An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.
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96. WOODHURST (D.d.).
(O.S. 6 in. XIX N.W.).
Woodhurst is a parish and village 3 m. N. of St. Ives. The Chapel of St. John the Baptist and the Manor Farm are the principal monuments.
(1). Chapel of St. John the Baptist stands in the village. The walls are of pebble and stone-rubble with dressings of Barnack stone; the roofs are covered with tiles and lead. The Nave was built late in the 12th century. In the middle of the following century the S. arcade was built and a S. aisle added. The South Aisle was probably re-built late in the 14th century. The timber bell-turret is probably of early 17th-century date. The Chancel was re-built in modern times and the building generally restored in 1871. The South Porch is modern.
Architectural Description—The Chancel is modern except for some re-used stones in the inner order of the chancel-arch and the 13th-century moulded corbels from which it springs; the lower stones of the responds are also old.
The Nave (39 ft. by 20 ft.) has in the lower part of the N. wall a partly restored window of c. 1330 and of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with a moulded label and one moulded and one mask-stop; the partly restored late 12th-century N. doorway has chamfered jambs and round arch with a double-chamfered label. The mid 13th-century S. arcade is of four bays, with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the cylindrical columns have moulded capitals and bases; the chamfered E. respond has a moulded corbel with a mask-stop, carrying the inner order of the arch and with the abacus continued round the respond as an impost; the W. respond has a chamfered impost and an attached semi-octagonal shaft with a moulded capital and moulded stops to the base. The clearstorey has on each side two modern windows. In the W. wall is a 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals, label and rear-arch. The timber bell-turret at the W. end of the nave is probably of early 17th-century date. It is carried on the W. wall of the nave and on a cross-beam, further E., supported by a stop-chamfered post in the middle. The turret itself is square and shingled, the timber-framing being left open under the eaves of the pyramidal roof.
The South Aisle (9¼ ft. wide) is of late 14th-century date and has an E. window of two cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label. In the S. wall are three similar windows, the two easternmost slightly repaired; the S. doorway has a two-centred arch of two moulded orders with a moulded label; the jambs are of two chamfered orders. In the W. wall is a modern window.
The Roof of the nave is modern, but incorporates three 15th-century moulded tie-beams; the shaped corbels supporting the wall-posts are also old.
Fittings—Bell: one, said to be by William Haulsey, 1624. Chest: In nave—of oak, top in two divisions with four strap-hinges, slot for money, 16th- or 17th-century, upper part of front modern. Coffin-lid: In churchyard—used as coping at W. end of churchyard-wall, tapering slab with traces of cross. Floor-slab: In nave—to William, son of John Cox..., late 17th-century. Font: octagonal bowl with hollow-chamfered under-edge, tapering stem and chamfered base, 13th-century, stem probably modern. Locker: In S. aisle—in S. wall, square, with rebated reveals. Painting: In nave—on W. wall, traces of skeleton in red line. Piscina: In S. aisle—in sill of S.E. window, octofoiled drain, late 14th-century. Seating: In nave—four pews made up of early 17th-century panelling, upper panels of two pews carved with conventional designs and with the date 1631 in one panel, four early 16th-century bench-ends with simple popey-heads. Table: In chancel —with turned legs, early 18th-century, shaped top-rail, modern.
(2). Homestead Moat, called Spinney Moat, ½ m. E.N.E. of the chapel.
(3). Stone, said to have been the hundred-stone and called the Abbot's Chair (Plate 142), on the W. side of the road, about 1¼ m. S.W. of the chapel. The stone, which is Barnack, would appear to have been the base of a mediæval cross, of which one side has either weathered away or been cut away, so that the original square socket for the shaft has now only three sides. The stone has been set up on one side and now has the appearance of a rough seat with arms.
(4). Manor House, 400 yards E. of the chapel, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. The house is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E. The N. wing was built probably early in the 17th century; the front block or E. wing was built early in the 18th century and the N. wing extended about the same time. The S. front is symmetrically arranged with a band-course between the storeys and a small plaster cove below the eaves. The N. wing has a moulded band-course between the storeys on both sides. In the E. wall of the upper storey is an original window of four lights with chamfered stone jambs and mullions; at the same level on the W. side are two original windows similar to that in the E. wall, but of three and four transomed lights respectively; the ground-floor on the same side retains part of a single-light window of similar character. The original chimney-stack, at the S. end of the N. wing, has four detached diagonal shafts. Inside the building, the early 18th-century staircase in the front block, is of well-form, with turned balusters, moulded and panelled strings and moulded hand-rails carried over the square newels. There are some early 18th-century panelled doors and the N. wing has an original chamfered ceiling-beam.
(5). House and pigeon-house, on the N. side of South Street, 300 yards S.E. of the chapel. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 18th century and is of T-shaped plan with the main or cross-wing at the S. end. The S. front is symmetrically arranged with a band-course between the storeys and a wooden modillioned eaves-cornice. The middle bay of the front projects slightly and the window-heads are of rubbed brick with the key-blocks. Inside the building the front staircase is original and has turned balusters, moulded strings and hand-rails carried over the square newels. The principal rooms have chamfered ceiling-beams and there are several original panelled or battened doors.
The Pigeon-house, N. of the house, is of early 18th-century date and of two stages, separated by a band-course; the walls are of brick and the pyramidal roof, with a 'saddle-back' capping, is tiled.
Condition—Of house, good.
(6). Cottage, 40 yards E. of the chapel, is of two storeys, with a modern front and roof; it was built early in the 17th century and has an original chimney-stack with the base of two diagonal shafts.
(7). Cottage, two tenements, 140 yards S.S.W. of (4) is of one storey with attics, timber-framed and plastered; the roof is thatched. The cottage was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
(8). Cottage, two tenements, opposite (5) is of one storey with attics; the walls are mainly of brick and the roof is thatched. The cottage was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.