An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.
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57. MORBORNE (B.b.).
(O.S. 6 in. V S.W.)
Morborne is a small parish 6 m. S.W. of Peterborough. The Church is the principal monument.
(1). Parish Church of All Saints stands in the village. The walls are of coursed stone and pebble-rubble with dressings of Barnack and Ketton stone; the tower is of brick with ashlar buttresses; the roofs are covered with slates. The chancel-arch is part of a mid 12th-century church, of which the S.E. angle of the Nave also remains. About the middle of the 13th century the church was largely re-built, the Chancel was widened to the N. and no doubt lengthened, the N. arcade and North Aisle added c. 1240, followed by the South Transept and South Aisle and arcade, c. 1250–60. A W. tower was added probably in the 14th century. In the 16th or early in the 17th century the N. and S. walls of the aisles were partly re-built, the West Tower re-built in brick and the North Porch added. The church was restored in 1864 and in 1900–1, and the E. wall and part of the S. wall of the chancel have been re-built.
The church is of some architectural interest and among the fittings the piscina and the effigy of a priest are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (25½ ft. by 14¼ ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a mid 13th-century window with two later trefoiled lights in a segmental-pointed head with a moulded label, mask-stops, and a moulded rear-arch and shafted splays; further W. is a 13th-century doorway with chamfered jambs, two-centred arch, moulded imposts and label. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of c. 1250 and of two lancet-lights with a round light over, and all under a moulded label with mask-stops; the splays and the mullion internally are shafted and the lines branch off from the mullion and terminate in fleurs-de-lis on either side of the round light; the rear-arch is moulded; the western window is of similar date and of one lancet-light; below the internal sill the window-recess is cut square. The mid 12th-century chancel-arch (Plate 77) is two-centred and of two roll-moulded orders, the inner having two rolls on the soffit and the outer a band of diapered decoration in addition; the responds have shafts corresponding to the rollmouldings of the arch but of larger size and with moulded bases and abaci with simple zig-zag ornament; the capitals are of cushion-type with a cable-moulded necking.
The Nave (32¾ ft. by 15¼ ft.) has a N. arcade of c. 1240 and of three bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the round columns have moulded capitals and bases, the latter with square plinths and spur-ornaments; the E. respond has an attached half-column, but the W. arch dies on to the wall; the chamfered label on the S. side of the arcade has a rosette, head and mask-stops; the inner order of the arches has a scrolled stop above the second column. The mid 13th-century S. arcade is of three bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders and a moulded label on the N. face, with stops similar to the N. arcade; the round columns and half-round E. respond have moulded bases and capitals with nail-head ornament; the W. arch dies on to the wall.
The North Aisle (6¾ ft. wide) has in the E. wall an early 14th-century window of two lights with 16th-century rounded heads to the lights and an inserted lintel of the same date. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern of the 16th century and of four round-headed lights, partly restored; the western window is of the same date and character but of one light only; the re-set late 12th-century N. doorway, partly restored, has a two-centred head of two orders, the outer plain and the inner chamfered and continuous; the outer order of the jambs has round shafts with 'water-leaf' capitals, modern abaci and moulded bases.
The South Transept (18½ ft. by 11¾ ft.) has an E. wall, blank except for part of the N. jamb and head of a blocked recess. In the S. wall is a 13th-century window of three lancet-lights in a segmental head with a moulded label. In the W. wall is a mid 13th-century arch, segmental-pointed, and of two chamfered orders; it springs on the N. from the first column of the arcade and on the S. from a moulded corbel, terminating on a human head.
The South Aisle (7 ft. wide) has in the S. wall a single-light window similar to that in the N. aisle; the S. doorway is generally similar to the N. door-way but has been more extensively restored.
The West Tower (10½ ft. by 10 ft.) is of late 16th- or early 17th-century date, and of two stages with an embattled parapet and small pinnacles at the angles; the walls are of brick with some stone dressings. In the E. wall is the W. window of the nave, cut down to form an arch; it has a three-centred head, moulded label and head-stops. The W. window is of two round-headed lights in a square head with a moulded pediment. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two three-centred lights in a square head with a moulded label; low down in the E. wall is a relieving-arch or a former doorway.
The North Porch has an early 17th-century outer archway with chamfered jambs and flat four-centred arch in a square head.
Fittings—Bells: two; 1st by Norris, 1614; 2nd by Henry Penn, 1712. Coffin and Coffin-lids: At W. end of S. aisle—coffin with shaped head. In S. transept—lid with raised cross and double omega-ornament. In N. porch—seats made up of coffinlids; all probably 13th-century. Fonts: In N. aisle—plain round bowl with chamfered top edge, probably 13th-century, stem and base modern. In S. transept—square bowl with chamfered edges, probably 12th-century. Lockers: In chancel—in N. wall, two, rectangular, the lower one with stone partition, probably 13th-century. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In S. aisle—(1) tapering slab with effigy (Plate 10) of priest in high relief, in mass-vestments with Y-shaped orphrey to chasuble, feet on two men's heads, 13th-century. In S. transept—(2) to Thomas Woods, 1700, head-stone, loose. Floor-slab: In N. aisle—to Mildred (?), wife of Thomas Butler, 1680. Piscina: In chancel—recess (Plate 140) with moulded jambs, segmental-pointed head and label with foliated and head stops; in recess, double piscina with moulded jambs and two-centred heads with carved flower-bosses; central shaft with moulded capital and base; spandrel between arches, carved with a fleur-de-lis and two rosettes; above arches, three small recesses each with a segmental-pointed head, quatre-foiled drain in E. bay, 13th-century. Scratching: In N. porch—on seat, initials and date, 1674, R.(H.?). Sedile: In range with piscina; recess similar to above with moulded label and plain seat. Sundial: On S. wall of S. transept—incised 17th-century dial.
Condition—Poor, bad cracks in S. aisle and N. porch and tendency to settlement in tower.
(2). Manor Farm, house and moat S. of the church. The House is of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with slates. It was built c. 1692 and has a modern S.E. wing. In the N. wall is an original doorway with part moulded jambs and square head with a moulded cornice; the former flat four-centred head has been cut away; above the doorway is a square panel with a carved achievement of the quartered arms of Forest of Morborne with the initials P.F.; below is the date 1692. The S. wall has two gabled dormers and a blocked window. Inside the building is some exposed timber-work.
The Moat is fragmentary.
Condition—Good, much altered.
(3). Cottage, two tenements, at N.E. corner of churchyard, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are thatched. It was built in the 17th century and has some exposed timber-framing inside the building.
(4). Mounds, two, on the W. side of the Great North Road, about 1¼ m. E. of the church. The southern mound is about 50 ft. in diameter and 6 ft. high, and is surrounded by the remains of a ditch. The northern mound is rectangular with rounded angles, 45 ft. by 21 ft. and about 4 ft. high.
Needingworth, see Holywell-cumNeedingworth.