Pages 269-272

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

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84. TETWORTH (C.g.).

(O.S. 6 in. (a)XVII S.E., Beds. (Hunts. detached) (b)XIII S.W.)

Tetworth is the southernmost parish in the county with a detached portion 6 m. S. of St. Neots, adjoining the parish of Everton in Bedfordshire; the two parishes form a joint ecclesiastical parish. The Church is the principal monument.


(b) (1). Parish Church of St. Mary stands in the S. corner of the detached portion of the parish. The walls generally are of limestone-rubble, with which is incorporated a considerable amount of ironstone; the walls of the W. tower are of large squared ironstone-rubble, and those of the S. porch are of pebble-rubble; the dressings are of Barnack stone and clunch; the roofs are covered with tiles, slates and lead. The Chancel, Nave, and the North and South Aisles are all of mid 12th-century date and the erection probably extended over several years, the N. arcade of the nave being slightly later in character than the S. arcade. Late in the 14th century the West Tower, South Porch and clearstorey were added, and the existing parapet was added to the S. aisle. Late in the 15th or early in the 16th century the chancel-arch was re-built. The building was "thoroughly restored" in 1865, when apparently much of the N. aisle and parts of the S. aisle were re-built.

The church is of interest, and among the fittings the monument to Sir Humphrey Winche is note-worthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (29¾ ft. by 14½ ft.) has had the upper part of the E. wall re-built; the quoins are of unusually large stones; the E. window is of three lancet-lights, apparently all modern. In the N. wall are three windows, the two easternmost are each of a single round-headed light of late 12th-century date with modern external heads; the westernmost window is of late 14th- or early 15th-century date and of two cinque-foiled lights with a pierced spandrel in a four-centred head with a moulded label. In the S. wall are three windows of similar date and design respectively to the three corresponding windows in the N. wall; the two easternmost windows are modern or largely restored externally, and the westernmost window has been partly restored. The late 15th- or early 16th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two orders chamfered on the E. side and wave-moulded on the W. side; the outer order is continuous and the inner is carried on semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and modern bases; the wall on the chancel side thickens below the springing of the arch.

Tetworth, Parish Church of St Mary

The Nave (47¼ ft. by 14¾ ft.) has a N. arcade of c. 1160 and of three bays with semi-circular arches of a single square order with circular piers and semi-circular responds all with scalloped capitals, moulded bases and chamfered plinths; the abacus and plinth to the E. respond are cut off flush with the wall-face on the S. side. The S. arcade is also of three bays and is of slightly earlier character than the N. arcade; the arches are semi-circular and of a single square order with circular piers and semi-circular responds with scalloped capitals, chamfered bases and chamfered plinths; the abacus of the E. respond is mostly modern, as is the N. side of the abacus of the first pier from the E.; the base of the westernmost pier has been cut away on the W. face. The clearstorey was added late in the 14th century, and has on the N. side three quatrefoil-lights with the foils of the middle light set saltirewise; they have all been restored and the westernmost is probably modern externally; on the S. side are three partly-restored windows of early 16th-century date; the easternmost is of two, and the middle and westernmost are each of three cinque-foiled lights in square heads; to the W. of the westernmost window externally is the W. jamb of an earlier window.

The North Aisle (7½ ft. wide) has been mostly re-built, but some of the old windows have been re-set. The late 14th-century E. window is of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil and traceried spandrel in a square head with a moulded label; the splays are moulded and the tracery is considerably perished. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern modern and the western of 15th-century date and of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with moulded splays and jambs; it has been re-set and partly restored; the re-set N. doorway is of 16th-century date, and has jambs and four-centred head of two moulded orders, but the outer order of the head and the splays and rear-arch are modern. In the W. wall, which has modern facing externally, is a 12th-century light with a semi-circular head. In the S.E. corner of the aisle is a rectangular projection for the staircase to the former rood-loft; it has a weathered top of three offsets and no doorway is now visible.

The South Aisle (7¼ ft. wide) is of late 12th-century date, but has had the S.E. angle re-built and the W. wall refaced; the parapet was added late in the 14th century, and below the string-course are two well-carved gargoyles, both winged beasts and one with horns in addition. In the E. wall is a late 14th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatre-foiled spandrel in a four-centred head with a moulded label and casementmoulded rear-arch; the head has been restored and the jambs are much worn. In the S. wall are two windows, each of three lancets under a common lintel; the eastern is modern externally, but the western window is of 13th-century date partly restored; between these windows, immediately E. of the S. porch, is a blocked 12th-century light with a semi-circular head; the mid 12th-century S. doorway has a semi-circular head of two moulded orders, but the lower voussoirs of the inner order on the E. side are modern; the inner order is carried on attached shafts with 'water-leaf' capitals and modern bases and supporting the outer order are detached shafts with scalloped capitals, but the lower parts of these shafts, below the decayed bands, are missing. In the W. wall is a 12th-century light with a semi-circular head.

The West Tower (12¼ ft. by 11½ ft.) is of late 14th-century date, and is of three stages with a moulded plinth and a modern embattled parapet. The tower-arch is two-centred and of two wavemoulded orders; the responds on the E. side are of two moulded orders separated by a roll and on the W. side of two chamfered orders; the responds have moulded capitals and bases; towards the nave at the springing-level of the arch are small portions of a moulded but broken string-course. The W. window is original and of three cinque-foiled lights with modern mullions and partly restored vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label which is continued across the W. wall as a string-course; the jambs are casement-moulded and the splays are shafted with moulded capitals and bases to the shafts. The second stage has in the S. wall a small ogee-headed light. In each side of the bell-chamber is a partly-restored window of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label.

The South Porch is of late 14th-century date and has a moulded and panelled plinth and a moulded parapet with a carved winged-beast gargoyle on the string-course on each side. The entrance has a two-centred arch of two wave-moulded orders with a moulded label and carved head-stops, the eastern much worn and the western with a man holding his face; the outer order of the arch is continuous and the inner is carried on attached half-round shafts with moulded capitals and chamfered bases. In each of the side walls is a window of two trefoiled lights with plain vertical tracery in a square head with a moulded label.

The Roof of the nave is probably of 16th- or 17th-century date, but has been restored; it is in five bays with stop-chamfered tie-beams, wall-posts and curved braces; the tie-beams support a central and two side-posts carrying the ridge and purlins respectively; the ridge to the three easternmost bays and the purlins to the two easternmost bays are moulded; the wall-posts stand on corbels, most of which are of late 14th-century date and have semi-octagonal moulded abaci and are carved with human and beast-heads, figure, etc., one has the head of a muzzled bear, baited by two dogs.

Fittings—Bells: five; 1st and 2nd by James Keene, 1630; 3rd by Richard Holdfeld, 1611, and 4th inscribed in 'black-letter' "Johannes Dier hanc campanam fecit," probably c. 1575. Bell-frame, old, with cages for five bells. Brass Indents: In floor of nave—at E. end, (1) in marble slab, of figures of man in armour and wife with two children, four shields-of-arms and marginal inscription with circular symbols of Evangelists at the angles, late 15th- or early 16th-century; (2) of priest, with inscription-plate below, 15th-century. Chest: In S. aisle, of oak, with moulded styles and rails carved with conventional floral enrichment; front, in three panels each carved with five rosettes with interlacing border; ends, each in two moulded and back in three plain panels; plain top with bull-nosed edge, early 17th-century. Coffin-lid: Built in as lintel to second window from bottom of vise to W. tower, portion of coffin-lid with moulded edge and cross. Monument: In nave, on E. end of N. wall, of Sir Humphrey Winche, 1624–5, one time Chief Justice of Ireland and afterwards Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, alabaster wall-monument (Plate 44), with painted figure of upper part of man in robes of office, with left hand on book and right arm raised, hand missing, set in round-headed recess, with enriched soffit, flanked by pilasters with winged cherub-heads in middle and having, at sides, supporting scrolls with carved figures of women; below figure, moulded shelf with recess under with triple circular head (two middle supports now missing) with carved cherub-heads in spandrels; recess flanked by carved lion-masks supporting small pedestals; below lower recess, grey marble inscription-panel flanked by scrolls and with carved cherub-head at bottom and, at head of monument, panel carved with skull and flanked by enriched pilasters and scrolls and surmounted by achievements-of-arms. Niches: On S. porch—on either side of entrance-archway, small niche with chamfered sill, jamb and ogee head, late 14th-century. Plate: includes an Elizabethan cup (Plate 136) without date-letter and inscribed "Everton"; a small stand-paten without date-letter and a large inscribed flagon of 1694 given to the church in 1695. Scratchings: on W. side of responds of tower-arch—various scratchings, including "IF 1600," and "Samuell Leete 1628".

Condition—Good, much restored.

a(2). Storey Moat, homestead moat, 500 yards N.N.E. of the church has an outer enclosure on the W. side.

a(3). Homestead Moat in Biggins wood, N. of Everton-Tempsford road, nearly 1¾ m. W.N.W. of the church.

a(4). Manor Farm, house, now two tenements, and moat, about 1½ m. N.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys; the walls of the lower storey are of brick and the upper storey of plastered timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. The house was built about the middle of the 17th century with a central block and S.E. and N.W. cross-wings, the N.W. wing projecting further beyond the main block at the back than the S.W. wing; behind the central block is the staircase. In the 18th century additions were made on the back or N.E. side of the central block, and the S.E. wing was also added to at the back. The house has since been altered internally and converted into two tenements.

On the front or S.W. elevation the two cross-wings project slightly in front of the central block and are gabled. The chimney-stack, which rises above the ridge, is towards the N.W. end of the central block, and has a rectangular base with a moulded capping and grouped diagonal shafts. At the back the N.W. cross-wing with the addition adjoining has a double gable; the staircase-block and the original S.E. cross-wing are also gabled, as is the extension to the latter; this is at a lower level than the original wing. On the S.E. side are two projecting chimney-stacks with splayed offsets; the upper part of the southernmost stack has been re-built and the northernmost stack is of the 18th century. Inside the building the principal ground-floor rooms have chamfered beams in the ceilings, and in a cellar, partitioned off from the middle of the original hall which occupied the ground-floor of the central block, the joists are exposed. The doorway in the back wall of the original hall has a moulded frame. One of the bedrooms on the first floor of the N.W. wing has an early 18th-century fireplace with a bolection-moulded surround and a moulded shelf. One old door is of framed and moulded battens.

The Moat now consists of a portion of a stream and a number of isolated ponds.

Condition—Of house, dilapidated and in part uninhabitable.

Monuments (5–9).

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

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.

b(5). Cottage, on S. side of road, 130 yards W.N.W. of the church, has a later extension at the W. end and a modern addition at the back.

b(6). Cottage, on S. side of road, 20 yards W. of (4), has later and modern additions at either end.

a(7). Cottage at Gibraltar Farm, about 1 m. N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. It was built c. 1700 on a central-chimney type of plan.


a(8). Cottage, 400 yards S.E. of (4), has a modern tile roof.

a(9). Cottage, 40 yards E.N.E. of (8), has probably had the N.W. end partly re-built.