An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.
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24. EASTON (B.d.).
(O.S. 6 in. XVII S.W.)
Easton is a parish and small village 6 m. W. of Huntingdon. The church is the principal monument.
(1). Parish Church of St. Peter stands near the middle of the village. The walls are of rubble with some pebbles and the dressings are of Weldon and Ketton stone; the roofs are covered with lead. The church contains various re-used fragments of 12th-century date and the N. wall of the Nave is probably of this period. The chancel-arch and the S. arcade of the Nave were built and the nave lengthened early in the 14th century, and shortly after the South Aisle was added; the West Tower was built late in the 14th century and the Chancel was re-built perhaps at the same time. In the 15th century the chancel and nave were both heightened. Late in the 15th or early in the 16th century the North Porch was added and the rood-loft staircase inserted. The clearstorey was added or re-built in the 16th century or when the roof was renewed in 1630. The church was restored in 1871 and the S. aisle largely re-built in 1902.
The church is chiefly interesting for the remarkable early 17th-century roof of the nave.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (22½ ft. by 13½ ft.) has a slightly restored 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern of late 14th-century date and of two cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head with moulded jambs and label with head-stops; the window has been heightened in the 15th century; the western window is of the 15th century and of two cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label. In the S. wall are two windows, generally similar to the corresponding windows in the N. wall, but the label of the eastern window has stops carved with quatrefoils; the early 16th-century S. doorway has moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label and head-stops. The early 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from moulded corbels; above the arch, on the W. face, are the lines of an earlier roof before the addition of the clearstorey. The E. wall and the eastern parts of the N. and S. walls of the chancel are largely of the 15th century, but the rest of the walling is of early 14th-century date.
The Nave (47¼ ft. by 16¾ ft.) has in the N. wall two late 15th-century windows, the eastern of three cinque-foiled and transomed lights, with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label; the western window is similar, but of two lights; the 14th-century N. doorway has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label with head-stops; E. of the doorway is the E. jamb of an earlier doorway and the re-set round head of an early, probably 11th-century, window. The S. arcade (Plate 6) is of c. 1300 and of four bays, with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the cylindrical columns have moulded capitals, chamfered bases and high square plinths; the responds have attached half-shafts with shaped bases; the capitals have been mutilated and repaired; E. of the arcade is the upper doorway of the rood-loft staircase; it has a four-centred head. The clearstorey has an embattled parapet and four 16th- or early 17th-century windows in the S. wall, each of three four-centred lights in a square head with moulded reveals and label.
The South Aisle (7½ ft. wide) has in the E. wall a late 15th-century window of three square cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded label. Across the N.E. angle of the aisle is the lower doorway to the rood-loft staircase; it is of late 15th-century date and has chamfered jambs and four-centred head; the staircase is lit by a square-headed window. In the S. wall are three windows, the two eastern of late 14th-century date and each of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a four-centred head with a moulded label; the easternmost of these windows is largely modern restoration and the second has been partly restored; the westernmost window is of similar date and of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label; the early 14th-century S. doorway has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label, with defaced head-stops. In the W. wall is a late 15th-century window of three square cinque-foiled lights in a square head, with moulded reveals and a label with scrolled stops.
The West Tower (about 9½ ft. square) is of late 14th-century date. It is of three stages (Plate 4) with a moulded plinth and a cornice and band of quatrefoils at the base of the spire. The tower-arch is two-centred and of three chamfered orders, the two outer continuous and the inner springing from attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. window is of three cinque-foiled and transomed lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with moulded reveals and label; the W. doorway has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label with scrolled stops. The second stage has in the W. wall a window of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a four-centred head with a chamfered label. The bell-chamber has in each wall a pair of windows, each of two trefoiled and transomed lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label and a head-stop between the windows; below the transom the lights have quatre-foiled heads. The octagonal broach-spire has three tiers of spire-lights facing the cardinal points; the windows of the two lowest tiers are each of two trefoiled lights with a quatre-foiled spandrel in a gabled head. The windows of the top tier are each of one trefoiled light in a gabled head.
The North Porch is of late 15th- or early 16th-century date. The outer archway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch with a moulded label. The side walls have each an internal recess with chamfered jambs and four-centred head; enclosing a window of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label; the W. window is mostly modern.
The Roof of the nave is of 1630, the date appearing on the easternmost tie-beam; it is flat-pitched and of four bays with moulded timbers; the tie-beams have carved enrichment and the braces have bolection-moulded spandrels; the wall-posts rest on moulded corbels with shaped pendants and heart-shaped piercings; there are similar pendants on the soffits of the tie-beams. The modern roof of the S. aisle incorporates two chamfered tie-beams and a purlin, probably of the 17th century. The roof of the N. porch is modern, except for the two 17th-century tie-beams and wall-posts with moulded pendants.
Fittings—Bells: four; 2nd and 4th (Plate 7) by Newcombe, 2nd inscribed "Sancta Marea," mid 16th-century. Brackets: In S. aisle—on E. wall, remains of bracket, now shapeless; on S. wall, part of 12th-century scalloped capital; possibly used as bracket. Chests: In W. tower—(Plate 146) of boards with moulded rail in front, iron-bound angles, strap-hinges, one lock and two hasps, money-box at end, 17th-century. In nave—small, plain hutch-type, straps at angles, 17th-century. Coffin-lids: Built into N. wall of nave—lid with raised cross. In S. aisle—on S. wall, fragments. Communion Table: In S. aisle—with turned legs and moulded top rails with shaped brackets, early 17th-century. Incorporated in modern communion table, frieze of round-headed panels with conventional foliage, late 17th-century. Door: On S. door—fragments of iron hinges with one stamped rosette at end, late 13th- or early 14th-century. Font: square tapering bowl with chamfered angles, probably 13th-century, stem and base modern. Piscina: In S. aisle—with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, round drain, probably 14th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1669 with incised initials "E. I. A." Poor-box: In nave—on back of bench, rectangular box with iron slot, straps and lock-plate, 17th-century. Recess: In tower— in N. wall, small, with four-centred head, 15th- or 16th-century. Screen: Under chancel-arch—of oak and of five bays including central doorway, buttressed main posts, side bays with moulded rail carved with paterae, open upper lights with cinque-foiled double heads and tracery, close lower panels with double sub-cusped heads, tracery of doorway removed, 15th-century, much mutilated. Seating: In nave—twelve benches with panelled ends, and two fronts, also two benches and a front with standards finished with shaped popey-heads, 17th-century. Stoups: In S. doorway—fragments of bowl built into jamb of doorway. In N. porch —in S.E. angle, octagonal bowl, set within a four-centred recess and now supported on moulded corbelling, 15th-century. Table: In nave—with turned legs and shaped brackets to top rail, late 17th- or early 18th-century. Miscellanea: In S. aisle, re-set in S. wall—stone with cross in relief on face. In S. aisle—portions of window-tracery, etc. In churchyard—various worked and moulded stones. Incorporated in modern prayer-desk, etc., 17th-century turned balusters, said to have come from the staircase at Long Stow Manor House.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are thatched or tiled. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
(2). House, about 60 yards E.S.E. of the church, has been re-built, except for the central chimney-stack which has grouped shafts.
(3). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, 60 yards W.N.W. of the church, has an original fireplace, with a chamfered oak lintel.
(4). House, W. of (3). The W. part of the house was remodelled and the roof raised late in the 17th century. Some of the timber-framing is exposed. Inside the building one room has a moulded ceiling-beam.
(5). Cottage, 40 yards W. of (4).
(6). Cottage, 30 yards W. of (5).
(7). Crown Inn, at the N. side of the road 180 yards E.N.E. of the church. The roof is covered with corrugated iron.
(8). Cottage, three tenements, 250 yards W. of (7), has been refaced with brick.
(9). House, 60 yards W.N.W. of (8), has an early 18th-century brick gable at the S. end with a chimney-stack. The original central chimney-stack has three grouped shafts.
(10). House, on the W. side of the road, 30 yards N. of (9).
(11). Cottage, 180 yards N.N.E. of (10), was built c. 1700.
(12). House, 20 yards N.E. of (11), has a large original stone chimney-stack on the E. side; built into the stack are two carved stones, one a label-stop and one a head. Inside the building is an original panelled door.
(13). Cottage, 140 yards E.S.E. of (12).