Pages 64-65

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

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In this section

21. COVINGTON (A.e.).

(O.S. 6 in. XVI S.W.)

Covington is a small parish 12 m. W. of Huntingdon. The church is the principal monument.


(1). Parish Church of St. Margaret stands on the W. side of the village. The walls are of rubble with dressings of Weldon stone; the roofs are covered with tiles and lead. The Nave was built in the 12th century. The Chancel was re-built c. 1300 and early in the 14th century a chapel added on the S. side of the nave. In the 15th century the S. chapel was demolished and the arch opening into it blocked. Early in the 16th century the West Tower was re-built. The church has been restored and re-roofed in recent years and the North Vestry and South Porch are modern, the latter perhaps occupying the site of an earlier porch.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (24½ ft. by 15 ft.) has an E. window, all modern except one mask-stop to the label and some re-used stones in the internal sill. In the N. wall is a modern arch and to the E. of it, a window, of c. 1300, and of two pointed lights with a plain spandrel in a two-centred head with a moulded label and modern stops. In the S. wall are two windows, of c. 1300, each of two plain pointed lights with a quatrefoil above included under a moulded label with modern stops; the S. doorway is of late 12th-century origin, re-set and altered c. 1300; it has chamfered jambs and round head with a moulded label and imposts, one impost partly restored. The chancel-arch of c. 1300, is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the responds have each an attached shaft with moulded bases and capitals and abaci continued round the responds; above the arch is an opening of two-pointed lights with modern heads and having a single opening with a two-centred head, on the E. face of the wall.

The Nave (37¼ ft. by 21¼ ft.) has in the N. wall two 14th-century windows, the eastern of three trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with a moulded label; the western window is of two trefoiled ogee lights in a two-centred head finished horizontally a short distance above the springing and having a moulded label; the 12th-century N. doorway (Plate 34) has chamfered jambs and lintel, moulded imposts, round arch and chamfered label; the tympanum is carved with a wingless griffon and a lion face to face. In the S. wall is a blocked early 14th-century arch formerly opening into a chapel; it is two-centred and of two hollow-chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; set in the blocking of the arch in a late 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head; at the E. end of the wall is, on the external face, a doorway set high in the wall and communicating with the roof of the former chapel; it is now blocked and has hollow-chamfered jambs and modern square head with a re-set grotesque head-stop or corbel; the early 13th-century S. doorway has a two-centred arch of two richly moulded orders with a moulded label; the jambs have each a free shaft with foliated capital, moulded band-course, base and an abacus continued round the jamb as an impost; further W. is an early 16th-century window of two pointed lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label.

The West Tower (9½ ft. by 9 ft.) is of three stages with a pyramidal tiled roof. The early 16th-century tower-arch incorporates older material; it is two-centred and of three orders, the two inner chamfered and interrupted by moulded capitals and the outer square in the arch and chamfered in the responds. The re-set 14th-century W. window is of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops. The second stage has two modern openings to the roof in the E. wall and a loop in the S. wall. The bell-chamber has in each wall a 16th-century window of two pointed lights in a four-centred head with a modern mullion.

Fittings—Bells: three; 1st by Henry Penn, 1710; 2nd by Edward Newcombe, 16th-century. Brackets: In chancel—on E. wall, two with chamfered shelves on chamfered corbelling, mediæval. Chest: In vestry—of oak, hutch-type, with plain sides, two locks and strap-hinges, late 17th- or early 18th-century. Coffin-lid: In chancel—plain tapering slab of marble with remains of marginal inscription, early 14th-century. Doors: In N. doorway—of plain battens with simply ornamented hinges and ornamental strap, 12th- or 13th-century, much restored. In S. doorway— of overlapping battens with strap-hinges, 16th-century, partly restored, trellis-framing modern. Font: (Plate 8) octagonal bowl with scalloped under-edge and round base with scalloped upperedge, no intervening stem, 12th-century. Glass: In chancel—in N. window, shield - of - arms, argent a bend between six crosslets fitchy gules, with three roundels or on the bend (each charged with a fesse between two cheverons sable ?), 14th-century. Locker: In chancel—in N. wall, rectangular recess with modern head and outer reveals, mediæval. Piscinae: In chancel— with chamfered jambs, trefoiled head, moulded label with mask-stops and round projecting drain, c. 1300. In nave—in S. wall, with chamfered two centred head and sex-foiled drain, 14th-century. Plate: included small cup and cover-paten (Plate 136) of c. 1570, the former with inscription, pewter alms-dish, flagon and dish of late 17th- or early 18th-century date. Seating: In nave—on N. side, pews with moulded rails, buttressed enclosures to front and back pews and similar bench-ends, 16th-century, made up with modern work; on S. side some old material made up with modern pews. Miscellanea: Built into walls of chancel and nave, various carved and moulded fragments including label-stops and a 12th-century voussoir.



(2). Homestead Moat, S. of the church.

(3). Homestead Moat, 500 yards N.E. of the church.

(4). The Hall, house 250 yards E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of stone and brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1659 on a rectangular plan and has an 18th-century wing on the W. side. The central chimney-stack has three detached shafts with a common capping bearing the inscription R. 1659 B. At the N. end is an original window of three lights with stone mullions, square head and label.


(5). House, now post-office, 30 yards N.W. of (4), is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are thatched. In was built c. 1700 and has original chamfered ceiling-beams and plain joists.

Condition—Fairly good.

(6). Red Cow Inn, 100 yards E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and thatched. It was built late in the 17th century and has an original ceiling-beam and joists.