An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.
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93. WESTON, OLD (B.d.).
(O.S. 6 in. XII S.E.)
Old Weston is a parish and village 6 m. N. of Kimbolton. The church is the principal monument.
(1). Parish Church of St. Swithin stands on the W. side of the village. The walls are of cornbrash and Weldon rubble, repaired in brick; the dressings and ashlar are of Weldon and Ketton stone and the roofs are covered with lead. The Nave arcades are of late 13th-century date and the Chancel was re-built c. 1300. About the middle of the 14th century the North and South Aisles were re-built and the South Porch and clearstorey added; later in the same century the West Tower was added. In the 15th century part of the E. wall of the chancel was re-built, and at some uncertain date the W. part of the N. aisle was re-built. In the 17th century the church was largely re-roofed and the N. wall of the chancel extensively repaired. The church was restored in 1895.
Among the fittings the paintings are of interest.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (21 ft. by 15½ ft.) has a 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head with moulded external reveals; the S. part of the wall is of c. 1300, but the northern part was re-built in the 15th century. In the N. wall are two early 14th-century windows; the eastern has been altered in the 15th century, and is now of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded label; the western window is of two pointed lights with a plain spandrel in a two-centred head with a moulded label and mask-stops; the wall has been partly re-built in the 15th century and again, in brickwork, in the 17th century. In the S. wall are two windows similar to the western window in the N. wall; the sill of the eastern window is carried down to form a seat; at the W. end of the wall is a squint with chamfered jambs and square head. The early 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders with a moulded label; the outer order is continuous and the inner rests on attached shafts with moulded capitals and hollow-chamfered bases; both have cuttings for a former screen.
The Nave (49 ft. by 15 ft.) has late 13th-century N. and S. arcades of four bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders with a moulded label; the octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds have moulded capitals and hollow-chamfered bases; the label on the N. side has three grotesque head-stops and two quatre-foiled stops; the label on the S. side has two grotesque stops; two capitals on each side have nail-head ornament; E. of the N. arcade is the 15th-century upper doorway of the rood-loft staircase; it has a four-centred head, four steps in the thickness of the wall, and was approached by a ladder. The mid 14th-century clearstorey has on each side four windows each of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with casement-moulded external reveals.
The North Aisle (7½ ft. wide) has in the E. wall a 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and label, having one head-stop. In the N. wall are three mid 14th-century windows, each of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with a moulded label; the westernmost window has been re-set when that part of the aisle was re-built in the 15th century; a straight joint, to the E. of the doorway, marks the junction of the two periods of work; the 13th-century N. doorway, probably re-set, has chamfered jambs and two-centred arch with moulded imposts and a label with nail-head ornament and defaced head-stops.
The South Aisle (9¼ ft. wide) has in the E. wall a mid 14th-century window similar to those in the N. wall of the N. aisle but of three lights. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of late 15th-century date and of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a square moulded label, beast-head stops and traceried spandrels; the western window is similar to the window in the E. wall, but of two lights only; the 14th-century S. doorway has jambs and two-centred arch of one chamfered and one moulded order with a chamfered label and defaced head-stops. In the W. wall is a window of one trefoiled light.
The West Tower (about 10½ ft. square) is of late 14th-century date and faced with rough ashlar; it is of three stages (Plate 4) with a weathered plinth and a cornice with gargoyles at the base of the drum of the octagonal spire. The two-centred tower-arch is of three chamfered orders, the two outer continuous and the inner springing from attached shafts with moulded capitals and hollow-chamfered bases. The door-way to the stair-turret has chamfered jambs and ogee head. The W. window is of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label continued along the wall as a string-course. The second stage has in the W. wall a window of one trefoiled light with a moulded label. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two transomed and trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head and a moulded label; the lights below the transom have quatre-foiled heads. The tower proper terminates at the springing-level of the heads of these windows and is surmounted by an octagonal drum with tabled broaches covering the main angles of the tower and finished with a moulded cornice; from the broaches rise the bases of former pinnacles. Above this is the octagonal spire with two tiers each of four spire-lights all facing the cardinal points; the windows of the lower tier have each three trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a gabled head; the windows of the upper tier have two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a gabled head.
The South Porch is of late 14th-century date and has a two-centred outer archway of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from attached shafts with moulded capitals; the moulded label has grotesque beast-stops. The side walls have each a window of two trefoiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label; the mullion of the W. window is modern.
The Roof of the nave is of c. 1657, incorporating earlier material, and is of four bays; it is low-pitched, with moulded main timbers, cambered tie-beams, with short king-posts and curved braces; the wall-posts rest on 16th-century corbels carved with grotesque heads; on the westernmost tie-beam is the inscription "R.A. 1657 R.E. Church W." The pent-roof of the N. aisle has moulded main timbers; one of the tie-beams is dated 1638. The roof of the S. aisle is probably of the 18th century.
Fittings—Bells: four; 1st probably early 16th-century, with unintelligible inscription; 2nd and 3rd by Tobias Norris, 1612; 4th by . . . . Norris (?), 17th-century. Coffin-lids: In chancel—two, one with double cross with omega-ornament and the other with cross on stepped calvary, rosettes and paterae, probably late 13th- and early 14th-century respectively. Communion Table: with turned legs and moulded top rail; late 17th-century. Doors: In S. doorway—of battens with two strap-hinges with fleur-de-lis ends, 15th- or 16th-century, fillets and frame, modern. In doorway to turret-staircase of tower—of battens with strap-hinges, 17th-century, much decayed. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to I.C., 1706. In nave— (2) to the four children of John [Al]cock, 17th-century. Font (Plate 8): octagonal bowl with V-shaped corbelled projections on four sides, probably 14th-century, stem and base modern. Paintings: In S. aisle—on N. splay of E. window, crowned figure of St. Margaret (Plate 104) standing on dragon and holding a book, under a trefoiled canopy with a ridged roof and a spire above, below figure, masonry lines; on S. splay of same window, figure of St. Katherine holding sword and wheel and standing under trefoiled canopy, masonry lines below. On S. wall of same aisle—figure-subject, possibly the enthronement of a bishop by two others, with seated figure on throne, bishop in act of blessing and figure of woman behind, traces of a fourth figure on left and traces of border above, also a capital letter T (?), added afterwards; further W., panel (Plate 155) of figure-subjects, upper subject, part of a wheel of Fortune, separated by a band of running foliage from the lower subject of a bearded man leaning out of a house and a man with a sword about to strike off his head, probably the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, all paintings 14th-century. Piscinae: In chancel—with hollow-chamfered jambs and trefoiled head with defaced label, quatre-foiled drain, early 14th-century. In S. aisle— in S. wall, with moulded jambs and trefoiled ogee head, quatre-foiled drain, early 14th-century. Sundial: On S.E. buttress of S. aisle—scratched dial. Miscellanea: In churchyard—against N. aisle, part of the base of a pinnacle or gable-cross, 15th-century.
(2). Model Farm, house, on the E. side of the road, 460 yards E.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and cellars; the walls are partly of brick and partly timber-framed with brick nogging; the roofs are tiled. It was built at the beginning of the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and E. The elevations have some exposed timber-framing. Inside the building are some original moulded and chamfered ceiling-beams. The S. room on the ground-floor has an original stone fireplace with stop-moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head; above it is a panelled overmantel; flanking the fireplace are cupboards with panelled doors. The staircase (Plate 165) is original and has symmetrically-turned balusters, rounded hand-rails, plain strings and square newels with ballfinials. On the first floor one room is lined with original panelling, and there are some original panelled doors.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
(3). House (Plate 71), on the S. side of the road, 300 yards N.E. of the church, was built on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. The W. wing has been pulled down, but the chimney-stack at the junction of the two wings remains, and has three attached diagonal shafts. Inside the building the staircase is original, and has turned balusters, mostly concealed by plaster.
(4). Cottage, on the N.W. side of the road, 220 yards N.E. of (2), was built c. 1700; the roof is thatched.
(5). House, 60 yards N.E. of (4), has an added 18th-century wing on the W. side.
(6). House, two tenements, 40 yards S. of (4), is modern, but incorporates old materials and a stone in the chimney-stack dated 1622.
(7). Black Swan Inn, on the S.E. side of the road, 80 yards N.E. of (6).
(8). House (Plate 72), 100 yards E.N.E. of (7), is of H-shaped plan, with the cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. There are original chimney-stacks in the middle and at the S. end, both with restored diagonal shafts. Inside the building some of the timber-framing is exposed. In the S. wing is a doorway with an original moulded frame. A room on the first floor of the S. wing has a segmental plastered ceiling.
Condition—Of S. wing, poor; of rest, fairly good.
(9). Hospital Farm, house 130 yards N.N.E. of (8), has modern extensions or rebuildings on the N. and S. The original central chimney-stack has three attached diagonal shafts.