Pages 116-118

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.

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In this section

37. GRAFHAM (B.e.).

(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXI N.W., (b)XXI S.W.)

Grafham is a small parish and village 5½ m. W.S.W. of Huntingdon. The Church is the principal monument.


a(1). Parish Church of All Saints stands in the village. The walls are of pebble and stone-rubble with dressings of Weldon and Ketton stone; the spire is of ashlar and the roofs are covered with tiles and lead. The erratic planning indicates the existence of an earlier building, but the earliest existing work is the N. arcade of the Nave, built c. 1250; the Chancel was re-built c. 1290–1300; the floor-level of the nave was raised soon after the building. Early in the 14th century the South Chapel was added, and late in the same century the North Aisle was re-built. The West Tower and spire were added late in the 14th or early in the 15th century and later in the 15th century the two stair-turrets, to the rood-loft and tower, were built. Considerable repairs were done and the South Porch re-built in 1902–3 on the site of an earlier building and incorporating old material.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (26¼ ft. by 12¾ ft.) has an E. window, all modern except for the splays, rear-arch, jambs, head and moulded label with head-stops, which are of late 13th-century date; the lower part of the original window has been blocked by a modern filling. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern of late 13th-century origin, altered in the 16th or 17th century and of two lights with crudely cusped heads in a square main head with a moulded label and crude head-stops; the western window has a late 13th-century W. splay, but it is otherwise of the 15th century and of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head; the mullion is modern; between the windows is a late 13th-century doorway with chamfered jambs, two-centred arch and moulded label. In the S. wall are two late 13th-century windows, the eastern of three plain pointed lights, with intersecting tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the western window is of two similar lights in a two-centred head; the lower part of the W. light is rebated for a shutter and formed a 'low-side.' The two-centred chancel-arch is covered with plaster and is probably modern.

The Nave (45¼ ft. by 15½ ft.) has a mid 13th-century N. arcade of four bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the cylindrical piers and semi-circular responds have moulded capitals, but the bases have been concealed by the raising of the floor-level. In the S. wall is an early 14th-century arcade of two bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the octagonal column and semi-octagonal responds have moulded capitals and bases; at the W. end of the wall is an early 16th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded label with grotesque beast-stops; the spandrels are carved both inside and out with a double rose; the late 13th-century S. doorway has chamfered jambs, two-centred arch and a moulded label with mask-stops; above the arcade are two 18th-century dormer-windows.

The North Aisle (10¾ ft. wide) has in the E. wall a late 14th-century window, partly restored and of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label. Across the S.E. angle of the aisle is the lower doorway of the 15th-century rood-loft staircase; it has moulded jambs and four-centred head. In the N. wall are three late 14th-century windows, each of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded label and head or returned stops; the label of the easternmost window is of earlier work re-set; the late 14th-century N. doorway has double chamfered jambs, moulded two-centred arch and label with head-stops. The upper part of the W. wall is modern, but re-set at the lower end of the coping is a carved half-figure holding a shield.

The South Chapel (23½ ft. by 9¼ ft.) has in the E. wall a 14th-century window of three trefoiled lights in a segmental-pointed head with a moulded label and head-stops; the internal sill has a projecting pedestal for an image. In the S. wall are two 14th-century windows, each of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with a moulded label.

The West Tower (10 ft. square) is of late 14th- or early 15th-century date and of two stages (Plate 4) with a moulded plinth and a late 15th-century stair-turret, added at the S.E. angle. The two-centred tower-arch is of two chamfered orders, the outer carried down the responds and the inner springing from attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head; the jambs and label are moulded; the W. doorway was probably re-built in the 17th century; it has double chamfered jambs and four-centred head. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label continued as a string-course; the upper part of the bell-chamber forms an octagonal drum on which stands the spire; the squinches are covered by broaches from which rise wedge-shaped buttresses terminating in pinnacles; the heads of the windows are carried up into the drum. The octagonal spire has two tiers, each of four spire-lights, those of the lower tier are on the cardinal faces and are each of two trefoiled lights with a quatre-foiled spandrel in a gabled head; the windows of the upper tier are on the alternate faces and are each of one cinque-foiled light in a gabled head.

The Roof of the chancel has two old tie-beams. The roof of the nave is plastered, but two 15th-century tie-beams with curved braces are visible, and there are a number of 15th-century stone corbels carved with heads and grotesques. The early 16th-century roof of the N. aisle extends as far W. as the N. doorway, and is of three bays and of pentform; the main timbers are moulded. The early 16th-century roof of the S. chapel is of pent-form with moulded wall-plates and chamfered rafters.

Fittings—Bells: three; 1st by Watts, 16th-century; 2nd probably by W. Dawe and inscribed "Sum Rosa Pulsata Mundi Katerina Vocata," c. 1400; 3rd by Newcombe inscribed "S. Katerina," 16th-century. Communion Table: In tower— with turned legs and moulded upper and lower rails, late 17th-century. Font: octagonal tapering bowl, each face with sunk cusped panelling of varying design; one face with plain panel, round stem, c. 1300. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In S. porch—set in W. wall, (1) upper half of slab carved in high relief with effigy (Plate 10) of a priest in mass-vestments, head on two cushions, early 14th-century. In churchyard—S. of chancel (2) to E. . . . ., 16 . . ., foot-stone. Floor-slab: In S. porch—on W. wall, to Elizabeth Fortrey, widow, 1708–9. Piscinae: In chancel—double, with two chamfered and pointed arches, attached shafts to jambs and free shaft in middle, all with moulded capitals and bases, two multifoiled drains, late 13th-century. In N. aisle—in S. wall, recess with two-centred head and projecting semi-octagonal sill with round drain, date uncertain. In S. chapel —in S. wall, recess with chamfered jambs and trefoiled head, round drain, early 14th-century. Pulpit: of oak, hexagonal, with raised panel in each side, with modern piercings, moulded cornice, late 17th- or early 18th-century. Scratchings: On stair-turret to tower, inscription "Anno 1590." In S. porch—in W. wall, inscription "1689 R.A.," found in chancel; in S. gable, stone with initials and date "Nov. 9 1657 R.S." Seating: In nave —bench and part of front desk, bench with shaped bench-ends and moulded rail, 16th-century, made up with modern work. Stoup: In S. porch—in N.E. angle, portion of octagonal shaft with moulded base, late 15th-century, bowl destroyed. Sundial: On S. face of tower stair-turret—two scratched dials, one circular, the other semi-circular. Miscellanea: Set in W. wall of porch—various fragments including part of octagonal shaft of a cross, with broach-stops to base.

Condition—Fairly good.


Homestead Moats.

a(2). At site of Manor House, 550 yards N.N.W. of the church. About 100 yards to the S.E. is a second moated enclosure.

a(3). About ½ m. E. of the church.

a(4). The Rectory, 30 yards N. of the church, incorporates a portion, now the kitchen, of a 16th-century house. It is of two storeys; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. Inside the kitchen is an original moulded ceiling-beam.


a(5). Cottage, 100 yards E. of the church, is of one storey with attics, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are thatched. It was built about the middle of the 17th century. A blocked doorway on the N. side has an original moulded jamb. Inside the building the chamfered ceiling-beams are exposed.


b(6). Grafham Farm, house at East Perry, 1½ m. S.S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century and has modern additions on the E. The original central chimney-stack has four grouped shafts, set diagonally on a square base, with a moulded capping. Inside the building, the ground-floor rooms have exposed ceiling-beams and a fireplace has a chamfered lintel.


b(7). Fox Inn, 280 yards W. of (7), is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are thatched. It was built late in the 17th century and has modern additions at the S. end. The ceiling-beams are exposed in the ground-floor rooms.

Condition—Fairly good.