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

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'Buckden', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire, (London, 1926) pp. 31-41. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/hunts/pp31-41 [accessed 20 April 2024]

In this section

11. BUCKDEN (C.e.).

(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXI N.E., (b)XXI S.E.)

Buckden is a parish and village, 4 m. S.W. of Huntingdon. The Church, the Palace, the Manor House and the Lion Hotel are the principal monuments. The Bishops of Lincoln owned a manor at Buckden since before the Domesday Survey and most, if not all, of them from St. Hugh of Avalon (1186–1203) down to John Kaye (1827–53) resided here; seven bishops, including Robert Grosseteste, died at the palace.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary stands in the village. The walls are of rubble with some pebbles and ironstone; the dressings are of Barnack and other freestone and the roofs are covered with lead. The earliest remaining feature of the church is the early 13th-century S. doorway, but this is not in situ. The Chancel was re-built at the end of the 13th century. Perhaps at the end of the 14th century, there may have been a scheme for widening the whole church by some 3 ft. towards the N.; the N.E. buttress of the chancel was set to the N. of the actual building and the West Tower was set out well to the N. of the axial line of the church. It is possible that the scheme was still under consideration when the S. arcade and South Aisle were built early in the 15th century, but it had evidently been abandoned when the N. arcade, North Aisle and chancel-arch were built shortly afterwards; the W. tower was carried up about the same time and the clearstorey added; later in the century the chancel-walls were re-built above the string-course and heightened and the South Porch added. The church was repaired in 1649 and 1665, the dates on the roofs, and 18th-century buttresses were added to the N. aisle, probably to counteract a settlement caused by the adjoining Palace moat. The church was restored in the 19th century and in 1910, and the North Vestry, on the site of an older building, and the Organ Chamber are modern.

The nave is a good example of 15th-century work, the roofs and S. porch being also of interest. Among the fittings the glass is noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (40¼ ft. by 18½ ft.) has a late 15th-century E. window of five cinque-foiled and transomed lights in a four-centred head with a re-used 14th-century label. The extension of the E. wall to the N. of the chancel probably formed part of the E. wall of a former vestry. In the N. wall is a late 15th-century window of three lights, similar to the E. window and now blocked below the transom; further W. is a modern opening to the organ-chamber and E. of the window is a late 13th-century doorway, with moulded jambs and two-centred arch. In the S. wall are three windows uniform with that in the N. wall but not partly blocked; below the westernmost window is a doorway, probably of late 13th-century date, with a re-set head; it has moulded and shafted jambs and moulded segmental-pointed arch. The 15th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders, with a moulded label; the outer order is continued down the responds and the inner order springs from attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases.

Buckden, the Parish Church of St Mary.

The Nave (54¼ ft. by 19¼ ft.) has early 15th-century N. and S. arcades each of five bays with two-centred arches of two moulded orders, similar to the chancel-arch, and with moulded labels having stops carved with heads, grotesques and one angel; the moulded piers have each four attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the responds are similar to those of the chancel-arch. Across the S.E. angle of the nave is the late 15th-century upper doorway to the rood-loft staircase, partly cut into the voussoirs of the chancel-arch and having a segmental head. The embattled 15th-century clearstorey has on each side five windows, each of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label.

The North Aisle (10 ft. wide) is of the 15th century and has an embattled parapet. In the E. wall is a window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label; it now opens into the organ-chamber. In the N. wall are four windows similar to that in the E. wall; the blocked N. doorway has a four-centred head and a moulded label. In the W. wall is a window similar to those in the N. wall.

The South Aisle (10¼ ft. wide) is of the 15th century and has an embattled parapet. In the E. wall is a window of three cinque-foiled lights, with vertical tracery in a four-centred head, with moulded reveals and label; N. of the window is the lower doorway to the rood-loft staircase; it has moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head. In the S. wall are four windows each of three cinque-foiled and transomed lights in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label; the re-set early 13th-century S. doorway (Plate 22) has a two-centred arch of two moulded orders; the jambs have each one free and one attached shaft with foliated capitals, moulded abaci and bases; further W. is the doorway to the porch-staircase; it has chamfered jambs and moulded four-centred head. In the W. wall is a window similar to that in the E. wall.

The West Tower (about 14¼ ft. square) is mainly of the 15th century and of three stages (Plate 23), with a moulded plinth and an embattled parapet with four carved gargoyles and a series of grotesque faces on the parapet string-course. The two-centred tower-arch is of three chamfered orders, the two outer continuous and the inner order springing from attached shafts, with moulded capitals and bases; S. of the arch, on the E. face, a buttress projects into the nave; the similar buttress on the N. is now incorporated in the W. respond of the N. arcade. The much restored W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head, with moulded reveals and label with head-stops; the W. doorway has jambs and two-centred arch of two moulded orders, with a moulded label. The second stage has in the W. wall a window of two cinque-foiled and transomed lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head, with moulded reveals and label and grotesque stops. The bell-chamber has in each wall a pair of windows, each of two trefoiled and transomed lights with a quatrefoil in a four-centred head, with a moulded label and grotesque stops. The 15th-century octagonal spire is ashlar-faced and rises from within the parapet. It has three tiers of four spire-lights, all towards the cardinal points; the windows of the two lower tiers are each of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a gabled head; the windows of the upper tier are each of one trefoiled light in a gabled head.

The South Porch (Plate 22) is of the 15th century and of two storeys, with a moulded plinth and embattled parapet; the parapet-string is carved with various figures—a monkey, muzzled bear, lion, lamb, two pairs of beasts, fox stalking geese, dogs chasing rabbit (?), etc.; the parapet on the S. face has three ranges of running cusped panelling, crocketed pinnacles at the angles and the stump of a pinnacle at the apex. The plinth has a series of quatre-foiled panels, each enclosing a carved flower. The four-centred outer archway is of two moulded orders with a crocketed and finialed label and angel-stops; the outer order is continuous and the inner springs from attached shafts, with moulded capitals and bases. The upper room has a window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head, with moulded reveals and label with crockets and stops carved with a lion and two faces respectively, the latter cut down and not in situ. The side walls of the lower storey have each a window of two cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label; these windows are set in internal recesses, with four-centred heads. The vault (Plate 22) of the lower storey is of clunch and has moulded diagonal, ridge, wall and subsidiary ribs springing from plain shafts in the angles; the main intersection has a large boss (Plate 133) carved with an 'Assumption of the Virgin'; the subsidiary bosses are carved with a double rose and foliage. The stair-turret is faced with ashlar and has a small quatre-foiled opening on the S.

The Roof of the chancel is of late 15th-century date, repaired in 1665; it is low-pitched and of three bays with moulded main timbers; the tie-beams have curved braces springing from short shafts on the face of the wall-posts; there is a 17th-century carved boss in the middle of each bay and half-bosses, against the trusses; two bosses have flowers and a third the inscription R.W. 1665; at the feet of the intermediate principals are large figures of angels with spread wings, two holding books; the three eastern trusses rest on stone corbels carved with angels holding scrolls or blank shields. The 15th-century roof of the nave is low-pitched and of five bays; it was repaired in 1649; the four original free trusses have curved and moulded principals forming a four-centred arch and have a carved boss on the apex-post of each pair; they spring from shafted wall-posts standing on stone corbels carved with angels holding scrolls and shields; four shields bear a cross moline; the E. and W. trusses are of different form and have each an embattled tie-beam with curved braces above and the E. truss has curved braces below it in addition; the same truss has two small figures on the wall-posts; in the middle of the middle bay is an inserted 17th-century truss having a collar with curved braces and traceried spandrels; it rests on wall-posts, enriched with fluted pilasters standing on pedestals; at the feet of the intermediate principals, and no doubt taking the places of the former angels, are flat panelled timbers of the 17th century, all carved with conventional foliage except two which are carved with male and female heads in quatrefoils; the wall-plates are moulded and on the N. wall-plate is the inscription "I.I. C.P. ANNO 1649". The flat pent-roof of the N. aisle is of the 15th century and of five bays, with moulded main timbers; the principals have curved braces on the N. side with traceried spandrels and springing from carved stone corbels, chiefly grotesques. The 15th-century roof of the S. aisle is generally similar to that over the N. aisle but the braces have plain spandrels and against the wall-posts are set carved figures, the eastern perhaps St. Stephen and the other four all wearing mitres; at the feet of the intermediate principals are figures of angels, holding a lute, viol, tabor, dulcimer and hurdygurdy respectively; the wall-posts stand on stone corbels carved with grotesque heads. The 15th-century roof of the upper storey of the porch has plain tie-beams and rafters.

Fittings—Bells: five; 1st probably by Thomas Bullisdon, early 16th-century, and inscribed "Sc/?/a Katherina Ora Pro Nobis"; 4th by Miles Graie, 1654; 5th by William Haulsey, 1627. Communion Table: In S. aisle—modern table incorporating five turned and twisted baluster-legs and shaped brackets, possibly late 17th-century. Doors: In S. aisle—in doorway to rood stair-turret, of oak with moulded frame and ribs planted on, late 15th-century; in S. doorway, of battens on trellis-framing with moulded frame and ribs planted on outer face, forming five panels, formerly with traceried heads all now missing but with outlines showing and background painted green, 15th-century. In doorway to stairs to upper storey of porch, of battens with hollow-chamfered frame and ribs planted on, late 15th-century; similar doorway at head of stairs, with some ribs missing. Font: octagonal bowl, each face with a quatre-foiled panel enclosing a blank shield, splayed under side, 15th-century, stem modern. Glass: In S. aisle—in tracery of E. window, probably a coronation of the Virgin, but only lower part of Virgin's figure left and head of Christ missing, both figures seated on thrones and that of Christ with orb in left hand and right hand raised in blessing; on either side, figures of seraphim, four in all, holding scrolls with the antiphon "Regina celi letare a[lleluia] quia quem meruisti portare a[lleluia] resurrexit sicut dixit a[lleluia ora pro] nobis [Deum alleluia]", fourth figure mostly destroyed and others damaged; above, three spandrel-pieces with oak-leaves; in tracery of W. window, an Annunciation, but only figure of the Virgin remains, kneeling at desk and with lily-pot behind; on either side, figures of seraphim as in E. window, and all except one much damaged, holding scrolls with the antiphon "Sancta Maria [virgo mater intercede pro] toto mundo quia genuisti regem orbis"; one oak-leaf spandrel above, all late 15th-century and in situ. Locker: In N. aisle—in E. wall, small rectangular recess with rebated reveals, 15th-century. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) to Thomas Barlow, S.T.P., Provost of Queen's Oxon, Bodley's Librarian, Archdeacon of Oxford, Lady Margaret Professor of Theology, Bishop "although unworthy" of Lincoln, 1691, erected by William Barlow, freestone and black marble wall-monument (Plate 25), with inscribed tablet in middle, cherub-heads with pendants of flowers and drapery at sides, cornice with urn and two cartouches-of-arms; plain panelled vase with three shields-of-arms and a mitre. In churchyard—E. of chancel, (2) to Ann (Green), wife of Nathanel Disbrough, 1708–9, head-stone with skull and hour-glass; S.E. of chancel, (3) to . . . 1671 or 1691, round head-stone; S. of S. aisle—(4) table-tomb with cusped panelling, enclosing blank shields, on sides and ends, coped slab, late 15th- or early 16th-century; S. of porch, (5) to Mary, daughter of Robart Norwood, 1680–81, head-stone with hourglass, cross-bones and roses; (6) possibly to wife of same, similar head-stone with laudatory inscription; name and date, if any, buried. Floor-slab: In chancel—to Robert Sanderson, Bishop of Lincoln, 1662–3, slab of touch with shield-of-arms (Plate 127). Niches: In N. aisle—on E. wall, shallow recess, with moulded jambs, trefoiled ogee head and moulded label with crockets and finial, late 15th-century. In S. aisle—in E. wall above doorway to rood stair-turret, similar recess but with cinque-foiled head, late 15th-century. On S. porch—over outer archway, with moulded base, cinque-foiled and gabled head with crockets and angels at base of gable, vaulted soffit with rose in middle, late 15th-century. Panelling: In chancel—incorporated in modern desks, eight oak panels (Plate 24) with carved figure-subjects as follows—(a) the Betrayal; (b) the Crucifixion; (c) the Bearing of the Cross; (d) the Ecce Homo; (e) the Crowning with Thorns; (f) the Agony in the Garden; (g) the Flagellation; (h) Pilate washing his hands; each panel with side pilasters, trefoiled head and foliage and shell enrichment, 16th-century, foreign. Piscinae: In chancel—with two-centred arch of two moulded orders, the outer carried on shafts with moulded capitals and bases and the inner continued down to stops and with restored trefoiled cusping, restored moulded label, sex-foiled drain, c. 1300. In N. aisle—in E. wall, shallow recess with two-centred head, broken fluted drain in projecting shelf, supported by shaft, with upper part broken away but retaining moulded base, 15th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, rough recess with arched back, part of rebated E. jamb, broken round drain, 15th-century, much altered. Plate: includes cup of 1607 and cup and stand-paten of 1679, given by William Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury 1716. Pulpit: (Plate 153) of oak, semi-octagonal, each face with two ranges of arcaded panels, richly carved, moulded and carved cornice, carved styles and moulded middle rail, early 17th-century, stem and base modern, old carving incorporated in modern posts to stairs. Sedilia: In chancel—three stepped bays, with attached shafts to jambs, and free shafts between bays all with moulded capitals and bases, moulded two-centred arches with restored labels, details as piscina, c. 1300. Miscellanea: In N. aisle—set in E. wall, fragment of gable-cross and portion of window-tracery, 14th-century.



Homestead Moats

a(2). At Top Farm, 1 m. N.W. of the church.

b(3). W. of Shooter's Hollow and 1½ m. W.S.W. of the church.

b(4). Buckden Palace, tower, gatehouses, foundations and moat, N. of the church. The manor belonged to the Bishops of Lincoln at the time of the Domesday Survey but it is uncertain when first a house was built on the site. Bishop Hugh de Wells (1209–35) is said to have built or re-built a manor house at Buckden and Bishop Robert Grosseteste (1235–54) is credited with building the great hall. The buildings were burnt in 1291 but the extent of the damage does not appear. To the 13th century would appear to belong the foundations of the Great Chamber, the Chapel and parts of the Great Hall. An extensive rebuilding of the palace took place under Bishops Thomas Rotherham (1472–80) and John Russell (1480–94); the former, according to Leland, built the Great Tower and restored the Great Hall; the Great Tower was probably finished by Bishop Russell, whose arms formerly appeared on the woodwork, and the same bishop built the Inner and Outer Gate-houses and the enclosure walls. Considerable repairs were made to the buildings by Bishop John Williams (1621–42) who appears to have re-built and shortened the Chapel and repaired the cloister. Under the Commonwealth a large part of the house including the great Hall was demolished, but the house was restored on a smaller scale by Bishop Robert Sanderson (1660–63), the great Hall, not being re-built. In 1839 about half the main building and part of the gatehouse-range were demolished and the great tower dismantled. The Great Chamber, Chapel and adjoining buildings were pulled down in 1871, when the modern house was erected and the moat was filled in at the same time.

Buckden Palace

The existing remains are handsome examples of late 15th-century brickwork.

The Palace, when complete, consisted of an inner walled and moated enclosure, containing the main buildings of the house and entered by the Inner Gatehouse on the W. side, and an outer walled enclosure on the W., entered by the Outer Gate-house and containing various outbuildings. Of the main structure of the house only the Great Tower now survives.

The Great Tower (50½ ft. by 27 ft. externally) is of late 15th-century date and of three storeys (Plates 23 and 26) with a basement and octagonal turrets at the angles rising above the main parapet. The walls are of red brick with stone dressings and the storeys are divided by moulded string-courses; the tower is finished with a chamfered plinth and embattled parapet. The building has been entirely gutted and the vaulting of the basement removed; it formerly contained some twelve rooms including the 'parlour' and the 'King's Chamber' above it. The windows are placed unsymmetrically, and are of one, two, or three lights; those of the ground and first floors have cinque-foiled lights in square heads with moulded labels; one window in the S. wall, however, has trefoiled lights. The windows of the second floor have plain square-headed lights without labels and the windows lighting the basement are of similar character. The N. face of the tower has two elaborate designs of black brick diapering each consisting of lozenges surmounted by a cross. The doorway to the basement has a three-centred internal head of two chamfered orders and a segmental rear-arch on the outer face of the wall; between the two, the head rakes steeply downwards; the doorway to the ground-floor has moulded stone jambs, four-centred arch and label; the threshold is about 5 ft. above the existing ground-level. The S. face of the tower is partly obscured by ivy; it has a projecting chimney-stack, partly restored; in a recess in the modern brickwork is an old cruciform loop. Against the S.E. turret is an octagonal chimney-stack with concave faces. The W. end of the tower has a cross in brick diapering, standing on a sloping base. The N.W. and S.W. turrets have diaper-work, the S.W. turret having a cross on a sloping base.

Interior—The N.E. and N.W. turrets contained staircases, but that in the N.E. turret only remains; it has remains of a stone hand-rail sunk in the wall, moulded base to the newel and a moulded parapet at the top. The S.E. turret contained a series of garde-robes. The basement, now filled in with earth, except a portion at the E. end, was vaulted in brick, from N. to S. In the N. wall is a wide recess with a three-centred arch. The ground-floor has remains of a cross-wall, partly blocking the S.E. window and with one jamb of a stone doorway. In the middle of the S. wall is a stone fireplace with moulded jambs and flat four-centred arch in a square head. The first floor has in the S. wall a 17th-century fireplace with moulded jambs and head and rounded angles; at the back is part of a blocked brick arch, presumably of earlier date. The second storey has in the same wall a fireplace with chamfered jambs and three-centred arch of plastered brick; further W. are remains of another fireplace. The turrets communicate with the tower at the various levels by doorways with four-centred heads, some having moulded jambs and arches.

The Foundations of the main block of the palace, adjoin the tower on the N.E. They appear to have originally formed three sides, the E., N. and S. of a courtyard, the Great Hall being on the N., the Chapel on the E. and the Great Chamber on the W. After the destruction of the Great Hall in the 17th century a range seems to have been built across its S. end and the courtyard was largely, if not entirely, built over. The Great Hall was, according to the Parliamentary Survey, a double aisled building with stone piers and arches, no doubt of the 13th century, and with a vaulted porch. It was restored late in the 15th century when the outer walls and porch were probably re-built. The foundations of the whole of the W. wall with those of the porch and traces of the E. wall, with a second porch, have been uncovered and indicate a building about 65 ft. by 37¾ ft.; they are entirely of brick and there were brick turrets at the N. and S. ends. The Hall range extended one bay further N. and here the foundations are entirely of rubble. This bay, as at Lincoln, may have contained the butteries, and the Kitchen no doubt stood still further to the N. The Chapel stood on the E. of the court and was originally a rectangular building 49 ft. by 16¾ ft., probably of the 13th century; of this structure the rubble foundations of the eastern part have been exposed; the E. wall is finished with a splayed plinth of ashlar, returned a short distance along the side walls. The chapel was re-built and shortened by about half its length in the first half of the 17th century and the general lines of this rebuilding have been reproduced in the modern chapel now in process of erection. The Great Chamber (about 49 ft. by 23½ ft.), pulled down in 1871, was probably a 13th-century building; its foundations, now covered with concrete, have been completely uncovered; there was a large fireplace projection on the S. face. The courtyard was at one time surrounded by a cloister but of this there is now no trace; on its N.W. side there was evidently direct access between the Great Hall and the Great Tower. The foundations of other and later buildings are indicated on the plan and need not be further described. W. of the chapel and in the former courtyard is a curious brick chamber or cellar sunk in the ground; it may have served either as a cistern or cesspool.

The Inner Gatehouse, (Plates 28 and 29) with ranges flanking it on the N. and S., was built late in the 15th century and stands to the W. of the main block. The gatehouse itself is of three storeys with a chamfered plinth and embattled parapet; adjoining it on the N. is a square staircase-wing rising to four storeys and finished with an embattled parapet; the walls are of red brick with black brick diapering and stone dressings. The outer archway is rebated for doors and has moulded jambs, three-centred arch and label; the roll-moulding has a moulded base on each jamb. Above the archway, on the W. face, is a large shield in coloured brick and stone, of the arms of Bishop John Russell (1480–94)—azure two cheverons or between three roses argent; the roses are of carved stone. The rooms of the two storeys above the gateway have each a window of three and two cinque-foiled lights respectively in a square head with moulded reveals and label. The parapet string-course is carved with paterae and grotesque heads. The inner archway has moulded responds, three-centred arch and label; the windows of the two upper storeys are similar to those on the outer front, but are both of two lights. Flanking the window on the first floor are two crosses in brick diapering, one of Latin form on a sloping base, and the other a formy cross. The staircase-tower is lit by square-headed windows, and has windows cut through the N.E. buttress of the gatehouse. The range to the S. of the gatehouse is of similar date and character; it is of two storeys and has an embattled parapet and a 'crow-stepped' gable at the S. end (Plate 74). The windows are of one, two or three square-headed lights, with moulded reveals and labels, except those on the W. side of the ground-floor, which have no labels; in the middle of the W. side is a projecting chimney-stack. The middle window in the S. end of the range is set in a projection resting on moulded brick corbelling and finished with a moulded ogee coping with crockets and finial; in the spandrel is a large shield-of-arms, similar to that on the gatehouse. The range N. of the gatehouse has been destroyed but the weathering of the former steep-pitched roof remains, together with a restored doorway at the first-floor level, formerly opening into the range.

Interior—The gate-hall has on each side a door-way with moulded stone jambs and four-centred head, and further W. in the N. wall a recess with a flat four-centred arch, containing a modern seat; in the S. wall is a small opening with a four-centred head, a modern mullion and an old shutter. The ceiling has moulded beams, perhaps of the 15th century, forming six panels. The room on the first floor has 15th-century ceiling-beams, similar to those below. The room on the second floor has a roof of collar-beam type with three trusses, chamfered main timbers and curved braces. In the S. wall is a brick fireplace, with a four-centred head; the doorway in the N. wall has a 15th-century door of battens with moulded fillets and strap-hinges; further W. is an oak-lined locker and a second doorway, now blocked. The square tower on the N. is occupied entirely by the staircase, up to the second-floor level; above this the ascent is continued by a round spiral staircase in the S.W. angle. The stairs are solid oak balks, resting on a square newel of brick. The two storeys of the S. range are sub-divided by original timber-framed partitions. The rooms on the ground-floor have several lockers or recesses.

The Curtain Wall between the Great Tower and the Gatehouse range, is of late 15th-century date and of red brick. It has an embattled parapet with stone coping and a parapet-walk partly supported on chamfered segmental arches springing from narrow brick piers. The merlons of the parapet are each pierced by a cruciform loop, except one near the middle which contains the much weathered head of a canopied niche. The lower part of the wall is pierced by a series of plain loops and the parapet-walk is approached by a brick staircase adjoining the gatehouse-wing. The remainder of the wall surrounding the site has been destroyed but its course has been traced almost throughout its circuit.

The Moat immediately surrounded the walls of the inner enclosure, passing between them and the parish churchyard. It has now been entirely filled in. The moat was crossed in front of the gatehouse by a brick bridge of two spans; the arches have been destroyed but the brick pier and abutment of the eastern span have been excavated.

The Outer Gatehouse, stands on the W. side of the outer court or enclosure. It is a square structure of red brick, with an embattled parapet and was built probably late in the 15th century. The inner and outer archways both have brick jambs and four-centred arches of two chamfered orders with moulded labels. S. of the gatehouse is a modern or re-built lodge. The enclosing wall of the outer court is of red brick and of late 15th-century date. It extends along the E. side of the main road, for some distance to the N. and S. of the gatehouse and turns eastwards along the Offord Road to the parish churchyard. At the turning point there is a diagonal buttress, brought to a point on the face and having a pyramidal capping and a small trefoiled niche in each face, near the top. A short distance S. of the modern lodge are indications of a former gateway or opening about 11 ft. wide. Another enclosure-wall, partly old, extends S. and E. from the S.E. angle of the Great Tower. At its eastern end is a gateway from the churchyard, flanked by square brick piers. To the E. of the main enclosure, there was a series of fish-ponds; these have now been converted into one large pond. A large area to the N. and E. of the palace and including this pond, is enclosed by a low bank.

Condition—Of great tower, ruined, but fairly good; of gatehouses, good.

b(5). Manor House (Plate 27) and barn, on S. side of Church Street, 60 yards S. of the church. The House is of two storeys; the walls are partly of rubble and partly timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are covered with tiles and slates. It is of modified T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the N. end. The main cross-wing is of late 16th-century date but the N. wall fronting the road is probably mediæval work. The S. wing was added early in the 17th century and had two projecting blocks, one at either end extending towards the E. An extension of the cross-wing, towards the E., is also of the 17th century. The internal arrangements were considerably altered early in the 18th century, when the main cross-wing which appears to have originally contained a range of three rooms with a wide passage-way between the two easternmost, was further divided by the insertion of various partitions, and corridors were added between the two projecting blocks on the E. side of the S. wing. An addition has also been made in the W. angle of the two ranges and the S. wing has a modern extension at the S. end.

Elevations—The N. front of the cross-wing has two early 17th-century doorways, both square-headed and with moulded oak frames; the eastern door (Plate 160) is of vertical and horizontal planks riveted together with a moulded framing, forming twelve panels, planted on the face; the door is hung on three long strap-hinges with fleur-de-lis ends and has an old drop-handle and plate; the other door is of similar design but smaller and is of nine panels with two hinges. The central chimney-stack is original and has a square base and a single octagonal shaft with a moulded cap. The E. extension has, in the upper storey, three original mullioned and transomed windows. The upper storey projects on the S. side of the cross-wing and has exposed joists and plain brackets. The ground-floor has one original three-light window with moulded mullions, iron bars set diagonally and leaded glazing. The beam over the entrance to the passage-way is supported on wall-posts with simple curved brackets. The 17th-century E. extension has in the upper storey three mullioned and transomed windows similar to those in the N. front and on the ground-floor is an early 18th-century battened door on a framing with shouldered angles. An external staircase at the E. end of the wing has a battened door at the top. The W. elevation has no original features. The E. elevation of the S. wing is mainly covered by the early 18th-century addition which has two old sash-windows. The S. projecting block is gabled and both projecting blocks have mullioned and transomed windows with leaded glazing. The main chimney-stack at the N. end of the wing has grouped diagonal shafts; the southern stack has two diagonal stacks both on square bases.

Buckden, The Manor House

Interior—On the ground-floor one small room in the main cross-wing is lined with early 18th-century panelling and has a moulded cornice and dado rail and above the angle-fireplace is a bolection-moulded panel. The kitchen, at the S. end of the early 17th-century wing, has the walls, generally, lined with early 17th-century panelling. The chimney-piece though now mutilated by the insertion of a modern range, is original, and elaborately carved in low relief with round-headed panels containing leaf-design on either side of the opening; the overmantel is divided into four bays by carved pilasters and has in each bay a round arch and side pilasters with guilloche-enrichment, leaf-spandrels and moulded caps and bases to the pilasters. The whole is surmounted by a band of egg and leaf ornament supported on shaped dentils and surmounted by a wide frieze with an incised leaf pattern, continued along the walls. The E. extension of the main wing has chamfered ceiling-beams and two octagonal wall-posts with shaped stops. On the first floor some of the timber-construction is exposed in the walls. The northernmost room of the S. wing is lined, to the height of the door-head, with early 17th-century panelling and has a frieze of incised semi-circles, carved with conventional leaf-enrichment and a narrow cornice; the doors are similar to the panelling but on the E. side are two shallow cupboards with raised panelled doors of early 18th-century date. The fireplace (Plate 158) is flanked on either side by fluted Doric pilasters with scrolled brackets below the overmantel; the overmantel has a narrow moulded shelf and is divided into three bays by fluted Doric pilasters supporting an entablature with a narrow moulded architrave, and enriched frieze similar to that round the room and a narrow moulded cornice; in each bay is a lozenge-shaped panel within a small arch with moulded archivolt, side pilasters and carved leaf-spandrels. The room above the Kitchen is similarly panelled but has a frieze carved with a 'wave' motif; the entrance-doorway is of early 18th-century date and close by is a blocked window of the same period. The chimney-piece (Plate 158) is similar to that in the room adjoining but the side-pilasters have carved arabesque panels, as have also those dividing the overmantel into four bays; these have enriched panels with guilloche-ornament on the archivolts, the side pilasters are enriched with carved arabesque work and the spandrels carved with conventional leaves; the frieze is an elaboration of that round the room. A room in the E. extension of the main wing has a corner-cupboard with a dentilled cornice; it is probably of early 18th-century date but is not in situ.

The Barn adjoining the E. extension of the main wing on the E. is timber-framed and weather-boarded; the roof is tiled. It is of 17th-century date and has queen-post roof-trusses supported by braces.

Condition—Of house and barn, good.

b(6). Lion Hotel at S.E. corner of the Great North Road and Church Street, is of two storeys and attics, partly timber-framed and plastered and partly of brick; the roofs are tiled. The building dates from c. 1500 and originally consisted of a Hall-block with a N. wing extending towards the E. and probably a S. wing of a similar character, all apparently of two storeys; the upper storey of the Hall-block projected on the W. side. In the 18th century considerable alterations were made; the whole of the front of W. part of the building was raised, the N. wing was extended northwards, the S. wing was re-built or added and a small addition was probably made on the E. side of the Hall. Modern work includes a three-storey addition on the S. side of the building, additions on the back of both the main block and the E. wing, the addition of a few feet on the W. side of the Hall-block and considerable alterations to both the interior and exterior of the building. The elevations have no ancient features.

Inside the building the Hall, now the lounge (Plate 30), has an open timbered ceiling with a moulded cross-beam, a similarly moulded longitudinal beam to the N. half of the room and two similar beams running diagonally from the middle of the ceiling to either side of the fireplace in the S. wall. At the junction of these beams, in the middle of the ceiling, is a large central boss (Plate 159), carved in the shape of a rose with seven petals and with an 'Agnus Dei' in the middle, encircled by a ribbon inscribed in black-letter "Ecce Agnus Dei"; behind the boss are four carved leaves, one of which is said to be modern; the E. wall-post and wall-plates are also moulded and the ceiling-joists are laid flat; the beam forming the head of the original front wall retains the mortices of the former uprights, and at the S. end of the room the floorjoists are carried across it and indicate the projection of the original upper storey. There are no mortices on the soffit of the N. end of this beam and the mouldings on the wall-plate on the E. wall stop at a corresponding distance from the N. wall, suggesting that the N. end of the hall was divided off to form the 'screens'; the whole ceiling sags towards the middle and the central part of the W. wall-plate appears to have been removed. The large open fireplace at the S. end of the room is original but has been partly filled in and the jambs have been altered; it is spanned by a moulded and cambered beam carved with long leaf-spandrels with small rose-stops at the ends; above the beam is an 18th-century moulded fascia and shelf. On the first floor, hidden in a cupboard, is the E. wall-post to the central roof-truss to the Hall-block, and the easternmost roof-truss to the roof of the original E. wing remains in one of the bedrooms.

Conditions—Good, much altered.

b(7). George Hotel and houses adjoining, opposite (6), is of three storeys; the walls are partly of brick and partly of plastered timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. The house forms three sides of a quadrangle, the N. and S. ranges being of late 17th-century date; the main E. range was re-built, or at any rate refronted, in the 18th century and no doubt heightened at the same time. The E. front is entirely of the 18th century. The N. wing, of two storeys, has a gabled wing on the S. side with some timber-framing exposed and with the date and initials R.L. 1688. Inside the building several rooms have chamfered ceiling-beams. The dog-legged staircase (Plate 165), in the middle part of the E. range, is of late 17th- or early 18th-century date and has turned balusters, square newels and moulded rails and strings; the rails are continued across the strings of the flights above to butt against the newels; the bottom newel is of balusterform. The staircase in the S. range has flat-shaped balusters of 17th-century date. Some rooms on the first floor have early 18th-century moulded architraves to the fireplace-openings and one fireplace has a moulded shelf in addition. There are also some panelled doors of the same period. In the S. range there is some early 17th-century panelling.

Buckden, Plan Showing the Position of Monuments.

The Dovecote, W. of the hotel, is of two storeys and of brick with a pyramidal tiled roof. It is probably of late 17th- or early 18th-century date.

Condition—Of house, good.

a(8). House, on the N. side of Mill Street, 580 yards E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century on a T-shaped plan, with the cross-wing at the E. end. It was extensively altered in the 18th century. In the front doorway is an original door (Plate 160) of battens, divided into six panels by moulded and mitred fillets. On the E. side of the house is an original doorway with guilloche ornament and a double row of billets on the frame; above is a cornice with 'egg and tongue' enrichment supported on two scrolled and carved brackets; the door has six moulded panels. The W. gable has original barge-boards, with 'egg and tongue' ornament. Inside the building there is an original chamfered ceiling-beam in the kitchen.

Condition—Good, much altered.

a(9). House, opposite (8), is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and S.; there are later and modern additions at the back. The original central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building some of the rooms have chamfered ceiling-beams. The W. room has some exposed timber-framing and an original beam with guilloche-ornament.


Monuments (10–25).

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 original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good.

b(10). Cottage, two tenements, on the N. side of Mill Street, 160 yards W. of (8), was built probably early in the 18th century on an L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the W. and S.

b(11). Cottage, three tenements, opposite (10), is of late 17th- or early 18th-century date and has a cross-wing at the W. end.

b(12). Two barns, 40 yards W. of (11), are of late 17th or early 18th-century date and are weather-boarded. On the N. wall are preserved two large thatch-hooks.

b(13). Cottage, 20 yards S.W. of (12), was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.

b(14). Cottage, 10 yards S.W. of (13) and was built about the same period.

b(15). House, on the S. side of Church Street, 130 yards W. of the church, is of L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the E. and N.

b(16). House, three tenements, 70 yards S.W. of the church, has, inside the building, an original moulded ceiling-beam.

b(17). Outbuilding, belonging to the Vicarage and 90 yards S. of the church, is of one storey, partly weather-boarded; it has tall diagonal chimneyshafts.

b(18). Cottage (Plate 71), on the E. side of Luck's Lane, 160 yards S. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and W.

b(19). Cottage, two tenements, 30 yards S.S.W. of (18), has been refronted with brick.

b(20). Range of three cottages, on the E. side of the road, 60 yards S.S.W. of (6). The original central chimney-stack has four grouped shafts, set diagonally.

a(21). Spread Eagle Inn and house, on the W. side of High Street, 250 yards N.N.W. of the church, was built early in the 18th century.

a(22). Range of cottages, 15 yards N. of (21), was built probably early in the 18th century and has three gables in front.

a(23). Range of two cottages, on the E. side of the road, 200 yards N.N.E. of (22). The southern cottage is an early 18th-century addition and has walls faced with modern brick.

b(24). Cottage, on the E. side of Silver Street, 260 yards E.N.E. of the church, was built probably early in the 18th century.

a(25). Cottage, on the W. side of Silver Street, 300 yards N.E. of the church, was built probably early in the 18th century.