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.

'Upwood', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire, (London, 1926) pp. 279-282. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/hunts/pp279-282 [accessed 29 February 2024]

In this section

88. UPWOOD (D.c.)

(O.S. 6 in. XIV. N.W.).

Upwood is a parish and village 2½ m. S.W. of Ramsey. The Church and Manor-house are the principal monuments.


(1). Parish Church of St. Peter stands in the village. The walls generally are of rubble with dressings of Barnack and other freestone, the chancel-walls have much flint and the upper parts are of brick; the roofs are covered with lead. There are remains of an aisleless Nave of c. 1100 above the later N. arcade; the chancel-arch probably also belongs to this period. The Chancel itself was re-built and widened about the middle of the 12th century, and the N. arcade and a N. aisle were built about the same time. In the 13th century the South Aisle and a W. tower were added and the westernmost bay of the N. arcade re-built. In the 15th century the S. arcade was re-built and the clearstorey of the nave added. The former extent of the N. aisle with that of a N. vestry, now destroyed, are uncertain. About 1642 the chancel-walls were raised and a new roof put on. The North Aisle was entirely re-built in 1884–5 and the West Tower in 1890; the church was again restored in 1912 and 1921.

The 12th-century work and the roofs are of some interest, and among the fittings the alms-dish is noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (24 ft. by 15 ft.) has an embattled parapet, of which the brick filling of the merlons is largely missing; the E. gable has an old gable-cross. The E. window is modern except for the mediæval splays. In the N. wall is a mid 12th-century window of one round-headed light; E. of it is a blocked 15th-century window formerly of two lights in a square head with a moulded label and grotesque stops; towards the W. end of the wall is a blocked doorway to a former vestry, with the rebate on the outside and with an oak lintel; further W. are the jambs of a large blocked opening, also with an oak lintel; it was probably a squint. In the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost of the 15th century and of two cinque-foiled ogee lights, with vertical tracery in a square head with a moulded label and grotesque head-stops; the middle window is a mid 12th-century light similar to that in the N. wall; the westernmost window is of the 15th century and of two cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label; the lights are continued down below a transom as a 'low-side.' The distorted chancel-arch is of c. 1100 and of two plain orders with chamfered imposts at the springing-level, partly cut away.

Upwood, Parish Church of St Peter

The Nave (43 ft. by 16½ ft.) has a N. arcade (Plate 77) of three bays of which the two eastern are of the 12th century and the western a rebuilding of the 13th century; the earlier work has round arches of two chamfered orders resting on cylindrical columns with scalloped capitals and chamfered abaci both with rebated angles; the E. respond has an attached half-column of which the moulded base is visible; the westernmost bay has a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders springing, on the W., from a semi-octagonal respond with a moulded capital. Above the two eastern bays are the round rear-arches of two blocked windows of c. 1100; the round external head of the easternmost of these windows also remains. The 15th-century S. arcade is of three bays with two-centred arches of one chamfered and one hollow-chamfered order; the octagonal columns have moulded capitals and splayed bases, the latter perhaps of the 13th century, and one of which has a scrolled spur-ornament; the responds have attached half-columns. The 15th-century clearstorey has on each side three partly restored windows, each of two cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head.

The North Aisle (10½ ft. wide) is modern, but has the following old features re-set—in the E. wall is a 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label. In the N. wall are two windows uniform with that in the E. wall; between them is a restored 14th-century doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and moulded label with one mask-stop. In the W. wall is a single trefoiled light of the 13th century, with a moulded label and mask-stops. In the S. wall, E. of the arcade, is a recess with a blocked squint formerly communicating with the chancel; further W. is an opening now forming the approach to the pulpit and probably modern.

The South Aisle (9 ft. wide) has in the E. wall a window uniform with the E. window of the N. aisle; the middle part of the internal sill has been cut down to form a shelf. In the S. wall are two windows uniform with that in the E. wall; between them is the 14th-century S. doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label. In the W. wall is a late 13th-century window of three pointed lights with a cinquefoil and plain tracery in a two-centred head, perhaps of later date, with a moulded label and mask-stops.

The West Tower (7¼ ft. square) has been re-built except for the tower-arch but incorporates some old features. The 13th-century tower-arch is two-centred and of three chamfered orders, the two outer continuous and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases, the latter continued round the outer order. The bell-chamber has in each wall a 13th-century window of two pointed lights with a plain spandrel in a two-centred head with a moulded label and mask-stops; the mullion has an attached shaft with moulded capital and base. The embattled parapet with pinnacles at the angles is probably of the 15th century re-set and restored.

The Roof of the chancel is of flat pitch with moulded main timbers; the tie-beams have curved braces and wall-posts standing on moulded brackets; the wall-plate has a moulded cornice; on the E. tie-beam is the date 1642, which is the date of the whole roof. The low-pitched 15th-century roof of the nave has moulded main timbers, curved braces to the tie-beams with traceried spandrels, short king-posts and carved bosses at the intersections of the purlins and intermediates. The roofs of the aisles are also of the 15th century but largely renewed; they are low-pitched and have moulded main timbers.

Fittings—Bells: three; 1st, founder unknown, 1709, inscribed "John Gregory, Thomas Charter Churchward. 1709"; 2nd by Edward Newcombe, mid 16th-century; 3rd by Tobias Norris, 1615, with the name "Henri Crumwell armiger." Brass Indents: In S. aisle—(1) of half-figure of priest and inscription-plate; (2) of figure of woman, inscription-plate and four scrolls, 15th-century. Chest: In N. chapel—of hutch-type with raised panels in front, lid with moulded edge and moneyslot, 17th-century. Communion Table: In S. aisle—with turned legs, top rail with crude acanthus-ornament and shaped brackets, early 17th-century, table probably shortened and re-made. Font and Cover. Font: plain square bowl with chamfered under-edge, 12th-century, stem modern, chamfered plinth possibly old. Cover: of oak, square pyramidal form with moulded and enriched styles and rails, turned top-post, early 17th-century. Glass: In S. aisle—in heads of E. and S.E. windows, tabernacle-work in heads of all six lights, those in S.E. window with small figures; in tracery-lights, oak-leaf ornament, 15th-century, in situ. Locker: In chancel—in N. wall, large, rectangular with rebated edges, blocked with masonry. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel— on N. wall, (1) to Peter Phesaunt, Justice of the King's Bench, [1649] and Mary (Bruges) his wife, tablet of Reigate stone or clunch (Plate 25), painted, with inscription flanked by Ionic pilasters, supporting an entablature with two flaming urns, an achievement-of-arms with large pheasant crest, apron with hour-glass and skull, two shields-of-arms on pilasters. In churchyard—N. of nave, (2) to Alice, daughter of John (and Alice) Blimston, 1688–9, head-stone with hour-glasses, winged skulls, etc., on border. Floor-slabs: In S. aisle— (1) to Reynold Michell, 1706; (2) to Robert Michel, priest, 1707, son of above. Niche: Re-set in W. wall of tower—with projecting frame-moulding; on small corbels, trefoiled head, fleur-de-lis finial and broken bracket, early 14th-century, now blocked. Piscinae: In chancel—with chamfered jambs and four-centred head, round drain, 15th-century. In N. chapel—in E. wall, with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, probably piscina, re-set, 14th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, with moulded jambs and segmental-pointed head, octofoiled drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes a cup of 1613 with cover-paten of the same date, and a dish (Plate 137) 9¼ in. in diameter with a central boss enclosing a flat plate engraved with an Annunciation and with remains of enamel, repoussé surround with elaborate ornament of beasts and leaves, early 15th-century, Spanish. There is also an 18th-century pewter flagon. Screens: Under chancel-arch—of seven bays with moulded uprights, head, rail and mullions, doorway with cusped head, side bays each with cinque-foiled and traceried head, 15th-century, restored and close lower panelling modern. In N. aisle—generally similar to chancel-screen but two traceried heads of side bays modern and the whole blocked by modern close panelling. Seating: Some bench-ends and moulded rails incorporated in modern pews, 15th-century. Miscellanea: Re-set in W. wall of tower—corbel with head of woman in wimple also a kneeling figure in profile, both late 13th-century. Various worked stones re-used in N. aisle and W. churchyard-wall.

Condition—Good, restored. Chancel, poor externally.


(2). Manor House and outbuilding, 150 yards W.N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics and the roofs are covered with tiles and stone slates. The house was built c. 1660 on a half-H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. There are modern additions on the N. and S. The E. front has projecting side-wings with hipped gables and plain pilasters at the angles. The windows, which are symmetrically arranged, are set in projecting panels and have segmental heads on the first floor and square heads on the ground-floor. The main block has a small gable in the middle with an oval window. The three large chimney-stacks are of stone with brick shafts set diagonally. Inside the building the kitchen, in the N.E. wing, has an original chamfered ceiling-beam. At the top of the back-stairs are some symmetrically-turned balusters and square newels with ball-tops.

The Outbuilding, N. of the house, is of two storeys, timber-framed and partly faced with modern brick. It is probably of early 17th-century date. Further W. is an early 16th-century building of one storey with original posts and roof-principals.

Condition—Of house, good.

Monuments (3–9).

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. Several of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good.

High Street. E. side

(3). Cross Keys Inn, 100 yards N. of the church, has been faced with modern brick, and the S. part of the house is modern.

(4). Carlton House, 60 yards S.W. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N.E. and S.E. The N.W. front has a slight cove under the eaves; the doorway is flanked by Doric pilasters supporting a cornice and pediment; in the pediment are the initials and date /?/ 1677. Under the southern dormer-window is a moulded plaster swag. Inside the building is an original door with two lozenge-shaped panels and another room has a corner-cupboard with a round head, imposts and key-block.

(5). Cottage, 90 yards S.W. of (4), has an original chimney-stack, cross-shaped on plan and set diagonally.

(6). Cottage, two tenements, 60 yards S.W. of (5), has a rubble wall on the N.E. side.

(7). Cottage, 50 yards S.S.W. of (6).

W. side

(8). Cottage, nearly opposite and N. of (7).

(9). Cottage, opposite school and 240 yards S.W. of the church.