Pages 16-17

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

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6. BARHAM (B.d.).

(O.S. 6 in. XVII N.W.)

Barham is a small parish 7 m. W.N.W. of Huntingdon. The church is the principal monument.


(1). Parish Church of St. Giles stands on the W. side of the main road towards the N. end of the village. The walls are of pebbles and miscellaneous Weldon and Ketton stone except the S. wall of the nave which is of rough Weldon-stone ashlar; the dressings are of Ketton and Weldon stone; the roofs are covered with modern tiles. The church consisting of a chancel, Nave and N. aisle was built late in the 12th century. The chancel-arch was re-built in the 13th century. Early in the 14th century the Chancel was re-built and the S. and W. walls of the nave were probably reconstructed at the same time; in this rebuilding the easternmost bay of the N. arcade was widened towards the E. and the respond re-built. The South Porch and the greater part of the N. aisle were re-built in the last century and a bell-turret re-built on the W. gable. The church was again restored in 1903 and 1905.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (19 ft. by 12½ ft.) has a partly restored early 14th-century E. window of three uncusped lights with intersecting tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and mask-stops. In the N. wall is an early 14th-century window of two plain lights with a pierced spandrel in a two-centred head. In the S. wall are two early 14th-century windows similar to that in the N. wall but with restored rear-arches. The 13th-century chancel-arch is badly distorted and has been partly re-built; the arch was two-centred and is of two chamfered orders with a moulded label on both sides; the responds are of similar section to the arch, the lower parts are of ashlar and there are chamfered imposts at the springing-level.

The Nave (29¾ ft. by 13 ft.) has a late 12th-century N. arcade of three bays with arches of two chamfered orders and circular piers and semi-circular E. respond all with carved capitals, square moulded abaci and moulded bases with spur-ornaments at the angles; the easternmost bay has been widened, the arch now being segmental; the second arch is semi-circular and has the outer order towards the nave terminating in carved foliage; on the N. side it is carried on a moulded corbel, the westernmost arch was also semi-circular but is now distorted; the outer order on the S. terminates above the pier on a modern head-stop and on the W. springs off the end wall; the inner order is carried on a moulded corbel; the carving at the angles of the capital of the E. respond and of the second pier is of stiff conventional foliage and the capital of the first pier is of water-leaf type; the base to the second pier has been clumsily repaired. In the S. wall are two square-headed windows of 14th-century origin; the eastern has a 16th- or 17th-century head and parts of a double-chamfered label have been re-set; the western window is of two four-centred lights and has a 16th-century head; the 12th-century S. doorway, re-set in the 14th century, has a two-centred arch of two orders, the outer enriched with cheveron-ornament and the inner chamfered; the outer order is carried on octagonal shafts with scalloped capitals and moulded bases; the abaci of these shafts are carried round the jambs. In the W. wall is a window of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a triangular head; it is probably of 14th-century origin but the head appears to be of early 16th-century date.

The North Aisle (4½ ft. wide) was for the most part re-built in the 19th century. The E. wall with possibly the splays of the single-light window are old, as are parts of the base of the N. wall.

Fittings—Chest: In nave, with front divided by moulded styles into four panels each with crossed-triangle pattern of inlay in the centre, top rail with fluted ornament and plain top and ends, 17th-century. Coffin-lid: On nave—set vertically on W. wall, tapering slab, possibly early 14th-century. Communion Table: with turned legs, moulded front rail and modern top with extension at either end, 17th-century. Font: plain cylindrical bowl supported on central rectangular shaft with stop-chamfered edges and three circular shafts with moulded capitals and bases, 13th-century. Piscina: In chancel—with wavemoulded jambs and trefoiled head, defaced drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes cup of c. 1570, base probably added in the 17th century and bowl partly altered. Seating: In nave—at W. end, seven benches each with plain back, square end-posts with moulded knobs and shaped arm-rests at each end, 17th-century. Sundial: On S.W. buttress of nave—scratched dial. Miscellanea: Loose in nave, much worn gable coping-stone of uncertain date.

Condition—Fairly good, some cracks in N. arcade.


(2). Farmhouse, on the E. side of the road, about 200 yards S.S.E. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of brick and stone and the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the 17th century and has an 18th-century addition on the S. side.


(3). Cottage, at the S.W. corner of the churchyard, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are thatched. It was built late in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the N. and W. Inside the building some of the ceiling-beams and joists are exposed and there are two original battened doors.


(4). Cottage, three tenements, 40 yards S.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered and partly weather-boarded; the roofs are thatched. It was built late in the 17th century and has some original chamfered ceiling-beams.