Fen Stanton

Pages 90-95

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

30. FEN STANTON (D.e.).

(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXII N.E., (b)XXIII N.W.)

Fen Stanton is a parish and village, on the Cambridgeshire border, 2 m. S. of St. Ives. The Church is the principal monument.


b(1). Parish Church of SS. Peter and Paul (Plate 56) stands on the E. side of the village. The walls are of stone and pebble-rubble with a preponderance of stone in the chancel and of pebble in the rest of the building; the dressings are of Barnack stone and clunch; the roofs are covered with tiles, slates and lead. There are 12th-century stones re-used in the chancel and tower but there are apparently no structural remains of this date. The responds of the chancel-arch are of early to mid 13th-century date and the plinth of the N.W. respond of the nave is perhaps of the same period. The N. and S. arches of the West Tower are also of mid 13th-century date together with the inner or W. order of the E. arch up to the height of the springing of the side arches. There was also a S. porch at this period. The South Aisle of the nave was re-built in the first half of the 14th century and c. 1350 the Chancel was re-built on an unusually large scale (William de Longthorne, rector, 1345–52, founded it, see Brass Indent). The South Porch was re-built about the same time. Towards the end of the century the W. Tower was largely reconstructed and the spire added. In the 15th century the Nave was re-built, the chancel-arch altered, the E. arch of the tower raised and heavy buttresses added to support it. Late in the 15th or early in the 16th century the North Aisle was re-built. The church has been slightly restored in modern times.

The chancel is a handsome example of 14th-century work and is of particular interest from the fact of its being closely dated.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (50½ ft. by 25 ft.) is entirely of c. 1350 with ashlar buttresses, a double-moulded plinth and a cornice-moulding to the side walls. The E. window (Plate 57) is of seven cinque-foiled ogee lights with elaborate tracery in a two-centred head with moulded jambs, splays, mullions and labels, the last with beast and human head-stops including one of a bishop. The N. and S. walls have each three windows—each of three cinque-foiled ogee lights with net-tracery in a two-centred head and of similar detail to the E. window; the labels have beast and human head-stops, including priest, bishop, etc. W. of the middle window in the S. wall is a doorway with jambs and two-centred arch of two moulded orders with moulded labels and head-stops. The 15th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders; the responds have each three attached shafts, mainly of the 13th century and with 15th-century moulded capitals and original 'hold-water' bases on half-round plinths; the arch and capitals are of clunch and the responds mainly of Barnack stone.

Fen Stanton, the Parish Church of S.S. Peter & Paul

The Nave (44½ ft. by 15½ ft.) has 15th-century N. and S. arcades both of three bays and with two-centred arches of two moulded orders similar to the chancel-arch; the moulded columns have each four attached semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals like the chancel-arch and moulded bases; the responds have attached half-columns; the first capital on the N. has been partly restored; the arches and responds are of clunch and the columns of Barnack stone. The clearstorey has on each side four 15th-century windows each of two cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label; the clearstorey is finished with a plain parapet.

The North Aisle (13 ft. wide) is probably of late 15th-century date and has ashlar buttresses and a plain parapet. In the N. wall are three windows each of three cinque-foiled ogee lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label and modern stops. The N. doorway has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label; it is now blocked. In the W wall is an early 16th-century window of four cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with moulded jambs.

The South Aisle (11½ ft. wide) is of the first half of the 14th century and has ashlar buttresses, a plain parapet and a moulded string-course below the window-sills, cut back on the end walls. In the E. wall is a window of c. 1330, partly restored, and of two cinque-foiled lights with leaf-tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the jambs and splays are moulded. In the S. wall are three early 16th-century windows, partly restored, and each of four cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with moulded jambs; the two easternmost have also moulded splays; the 14th-century S. doorway has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label with modern stops. In the W. wall is a 14th-century window, partly restored and of three trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with moulded splays and labels with one head-stop.

The West Tower (11 ft. by 14 ft.) is of three stages (Plate 56) with ashlar buttresses and spire. The ground-stage has a 15th-century E. arch, two-centred and of three orders, two being hollow-chamfered and the third wave-moulded; the responds have each a large semi-octagonal attached shaft with moulded capital and base; the plain outer order on the W. face is of earlier work up to the level of the springing of the side arches of the tower and is of Barnack stone, the rest of the work being in clunch. The buttresses of this arch are each pierced by a low half-arch at the base. The N. and S. arches of the tower are of mid 13th-century date, two-centred and of three chamfered orders struck from below the springing and perhaps re-set; the two outer orders are continuous and the innermost springs from moulded corbels with carved heads below. The late 14th-century door-way to the turret-staircase has splayed jambs and moulded two-centred arch; the late 14th-century W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights with modern tracery in a two-centred head, with a moulded label and head-stops; the W. doorway, of the same date, has jambs and two-centred arch of three orders, the two outer chamfered and the innermost wave-moulded; the moulded label has modern stops. The second stage has in the S. wall a square quatre-foiled opening of late 14th-century date; in the W. wall is a window of two trefoiled lights in a square head with a moulded label and head-stops. The bell-chamber has in each wall a late 14th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops. The broach-spire is octagonal, the squinches being covered with flat tabling; it has two ranges of lights, four in each range, those in the lower range are each of two cinque-foiled lights with blind tracery in a gable with carved heads at its bases and apex. The lights of the upper range are each a single trefoiled light in a gable with carved heads as those just described.

The South Porch is of mid 14th-century date, heightened early in the 16th century; it has a re-set outer archway of distorted two-centred form and of three moulded orders, the two outer of the 13th century with a moulded label enriched with 'dog-tooth' ornament and with scrolled terminations; the inner order is of the 14th century, as are the responds of one chamfered and one splayed order with restored attached shafts; above the arch is a re-set 13th-century window of vesica-form with moulded jambs. The side walls have each a 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights in a square head with a moulded label.

The Roof of the nave is probably of the 15th century, much restored and perhaps reconstructed; it is of four bays, high-pitched with cambered tie-beams, curved principals above them, king-posts, curved intermediate principals, wall-posts with curved braces and moulded purlins; at the main intersections are carved figures and foliage-bosses; below the tie-beams are carved bosses, including heads of a king and a queen in a 'nebuly' head-dress; the stone corbels on both sides are carved with grotesque beasts, heads, etc. The early 16th-century roof of the N. aisle (Plate 46) is of four bays and of flat pitch with moulded main timbers and purlins, hollow-chamfered rafters and moulded plates carved with twisted foliage; the curved braces to the tie-beams are carved with foliage and at the main intersections are foliage or flower bosses; under the intermediate principals are large carved figures of feathered angels holding crowns, shields or lutes. The roof of the S. aisle is of similar type and date to that over the N. aisle, but the carved figures are smaller, only three are feathered and all hold shields; others are dressed in dalmatics; under the wall-posts are carved heads. The early 16th-century roof of the S. porch is of two bays with moulded and cambered tie beams, plates, ridge and curved braces; there are two carved flowers on the soffits of the tie-beams.

Fittings—Bells: five; 1st and 5th by Thomas Norris, 1636; 3rd, 1603, founder unknown; 4th by William Haulsey, 1620. Brass Indent: In chancel—In Purbeck-marble slab, of half-figure of priest with marginal inscription in Lombardic capitals:—"HIC JACET DOMINUS WILELMUS DE LOUGTHONE QUONDAM RECTOR HUIUS ECCLESIE ET FUNDA[TO]R ISTIUS CA[PELL?]E," mid 14th-century (Rector 1345–52). Coffin-lid: part of tapering slab, re-used as threshold of S. doorway of chancel, 13th-century. Communion Table: In vestry—of oak with turned legs, early 18th-century. Locker: In S. aisle—in S. wall, rectangular, with rebate for door. Monuments: In churchyard—on S. side—(1) to William, son of Richard Harivey, 1706–07, head-stone. W. of tower—(2) to Sarah Martin, daughter of John Martin, 1706–07, head-stone; (3) foot-stone dated 1686; (4) to Mary, wife of William Whinn, 1714–15, and to Edward their son, carved head-stone with cherub-head, etc. Piscinae (see Sedilia). Plate: includes a large cup (Plate 136) of 1619 with two bands of incised 'Elizabethan' decoration and with inscription and date 1619. Pulpit: (Plate 152) of oak, octagonal, with upper part divided into two tiers of linenfold panels with heads of folds terminating in fleurs-de-lis and having small crocketed buttresses at angles of each tier; early 16th-century, stem and cornice modern. Sedilia: In chancel—of three stepped bays with fourth or easternmost bay a piscina, with shafted jambs and quatrefoil columns with moulded capitals and bases and ogee cinque-foiled heads; piscina with multifoiled drain; mid 14th-century. Stoup: In S. aisle—in S. wall, E. of S. doorway, with chamfered jambs and cinque-foiled head and circular basin which originally projected but has projecting half cut off; 14th-century. Sundial: On S. face of third buttress on S. wall of chancel, scratched dial with gnomon gone. Miscellanea: Incorporated in modern lectern, four traceried panels of oak and divided by small crocketed buttresses; in heads of lower panels, carved shield charged with a flower and a heart pierced by arrows and charged with a fleur-de-lis. On modern chest, two old wrought-iron hinges. In churchyard, base of churchyard-cross, square with octagonal top and stops on angles, stump of cross above, probably 14th-century.



a(2). Homestead Moat at Grove House, about 800 yards W.S.W. of the church.

a(3). Clock Tower and lock-up (Plate 166), at the cross-roads, 650 yards S.W. of the church, is a square structure of brick with a pyramidal slate roof surmounted by a cupola. It was built probably late in the 17th century as a lock-up and has rusticated angles and oversailing eaves-courses. In the S.W. side is the original doorway with a heavy frame and a battened door with three strap-hinges. There is a modern doorway in the N.E. side and windows on the S.W. and N.E., the former now blocked. The square timber cupola has a round keyed arch in each face and contains a bell cast by Thomas Norris in 1660 or 1666.


a(4). The Manor, house 1,000 yards W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick with stone dressings and the roofs are covered with slates. It was built early in the 18th century and has modern additions at the back. The E. front is symmetrically designed and has a stone plinth, brick bands between the storeys, stone heads and key-blocks to the windows and stone pilasters at the main angles and at the angles of the middle bay. The eaves have a modillioned cornice and there are three dormers in the roof. The band, cornice, etc., are continued round the S. end and there are two dormers in the roof. Inside the building, the main staircase (Plate 165) has turned and twisted balusters and the newels are in the form of fluted Ionic columns; the treads have moulded nosings.


Monuments (5–22).

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, unless noted.

a(5). Cottage and Barn, 80 yards N. of (4). The Cottage has shaped gables at each end and is built of brick. The Barn (Plate 150), S.W. of the cottage, has walls of brick and is three bays long.

Chequers Street. S.E. side

b(6). Cottage, 500 yards W.S.W. of the church, has an original doorway in the porch with a moulded frame and a door of six panels with strap-hinges, having fleur-de-lis ends. The walls of the house are of brick.


b(7). Cottage, 50 yards N.E. of (6).

N.W. side

b(8). Cottage, two tenements, in by-lane, 380 yards W. of the church.


b(9). House, 130 yards E. of (8), is built of brick with a wing and staircase at the back. The S. front has a two-storeyed porch with a hipped roof; the porch-door is original and of six moulded panels with strap-hinges and an old drop-handle. The inner doorway of the porch has an original moulded frame with moulded stops. The ends of the house have shaped gables. Inside the building the staircase is partly original and has a moulded rail, newels with incised carving and moulded terminals, some shaped balusters and incised friezes below the rail. On the first floor is a chamfered wall-post, with moulded and enriched capping.

b(10). Cottage, at the N.W. corner of Honey Hill and 170 yards N.W. of the church, has an original central chimney-stack with grouped diagonal shafts.

b(11). Cottage, two tenements, opposite and E. of (10).

b(12). Range of four tenements, 40 yards W. of the church, has one original chimney-stack with grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building one tenement has an original moulded ceiling-beam.

b(13). Cottage, 10 yards W. of (12), has an original central chimney-stack with grouped diagonal shafts.

b(14). Cottage, 40 yards S.W. of (13), has an original chimney-stack with two diagonal shafts.

b(15). House (Plate 71), 20 yards W. of (14), was built in the 16th century with a cross-wing at the E. end. There is a 17th-century wing at the back. The upper storey projects along the whole of the N. front on curved brackets. The original central chimney-stack has four octagonal shafts with moulded bases and 'egg and tongue' ornament to the capping. The timber frame stands on a base of re-used ashlar.

High Street. S. side

b(16). Star Inn, 540 yards S.W. of the church, has an original chimney-stack of four grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building is an early 18th-century panelled partition.

b(17). George Inn, 130 yards W.N.W. of (16), is built partly of brick. The front doorway has an original moulded frame. Inside the building are two moulded and shaped brackets with dentilled ornament.

b(18). House and shop, W. of (17), has a modern cement-rendered front; the walls are of brick.

b(19). House and shop, W. of (18), is built of brick and has shaped gables at the ends.

a(20). House and shop, 40 yards W. of (19), has been refaced with modern brick.

a(21). House, 80 yards S.W. of (20), was built c. 1500 with a central block and cross-wings at the N.E. and S.W. ends; the whole building is now covered by one roof. The upper storey projects at the front end of the N.E. cross-wing, on four curved brackets. Inside the building the middle room has an original moulded ceiling-beam.

Fen Stanton, Plan Showing the Position of Monuments.

a(22). The Gables, house 200 yards S.W. of (21), was built in the second half of the 16th century on an H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the N.E. and S.W. ends. The upper storey projects on the whole of the N.W. front, and some of the curved brackets remain. Inside the building are two original moulded ceiling-beams.

Fenton, see Pidley-cum-Fenton.