An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.
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41. HAMERTON (B.c.).
(O.S. 6 in. XIII S.W.)
Hamerton is a parish and village 8 m. N.W. of Huntingdon. The Church and Manor Farm are the principal monuments.
(1). Parish Church of All Saints stands on the S. side of the village. The walls are of Weldon and pebble-rubble with dressings and the ashlar-facing of the tower is of Ketton stone; the roofs are covered with tiles, slates and lead. The Chancel, Nave, North and South Aisles and South Porch were built early in the 14th century, the N. arcade being apparently the earliest work and dating from c. 1300. Late in the 15th century the church was considerably altered, the clearstorey was added, the West Tower built and the aisles remodelled; the rood-loft staircase was inserted at the same time. Some repairs were made to the S. clear-storey in 1707 and the S. end of the porch perhaps re-built. The church was restored in 1854 when the chancel was largely refaced and again in 1896–7; the North Vestry is modern.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (32¾ ft. by 17½ ft.) has an E. window of c. 1330 almost entirely modern externally and of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and label with modern head-stops. In the N. wall are three windows, the two easternmost are of early 14th-century date and of two pointed lights with a plain spandrel in a two-centred head with a moulded label and mask-stops; the westernmost window is an early 14th-century 'low-side' of a single pointed light with a moulded label; there is a modern doorway to the vestry. The side walls have a moulded cornice, below the eaves, with ball-flower ornament. In the S. wall are two two-light windows similar to those in the N. wall and partly restored; the recess of the eastern window is carried down to form a seat and has splays corbelled back; the W. side of the western window is carried down below a transom as a 'low-side'; between the windows is an early 14th-century doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label. The early 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on moulded corbels, carved with male and female heads (Plate 118) respectively, both partly re-cut.
The Nave (51¼ ft. by 19 ft.) has N. and S. arcades of early 14th-century date and of four bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders with a moulded label on the nave side turned up at the apex and carried up to the string-course below the clearstorey; the octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds have moulded capitals and bases; the N.E. respond has been partly cut away for the late 15th-century rood-loft staircase which has an upper doorway, across the angle of the building, with a four-centred head. The late 15th-century clearstorey has on each side four windows each of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head, with casement - moulded reveals and a moulded label; on the S. face is a lozenge-shaped panel inscribed "I. B. 1707."
The North Aisle (10 ft. wide) has a late 15th-century E. window similar to those in the clear-storey; at the S. end of the E. wall is the lower doorway of the rood-loft staircase; it has a four-centred head. In the N. wall are three windows similar to that in the E. wall; the late 15th-century N. doorway has jambs and four-centred head of one chamfered and one hollow-chamfered order with a moulded label and re-used head-stops. In the W. wall is a window uniform with that in the E. wall.
The South Aisle (9¾ ft. wide) has a late 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label. In the S. wall are three late 15th-century windows generally similar to that in the E. wall but with different tracery; the partly restored early 14th-century S. doorway has jambs and two-centred arch of two hollow-chamfered orders with a moulded label and mask-stops. In the W. wall is a window similar to those in the N. aisle.
The West Tower (11 ft. square) is of late 15th-century date and of three stages (Plate 5), with a moulded plinth and embattled parapet with gargoyles at the angles and a band of quatre-foiled panelling below the string. The two-centred tower-arch is of three moulded orders, the two outer continuous and the inner springing from attached round shafts with moulded capitals and partly restored bases. The W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label; the doorway, below it, has moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with traceried spandrels and a moulded label. The second stage has in the W. wall a window of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label. The bell-chamber has in each wall a pair of windows each similar to that in the stage below but with a transom.
The South Porch is of early 14th-century date, perhaps restored in the 18th century. The two-centred outer archway is of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from attached shafts with restored moulded capitals; the arch has a moulded label. The side walls have each a re-set window of two pointed lights with a circle in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the label of the W. window has mask-stops.
The Roof of the nave is mainly modern but incorporates some late 15th-century material including eight carved figures of angels holding recorders or trumpets, viol, cymbals and harp; on the wall-posts are ten figures probably of apostles of which St. John, St. Paul, and St. Andrew can be identified; the wall-posts stand on stone corbels carved with angels, including one playing a mandore and one a gittern, and grotesques. The roofs of the N. and S. aisles are also modern but incorporate carved 15th-century figures of men (Plate 46) in various attitudes; they include the four Evangelists represented with men's bodies and the heads of the symbolic beasts, and others with doubtful attributes; there are ten in each aisle. The roof of the S. porch incorporates two moulded and cambered tie-beams of late 15th-century date.
Fittings—Bells: four; 3rd by Thomas Norris, 1628; 4th by Henry Penn, 1706. Bracket: In N. aisle—on E. wall, rectangular tapering bracket, probably 15th-century. Communion Table: In S. aisle—with turned legs, moulded rails with shaped brackets, mid 17th-century. Font: octagonal bowl with cusped panels, four having blank shields, moulded upper and lower edges, stem with two ranges of panels with cusped heads, moulded base, 15th-century. Monuments: In vestry—on S. wall, (1) to Ferrar Colet, S.T.B. Rector, 1679, white marble tablet with skull, cherub-head and drapery. In S. aisle—on S. wall, (2) to Mawde (Lane) wife of John Bedell, 1587, wall-monument of Ketton stone with cornice and shield-of-arms in strap-work frame; on frieze the date and initials M.B. 1597; further W. (3) to Sir John Bedell, 1613, wall-monument of stone with strap-work frame and enriched side - pilasters, cornice with strap-work cresting and achievement-of-arms. Paintings: In N. aisle—on N. wall, fragmentary remains of figure-subjects including—(a) a woman holding a book (?), (b) legs and feet of man in water, probably St. Christopher, 15th- or early 16th-century; part of a 'black-letter' inscription in a strap-work frame, probably early 17th-century. In S. aisle—on S. wall, fragmentary remains of red colouring. Piscinae: In chancel—with hollow-chamfered jambs and quatre-foiled drain, 14th-century, head modern. In S. aisle—in S. wall, with chamfered jambs and trefoiled head, quatre-foiled drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes cup (Plate 136) of 1674 with inscription and cover-paten probably of the same date. Scratchings: On tower-arch—various masons' marks. Seating: In nave and W. tower—seven benches made up with 15th-century material with moulded rails. Stoup: In S. porch—in N. wall, recess with round head, early 16th-century, bowl modern. Sundial: On S.W. buttress of tower—scratched dial, 17th-century. Miscellanea: In chancel, loose portion of 15th-century wooden screen with traceried head of one bay. In vestry—fragment of 14th-century stone traceried panelling. In churchyard, base of late 13th-century column with modern cross set in it and N. of chancel an octagonal stone with a square socket, probably for a churchyard-cross.
Condition—Fairly good, but N. and S. aisles have cracks and the roof of the S. aisle is leaking.
(2). Homestead Moat, 150 yards S. of the church, is fragmentary, with traces of a smaller enclosure on the E. The mound, N. of the site, is said to be a fairly modern refuse-heap.
(3). Bridge (Plate 131), over the Alconbury Brook, 150 yards N.W. of the church, is of three spans with ashlar piers and abutments and cut-waters on both sides. The stonework incorporates some re-used material including parts of a 14th-century string-course, and is perhaps of the 17th century or earlier. The actual bridge is of modern timber.
(4). Manor Farm (Plate 74), house 400 yards W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E. In the second half of the 17th century an addition was made on the E. side of the N. wing.
The original chimney-stacks are interesting.
The W. front has a moulded string-course between the storeys and at the S. end is a gable with a weathered coping of brick. The string-course is continued round the S. front. The central chimney-stack of the E. wing has four circular shafts with geometrical diaper-ornament and octagonal bases; they stand on a rectangular stack with a moulded capping and a tiled frieze with arabesque-ornament. The other chimney-stacks are treated in a similar manner. Inside the building are some original chamfered ceiling-beams and some 17th-century panelling. In the E. wing is the upper part of the original staircase with an octagonal newel. The 17th-century staircase has turned balusters.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are thatched. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good, or fairly good.
(5). Cottage, two tenements, on the W. side of the road, 250 yards N.W. of the church.
(6). Cottage, two tenements, 40 yards N.N.E. of (5).
(7). Cottage, two tenements, on the N. side of the road, 50 yards N.E. of (6).
(8). Range of five tenements, 20 yards E. of (7).
(9). Cottage, 40 yards N.E. of (8).
(10). Range of three tenements, 70 yards E. of (9).
(11). Rookery Farm, house and barn, 70 yards E. of (10). The House is of early 17th-century date with a late 17th-century wing at the W. end. The late 17th-century main chimney-stack has a round-headed recess on two faces. Inside the building is an original battened door.
The Barn, N. of the house, is of brick with a tiled roof.
(12). Fireplace in modern parish-hall, N.E. of (7). The fireplace and overmantel are of early 17th-century woodwork, from Long Stow Manor House, made up with modern work.