Stukeley, Great

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Stukeley, Great', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire, (London, 1926) pp. 263-266. British History Online [accessed 23 April 2024]

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. (a)XVII S.E. (b)XVIII N.W.)

Great Stukeley is a parish and scattered village 2 m. N.W. of Huntingdon. The Church is the principal monument.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Bartholomew stands to the W. of the village, about 250 yards S.W. of Ermine Street. The walls generally are of rubble with oolite dressings; the roofs are covered with tiles and lead. There was an earlier church on the site, and from a number of fragments of Norman stones found in the walls during a modern restoration it appears to have been of mid 12th-century date. To this church a N. aisle with an arcade of four bays was added about the middle of the 13th century. Shortly after a South Aisle with an arcade of four bays was built; at the same time the Chancel was re-built. About 1300 the North Aisle was re-built and considerably widened, and the E. and W. bays of the N. arcade probably re-built. In the 15th century the chancel-arch was re-built, the middle part of the S. wall of the S. aisle appears to have been re-built and the South Porch added, though this was partly re-built or altered in the 17th or 18th century. The West Tower was built late in the 15th century, but a difference between the walling of the lower and upper stages suggests that the work was not all done at the same time. The clearstorey to the nave is of about the same date or a little later. In 1909–10 the church was completely restored; work then done includes the stripping of the modern internal wall-plaster and the rebuilding of most of the S. wall of the clearstorey with the old material. The S. porch was restored in 1913 and the S. part re-built.

The church is of interest, the W. tower being a good example of its period and the carved corbels to the remains of the vault to the ground-stage are noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (25 ft. by 17 ft.) has an E. wall, partly of ashlar. The E. window is of three pointed lights in a four-centred head, all modern except the splays, which are perhaps of 13th- or early 14th-century date. In the N. wall is a window probably of the 13th century and of two pointed lights with wide splays, modern external heads and a restored mullion; further W. is a restored 13th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head with a chamfered label. In the S. wall are two windows, the easternmost of early 14th-century date, though perhaps in an earlier opening, and of two trefoiled ogee-headed lights with tracery in a square head; the westernmost window is a 'low-side' with a plain square head and modern rear-arch. The 15th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner carried on semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and bases; part of the outer order on the W. face has been cut away for the former loft.

The Nave (49½ ft. by 16½ ft.) has 13th-century N. and S. arcades each of four bays. The two middle arches of the N. arcade (Plate 6) are earlier than those at either end and are of two orders, the outer square and the inner chamfered; the arches at either end are each of two chamfered orders and had moulded labels, but those on the nave side have been cut back and on the side towards the aisles return slightly up the adjoining arches; the westernmost arch is lower than the others, perhaps due to a sinking when the W. tower was built and has the W. end buried in the N.E. buttress of the W. tower; the E. respond is square with a moulded impost which forms the abacus of a corbel carrying the inner order; the columns are circular and have plain bell-capitals with moulded abaci; the first two piers have 'hold-water' bases, but that to the westernmost is probably modern; above the E. respond is a rough square-headed doorway to the former rood-loft. The S. arcade has two-centred arches of two orders, the outer order to the three easternmost being square and the inner chamfered and both orders to the westernmost being chamfered; the columns are circular with semi-circular responds and all with moulded capitals and 'hold-water' bases; the capital (Plate 55) of the middle column is carved with 'stiff-leaf' foliage and the westernmost column has a chamfered base. The clearstorey has on each side a range of three windows, each of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head, and is probably of late 15th-century date, but much of the material appears to have come from the earlier building and includes re-used coffin-lids, etc.; in the N.E. window there appears to be the head of an effigy in low-relief; the N. windows were opened out and the S. side of the clearstorey partly re-built early in the present century, when some of the re-used coffin-lids were taken out (see fittings).

The North Aisle (16 ft. wide) has an E. window, probably of c. 1300, and of three plain lights in a segmental-pointed arch. In the N. wall are three early 16th-century windows each of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head; in the eastern half of the wall the splays and a few of the voussoirs of the rear-arches of two earlier windows are visible; they are probably of c. 1300; the N. doorway, of the same date, has jambs and two-centred arch of two chamfered orders with a moulded label and mask-stops; in the splays are holes for a draw-bar. In the W. wall is a three-light window similar to those in the N. wall, but probably re-set in mediæval times.

Great Stukeley, Parish Church of St. Bartholomew.

The South Aisle (8 ft. wide) has a late 15th-century E. window of three lights in an acute four-centred head with a moulded label; the side lights are trefoiled and the middle light cinque-foiled. In the S. wall are three similar windows, and the S. doorway, which is of the same date, has moulded jambs and a four-centred head.

The West Tower (12 ft. square) is of late 15th-century date and of three storeys internally and five diminishing stages externally (Plate 5), surmounted by the lower courses of a parapet and a moulded cornice with a grotesque gargoyle in the middle of each side; at the angles are pointed diagonal buttresses surmounted by the stumps of former pinnacles. The tower-arch is two-centred and of two wave-moulded orders on the E. with a moulded label and carved stops of a man's head and a grotesque beast; the outer order on the E. is continuous and the innermost order springs from attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred head with a moulded label and grotesque beast-stop; the inner splays are carried up to the W. window, which is of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label and damaged beast-stops. The lower storey was originally vaulted, but the vault is now destroyed; the wall-ribs remain, and also the carved corbels and springers of the diagonal and intermediate ribs; the N.E. corbel (Plate 133) is carved with a grotesque lion-monster, the [S.E. corbel (Plate 133) with a bearded man protruding his tongue, stroking his beard with his left hand and wearing a glove on his right, the N.W. corbel with a man's (?) head with a curious head-dress or cap, and the S.W. corbel with an ape. The fourth stage has in the W. wall a window of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a square head with a moulded label. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two cinque-foiled lights with a plain spandrel in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and label. On the string-course between the second and third stages at the outer angles of the southern buttresses are carved large grotesques, and on the inner angles of all the buttresses at the same level are remains of small similar grotesques.

The South Porch has an outer archway with a round head and moulded label with carved head-stops, all probably made up of re-used material in the 17th or 18th century. In the E. wall is a recess with a segmental head and label, probably of 14th-century and earlier stones re-used. The side walls have each a window of two plain square-headed lights.

The Roof of the chancel is ceiled below the rafters and collars, but has three rough chamfered tie-beams with queen-posts probably of the 17th century; there are two stumps of beams in its N.W. angle, one projecting from the W. wall, apparently the end of a beam, the other from the N. wall and probably an oak corbel. The roof to the N. aisle is all modern except a moulded ridge to the easternmost bay, which is probably of late 15th-century date. The roof of the S. porch may incorporate some 17th- or 18th-century timbers. A stump of a beam appears in the E. part of the N. wall of the clearstorey and another in the W. half of the S. wall, connected with a former roof.

Fittings—Bells: four, 1st by William Haulsey, 1622; 2nd by Newcombe, mid or late 16th-century: 4th by Tobias Norris, 1685. Brass Indents: In nave—at E. end (1) of figure of man in armour with inscription-plate below, possibly of Henry Torkington, 1549. In N. aisle—in large blue marble slab (2) marginal inscription and remains of cross (Plate 127) with foliated ends standing on a small base, 14th-century; superimposed above, of figure of man in armour with shield at feet, with two wives and below two small indents apparently one daughter of each wife, marginal inscription, early 16th-century; in upper part of slab, inscription in Roman capitals now illegible except for one or two letters. Coffin-lids: In nave—(1) part only. In N. aisle—in N.E. corner, (2) small slab with remains of narrow cross on three steps; on N. wall, (3) with remains of volute; (4) broken fragments with remains of cross with double scrolled ends; (5) damaged portion; on W. wall, (6) part with stem of cross on two steps. In S. aisle—on W. wall, (7) fragment with remains of volutes; (8) fragment with remains of double-scroll crosses; (9) long portion of defaced slab; (10) two long pieces of slab with part of omega-ornament and half a cross formy; (11) part of slab with steps of cross and end of volute, all apparently late 13th-century. In S. porch—on W. wall, (12) middle portion with stem of cross and remains of inscription in Lombardic characters to.....ela Noke, possibly early 14th-century. Font (Plate 8): octagonal bowl with chamfered edge and tapering sides with large roll-moulding below supported on large circular pier and eight detached shafts with moulded capitals and 'hold-water' bases, the abaci, necking and bases attached to central pier, 13th-century, some shafts restored. Glass: In N. aisle—in westernmost window, worn fragment of coloured border. In S. aisle—in E. window, a few quarries with remains of a cross-design in yellow stain. Lockers: In chancel—in N. wall, two square recesses with modern doors. Monument and Floor-slabs: Monument: In churchyard—E. of chancel, to Francis Bradshaw, 1706, and Hester his [daughter], 1706, head-stone, now flat. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) of black marble, to Richard, fourth son of Sir Richard Stone, 1658, with shield-of-arms; (2) to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Stone, 1659–60. Piscinae: In chancel, recess with moulded and trefoiled head, projecting semi-octagonal corbel with shallow half-round drain, 13th-century, apparently re-set with lower part restored. In nave—in N.E. respond, shallow round-headed recess and remains of drain, shelf cut away, date uncertain. In S. aisle—square recess with chamfered edge and square drain. Plate: includes an inscribed cup and cover-paten (Plate 137) of 1624 with the latter inscribed "There was added unto the old cupp twelve ounces by Mistris Alce Stone 1625." Stoups: In N. aisle— by N. door, lower portions of a pinnacle (?), modern adaptation and with cinque-foiled head on each face under crocketed gable, possibly 14th-century. In S. porch, semi-circular recess, with moulded bowl on shaft, apparently modern restoration. Sundial: On W. face of S.W. buttress of W. tower, incised dial of unusual form. Miscellanea: In N.E. corner of churchyard, large fragment of stone of uncertain purpose. By W. tower, several fragments of worked stone of various dates. Built into walls of church—many 12th-century and later stones.



b (2). Homestead Moat at Prestley Wood, 1 m. N.E. of the church has an outer enclosure surrounding the inner on three sides.

Monuments (3–14).

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, large open fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good.

b (3). Post Office, cottage 20 yards E. of the church.

b (4). Cottage, 20 yards S.E. of (3), is probably of early 18th-century date.

b (5). Three Horse Shoes Inn, on N.E. side of Ermine Street, 280 yards N. of the church, has had both the front and back elevations refaced in brick and modern additions added at the back.

b (6). House and stables, 500 yards N.E. of the church. The House is built on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and E. Inside the building some of the rooms have old battened doors, one of which is fitted with a wooden latch and one with an iron drop-handle and plate.

The Stable, to the S.E. of the house, is partly weather-boarded and is possibly of early 18th-century date.

b (7). Manor Farm, house and barn, 100 yards N.E. of (6). The House is of two storeys with attics with a one-storey S. wing forming, with the main block, an L-shaped building with the wings extending towards the S. and W. The mansard-roof to the main block was probably altered in the 18th century, and the S. wall of the main block and the W. wall of the S. wing have been refaced with modern brick. Inside the building the fire-place to the principal room has an eared and moulded architrave of early 18th-century date and the corner-cupboard in the kitchen is of the same period. The doorway between the kitchen and the S. wing has a 17th-century eight-panelled door.

The Barn to the S. of the house is timber-framed and weather-boarded, and is possibly of early 18th-century date.

b (8). Cottage, at Owl End, nearly ½ m. N.E. of the church. Inside the building the northernmost room has an early 18th-century corner-cupboard with a moulded cornice and two shaped shelves and a panelled door.

b(9). Cottage at Owl End, 360 yards N.E. of (8).

b (10). Cottage at Green End, on N.W. side of the road, ½ m. E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and has later additions. The ground-floor has been refronted with modern brick.

b(11). Block of two cottages, at Green End on N.W. side of road, 50 yards N.E. of (10), is possibly of early 18th-century date; the end walls have been re-built.

b(12). House, two tenements, at Green End, on S.E. side of road opposite (11), has the S. end built of brick. The S. end of the building is higher and projects both on the E. and W. slightly in front of the rest of the building; the S. wall is gabled and carried up in a parapet with a projecting brick band at the eaves-level; on the first floor are two blocked windows with segmental heads. Inside the building are three two-panelled doors.

b(13). House at Green End, 120 yards N.E. of (11), was built on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S.E. and S.W., probably early in the 18th century. Later additions have been built on the N.W. side of the building, and a modern wing and porch have been added on the S.W. side of the S.E. wing.

a(14). Waterloo Farm, house and outbuilding, nearly 1¼ m. S.S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics and was built on a roughly L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N.E. and N.W. The house has been added to and considerably altered.

The Outbuilding to the E. of the house has open sides and incorporates several re-used moulded timbers of early 16th-century date brought from elsewhere.


b(15). Mound on N.E. side of Ermine Street, 160 yards N.E. of the church, is 70 ft. in diameter and flat on the top. It is surrounded by a shallow ditch, but both slope and ditch have been destroyed by the roadway on the S.W. side.

b(16). Mound, on S.W. side of Ermine Street, 200 yards S.E. of (15), is 83 ft. in diameter and has a shallow surrounding ditch and a flat top. It has been destroyed by the roadway on the N.E. side.