An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.
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8. BRAMPTON (C.e.).
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXI N.E., (b)XXII N.W.)
Brampton is a parish and village 2 m. W. of Huntingdon. The church is the principal monument, and Pepys Farm (2), though of little structural interest, was the property and occasional residence of Samuel Pepys. Pauline Jackson, widow, is commemorated by a floor-slab in the west end of the nave as "last of ye family of ye Peps in this parish," 1689.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary stands on the E. side of the village. The walls generally are of rubble with some pebbles but the tower and W. end of the church are faced with ashlar; the dressings are of Barnack and Ketton stone; the roofs are covered with lead and slates. The Chancel was re-built c. 1310–20 with a vestry on the N. side. The chancel-arch, Nave and North and South Aisles were re-built probably in the first half of the 15th century. The West Tower was added, or, more probably, re-built in 1635, when the W. ends of the aisles were also re-built or refaced. The church was extensively restored in 1878 when the 15th-century North and South Porches were largely re-built. In 1897 the North Vestry was enlarged and practically re-built.
The church is of some architectural interest, especially the dated tower of 1635. Among the fittings the Communion rails and the screen are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (42½ ft. by 18½ ft.) is of early 14th-century date, and has an E. window with a two-centred head and modern mullions and tracery but with old jambs and external sill. The N. and S. walls have each a wall-arcade with two-centred arches of one moulded order; dividing the two bays in the N. wall is a triple attached shaft partly restored and with a moulded capital and modern base; the arcade in the S. wall is of four bays with a triple attached shaft between the two easternmost bays; the third bay is much narrower and the arch springs from corbel-capitals, one with a short length of triple shaft below it and the other carved with foliage; the two responds of the N. arcade and the E. respond of the S. arcade have moulded capitals carved with foliage; between the arches and above the capitals are three corbels, one on the N. and two on the S., carved with heads or foliage. In the N. wall, under the arcade, are two partly restored windows, each of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil and a quatre-foiled spandrel, respectively, in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops; further E. is a doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch; below the western window is a squint from the rood-loft staircase. In the S. wall are three windows, the two easternmost of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label and beast-head stops; the westernmost window is similar but with plain pointed lights and with a square-headed 'low-side' window, beneath the western light; in the narrow third bay of the wall-arcade is a doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. The 15th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders; the moulded responds have each three attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; N. of the arch, on the W. face of the wall, is the upper doorway of the rood-loft staircase; it has rebated jambs and four-centred head.
The North Vestry is modern except for part of the E. wall which contains an early 14th-century window of one lancet-light, much restored.
The Nave (55½ ft. by 22 ft.) has N. and S. arcades each of five bays and of the same date and detail as the chancel-arch; the columns have each four attached shafts. The 15th-century clearstorey has on each side five windows, each of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatre-foiled spandrel in a four-centred head.
The North Aisle (14½ ft. wide) is of the 15th century, and has heavy buttresses brought out to a point on the face and with large carved gargoyles, mostly ancient; the wall-face, both inside and out, is set back below the windows in the E. and N. walls. In the E. wall is a window of five cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label. Across the S.E. angle is the lower doorway to the rood-loft staircase; it has a square head. In the N. wall are four windows, each of four cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label; the N. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch. In the W. wall is a 15th-century window re-set in the 17th century and generally similar to those in the N. wall.
The South Aisle (14½ ft. wide) is of the 15th century, with buttresses and other details similar to those in the N. aisle. In the E. wall is a window similar to the E. window in the N. aisle, but with differing tracery. In the S. wall are four partly restored windows, similar to the corresponding windows in the N. aisle; the S. doorway has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label. In the W. wall is a window similar to the corresponding window in the N. aisle.
The West Tower (13 ft. by 12½ ft.) was built in 1635 and is of three stages (Plate 21) with a moulded plinth and embattled parapet with pinnacles at the angles and a carved string-course; at the angles are carved gargoyles. The tower-arch is two-centred and of two orders, the outer moulded and continuous and the inner chamfered and resting on attached shafts, with moulded and embattled capitals and moulded bases. The W. window is of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a high four-centred head with a moulded label; the re-set 14th-century W. doorway has jambs and two-centred arch of three moulded orders, with a moulded label; above the doorway is the raised inscription "AN. DNI. 1635," and above the window is a panel with the same date; the ground-stage is divided into two storeys externally by an embattled string-course on the W. front. The second stage has in the W. wall a window of one trefoiled light with a moulded label and head-stops. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with an ogee label and a foliated finial and head-stops; the windows have each an embattled transom. The lowest loop, lighting the stair-turret, is re-used 14th-century material; the loop has a trefoiled head with remains of a crocketed gable above it.
The North Porch is of 15th-century origin but has been very extensively restored. It is contrived between two of the aisle-buttresses and has an outer archway with moulded jambs and two-centred head. The roof is of barrel-form with two chamfered wall-ribs.
The South Porch is of 15th-century origin, but has been almost entirely re-built. Flanking the outer archway are two niches with 15th-century carved brackets and canopies with trefoiled and sub-cusped heads and ribbed vaults enriched with small carved bosses; above the archway is a similar but much smaller niche, containing a lily-pot.
The Roof of the nave is of the 15th century, of low-pitched form, and of five bays with moulded or chamfered main timbers; the principal rafters have curved braces forming two-centred arches with traceried spandrels, and the main intersections, with the purlins and ridge, have bosses carved with foliage, heads and human and beastfaces; the bosses of the W. truss are of the 17th century, as are the ornamental brackets which support it; the other trusses rest on stone corbels carved with angels holding shields, a bearded man, and an angel holding a broken object. The 15th-century roof of the N. aisle is of pent form and of six bays with moulded main timbers; the lower ends of the principals have curved braces, with traceried spandrels and each principal has a boss carved with foliage, human and beast-heads; the stone corbels are carved with a man's head, and angels holding shields charged with (a) the emblems of the Passion; (b) See of Canterbury; (c) See of Ely; (d) a cross, etc. The 15th-century roof of the S. aisle is similar to that over the N. aisle, but is of five main bays; the boss of the easternmost truss is carved with a small figure with a target; the westernmost boss is perhaps of the 17th century; the stone corbels on the S. wall are of late or re-used material except that at the W. end, which is carved with a reclining figure of a man.
Fittings—Altar-frontal: In S. aisle—of wood, with enriched frame, bands of conventional foliage on styles and rails, with cherub-head and birds, two large panels painted with flower-design; Italian, painted and gilt, 17th-century. Bells: five, and a priest's bell; 1st by Watts, 1600; 2nd by Thomas Norris, 1659; 3rd by Watts, 16th-century, inscribed "Ambros"; 5th by James Keene, 1630. Coffin: In churchyard— E. of S. porch, stone coffin, with shaped head. Communion Rails: of oak, with turned balusters, brought from elsewhere, and repaired top rail, early 17th-century. Doors: In N. doorway— of nail-studded battens, with hollow-chamfered frame and fillets planted on, 15th-century. In S. doorway—of two leaves (Plate 161), of nail-studded battens, with chamfered frame and fillets planted on, forming six panels with cinque-foiled ogee heads, head of door above filled with elaborate flowing tracery, 15th-century, partly repaired. Font: (Plate 9) octagonal bowl with cusped or traceried panel in each face, one enclosing a rose and one a shield with St. George's cross, chamfered top and moulded under-side, carved with two faces, two rosettes, a four-leaf flower and two shields, one with a plain cross and one with a cross paty, late 14th- or early 15th-century, partly repaired, stem modern. Locker: In chancel—in N. wall, rectangular recess with modern doors, chamfered projecting sill with round piscina-drain, probably early 14th-century, sill re-set. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In S. aisle—across S.E. angle, (1) to Sir John Bernard, Bart., 1682, white marble wall-monument, with gadrooned base, eared architrave, enriched cornice supporting pedestal with bust in wig, and cartouche-of-arms. In tower—on S. wall, (2) to John Miller 81, and Thomas, his son 83, freestone cartouche with scrolls, swags and cherub-head, black marble inscription-panel in middle. In churchyard—on S.E. buttress of S. aisle, (3) to E. Ashton, widow, 1680, inscription on stonework; S. of S. aisle, (4) to William Standish, 1694, head-stone. Floor-slabs: In nave—at W. end, (1) to Paulina Jackson, widow, 1689, "last of ye family of ye Peps in this parish"; (2) to Elizabeth Young, 1710 (or 1719). Piscinae: In chancel—with moulded jambs and trefoiled head with gabled crocketed label and defaced side pinnacles, finial missing, large octofoiled drain, shelf of stone in front and of wood behind, early 14th-century. In N. aisle—in S. wall, with hollow-chamfered jambs and cinque-foiled head, 15th-century, shelf modern. In S. aisle—in S. wall, large, semi-octagonal, projecting bracket, with carved leaf, rose and three leopards' heads in the hollow of the moulding, octagonal dished drain, with remains of boss over orifice, early 16th-century, not in situ. Loose in tower—square stone, with round drain in top. Plate: includes a stand-paten, perhaps of late 17th-century date and inscribed "Brampton", and a large brass alms-dish (Plate 137) with repoussé ornament including two bands of running stags with hounds, and in the middle a medallion of the Annunciation, surrounded by a defaced black-letter inscription, 16th-century, German; on rim, two added inscriptions "E.B. C.W. 1618" with a defaced shield-of-arms and "Ipsum Midd. 1697." Screen: Under chancel-arch—of oak, and of three main bays including doorway; side bays each of five open upper lights with cinque-foiled ogee heads and tracery, plain close lower panels; behind responds of chancel-arch, two plain narrow bays, one on each side; doorway with doors of two folds each of two lights, similar to the side bays but with differing tracery, close moulded lower panels; continuous moulded head and chamfered middle rail, mid to late 14th-century. Stalls: with misericords, now in the Museum of Archaeology, Cambridge. Miscellanea: In nave —on E. face of tower, fragments of 12th-century cheveron-ornament, re-used in masonry. Loose in tower—length of moulded shaft with rolls at angles and a row of dog-tooth ornaments up each side, 13th-century, perhaps part of the shaft of a cross; part possibly of same shaft, built into modern heating-chamber, with other fragments.
b(2). Pepys Farm, house, on the S. side of the road, 400 yards N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are partly of plastered timber-framing and partly of brick; the roofs are tiled. The timber-framed N. part of the house was built in the middle of the 16th century and to this was added, early in the 18th century, the brick wing on the S.; there is a modern addition to the W. of this wing. The original block has 18th-century brick walls to the ground-storey and a plaster cove to the eaves. The W. room and the room above it have 17th-century windows with solid oak frames and mullions and iron casements. The central chimney-stack has three grouped shafts and there is another stack at the W. end; both are of the 17th century. The gables at the E. and W. end of the original block have moulded barge-boards. The early 18th-century addition is of red brick with a chimney-stack of the same date. Inside the building, the original block has chamfered ceiling-beams and two rooms have open timbered ceilings. In the W. room on the ground-floor are some pieces of 17th-century panelling. The first floor has some cambered beams in the walls and partitions and one fire-place has a cambered lintel. In the attics are two old battened doors.
a(3). Bridge (Plate 131), across brook, 180 yards S.S.W. of the church, is of four spans, the three northern of brick and the southernmost of stone; all have been re-built in comparatively recent times but the piers have some old masonry, and stone cut-waters on the E. side, which may be of 17th-century or earlier date.
Condition—Good, much altered.
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 and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good.
a(4). Old Black Bull Inn, 50 yards S.S.W. of the church, was built perhaps late in the 16th century and has 18th-century and modern additions at the back. The 17th-century central chimney-stack has square grouped shafts.
a(5). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 100 yards S. of (3).
a(6). Cottage, on the S. side of High Street, 320 yards W. of the church.
a(7). Vine Cottage, 250 yards N.W. of (6), has an original central chimney-stack, of three shafts, with diagonal projections in front. Inside the building, the N.W. room has a late 17th-century overmantel, probably reduced in width; it has three arched bays, divided by pilasters and finished with a dentilled cornice. There are also a few fragments of original panelling.
a(8). Cottage, on the N. side of the road, at West End, 1,100 yards W.N.W. of the church.
a(9). Beerhouse, 60 yards W. of (8), has been refronted with brick.
a(10). Cottage, 100 yards W. of (9).
a(11). Base of Cross, at road-side, 25 yards S. of (9). A stone base octagonal on top and square below, with socket for shaft, probably 14th-century, now used for well-head.