Stukeley, Little

Pages 266-269

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

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In this section


(O.S. 6 in. XVII N.E.)

Little Stukeley is a parish and village on Ermine Street, 3 m. N.W. of Huntingdon. The Church is the principal monument.


(1). Parish Church of St. Martin stands in the village. The walls are generally of rubble, those of the chancel, S. chapel and aisles being faced with ashlar; the N. wall of the N. chapel is of brick; the dressings are generally of Barnack stone, and the roofs are covered with lead and tiles. There was a church on the site in the 12th century, with a nave probably coterminous with the existing nave; numerous stones of this building are re-used in the later walls, but there are but slight structural remains. The N. arcade was built and a N. aisle added in the 13th century, and late in the same century a W. tower was built. At the beginning of the 14th century the Chancel was re-built and widened and a N. chapel added. Late in the 15th or early in the 16th century an extensive reconstruction took place when the South Chapel and Aisle were built, the N. arcade and N. chapel-arch were reconstructed, the chancel-arch re-built, the W. tower partly re-built and the clearstorey and South Porch added. The S. porch was reconstructed in 1652 and the date 1673, said to have existed over the former N. doorway, indicates a restoration of the N. aisle at that date. The walls of the N. chapel and aisle were largely re-built in 1887 and the E. wall of the chancel was re-built in 1910.

The re-set 12th-century voussoirs in the N. arch of the chancel have very unusual detail.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (18½ ft. by 17 ft.) has a 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head; the jambs, head, label, most of the rear-arch and its label are of c. 1300. In the N. wall is an early 14th-century arch, reconstructed probably early in the 16th century; the arch is of irregular two-centred form and of two chamfered orders with a moulded label and mask-stops on the S. face; re-set in the outer order on the N. face are a number of voussoirs (Plate 132) of a 12th-century arch moulded and enriched with a series of round billets attached to the soffit; the billets are either plain or enriched, and the round ends have carved stars or rosettes; the responds have attached semi-octagonal shafts with 14th-century moulded capitals. In the S. wall is a late 15th- or early 16th-century arch, two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals; E. of the arch is the E. jamb and splay and part of the arch and labels of an early 14th-century window; W. of the arch is part of the W. splay of a 'low-side' window; higher up is a straight joint in the rubble, perhaps representing the E. face of the 12th-century W. wall of the chancel. The late 15th- or early 16th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the responds have each an attached semi-octagonal shaft with moulded capitals and modern bases. The splayed walling enclosing the rood-loft staircase is of rough ashlar.

Little Stukeley, Parish Church of St Martin

The Nave (29¼ ft. by 16 ft.) has N. and S. arcades of two bays and of similar date and detail to the chancel-arch; the piers are octagonal and have moulded bases, mostly restored; the two arches of the N. arcade are mostly of 13th-century materials, perhaps partly in situ; the thick wall of the N.W. respond probably represents part of the 12th-century nave. The clearstorey is of the same date as the arcades and has on each side two windows each of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label and, on the S. side, human and beast-head stops; the external reveals are casement-moulded. E. of the N. arcade is the early 16th-century upper doorway to the rood-loft, with a three-centred head; it is now blocked.

The North Aisle (about 8 ft. wide) has a N. wall of re-used ashlar and brick of various dates, some as old as the 17th century; at the W. end of the wall is a re-set corbel-table of 12th-century material. The windows are almost entirely modern. In the S. wall, N. of the chancel-arch, is the blocked door-way to the rood-loft staircase; it has now a roughly cut shouldered head, but was probably built with an arched head.

The South Aisle (about 9 ft. wide) forms a S. chapel at the E. end. The late 15th- or early 16th-century E. window is of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label, moulded reveals and grotesque beast-stops. The S. wall has two similar windows, but the stops of the western are carved with human figures; the S. doorway, of the same date as the windows, has a moulded two-centred arch and label with crockets and finial and grotesque beast-stops; the moulded jambs have an attached shaft on the outer face carrying a modern outer order of the arch. In the W. wall is a window similar to the E. window of the aisle.

The West Tower (11½ ft. square) is of three stages, the two lower of the 13th century, altered early in the 16th century and the top stage probably entirely of c. 1659. The early 16th-century tower-arch is four-centred and of three chamfered orders, the two outer dying on to the walls and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the voussoirs of the arch are probably of the 13th century, re-used. The W. window is modern except for the early 16th-century splays and segmental rear-arch; the late 13th- or early 14th-century W. doorway has moulded jambs; two-centred arch and label; it is now blocked. The second stage has a plain 13th-century lancet-window in the N., S. and W. walls; the W. window is destroyed externally and the S. window covered by a clock-face. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two cinque-foiled lights in a three-centred head with a moulded label, all perhaps modern restoration, except the moulded jambs. The embattled parapet has pinnacles at the angles, and incorporates some early 16th-century panels of running tracery; on the S. side are the letters and date "RO, IG, 1659".

The South Porch is ashlar-faced and has an embattled parapet and angle-pinnacles. The early 16th-century outer archway has a moulded four-centred arch, shafted responds and a moulded label with crockets, finial and beast-stops. On the gable are the letters and date "ID, AA, 1652". In the E. wall is a window of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head; in the W. wall is a similar window of one light.

The Roof of the nave is modern but has early 16th-century stone corbels carved with angels with shield, lute, scroll, etc., and two grotesque figures.

Fittings—Bells: four; 2nd probably by Newcombe, of Leicester, early 16th-century and inscribed "S. Martina"; 4th by Richard Holdfeld, 1607. Old bell-frame inscribed "RO, IG, CW, 1659." Brackets: In nave—above capital of middle column on N., large stone bracket (Plate 118) with half-angel carved on the under side; on it are some loose 12th-century stones. On E. respond of S. arcade, moulded shelf carved on the under side with the horizontal figure of a bearded man (Plate 118) with a pleated gown and a tall brimmed hat, terminating in a dragon's head. In N. aisle —on E. wall, stone bracket carved with a ram. In S. chapel—on E. wall, two stone brackets (Plate 118) carved with half-angels, one holding a shield; all late 15th- or early 16th-century. In S. aisle—on S. wall, bracket with half-angel, early 16th-century. In S. porch—similar bracket, early 16th-century. Brass: In S. aisle— figure of bearded man in flat cap, ruff, gown, etc., late 16th-century. Communion Table: In chancel —with turned legs, upper long rails and brackets carved with conventional foliage, early 17th-century. Font: octagonal bowl (Plate 9), each face with a quatre-foiled panel enclosing a rosette, under side carved with running foliage, stem with hollow-moulded faces, moulded base with square flowers, 15th-century. Glass: In S. aisle—in E. and S.E. windows, head of canopy of tabernacle-work and some fragments, mostly in situ, 15th-century. Ironwork: In S. aisle—in E. and S.E. windows, iron saddle-bars and uprights with fleur-de-lis heads, early 16th-century. Monument: In churchyard—E. of porch, to William Mawtin, 1685, head-stone. Paintings: In chancel —on splay of destroyed 14th-century window, plain cheveron-pattern in red, also traces of red on jamb of same window. In S. aisle—on S. wall, remains of painted panel with the 'Old Hundredth' in 'black-letter', probably 17th-century. Piscinae: In chancel—plain rough recess, half of quatre-foiled drain with boss in middle, in W. reveal, small recess with rebated edges, probably 15th-century. In N. aisle—in S. wall, recess with chamfered two-centred arch, no drain, probably 14th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, recess with bowed ogee-head, cinque-foiled and crocketed and with beast-stops, broken round drain, in W. reveal, small recess with rebated edges, late 15th- or early 16th-century. Plate: includes cover-paten probably of early 17th-century date. Stoup: In S. porch—in N.E. angle, recess with canopied head, lion's face carved on soffit and remains of stops and pedestal at apex, broken basin with remains of carved angel in front, late 15th- or early 16th-century. Miscellanea: In nave—above chancel-arch, square stone panel made up of strips of cusped panelling and with four cusped spandrels outside it and forming a diagonal square, in panel, remains of one fleur-de-lis, probably 16th-century; on N. wall of clearstorey, re-set strip carved with two fleurs-de-lis and a lion, probably from same panel; in S. wall, opposite last, two strips of cusped panelling, one with fleurs-de-lis, and set cross-wise, early 16th-century. In N. aisle—at E. end, a number of loose 12th-century stones, including voussoirs with conventionalised beak-heads, other voussoirs with reed-pattern, portion of corbel-table, etc.

Condition—The tower is unsafe, it has bad cracks in the side walls and leans towards the W.; there are also cracks in the N. wall of the chancel and a broken pinnacle of the porch is liable to fall.


Monuments (2–13).

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

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.

(2). Cottage, on the E. side of the Abbots Ripton Road, 230 yards N.N.W. of the church.

(3). Cottage, 140 yards N. of the church, is probably of late 17th- or early 18th-century date. The walls have been refaced with modern brick and at the S. end is a modern addition.

(4). Cottage, W. of (3) has been refaced with modern brick.

(5). Cottage, on E. side of road, 40 yards S. of the church.


(6). Cottage, on E. side of road, 30 yards S. of (5), is partly of brick and has a later addition at the back. The S. gabled wall has a projecting brick band at the level of the first floor.

(7). Cottage, on the E. side of the road, 30 yards S. of (6), is built on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E.

(8). Cottage and post office, at E. corner of junction of Ermine Street and Abbots Ripton Road, 180 yards S. of the church, has a later addition at the S. end, which is possibly of early 18th-century date. The ground-storey of the front is of brick as is also part of the back.

(9). House, on the W. side of the road, 30 yards S.W. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings projecting towards the N. and E.: the E. wing is probably of slightly later date than the main block. The house has been refaced with later brick and has modern additions both at the front and the back. Inside the building are some old doors with raised panels.

(10). Range, of three tenements, on the N.E. side of Ermine Street, 10 yards S.E. of (8), is of late 17th- or early 18th-century date.

(11). Swan and Salmon Inn (Plate 149), now a dwelling-house, at S. corner of junction of Ermine Street and the Abbots Ripton Road, is of brick. It was built c. 1676 on a rectangular plan with a slightly projecting central block on the N.W. or principal front. A later low addition has been built at the back over which the main roof has been carried down. The building is gabled at either end, as is also the central projecting block on the N.W. front; all the gables rise off moulded brick corbels. At the first-floor level is a plain projecting band of brick, and the end elevations have similar bands at the bottom of the gables. The front elevation has plain pilaster-strips at either end on the face of the central projection, and there are similar pilasters on the face of the front on either side of the central projection; the outer pilasters to the latter have simply moulded caps. There is one window on each floor on the front of the central projection and the front on either side of this, the latter with flat brick architraves eared and with plain key-block, and the former with a common flat architrave, carried up from the ground in pilaster-form, eared to the upper window and supporting a segmental arch above the lower window; the return-walls of the central projection have on the N.E. side a blocked doorway and on the S.W. side two blocked windows. On the N.E. front is a projecting chimney-stack diminishing with splayed offsets; on the first floor are two blocked windows and in the gable are two small elliptical lunettes. In the upper face of the chimney is a stone panel with a chained and collared swan carved in low relief and a small shaped shield with the initials C. and E. D. (for Christopher and Elizabeth Druell) and the date 1676; below is a cement panel with a flat brick surround and a salmon cut out of a flat metal plate; the upper parts of the chimney and gable have been re-built. The S.W. end is generally similar to the N.E. end but has a shaped gable with a cement band under the coping, below which is a projecting cornice of brick. On the back elevation is a refixed original two-panelled door, with the lower part sub-divided in the form of a fret and the upper panel with a central lozenge. Inside the building are some two-panelled doors.

(12). House, on S.E. side of road, 60 yards S.W. of (11), is built on a L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S.E. and S.W. The back elevation has been refaced with modern brick and a low one-storey addition has been built on to the easternmost corner of the house.

(13). House, two tenements, on W. side of road, 620 yards S.S.W. of the church, has a later addition at the back.

(14). Foundations, at Manor Farm, on W. side of the road, 100 yards S. of (13). The foundations of a former building to the S. of the present house include some fragments of worked stone.


(15). Earthwork at Bury Grove, 130 yards N.N.E. of the church consists of a roughly rectangular-shaped field surrounded on the S.E., N.W. and N.E. sides by a large bank, which becomes very slight on the N.W. side. In the easternmost corner is a rectangular enclosure surrounded by a ditch, the N.W. side of which is formed by a stream which runs across the field; the S.E. arm of the enclosing ditch is continued S.W. beyond the return S.W. arm along the whole length of the main bank.