Stow, Long

Pages 260-263

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

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81. STOW, LONG (B.e.).

(O.S. 6 in. XVI S.E.)

Long Stow or Stow Longa is a parish and village 2 m. N.N.E. of Kimbolton. The Church and Village Cross are the principal monuments.


(1). Parish Church of St. Botolph stands on the W. side of the parish. The walls are of pebble and freestone-rubble with dressings of Weldon, Ketton and Barnack stone. The roofs are covered with tiles and lead. Sculptured and structural remains indicate the existence of a pre-Conquest and a 12th-century church but the earliest work in situ is of mid 13th-century date when the Chancel, Nave, and North Aisle were built; c. 1280 the S. arcade and South Aisle were added. In the 14th century the eastern part of the S. aisle was extended to form a South Chapel and the W. wall of the N. aisle was re-built. In the 15th century the S. arcade was re-built and the clear-storey added. The West Tower was added early in the 16th century together with the W. responds of the nave. The chancel was restored and the chancel-arch re-built in 1880; other repairs were made between 1888 and 1893 and the clearstorey was largely re-built in 1901.

The church contains interesting 12th- and 13th-century detail and among the fittings the pre-Reformation paten is noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (28¼ ft. by 18¼ ft.) has a 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label. The lower part of the N. wall is of 13th-century or earlier pebble-rubble; the upper part is of ashlar and largely re-used material; in it are the lower external parts of two 13th-century lancet-windows, re-set; the splays and rear-arch of the western window are visible internally; at the W. end of the wall is a 15th-century window partly restored and of two trefoiled lights in a four-centred head, with moulded external reveals and label. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern similar to but smaller than the E. window; the late 14th-century western window is of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head with moulded jambs; the window is carried down below an embattled transom, the lower lights having trefoiled heads; between the windows is a 12th-century doorway (Plate 139), re-set in the 13th century; it has a head with a round outer order enriched with cheveron-ornament and a square inner order with a tympanum, crudely carved with a siren or mermaid and two beasts; the jambs have each a free octagonal shaft with capitals carved with knotwork, a face and a volute and moulded bases; the E. shaft is modern. The re-constructed late 13th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the inner springing from attached shafts, with moulded capitals and bases, standing on a high plinth; the lines of an earlier roof show on the W. face of the wall above the arch.

The Nave (42 ft. by 19½ ft.) has a mid 13th-century N. arcade of four bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the cylindrical columns have moulded capitals and moulded or chamfered bases on modern plinths; the E. bay appears to have been re-built and with it the E. respond which is of semi-octagonal form; the W. bay was also re-built, probably when the tower was added; the W. respond has a semi-octagonal attached shaft with moulded capital and base. The late 13th-century S. arcade, with the arches reconstructed in the 15th century, is of four bays, with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the cylindrical columns and semi-cylindrical responds have moulded capitals and bases and modern plinths. The 15th-century clearstorey with the upper part re-built in modern times has on each side four windows each of three lights with modern heads.

Long Stow, Parish Church of St Botolph.

The North Aisle (6 ft. wide) has a late 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with moulded external reveals and label. In the N. wall are three 14th-century windows, each of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head; the late 13th-century N. doorway has chamfered jambs and two-centred arch with a moulded label. In the W. wall is a 14th-century window of two plain pointed lights in a later square head.

The South Chapel (19¾ ft. by 9¾ ft.) is of c. 1330 and has an E. window of three trefoiled ogee lights in a square head. In the S. wall are two windows similar to that in the E. wall but of two lights only.

The South Aisle (6½ ft. wide) has in the S. wall a mid 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a square head; the re-constructed S. doorway (Plate 82), of c. 1270, has a two-centred arch of three moulded orders; the jambs have each three detached shafts with moulded bases and defaced foliated capitals; three of the shafts are modern. In the W. wall is a 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights in a square head.

The West Tower (11 ft. by 10 ft.) is of early 16th-century date and of three stages, with a moulded plinth and a plain parapet with a gargoyle in the middle of each side. The two-centred tower-arch is of three chamfered orders, the two outer continuous and the inner springing from semi-circular attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with moulded external reveals and label; the W. doorway has moulded jambs and four-centred head; above it is a stone carved with a mitre and flanked by two shields-of-arms—(a) a cheveron between three bells with three . . . . on the cheveron and a border; (b) a cheveron between three roses, for William Smith, Bishop of Lincoln. The second stage has in the W. wall a window of one four-centred light. The bell-chamber has in each wall a pair of windows, each window of two trefoiled and transomed lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops.

The Roof of the nave is modern but incorporates three old tie-beams.

Fittings—Bells: one, (Plate 7) by Henry Jordan, 15th-century and inscribed "Sancte Petre Ora Pro Nobis." Brackets: In chancel—on E. wall, two, one with 'stiff-leaf' foliage, part of a 13th-century capital; the other a moulded bell-capital with nail-head ornament, 13th-century. In N. aisle —on E. wall, two, semi-octagonal, with splayed undersides, 15th-century. Brass and Indent: Brass: see Monument (1). Indent: In chancel— of elaborate foliated cross, probably with figure in head, stepped base and inscription-plate 14th-century. Chest: In tower—of oak, plain, with strap-hinges, iron handles and lock-plate ornamented with small buttresses, 16th-century. Coffin-lids: In chancel—in N. wall, inside, fragment. In N. aisle—on sill of E. window, small fragment. On S. aisle—built into E. wall, three fragments, one with double omega-ornament and two with parts of foliated crosses. In churchyard— S.W., of S. aisle, two fragments; all late 13th- or early 14th-century. Communion Table: modern, but incorporating old top and five panels carved with conventional foliage; three similar panels in reredos, 17th-century. Door (Plate 82): In S. doorway—of two folds and of battens on trellis-framing, panelled front with trefoiled heads and band of tracery in upper half, early 16th-century, partly repaired. Font: plain octagonal bowl on circular moulded capital, cylindrical stem and moulded base, c. 1300, bowl made up. Glass: In N. aisle—in N.E. window, ornamental border to head of one light, quarry with diaper-design 14th-century; in second window in same wall, fragments of borders, 14th-century and fragments of similar diaper. Locker: In chancel—in E. wall, with rebated reveals and trefoiled head, slot for shelf, 14th-century, sill modern. Monuments and Floor-slabs: Monuments: In chancel—on S. wall, (1) to Sir Thomas Maples, Bart., 1634–5, freestone tablet (Plate 25) with fluted side pilasters, entablature and cresting with shield-of-arms, indent on main slab and brass plate on frieze with inscription. On S. face of tower—(2) to Robert Becke and Alice his wife, early 16th-century, stone slab with 'black-letter' Latin inscription, perhaps to the builders of the tower. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Mrs. Ann Elmes, 1682; (2) to Richard Elmes, 1682–3. Piscinae: In chancel— recess with chamfered jambs and square head, projecting drain with spiral flutings, 13th-century, recess later. In S. chapel—in S. wall, recess with chamfered jambs and ogee head, round drain and wooden shelf, 14th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1577, with band of incised ornament and paten (Plate 137) of 1491, (4½ in. in diameter), with moulded edge, sex-foiled sinking with conventional flowers in spandrels, disk in centre, engraved with a head of Christ, repaired and modern plate fixed on under-side. Poor-box: In S. aisle—portion of moulded oak post with piece cut off and hinged at top, pierced with slot, post 15th-century, modern adaptation. Scratchings: On various parts of the tower, scratched dates, initials and names, 17th-century. Screen: Under chancel-arch—of oak and of five bays, including central doorway, with moulded posts, rail and cornice; side bays each with open upper panel having three pointed heads and tracery in a two-centred main head, close lower panels, two to each bay, with trefoiled ogee heads and tracery, doorway with two-centred heads and two bays above, each of three lights with tracery, late 15th-century, partly restored and loft removed. Sedile: In chancel—sill of S.E. window carried down to form seat, 15th-century, seat mostly modern. Stalls: Against E. face of screen—with shaped ends, desk on S. side with shaped ends and carved popey-heads, late 15th-century, restored. Sundials: On S. aisle— two, one scratched and one with raised round dial. Miscellanea: In N. aisle—various stone fragments including rectangular fragment with part of sunk panel filled with interlacing knot-work, pre-Conquest; other carved fragments; fragments of 12th-century shafting, capitals, window-tracery, etc. of various dates, also fragments of 17th-century carved wood-work. Built into nave-wall, over S. arcade, numerous worked and moulded stones. In churchyard—W., of S. aisle, various fragments of worked stone. Incorporated in shed, N. of tower, portion of 17th-century wood-panelling. In N. aisle—portion of roof-beam with inscription I. T. 1683. Incorporated in modern prayer-desk and credence-table, turned 17th-century balusters. In second stage of tower—on N. wall, carved boss with four-leaved flower, 13th- or 14th-century. Incorporated in modern reredos—traceried head of central panel, 15th-century, brought from elsewhere.



(2). Barns, walls, moat, etc. at site of the Manor House, 540 yards E. of the church. The Barns, E. of the site, are of the 17th century and of brick; the northern barn has been largely re-built. A 17th-century brick Wall surrounds the site of the manor house. Fittings from the destroyed house are preserved at the Gatehouse, Leighton Bromswold, at the Parish Room, Hamerton and elsewhere. The N.E. angle of a Moat remains, on the N. side of the road, opposite the enclosure and there are a series of ponds or depressions to the E.

Condition—Of barns, good.

(3). Village Cross (Plate 142), at the cross-roads, 240 yards S.S.E. of the church, is of the 15th century and of stone with a moulded base. The octagonal shaft is complete and at half its height are four defaced carvings, perhaps of half-figures. The cross has a modern head, replacing a 17th-century ball, now in the vicarage garden, and stands on three modern steps.


(4). Prebend Farm, house and pigeon-house, 120 yards S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century, the N. wing being added late in the same century. The original central chimney-stack has a plastered recess with a round arch in the base, above which is a moulded string-course. Inside the building are some original chamfered ceiling-beams and the staircase has plain flat balusters and an octagonal newel with a faceted knob at the top.

The Pigeon House (Plate 166), N. of the house, is of early 17th-century date and is timber-framed and plastered. The pyramidal tiled roof has a saddle-back capping. The interior is surrounded by nests.

Condition—Of house, bad, since demolished; of pigeon-house, poor.

(5). House, on the N. side of the road, 420 yards E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are covered with slates. It was built late in the 17th century. The upper storey formerly projected at the S. end but has been under-built. Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams.


(6). House, 35 yards E. of (5), is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roof is thatched. It was built late in the 17th century. Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams and in the W. room is an enriched arcaded panel (Plate 119) with guilloche-ornament, of early 17th-century date.

Condition—Fairly good.