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.

'Yelling', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire, (London, 1926) pp. 308-311. British History Online [accessed 4 March 2024]

In this section

102. YELLING (D.f.).

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

Yelling is a parish and village 5 m. E.N.E. of St. Neots. The Church and Church Farm are the principal monuments.


(1). Parish Church of Holy Cross stands on the N. side of the road towards the W. end of the village. The walls are of pebble and stone rubble with dressings of Barnack and other limestones and clunch; the roofs are covered with slates and lead. The N. arcade of the Nave is of c. 1180–90, and was, with the North Aisle, probably added to a nave of earlier date. Late in the 13th century the S. arcade and South Aisle were added, and c. 1300 the Chancel was re-built and probably enlarged. The chancel was considerably altered and heightened late in the 14th century. About the same time the West Tower, the South Porch and clear-storey were added and the nave may have been then shortened slightly at the W. end. The church was restored in 1730, 1868–9 and 1889.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (30 ft. by 16¾ ft.) has a five-light E. window, probably of late 14th-century date, but all restored except the moulded jambs and the mullions. In the N. wall are two late 14th-century windows with casement-moulded jambs and of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the N. doorway has chamfered jambs and a two-centred head. In the S. wall are two two-light windows, similar to those in the N. wall, but with moulded labels; the splays of the easternmost are carried down below the sill to form a stepped seat. The chancel-arch is of c. 1300 and is two-centred and of two chamfered orders with responds of three grouped shafts with moulded capitals and bases, standing on a tall plinth.

The Nave (35¼ ft. by 18 ft.) has a N. arcade of three bays of c. 1180–90 with two-centred arches of a single square order; the piers are circular with scalloped capitals and much-worn moulded bases; the responds are square with chamfered imposts. The S. arcade is of late 13th-century date and of four bays with two-centred arches of two stop-chamfered orders with a moulded label towards the nave; the piers are octagonal with moulded capitals and bases; the outer order of the arches at either end dies on to the end walls and the inner order is carried on semi-octagonal moulded corbels, the westernmost is partly built into the W. wall; the mouldings of the capital of the middle pier and the W. corbel differ slightly from those of the remaining capitals. The clearstorey has on each side a range of three 14th-century windows, each of two trefoiled lights with sunk spandrels in a square head; all have been largely restored.

The North Aisle (8 ft. wide) has a 14th-century E. window of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head, but the sill, head and mullion are modern. In the N. wall are two windows both much restored and probably of 14th-century date, but now only retaining their old splays; the jambs of the eastern window are also old; the eastern window is of two lights and the western window of one light; the N. doorway has chamfered jambs and two-centred head with a partly restored moulded label. The two-light W. window is completely modern externally, except parts of the 14th-century jambs.

The South Aisle (13¼ ft. wide) is of late 13th-century date, partly re-built, and has an original E. window of two pointed lights with a restored trefoil in the spandrel of a two-centred head; the inner sill is modern. In the S. wall are two original windows, the eastern of two pointed lights with sunk spandrels and a 'soffit-cusped' quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the western window is of two pointed lights with a pierced spandrel in a two-centred head; the original S. doorway has jambs and two-centred arch of two chamfered orders with a moulded label and mask-stops. The W. window is of late 14th-century date and of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label and mask-stops.

The West Tower (about 11¼ ft. square) is of late 14th-century date and of three stages with a moulded plinth and an embattled parapet with grotesque gargoyles at the angles. The tower-arch is two-centred and of three orders, the inner and outer hollow-chamfered and the middle order chamfered; the two outer orders are continuous and the inner order is broken at the springing by a moulded capital and has a moulded base. The W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with moulded reveals and label with head-stops. The first stage of the tower stops at the level of the springing of the W. window. The second stage has in the upper part of each wall a narrow rectangular light. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops. The former spire was removed early in the 19th century.

The South Porch was added probably late in the 14th century. The outer archway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch of two hollow-chamfered orders separated by a hollow. The side walls have each a small light with a two-centred head. Along each side wall is a solid bench with a seat formed out of projecting chamfered bricks set on edge.

Fittings—Bells: four; 1st and 2nd by Christopher Graye, 1666. Bell-frame of oak, with cages for four bells. Bracket: In N. aisle—in N.E. angle, chamfered shelf, date uncertain. Coffin and coffin-lid: see Monument. Font: square bowl with splayed angles, forming irregular octagon on plan; bowl slightly tapering with moulding at bottom of splayed faces; octagonal stem and moulded base, 13th-century, base probably later. Locker: In S. aisle, rectangular, rebated for door. Monument: In S. aisle—in S. wall, tomb-recess with hollow-chamfered jambs and segmental head; within recess, stone coffin with coped lid with foliated cross with head within circle, late 13th-century. Paintings: traces of colour in various parts of church, especially on piers and responds of N. arcade and on responds of chancel-arch. Piscinae: In chancel—recess with E. jamb, shafted and having moulded capital and base, W. jamb with plain splay, two-centred moulded head with label cut back, two drains, one quatre-foiled the other octofoiled, moulded sill, late 13th-century. In N. aisle—in S. wall, recess with hollow-chamfered jambs and trefoiled head, one circular and one sex-foiled drain, probably early 14th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, recess with hollow-chamfered jambs, two-centred head and quatre-foiled drain, late 13th-century. Sundial: On S.E. buttress of S. aisle—circular scratched dial. Miscellanea: On N. wall of chancel, below modern wall-plate, two carved stone corbels, each of a male face.



(2). Church Farm, house, barn and stables, on S. side of the road immediately opposite the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are covered with slates. It was built about the middle of the 17th century on a rectangular plan with symmetrically designed elevations, but has been considerably altered and in recent years has been re-roofed. There is a plinth round the whole building, a moulded brick string-course at the level of the first floor and oversailing courses of brick below the eaves; each front has a projecting pilaster at either end and on either side of the central doorway; these are carried up the full height of the building. The N. and S. fronts, on the ground-floor, each have two windows on either side of the central doorway, and on the first floor a range of five windows; the side elevations each have a single window on either side of the doorway and a range of three windows to the upper floor; all the windows are square-headed, many are now blocked and the southernmost one on the ground-floor of the E. front is the only window retaining its old transomed and mullioned wood frame; both door-ways on the side fronts are now blocked; above the head of the doorway on the W. front is a small moulded brick cornice and pediment; on the S. front the doorway and middle pilasters are not placed centrally, but rather towards the E. end of the building. Inside the building the two front rooms on the ground-floor each have a moulded ceiling-beam; the kitchen has chamfered ceiling-beams and the larder and passage adjoining have a chamfered ceiling-beam and exposed joists. The E. wall of the kitchen is of brick with exposed timber-framing. One of the bedrooms on the first floor has an original fireplace, now partly blocked, with moulded stone jambs and a segmental head. The staircase rises from the ground to the first floor, between the walls, in two flights and has a moulded handrail, flat moulded balusters and square newels with chamfered angles and shaped finials. Between the walls above the bottom step is a flat wood arch, semi-circular in shape and supported on moulded brackets with small scrolls below; across the first-floor landing is a similar double arch with a moulded pediment in the middle; there are no balusters to the lower flight.

The large 17th-century Barn to the S.W. of the house is of brick with a hipped roof of thatch. It is of four bays with the second bay from the E. projecting towards the N. The roof has tie-beams supported on curved braces and wall-posts and has two purlins on each side, the lower supported by struts from the tie-beams and the upper by collars. The barn is ventilated by two ranges of small lights, the lower range in groups of four lights and the upper range in groups of three lights. The Stables to the S. of the house are of brick with a tile roof. They are an L-shaped block with the wings projecting towards the N. and W., and are of 17th-century date, partly re-built in the 18th century.

Condition—Of house, fair; there is a slight settlement towards the W. side of the building and the roofs are not sound.

Monuments (3–10).

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

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.

(3). Top Farm, on S. side of road, 250 yards E. of the church has the whole of the upper storey projecting on the W. front. Both E. and N. fronts are panelled with alternate rough and smooth plaster panels. Inside the building, the staircase at the S. end of the house has the bottom of the string shaped.

Condition—Ruinous, having been recently greatly damaged by a fire which destroyed the whole of an extension at the S. end of the building except some foundations.

(4). Cottage, two tenements, on opposite side of the road to (3) is of one storey and attics. It has a modern outbuilding at the E. end. Inside the building a cupboard under the stairs in the easternmost room has a door with two bolection-moulded panels; the door is hung on two strap-hinges.

(5). Cottage, on N.E. side of the road, 270 yards N.W. of the church, is of one storey and attics. Inside the building are three moulded battened doors.

(6). Cottage, 100 yards W.N.W. of (5), was built c. 1600 and is possibly the remaining wing of a larger building. Inside, the building has been altered, but the main beam in the ceiling of the ground-floor rooms, which supports exposed joists, is moulded.

(7). House on the W. side of the cross-roads, 150 yards N.W. of (6) was built on an H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. A modern addition, incorporating much re-used material, has been built between the cross-wings on the W. side of the central block; the N. cross-wing has been added to on the W., and there is a small modern addition on the S. of the S. cross-wing. Inside the building the two ground-floor rooms in the central block have open fireplaces spanned by stop-chamfered beams, and on the first floor some of the timber-framing is exposed.

Condition—Bad; much of the timber rotting owing to defective roofs.

(8). House, on E. side of by-road, 30 yards N. of (7), was built probably in the 16th or early in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and E. The E. wall of the E. wing was re-built or refronted in brick late in the 17th century and later alterations include the addition of outbuildings on the S. of the S. wing. The middle part of the E. wall of the S. wing is of brick and the E. wall of the E. wing has a projecting band at the level of the first floor. Inside the building the southernmost room on the ground-floor has an open fireplace spanned by a cambered and chamfered lintel.

(9). Range of five cottages, opposite (8), is of late 17th- or early 18th-century date, but has had the end walls re-built in brick.

(10). House, now three tenements, on W. side of Toseland road, 150 yards S.W. of (7).