Offord Cluny

Pages 186-188

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

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58. OFFORD CLUNY (C.e.).

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

Offord Cluny is a parish and village about 3 m. S.S.W. of Huntingdon. The Church is the principal monument.


a(1). Parish Church of All Saints stands in the village. The walls, where old, are of pebble and iron-stone-rubble with some freestone; the dressings are of Barnack and other freestone and the roofs are covered with tiles and lead. The Nave with its arcades and the chancel-arch are of late 13th-century date, the S. arcade being perhaps the earliest detail and the N. arcade of c. 1280. The Aisles may be of the same date as their respective arcades, but all the details of the N. aisle were inserted probably early in the 15th century and those of the S. aisle late in the 15th or early in the 16th century. The West Tower was built probably early in the 15th century and the clearstorey added early in the 16th century. The stair-turret of the tower was re-built in 1687 and the Chancel re-built in 1726. The South Porch was added or re-built in 1851.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel is of 1726 except the late 13th-century chancel-arch, which is of distorted two-centred form and of two hollow-chamfered orders; the chamfered responds have each a semi-octagonal attached shaft with moulded capital and plain base; that on the S. cut back.

The Nave (38½ ft. by 14½ ft.) has a N. arcade of c. 1280 and of three bays with two-centred arches of two hollow-chamfered orders; the cylindrical columns have moulded capitals and bases and the responds have attached half-columns. The S. arcade is of slightly earlier date and is also of three bays with two-centred arches of one chamfered order; it is probable that a former inner order has been removed; the octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds have moulded capitals, cut back and altered at some uncertain date, and moulded or chamfered bases. The early 16th-century clear-storey has on each side three windows, each of three cinque-foiled lights in a moulded four-centred head.

The North Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has in the E. wall an early 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights in a segmental-pointed head with a moulded label. In the N. wall are two similar windows and between them is the early 15th-century N. doorway with chamfered jambs, two-centred head and moulded label.

The South Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has late 15th- or early 16th-century E. and W. windows each of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label; the label of the W. window has head and beast-stops. In the S. wall are two windows similar to that in the E. wall; the S. doorway, of uncertain date, has chamfered jambs and two-centred arch. The angles and S. wall of the aisle have carved gargoyles (Plate 35).

The West Tower (about 10¾ ft. square) is probably of early 15th-century date and is of three stages with a moulded plinth and an embattled parapet with the stumps of pinnacles at the angles and a carved gargoyle in the middle of each face. The S.W. stair-turret was re-built in brick and stone and bears the inscription "John Barns William Silke Churchwardens 1687." The two-centred tower-arch is of three orders, the two outer chamfered and dying on to the splayed responds and the inner order moulded and springing from attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with moulded external reveals and label with grotesque head-stops; the W. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with trefoiled spandrels. The second stage has in the E. wall the weathering for a former steep-pitched roof of the nave. The N., S. and W. walls have each a quatre-foiled opening, set in a square. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label.

The Roof of the nave is low-pitched and of early 16th-century date and of three bays with moulded and cambered tie-beams with curved braces, moulded purlins, ridge, intermediate principals and wall-plates; the wall-posts stand on plain oak corbels; at the feet of the intermediate principals are six carved figures as follows—N. side, (a) figure in alb with censer; (b) figure with short skirted garment and armour on legs, holding staff in left hand; (c) seraph with feathered body and wings over legs; S. side, (a) figure as (a) on N. but holding book and an object like a hammer; (b) figure in armour with sword and shield, bearing a plain cross; (c) as figure (c) on N. but with hands in attitude of prayer; all the figures have hair bound with a diadem with a cross in front and probably represent the heavenly hierarchy; on the hollow of the N. wall-plate is the inscription A.C. W.S. 1683 I. B. R.G.; the S. wall-plate has running foliage-ornament. The early 16th-century roof of the N. aisle is of flat pent-form and of three bays with chamfered principals, curved braces, oak corbels, moulded wall-posts and purlins, except in the E. bay where the purlin is chamfered. The roof of the S. aisle is of similar date and character to that of the N. aisle, but all the principals and purlins are moulded; on the S. wall-plate is the date 1776 but this is not the date of the timber itself and refers only to a repair.

Fittings— Bells: four; 1st, 2nd, and 3rd by James Keene, 1630. Bell-frame inscribed W.E. T.E. 1620. Brackets: In N. aisle—on E. wall, two rectangular moulded brackets, early 16th-century. Chest: In N. aisle—of oak with moulded lid, plain front and sides, shaped brackets at base, two locks remaining out of three, late 17th-century. Communion Table: of oak, with heavy turned legs, moulded top rails with shaped brackets, plain lower rails, early 17th-century. Door: In tower—in lower doorway of turret-staircase, of battens with strap-hinges, 16th- or 17th-century. Font: In churchyard—S.E. of chancel, octagonal bowl with round basin, mortices for fastenings of lid, mediæval, much broken. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In churchyard, S. of chancel, (1) to Katharine, wife of George Allen, 1705, head-stone with shaped top and carved face; (2) to Mary, wife of George Allen, 1703, head-stone similar to above; S. of nave, (3) to Moses Chamberlin, late 17th- or early 18th-century, small head-stone. Floor-slab: In chancel —to George Walker, 1694–5, and to George, his son, 171–, with shield-of-arms. Piscina: In S. aisle—in S. wall, with hollow-chamfered jambs and trefoiled arch in a square head, octofoiled drain, 14th-century. Pulpit (Plate 152): of oak, hexagonal, with two ranges of arcaded panels, carved with guilloche and conventional foliage-ornament, diamond panels in middle of each main panel, cornice with egg and dart ornament, moulded middle rail, early 17th-century, lower rail and stem modern. Scratchings: On W. jamb of N. doorway, initials and names including Philip Johnson, 1622 or 1632. Stalls: In chancel—reading-desk, made up of early 17th-century panelling with fluted frieze. Miscellanea: In churchyard—at E. end, some worked and moulded stones.



b(2). Manor House, on the E. side of the road, 100 yards E.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 18th century on a modified H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. There are modern additions on the E. side. The W. front has a brick band between the storeys and a modillioned eaves-cornice continued round the sides of the house. The windows generally have plain segmental heads and those on the ground-floor at the back have key-blocks. Inside the building some original panelled doors remain and there are some turned balusters re-used in the back staircase. One room has an original moulded surround to the fireplace, with a frieze and a cornice above. The garden-wall, N. of the house, is original and has a gate flanked by brick piers with moulded cornices and ball-finials.


Monuments (3–13).

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good.

b(3). Manor Farm, house, 80 yards S. of (2), is of irregular plan. The E. part of the house was built late in the 16th century but the W. block was re-built early in the 18th century. The N. front of the original building has a projecting wing with an overhanging upper storey on the N. and E. In the upper storey of the main block is an original oriel-window of three lights with moulded frame and mullions and a gable. The upper storey projects also on part of the S. front. Inside the building there is an early 18th-century cupboard.

b(4). Cottage, at the S. corner of New Road, 60 yards S. of (3), was built, probably, early in the 18th century.

b(5). Cottage, two tenements on the S. side of New Road, 100 yards E. of (4), was built probably early in the 18th century.

a(6). House (Plate 72) on the W. side of the main road, 60 yards S.W. of (4), is of modified L-shaped plan with the wings extending toward the S. and W. The E. front has three gables with original moulded barge-boards and pendants at the apex. The original chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts on a square base with a moulded capping. Inside the building there are some original battened doors; the staircase has flat-shaped balusters and square newels with faceted terminals.

a(7). Range of three tenements, on the N. side of the Buckden Road, 100 yards N.N.E. of the church, was built, probably, early in the 18th century.

b(8). Whitwell Farm, house on the W. side of the main road, 300 yards N.N.E. of the church, has been refaced in brick and mainly re-built early in the 18th century.

b(9). Cottage, 100 yards N. of (8), has an original moulded ceiling-beam and some original doors.

b(10). Cottage, two tenements, 10 yards N. of (9), was built, probably, early in the 18th century and has some original panelled doors.

b(11). House (Plate 102), three tenements, on the E. side of the road, 30 yards N.E. of (10), was built c. 1632. Later in the century the N. part of the house and the porch were added, the latter being dated 1668. The W. front has exposed timber-framing and two gabled dormers, the front doorway has a moulded frame and a lintel carved with the date 1632; the door is of nine moulded panels. The much restored wooden porch has enriched moulded barge-boards, with a moulded pendant at the apex; the beam at the base of the gable has the incised date 1668. The two bay-windows on the front have original moulded frames and mullions and a moulded cornice above. The timber-framing is mostly exposed at the back of the house and there are two original windows with moulded frames; the original chimney-stack has stepped offsets and grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building are two original battened doors with strap-hinges and two early 18th-century doors. The spiral staircase has an original octagonal newel.

b(12). Cottage, 60 yards S. of (11), was built in the 16th century and has an original moulded ceiling-beam.

b(13). House, 100 yards S. of (12), has an original central chimney-stack with a moulded base and a moulded panel in the front. Inside the building is a 16th-century moulded ceiling-beam, perhaps re-used. The N. room is lined with original panelling.