour is a chamfered beam of early 17th-century date, supported at one end by a wooden corbel decorated with a star of acanthus leaves.
Condition—Good; much altered.
a(5). Cottage, now two tenements, W. of (4), was originally of the central chimney type, but two small wings, each of one storey, were added on the N. front, probably in the 18th century; both the wings and also the main building are gabled. The central chimney has been re-built with old thin bricks.
a(6). Cottage, 100 yards S.W. of the church. The plan is rectangular; only the W. end of the block is original, the rest was re-built with brick in the 18th century. The 17th-century walls retain some brick filling set in herring-bone pattern; the gable at the W. end has a rough tie-beam and a window with old iron casements. The chimney has been re-built with old thin bricks.
a(7). Cottage, 60 yards W. of (6), was built possibly in the 16th century, and was probably of the central chimney type, but has been much altered internally and externally. The original timber-framing includes a few wall-posts and diagonal braces. The roof is half-hipped and the S. gable is weather-boarded.
b(8). Niels Farm, about ½ mile N.E. of the church, is a house of two storeys built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, on an H-shaped plan. The S.W. front was re-faced with brick in the 18th century, when the doorways and windows were altered and the chimney stacks re-built. The other walls retain their original timber-framing, somewhat closely set, but the brick filling is of later date. The roofs are tiled.