An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.
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53. KINGS RIPTON (D.d.).
(O.S. 6 in. XVIII N.W.)
Kings Ripton is a small parish 3½ m. N.N.E. of Huntingdon. The Church is the principal monument.
(1). Parish Church of St. Peter stands in the village. The walls generally are of rubble with dressings of Barnack and Ketton stone; the N. wall of the chancel has been largely refaced or re-built with brick and the S. wall is of brick on a stone base; the W. tower is faced with ashlar. The roofs are covered with tiles and slates. The S. wall of the Nave may date from the 13th century and is the earliest part of the building. The Chancel was re-built late in the 13th century and the S. wall was re-erected probably early in the 15th century. The North Aisle and arcade were built, the walls of the nave raised and the clearstorey added late in the 14th century. The West Tower was added in the 15th century. Early in the 16th century the N. wall of the chancel was re-built or refaced and the South Porch added. The church has been restored in modern times.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (24 ft. by 15¾ ft.) has a late 13th-century E. window of three lights with moulded splays and modern tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and carved head-stops; on the gable is an original foliated cross. The N. wall has in the W. end a 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a four-centred head and an inserted transom to form a 'low-side.' In the S. wall is a 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights in a restored four-centred head; the S. doorway is probably of the 14th century, re-set, and has moulded jambs and a two-centred head with a moulded label, with head-stops, carried up at the apex in ogee form and terminating in a foliated finial. The late 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and repaired bases; the arch has probably been re-set.
The Nave (40 ft. by 16¾ ft.) has a late 14th-century N. arcade of three bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the octagonal piers and semi-octagonal responds have moulded capitals and bases. Above the arcade is a moulded string-course surmounted by a range of three late 14th-century clearstorey windows each of a single quatrefoil with square jambs and head completely restored externally. In the S. wall are two tall late 14th-century windows heightened early in the 16th century and each of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label; the late 14th-century S. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred head.
The North Aisle (7½ ft. wide) is of late 14th-century date and has in the N. wall two much restored windows each of three cinque-foiled lights in a three-centred head. In the W. wall is a similar window, also much restored.
The West Tower (9¾ ft. square) is of the 15th century and is divided externally by chamfered string-courses into four stages; it has a moulded plinth and an embattled parapet originally designed for pinnacles at the angles. The tower-arch is two-centred and of three chamfered orders all of which are continuous except the two outer on the W. which stop against the side walls of the tower. The W. doorway has moulded jambs and a four-centred head with a moulded label; the W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label. The stage below the bell-chamber has in the E. wall a single light with a two-centred head. The bell-chamber has in each wall a transomed window of two trefoiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label. Carved on the string-course below the parapet, on each face, is a gargoyle.
The South Porch is of early 16th-century date but has a modern outer archway with a re-set label. The side walls have each a window of two trefoiled lights in a square head. Below the eaves is a moulded string-course which is carried across the S. front rising in a low-pitched rake to the middle; it marks the rake of the original parapet, the wall above being gabled at a steeper pitch and being probably a later addition.
The Roof of the nave has four chamfered tie-beams with chamfered wall-posts and curved braces; the E. truss is plastered; the westernmost tie-beam is modern; the remaining timbers are probably of late 14th-century date. Supporting the wall-posts, on the moulded string on the N. wall, are four carved heads under semi-octagonal moulded corbels. On the S. wall are three similar and one modern corbel.
Fittings—Altar: stone slab with moulded edge, cross, and diagonal chases on soffit for bearers, possibly 14th-century, partly re-cut. Bells: two, both by William Culverden, early 16th-century; 1st inscribed "Sancte Johannes ora pro nobis"; 2nd inscribed "Sancte Johannes." Bell-frame, of oak, with cages for three bells. Font (Plate 8): square bowl of Barnack stone with attached shafts at angles, similar shafts in middle of N. and S. faces, and three intermediate shafts on E. face; rest of sides filled in with crude conventional foliage and a four-pointed star in the middle of the W. face; bowl pieced together from fragments and made up with modern repair; stem with octagonal central shaft and four circular shafts with cushion-capitals and bases at angles; chamfered plinth, late 12th-century. Locker: In chancel—in E. wall, small square recess with rebated reveals. Piscina: In chancel—large recess with moulded sill, jambs and trefoiled head, moulded label and mask-stops, two round drains with six radiating ridges, late 13th-century. Stoup: In S. porch—in N.E. angle, broken round bowl with chamfered under edge, early 16th-century.
The walls of the churchyard are mainly of mediæval rubble with stone copings.
Condition—Fairly good, but some cracks in masonry, window-heads, etc.
(2). Farmhouse, 60 yards W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and W. On the E. front the upper storey projects and has the timber-framing partly exposed; the front doorway has a four-centred head with original carved scrolled foilage. The N. wall is of stone below and brick above. Inside the building are some exposed chamfered beams and there is a cased beam in the N. room on the ground-floor.
(3). Outbuilding, at Rectory Farm, 150 yards E. of the church, is of two storeys and of timber-framing and brick nogging; the roofs are tiled. The outbuilding is rectangular and was built in the 17th century and stands on posts.