Pages 239-242

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

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75. SOUTHOE (C.e.).

(O.S. 6 in. (a) XXI S.E., (b) XXV N.E.)

Southoe is a parish with a village ¼ m. W. of the Great North Road about 2 m. N. of St. Neots. The Church is the principal monument.


(1). Parish Church of St. Leonard stands at the N. end of the village. The walls generally are of pebble-rubble with some ironstone and freestone; the N. aisle is ashlar-faced; the tower is of brick with some stone dressings; the dressings generally are of Barnack, Ketton and Weldon stone. The roofs are covered with slates and lead. There was a 12th-century church on the site, of which the chancel-arch, the re-set S. doorway and the western part of the N. wall of the Chancel survive; the corresponding portion of the S. wall has been largely re-built, of less thickness, at some subsequent period; the chancel-wall is probably the earliest work, the S. doorway is of c. 1160–70 and the chancel-arch of rather later date; the nave was probably of the same length as the existing structure and the chancel must have had some extension beyond the middle butresses, perhaps an apse. The chancel was lengthened in the 13th century, the junction with the older work being masked by the buttresses above mentioned; the S. arcade of the Nave is of mid 13th-century date when the nave was widened and the South Aisle added. The N. arcade and North Aisle were built c. 1500 and about the same time the upper parts of the walls of the chancel and S. aisle were re-built and the clearstorey and South Porch added. Probably late in the 16th century the North West Tower was built on the site of the W. bay of the N. aisle. The church was restored in 1859 and the clearstorey re-built.

The S. doorway is a rich example of late 12th-century work.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (32 ft. by 14¼ ft.) has an embattled parapet and a much restored E. window of c. 1500 of five transomed and cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with moulded jambs and label with grotesque head-stops. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern of c. 1300 and of two pointed lights with a plain spandrel in a two-centred head with a moulded label and mask-stops; the western window is a 13th-century lancet-light with moulded label, corbel-shaped stops, shafted splays and moulded rear-arch; E. of the eastern window are slight traces of a blocked doorway. In the S. wall is a window uniform with the eastern window in the N. wall; further W. is a 13th-century doorway with jambs and two-centred arch of two orders, the outer chamfered and the inner rounded; the moulded label has shaped stops. High up on the S. wall, below the parapet, is a rectangular panel, with ashlar-filling and of uncertain purpose. The late 12th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the responds have each two attached shafts with scrolled or cushion-capitals of varying design and moulded bases of cushion form; the chamfered abacus is continued round the responds; the stone-work has been partly re-tooled and part of the S. respond and arch re-built; N. of the arch is an early 16th-century squint, with a square head.

The Nave (37¼ ft. by 21¼ ft.) has an early 16th-century N. arcade of three bays, with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds have moulded capitals and bases. The mid 13th-century S. arcade is also of three bays, with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the round columns and half-round responds have been partly repaired and have moulded capitals and modern bases. The clearstorey has an embattled parapet with gargoyles and a sanctus bell-cote on the E. gable; on the N. side are two early 16th-century windows, each of two trefoiled lights in a square head; the S. side has been largely re-built and has three windows, partly of early 16th-century date; the easternmost is of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head; the second window is similar but of two lights; the westernmost window is of two trefoiled lights in a square head The W. wall of the nave has an early 16th-century window of three transomed and cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head, with moulded jambs and label; the early 16th-century W. doorway has moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label and the initials I.B. and leaves carved in the spandrels.

Southoe, Parish Church of St Leonard.

The North Aisle (10¾ ft. wide) is of early 16th-century date with an embattled parapet, string-course carved with the initials T.,R.,O., S.F.I., F. and E., two gargoyles and a small pinnacle at the N.E. angle. The E. window is of four cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head; the head, splays and label are moulded. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head and with details similar to the E. window of the aisle; the western window is similar but of two lights; the N. doorway has moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label and a carved leaf in each spandrel.

The South Aisle (7¼ ft. wide) has an embattled parapet. The early 16th-century E. window is of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head, with moulded jambs and label. In the S. wall are two windows, uniform with that in the E. wall; the re-set S. doorway (Plate 126) is of c. 1160–70 and has an arch of three orders, the innermost formerly square-headed and forming a tympanum enriched with checker-ornament and with a segmental-pointed arch cut in the under side; the two outer orders are round, moulded and enriched with crossed bands and diaper-ornament respectively; the moulded label has billet-ornament; the jambs have each a chamfered inner order and free shaft with diaper-ornament, moulded bases and capitals carved with diapering and crude leaf-ornament respectively; the chamfered abaci have lozengeenrichment; the rear-arch has chevron-grooving. In the W. wall is a window similar to that in the E. wall but of two lights; below the window is a string-course of 12th-century work re-used.

The Tower (11 ft. square) is of late 16th-century date and of three stages with a moulded plinth and an embattled parapet with restored crocketed pinnacles at the angles; the brickwork has some diapering. The ground-stage is open on the S. side to the N. arcade of the nave. In the E. wall is a doorway, probably modern, with spuare jambs and four-centred head of two plain orders. In the W. wall is an early 14th-century window, re-set and repaired; it is of two pointed lights with a plain spandrel in a two-centred head, with a moulded label and head-stops. The second stage has in both E. and W. walls a window of one four-centred light. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two pointed lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label.

The South Porch is of late 15th- or early 16th-century date, and has a partly restored two-centred outer archway of two moulded orders; the responds are chamfered and have each an attached shaft with modern capital and base. The side walls have each a window of one trefoiled light in a square head with moulded jambs. The parapet is embattled.

Fittings—Coffin-lids: In churchyard—S. of church, coped slab with half-figure, probably of priest, in relief, set in a trefoiled recess, stepped base at foot of slab, early 14th-century, much worn; forming coping at S.E. corner of churchyard-wall, coped slab with traces of cross, early 14th-century. Font: modern bowl, plain octagonal stem and moulded base, early 16th-century. Piscinae: In chancel—modern recess, round drain, possibly 14th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, recess with chamtered and rebated jambs and two-centred-head, round drain, early 16th-century. In N. aisle— in S. wall, recess with chamfered jambs and square head, early 16th-century, sill modern. Recesses: In nave—in E. wall, shallow recess with chamfered S. jamb and two-centred head, 14th-century. In N. aisle—in N. wall, wide recess, with ogee head, panelled reveals and soffit, probably tomb-recess, early 16th-century. Scratching: In W. doorway— masons' marks. Sedile: In chancel—sill of S.E. window carried down to form seat, c. 1300, seat modern. Stoup: In N. aisle—by N. doorway, recess with flat head rounded at angles, early 16th-century, no bowl. Sundial: On S. buttress of chancel—scratched dial. Miscellanea: Incorporated in N. wall of chancel and W. wall of nave, various worked stones, mostly 12th-century, including one window-head. Re-used in W. jamb of S. doorway to chancel—drain of small pillar-piscina. Incorporated in churchyard-wall, various worked stones including a 12th-century cushion-capital.



Homestead Moats

b(2). At Town Orchard, 60 yards S.W. of the church.

a(3). At Rectory Farm, 200 yards N. of the church.

b(4). W.S.W. of Manor Farm, 800 yards S.W. of the church.

b(5). House, now three tenements, at N.E. corner of road, 30 yards E.S.E. of the church is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. The building is H-shaped on plan with N. and S. cross-wings. The N. cross-wing is of early 16th-century date and the main part of the central block was probably of the same date but has since been considerably altered. The S. cross-wing and S. end of the central block were added in the 17th century and the former has modern additions at the E. end. The W. or principal front has the upper storey of the N. cross-wing projecting and carried on a moulded beam with carved leaf-ornament, supported by two brackets with foliated spandrels; the S. wing has a projecting chimney-stack with a chamfered plinth and a stepped gable at the first-floor level but the upper part of the stack has been re-built. The N. elevation has a projecting chimney-stack towards the W. end with a chamfered plinth and weathered offsets; the upper part has been re-built. Inside the building the ground-floor rooms have exposed beams in the ceilings; those in the N. cross-wing are moulded, the others are chamfered. On the first floor, in the N. cross-wing, some of the timber-framing is exposed.

Lying on the road-side at the S.W. angle of the building are several pieces of worked masonry including two moulded jamb-stones.

Condition—of house, fairly good.

Monuments (6–12).

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

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.

b(6). Cottage, three tenements, on E. side of road, 170 yards S. of the church has 18th-century and modern additions at the back; the S. wall has been refaced with modern brick.

b(7). Cottage, 20 yards S. of (6) was built c. 1700 and has modern 'lean-to' additions at the back.

b(8). Cottage, two tenements, 20 yards S. of (7), has been remodelled or possibly extended at the N. end and has a modern S.W. addition. Some of the walls have been refaced with modern brick. In each side of the main roof is a dormer-window.

b(9). House, two tenements, 40 yards S. of (8) is of two storeys. It was built early in the 17th century and extended on the N. side, c. 1700. Modern additions have been built along the whole of the W. side. The E. end of the S. front projects and is gabled. The N. front is recessed at the E. end; both the recessed block and the wing adjoining are gabled and against the former is a projecting chimney-stack with weathered sides: the top part has been re-built; the W. end of this front is modern. Inside the building one room has an old battened door with the battens alternately chamfered and moulded.

a(10). Cottage, on W. side of road, 250 yards N.E. of the church was built c. 1700.

b(11). Boughton Lodge, nearly 1 m. E.S.E. of the church was remodelled in the 18th century and has later additions on the N. side.

Condition—Bad, almost derelict.

b(12). Manor Farm, Boughton, house, two tenements, about 1 m. E. of the church, is of two storeys. The roofs are covered with modern slates. The house was built on a long rectangular plan; it was remodelled late in the 18th century when an addition was made at the S. end of the W. side projecting westward; modern additions have been made along the rest of the W. side and at the N. end of the E. side. The N. end of the original building has been refaced with modern brick; the S. end has been refaced with 18th-century brick and has a projecting stack with crow-stepped offsets and a rectangular shaft. The 18th-century addition on the W. side has twin gables.