i. Earthworks, etc.: Pre-historic and later.
South Buckinghamshire is not rich in earthworks of any magnitude, and of
the one hundred and twenty-eight examples, over one hundred are homestead
moats, tumuli, or other works of minor importance. The Chiltern hills, which occupy
a great part of the southern half of the county, contain many ideal sites for forts
of the hill-top variety, but advantage does not seem to have been taken of them. On
the other hand the Thames valley and the Vale of Aylesbury afford favourable
situations for works of the mount and bailey and homestead moat types, such as
were used in the middle ages for fortresses and domestic dwellings, and many still
Cliff Camps:—At Danesfield, Medmenham, there is a good example of a cliff
camp. Although now partly destroyed by a modern house and garden, it was
originally enclosed on three sides by strong ramparts and ditches, the fourth side
being covered by the sharp drop to the river.
Hill and Plateau Camps:—Examples of the Hill and Plateau camps
are found in Ashley Green, Cholesbury (Plan p. 107), Gerrards Cross, Great
Kimble, Halton, Medmenham and West Wycombe. One of the camps, that at
Great Kimble on Pulpit hill (Plan p. 165), is especially interesting on account of
its commanding position and the character of its defences, while the work in Bulstrode
Park, Gerrards Cross, is the largest defensive earthwork in the county.
Pile Dwellings:—Remains of a pile dwelling have been discovered at Hedsor,
and some of the objects found are now in the County Museum at Aylesbury.
Ring-Works and Mount and Bailey Castles:—There are two ring-works,
one at Hawridge, and the other near West Wycombe, both well preserved; the
second work, known as Desborough Castle, has traces on the N. and W. of a larger
and almost concentric line of entrenchment, probably of earlier date. Of the six
mount and bailey castles, none shows any traces of masonry; the most perfect
is Cymbeline's Mount, in Chequers Park, Ellesborough (Plan p. 139), which
is an unusually small example of its class, and occupies a natural position of great
strength: the other examples, in High Wycombe, Little Kimble, Little Missenden,
Saunderton and Weston Turville parishes, are much denuded.
Homestead Moats and a Village Enclosure:—There are sixty-five homestead
moats or moated sites, many of them fragmentary. The best example is at Grove
Farm, Ashley Green (Plan p. 17), where the strong outer moat encloses a smaller
moat, within which are the remains of a stone gatehouse and curtain wall, and part
of a small mediæval building. Other good examples are at Quarrendon, Hardicanute's Moat in Burnham Beeches, a third in Brays Wood, Wendover, and a fourth
in Reddingwick Wood, Great Missenden, the last two being partly enclosed by outer
works of inferior strength. In Rook Wood, Great Missenden, is a work known as
'The Castle', but, owing to the levels, the ditches can never have held water. There
is a well-defined village enclosure round the two churches at Lee.
Turf-Cuttings:—The two crosses cut in the chalk of the hill-side above
Whiteleaf, Monks Risborough (Plate p. 262), and Bledlow (Plate p. 57) are interesting,
but nothing definite is known as to their origin.
Miscellaneous:—Grim's Dyke or Ditch enters Buckinghamshire from
Hertfordshire at the junction of Shire Lane with the road to Layland's Farm in
Drayton Beauchamp; it continues in a south-westerly direction, as shown on
the map at the end of this volume, to a point a little N. of King's Ash, where it turns
E. of S. to Woodlands Park, then curves round towards the W., descends the hill,
and is faintly visible as far as the railway line. From this point there is a gap of
nearly two miles before it reappears in Oaken Grove, about two-thirds of a
mile S.E. of Hampden House, where it runs in a north-westerly direction: at its S.E.
extremity there are two moated mounds. The dyke continues, with intervals, for
about 1¼ miles, and then turns at right angles in a south-westerly direction through
Monks Risborough and Princes Risborough to Lacey Green; there it turns to the
S.E., through Beamangreen and Park Woods, in Bradenham parish, where it dies
out. A similar work bearing the same name appears at the W. end of the Chilterns
near Nuffield in S. Oxfordshire. The course of the dyke, which keeps chiefly to
high ground, may be followed without any great difficulty, except between Woodlands
Park and Oaken Grove, where it is completely obliterated. It consists of a single
rampart and a ditch which, in general, lies S. or S.E. of the rampart. At its best the
rampart is about six feet above the bottom of the ditch, which is three feet below the
counter-scarp and forty feet wide.
Three Entrenchments may be assigned to the civil war of the 17th century,
the most interesting and complete being the gun emplacements and mounds near
Quarrendon. The other examples are—two lines of entrenchment N. of the church
at Brill, and a work resembling a redan in plan, in a field S. of Great Kimble Church.
ii. Roman Remains.
Roman remains are somewhat rare. The Inventory records no town, and
no more than ten dwelling houses, large and small together. One of these, at High
Wycombe, was possibly the residence of a more or less wealthy landowner; three
others, at Chenies, Little Kimble and Hambleden, may have been comfortable
country houses or farms; two, at Ellesborough and Ixhill near Oakley, were
apparently quite small, while of two at Brill and Hughenden we know as yet next
to nothing, and for two others at Stone and Long Crendon we have only indirect
Roman Roads:—(i.) The road now usually called Akeman Street runs along
the N. edge of the district in its course from Bicester, or rather Alchester, to Aylesbury
and Tring, but only parts of the modern road seem to follow the Roman lines.
The five-mile stretch from Oxfordshire to Sharps Hill, near Ludgershall, and the sixmile stretch from Aylesbury to Tring are singularly straight, and obviously of Roman
origin, but the ten miles between Sharps Hill and Aylesbury show no satisfactory
traces of Roman work. Near Ludgershall and Piddington the road was known as
Akeman Street as early as A.D. 1294; whether the name was used further E. in the
middle ages is uncertain. (ii.) Icknield Street, which follows the escarpment of the
Chilterns from the Thames into Bedfordshire and beyond, was in origin probably
a British or other pre-Roman route. But near Little Kimble it may have been
utilized in Roman days; there it passes Roman sites and runs with something like
These two roads plainly do not mean much traffic; they confirm the
testimony of the inhabited sites. South Buckinghamshire was, doubtless, in Roman
days, in large part woodland, and in large part ill watered, as it is to-day. We
may conclude that it was then a pastoral and half forest area with a sparse
population, mostly shepherds, cowherds, swineherds, and a still smaller supply of
large and civilized houses.
iii. Ecclesiastical and Secular Architecture.
Building materials; flint, stone and brick.
Of the churches described in this volume, more than half (65 per cent.) are
built of flint. The flint churches are bounded on the N. by the Icknield Way, where
a group of eight is found close together on the N. edge of the chalk hills. The walls
of Langley Marish and Stoke Poges Churches afford interesting examples of herringbone pattern of the 12th century. Burnham Abbey (Plate p. 71), Medmenham
Abbey, and the chapels at Great Hundridge Farm in Chesham and at Widmer Farm
(Plate p. 169) in Great Marlow are flint buildings of the 13th century. The principal
secular building of flint is that at Grove Farm in Ashley Green, of the 15th century
(Plate p. xxx). Of the 17th-century flint buildings an interesting group is found in
the S.W. corner of the county, of which Hambleden Manor House, of c. 1604, and
Borlase School at Marlow, of 1624, are good examples; the best instance elsewhere
is Wellwick Farm in Wendover parish, dated 1616. (Plate p. 311).
The stone churches (34 per cent.) lie in the Vale of Aylesbury and N. of it
Notley Abbey, Long Crendon (Plate p. 246), of the 13th century, Boarstall Gatehouse,
of the 14th century (Plate p. 58), a barn at Towersey, of c. 1500, and Hartwell House
(Plate p. 189), of early 17th-century date, are the best examples of stone secular
buildings, and an interesting structure is the stone bridge at Ickford, dated 1685.
Pudding-stone is found in courses of the walling of Upton Church, Slough, and
Dennerhill stone in the foundations of a number of churches in the neighbourhood of
Brick is not found in churches until a late date. The earliest known
brickwork is at Eton College, for which the bricks were made at Slough in the
middle of the 15th century. Of 16th-century work there are well preserved examples
at Chequers Court, Ellesborough, Chenies Manor House (Plate p. 62), Dinton Hall,
and the Manor Houses at Brill and Stoke Poges: Stoke Poges Church has a brick
chapel and Hitcham Church a W. tower, both of the 16th century. Early in the
17th century the church at Fulmer was built completely of brick, with plaster
dressings in imitation of stone, and Langley Marish and Dorney have 17th-century
brick towers. Valuable dated examples of the 17th century are Langley Marish
Almshouses, 1617 (Plate p. 228), Dorton House, 1626, Amersham Almshouses, 1657
(Plate p. 8), and Market Hall, 1682 (Plate p. 4). Good detail is found in the
chimney stacks of Chenies Manor House (Plate p. 92), Wellwick Farm, and the
Manor House at Stoke Poges. Bricks of an abnormal size (14in. by 6in. by 3½in.)
probably of late 16th and early 17th-century date, are found in the wall surrounding
Horton churchyard and in a wall of a house, formerly the Grammar School, at
Amersham, and at Hazeldean, Wendover, where they are of various lengths up to
Timber-framing occurs chiefly in secular buildings, though the 14th-century
porches at Stoke Poges (Plate p. 285), and Upper Winchendon Churches, and the
15th-century porch at Little Hampden (Plate p. 162), should be noticed. The
earliest secular examples are the Savoy at Denham, Huntercombe Manor House
at Burnham, and Bell Farm at Eton Wick, all probably of the 14th century. About
twenty buildings contain external and internal evidence of 15th-century work. The
best are the Old King's Head Inn at Aylesbury (Plate p. 37), No. 47, High Street,
Amersham, Codmore Farm at Latimer (Plate p. xxx), the Church Loft at West
Wycombe (Plate p. 319), and the Ostrich Inn at Horton (Plate p. 228). Of 16th-century buildings, Dorney Court (Plate p. 129) is the finest and most complete
example. Of 17th-century houses Upper Waldridge Farm, Dinton (Plate p. 94),
and dated examples at Stone, 1601, Wendover, 1621, Monks Risborough, 1627,
Lower Winchendon, 1676, and Amersham, 1678, deserve mention.
'Wichert', a local white earth mixed with chopped straw, is used as walling
in a number of 17th-century cottages at Haddenham, Dinton, Lower Winchendon
Iver is the only church which contains any definitely pre-Conquest work.
The naves of Bradenham and Little Missenden Churches are possibly of the 11th
century, while nearly half the old churches contain remains of the 12th century.
Upton Church, Slough, is one of the most complete 12th-century buildings, and its
chancel has the only example of 12th-century vaulting. The W. tower and nave of
Fingest (Plate p. 156) are also of the 12th century, and are peculiarly interesting as an
example of a 'tower-nave' plan, where the tower is of massive proportions and the
ground floor originally formed the nave, opening into a long and narrow chancel,
which is the present nave. Other good examples of 12th-century work are part of
the N. arcade at Stone (Plate p. 292), part of the S. arcade at Waddesdon, the S.
doorway of Dinton, the N. doorway of Horton, and the N. and S. doorways, at
Among the more notable 13th-century churches are those at Haddenham and
Ickford, the large cruciform church at Aylesbury, and a church of the same type of
plan at Long Crendon. Bledlow has N. and S. arcades of c. 1200 and a late 13th-century W. tower. High Wycombe has good 13th-century windows, with carved
capitals in the jambs and a S. porch which is remarkable for its vaulting, wall arcading
and doorway. The windows in the N. wall of the chancel at Little Marlow, the
W. doorway of Dinton Church and the very fine arch of carved wood at Upton church
also deserve mention.
Bierton furnishes the most complete example of work of the 14th century,
and has excellent detail in its windows and arcades; its central tower is the best of
that period. At Ludgershall the figures on the capitals of the nave arcades are
unusual, and the arcades at Wendover also have figures, faces, animals, etc., finely
carved in clunch. There is some remarkable window tracery at Weston Turville.
Good work of the 15th century is more difficult to find, but the nave arcades
of High Wycombe and the quire of the Eton College Church stand out as specially
noteworthy. The interesting oak colonnade, dated 1630, at Langley Marish (Plate
p. 224) is possibly a unique piece of constructional woodwork.
Sixteen churches have low-side windows, all of one light, with the exception
of those at Denham and Great Missenden, which are of two lights. The only
window which retains an old shutter is at Bledlow, though others are rebated and
have hooks on which to hang a shutter.
The roof of the nave at Haddenham has simple but ornamental work
characteristic of the 14th century; of the secular roofs, those at the Savoy at Denham,
Bell Farm at Eton Wick, Huntercombe Manor House at Burnham, and the Old
Parsonage at Marlow can be assigned to that century. The best 15th-century church
roofs are at Great Missenden, Monks Risborough, High Wycombe (aisles), Aylesbury
(transepts and chapels), Fleet Marston (nave), Penn (nave), Radnage (nave, Plate
p. 274), and at Ickford and Great Hampden (porches). The best 15th-century
secular roofs are those of No. 47, High Street, in Amersham; Blackwell Hall and
Codmore Farms, Chesham; Putnam Place, Penn; Deyncourt Farm, Wooburn
(Plate p. 324); and of a house at Frogmore Farm, Saunderton. Of the 16th century,
the best examples are at Dorney Court, of c. 1510, No. 1, Church Street, Aylesbury,
and the former Grammar School at Amersham. Of the 17th century, the roof of the
chancel at Brill (Plate p. 64) is a curious and interesting example.
Monastic and Collegiate Buildings.
The only considerable traces of monastic remains are in buildings that once
belonged to the Augustinian order, at Burnham (Canonesses), Long Crendon, and
Great Missenden. At Burnham Abbey (Plan p. 73), they afford an interesting and
fairly complete illustration of the plan of a monastic establishment of moderate size.
At Notley Abbey, Long Crendon (Plan p. 245), the remains are of much larger
buildings and have been very much defaced, but the Guest-house, now a farmhouse
(Plate p. 246), still stands, though it has been considerably altered; only parts
of the claustral buildings remain, and there is no definite trace of the church. At
Missenden Abbey there are remains of the S.W. and E. ranges, very much
altered and enlarged. Of the other monastic establishments there are above ground
no more than fragments of walling, worked stones, etc. The mediæval collegiate
plan is finely illustrated by the one example at Eton (Plan p. 152), where the
original arrangement is still clearly shown, and, generally speaking, is preserved by
present-day usage, in spite of alterations and additions, and the alienation of parts
of the buildings from the purposes for which they were first intended.
The Bell Farm at Eton Wick is a good example of a simple plan of moderate
size, and the Savoy at Denham, a larger building, had a hall with aisles; the Savoy
was built not later than the beginning of the 14th century, and Bell Farm in the
second half of the same century. Another interesting house of the 14th century is now
Nos. 54 and 56, in Church Street, Chesham (Plate p. 94). The 14th-century halls of
Huntercombe Manor House at Burnham and of the Old Parsonage at Marlow are still
open to the roof, and retain much of their original arrangement. The finest example of
the mediæval hall is at Dorney Court (Plate p. 130), where the solar wing also remains
comparatively unaltered. A house in Market Street (No. 111), and another (No. 67),
in Castle Street, Aylesbury, are good examples of mediæval town houses with halls on
the first floor. The Old King's Head Inn, at Aylesbury (Plate p. 37), is also a good
mediæval building, planned about a courtyard and retaining two bays of a fine hall.
The remains of a building of late mediæval date and of considerable size are
incorporated in Chilton House, and there is a 15th-century vaulted cellar at Chenies
Manor House, which is itself of mid 16th-century date, and a good example of the period
(Plate p. 92). Chequers Court (Plate p. 140), built in 1565, is a fine example of early
Renaissance architecture, and Brill Manor House, which is of slightly later date,
has a curious plan, much influenced by a former building, of which only fragments
remain; in both of these houses the effort for symmetry is of interest. Hartwell
House (Plate p. 189), is the finest example of early 17th-century work. Wellwick
Farm at Wendover, 1616, and Upper Waldridge Farm at Dinton, are good examples of
simpler work. Dorton House, built 1626, and Denham Place (Plate p. 119), of late
17th-century date, are fine buildings and their plans have been but little altered.
There are no good examples of cottage-architecture of an early date, but
there are a large number of small houses at least as early as the 16th century: many
of these are of rectangular plan, with two rooms on each floor and a central chimney
stack; L-shaped plans are also common, and every possible modification of both
types is to be found. A farmhouse (No. 26, Plate p. xxx) at Brill is a good example of
smaller work of the middle of the 17th century, and a house at Chilton (No. 6), dated
1683, illustrates the plain rectangular plan common about that date. There are a
number of small buildings of the same period throughout the district, but especially
in the south.
Great Hundridge Farm at Chesham offers an example of a mediæval domestic
chapel, and there are remains of domestic works of a defensive nature at Ashley Green.
The finest example of a mediæval gatehouse is at Boarstall (Plate p. 58), a castellated
structure of the 14th century. There are fine barns at Grange Farm, Towersey,
and at No. 89, Walton Road in Aylesbury, and tithe-barns at St. Osyth's, Aylesbury,
and at the Tithe Farm, Stoke Poges. At Notley Abbey is a large dove-cot (Plate
p. 252), and at Amersham Rectory and Bowers Farm at Coleshill are old well-houses.
The late 17th-century windmill at Brill is also worthy of note.
Altars:—Only two pre-Reformation stone altar slabs remain intact, one at
Ickford, which has been re-dressed and is now placed on a 17th-century Communion
table, and the other at Little Hampden, which retains its consecration crosses and
now forms the step on which the modern table stands. Of a third at Stoke Poges
all except the part embedded in the wall has been destroyed.
Bells:—Two at Bradenham and one at Lee bear the name of Michael de
Wymbis, who worked in London c. 1300. Only five bells by this maker are known.
At Langley Marish three bells cast in 1649 bear the name of the founder, W. Whitmore, and those of his agents, Benjamin Stile and Michael Trenley, and it is possible
that they were cast on the site. Sanctus bell-cotes remain over the gables between
the nave and chancel at Ludgershall and Oakley.
Brasses:—The largest collections of brasses are at Eton, Taplow, Chenies
and Dinton. The earliest brass, of 1340, is a floriated cross with the figure of a civilian,
at Taplow, and is perhaps the finest in design and workmanship; the latest is an
inscription of 1670 at Chesham. Only three belong to the 14th century. Of the
many brasses of ecclesiastics there is a remarkable series at Eton, and the figure of
an Austin canon at Upper Winchendon is especially interesting. Of military brasses
that at Drayton Beauchamp, of 1368, has scaled sollerets and splinted jambs. Two at
Stokenchurch, of 1410 and 1415, are early examples of complete plate armour, and
their French inscriptions are unusual at that period. Plate armour with besagues
can be seen at Lower Winchendon, of c. 1420, at Dinton, of 1424, and at Stoke Poges, of
1425. Another military brass, at Waddesdon, of 1490, is large and elaborate, and
is of special interest, since it shows the date in Arabic numerals: it was concealed
when the chapel at Eythrope, for which it was made, was desecrated early in the
18th century, and was only discovered in the second half of the 19th century.
Penn Church contains a military brass of 1641, which is an unusually late date for
this type of memorial. Inscriptions at Chearsley and Little Marlow record gifts to
the church, and a reference to 'Our Lorde's Prayer', of 1548, at Waddesdon is
unusual. There are many civilian brasses of all dates, but none, except the Taplow
brass, of special interest.
Chairs:—That at Bierton Church, with an elaborately carved back, of c. 1600,
is noteworthy (Plate p. 300). Late 17th-century chairs upholstered in velvet, one
of which is dated 1663, are found at Langley Marish and Beaconsfield Churches,
and at Langley Marish are some early examples of the use of cane in chairs.
Chests:—The earliest is at Wooburn Church, of the 13th century; a chest at
Great Kimble has mediæval ironwork; and those at Upper Winchendon, Ludgershall
and Hawridge Churches are probably mediæval. A chest at Aylesbury Church is of
c. 1500. The finest chest is the large one at High Wycombe, possibly of the 16th
century. The majority of the others are of the 17th century; dated examples
remain at Chesham, of 1624, High Wycombe, of 1687, Hitcham, of 1684, and Little
Missenden, of 1690. A chest of deal at Fingest, of the 17th century, shows an early
use of this material.
Consecration Crosses:—There can be no doubt about two of these crosses:
that at the W. end of the N. aisle of Aylesbury Church was probably one of the twelve
internal consecration crosses, and is in very good condition, while the other, at
Beaconsfield, is much weather-worn, since the stone on which it is carved is built
into the external W. face of the tower of the church. There are traces of an incised
and painted cross on the wall at the back of the sedilia in Great Missenden Church,
and there are, in addition, some doubtful cases.
Cupboards:—A vestment cupboard at Aylesbury Church, of c. 1500, is a rare
survival, and has swinging 'perks' for the vestments. A cupboard at Dinton is
dated 1612. Those containing the library at Langley Marish are of the 17th century.
Easter Sepulchres:—A small but richly carved example is in the church at
Aston Clinton, and there is another at Aylesbury.
Fonts:—Of the illustrations on the opposite page a group of seven, of which
Nos. 5 and 6 are typical, is peculiar to the southern part of the county, and are
known generically as 'Aylesbury' fonts. That at Bledlow is the earliest and crudest
in workmanship, and appears to have been heightened by a piece inserted in the stem;
that at Aylesbury is the most ornate. The 15th-century font at Stoke Mandeville
has an interesting carved panel showing the chrismatory or box containing the holy
oils used in baptism, etc. The font at Penn has a bowl of uncertain date covered
with lead. No early mediæval font covers remain. Only one cover is dated, that
at Dorton, of 1631.
Glass:—The church glass as a whole is fragmentary. The only remains of
13th-century glass are at Aston Sandford and Lee. The best specimen of 14th-century glass is at Hitcham (Plate p. 204), where enough remains to show the scheme
of glazing, with the nine orders of angels and the four evangelists, etc., as subjects.
Other good examples of the 14th century are the representation of the Virgin and
Child at Monks Risborough, and heraldic glass at Langley Marish, Drayton
Beauchamp, and Little Kimble. The most complete specimen of the 15th century
is the E. window of the church at Drayton Beauchamp, representing ten of the
apostles; small examples are the figure of St. Peter at Lower Winchendon, and the
heraldry at Chesham and Chesham Bois. There are only a few remains of the 16th
and 17th centuries; the greater part of the glass at Stoke Poges is of foreign
The Old King's Head Inn at Aylesbury contains the only example of 15th-century glass in a secular building. The figures of Queen Elizabeth and Mary Queen
of Scots, with their coats of arms, now at Stoke Park, Stoke Poges, are excellent
specimens of 16th-century glass. The 17th-century glass is chiefly confined to heraldic
subjects, as in Denham Place, Dinton Hall, Upton Court at Slough, Chequers Court
at Ellesborough, and Boarstall Gatehouse.
Lecterns:—The bronze or latten lectern at Eton College Church, of the 15th
century, is worthy of special notice.
Monuments:—There are military effigies of the 13th century at Ashendon,
Chilton and Hughenden, the first being of poor workmanship. At Hughenden
(Plate p. 130), the effigy is one of a curious collection brought together in the 16th
century, and, with another, of late 14th-century date, has been partly re-cut; the
rest are crude forgeries of earlier styles. In the large effigy of c. 1340, at Waddesdon
(Plate opposite), the three body garments are still plainly visible. At Aylesbury there
is a much defaced alabaster effigy of c. 1390, showing sollerets. There are
no effigies of the 15th century. The Peckham monuments at Denham (Plate
opposite), of the 16th century, are good illustrations of armour and costume: the
lance-rest of the knight is a late example, and the ridge on the left pauldron is a
curious detail of uncertain purpose. At Chenies, in the Bedford Chapel, there is a
fine collection, beginning in the N. aisle with the defaced effigies of a knight and his
lady, of c. 1385, continuing with an elaborate altar tomb of alabaster, of 1555 (Plate
p. 90), and followed by a succession of Russell monuments to the present day; their
historical importance is great, though their value as illustrations of costume is somewhat impaired by the voluminous garter and peeresses' robes. At Ickford there is
a curious monument of 1595, and there are fine monuments with effigies at Dorney,
of 1607, at Hitcham, of 1624, and at Fulmer, of 1631. One of the most interesting of
this period is at Chilton, of 1608 (Plate opposite), where the armour of Sir John Croke,
of late 16th-century style, resembles the suits made by Jacob Topf. Effigies with
careful details are those at Long Crendon, of 1605 and 1626 (Plate opposite), and the
beautiful figure of a lady at Ellesborough, of 1638 (Plate opposite).
The wooden skeleton on Provost Murray's tomb at Eton, and the 'cadaver'
at Hughenden are good examples of this type of memorial. There are no examples
of the elaborate altar tombs of the 14th and early 15th centuries. At Beaconsfield
there is an altar tomb in an arched recess, which is typical of the tombs of early
16th-century date, and is probably of London manufacture (Plate p. xxiv). In
addition to the alabaster monuments and effigies at Chenies already mentioned there
are also fine examples at Aylesbury, of 1584, Stoke Mandeville, of late 16th-century
date, Dorney, of 1607, Bierton, of 1616, Hambleden, of 1618, Eton College Church,
of 1623, and Fawley, of 1632. Stoke Poges, Chenies, Upper Winchendon and
Chilton provide examples of funeral helms, and at Haddenham there is a close helmet
of the 16th century which has traces of gilding and is apparently genuine. Very
few of the headstones in the churchyards are of a date before 1700.
Paintings:—The finest decorative paintings are at Little Kimble Church.
During the 14th century the walls of the small nave must have been completely
covered with a decoration of figure-subjects, of which enough remains to be of the
greatest interest; a large figure of St. George and the vigorous drawing of some of
the smaller figures are especially noteworthy. Little Hampden Church is also rich
in paintings; they are in a fragmentary condition, but range from the 13th to the
15th century. At Chalfont St. Giles there are some highly interesting figure-subjects,
probably of the 14th century, unfortunately much faded and defaced. At Haddenham is a good example of the plain, masonry-pattern decoration of the 13th century;
and there is similar work at Bedlow, with the remains of a large figure of St.
Christopher, and some 17th-century texts.
The elaborate series of paintings at Eton, of 1478–80, are almost completely hidden by the modern quire-stalls, and are said to have been partly defaced
when they were uncovered in the 19th century. At Monks Risborough there are
traces of colour decoration on the E. bay of the roof and the rood screen has crude
panels which have been re-painted. In the same parish, in a farmhouse (No. 18),
is an early 17th-century wall-painting of 'Adam and Eve', and there are some 17th-century figure-subjects at Hulcott Manor House. At Denham Place is a painted
and modelled frieze of late 17th-century date, and at Huntercombe Manor House,
in Burnham, there are fine painted ceilings of the same period.
Piscinæ:—There are interesting 12th-century pillar piscinæ at Slough and
Towersey. The only examples of double piscinæ of the 13th century are at Chalfont
St. Giles, Iver (Plate p. xxiv), Princes Risborough, Stoke Poges and Weston Turville,
the first and last being the most remarkable. Basins in window-sills are to be seen
at Bledlow and Burnham, Bledlow Church having two basins of the 13th century in
one window, and a third in another window.
Plate:—The 14th-century paten at Bierton is the only example of church
plate of a date before the Reformation. The Turville communion cup is the earliest
post-Reformation cup, and is of 1565; Dorton has a cup and cover paten of 1568,
while 14 churches have cups of 1569.
Pulpits:—The pulpit at Upper Winchendon is of peculiar interest owing to
its 14th-century workmanship. At Ibstone there is a good example of the 15th
century. In the chapel at Denham Place there is a pulpit of late 15th or early 16th-century date. The others are of the 17th century, the earliest dated examples being
at Langley Marish, 1609, and Shabbington, 1626.
Sedilia:—Iver possesses sedilia of the 13th century (Plate p. xxiv), but the
most elaborate examples are of the 14th century, at Aston Clinton (Plate p. xxiv),
Hambleden and Langley Marish, and the remains at Great Missenden.
Staircases:—The most noteworthy staircases are of the 17th century, at
Dorton House, dated 1626, Bradenham House, Tyringham Hall, Cuddington,
dated 1609, Hartwell House (Plate p. 192), with elaborate newel-heads, Hampden
House, Little Missenden and Princes Risborough Manor Houses, and Eton College,
of c. 1694; these are all of oak (Plate p. 268). At Upper Waldridge Farm, Dinton,
there is a staircase of elm, and at Parsonage Farm, Iver, another of deal, both
probably of late 17th-century date.
Tiles:—The finest set of mediæval tiles is that at Little Kimble Church. These
are of the same design as the tiles found at Chertsey Abbey; many churches possess
a few, though of simpler character.
Miscellanea:—The following details deserve notice because of their rarity :—
The Boarstall Horn at Dorton House (Plate p. 136), probably of the 15th century.
A Bier at Ludgershall and Trestles at Chenies, both of the 17th century. A Bread-bin
and Butler's Desk in the College Buttery and the Posts and Arches in the Lower
School, at Eton College, also of the 17th century. The iron Hour-glass Stands in
Chesham Bois and Chilton Churches, an iron grid Book-rest at Eton College, and the
base of an Altar-cross at Stoke Poges. Alabasters, probably of the 15th-century, at
Boveney and Upton (Slough); the Upton Alabaster (Plate p. 136), being a
representation of the Trinity.
The condition of the earthworks generally is poor, and it is noticeable that
in nearly every case where a work is well preserved the banks and ditches have been
kept thickly planted, and have thus escaped destruction by the plough.
Of the eighty-four churches of a date before 1700, all appear to be in good
condition, except the old Parish Church of Stoke Mandeville and the Chapel
at Quarrendon. Stoke Mandeville Church was in use until 1866, when the new
church was built, but is now roofless and overgrown with ivy. Quarrendon Chapel
is still more ruinous; some of the walls have entirely disappeared above ground, and
it is quite beyond repair; it has not been used since the 18th century. At Stoke
Poges, Cuddington, and Upton (Slough) some of the church walls are covered
with ivy, and there is danger of structural trouble unless it is kept more effectively
Of monastic establishments, Burnham Abbey is now used as farm buildings
and stables, and suffers from such usage, unusual care being needed to prevent
damage from ordinary wear and tear. The remains of Notley Abbey were much
damaged in the 19th century; the Frater range, now a barn and stable, is in need
of repair. The remains of Great Missenden Abbey are incorporated in buildings of
later date. Ankerwyke Nunnery at Wyrardisbury, Ackhampstead Chapel at Great
Marlow, and Marlow Abbey at Little Marlow, retain only small fragments of their
original buildings. St. John's Hospital, High Wycombe, is a ruin, but is now carefully guarded. Widmer Chapel, Great Marlow, has been put to secular uses, but is
structurally in fairly good condition; the condition of the Chapel at Great Hundridge
Farm, Chesham, which has also been put to secular uses, is bad.
The notable domestic buildings are, as a whole, in excellent repair, exceptions
to the rule being Place Farm, Wyrardisbury (Plate opposite), which is in danger of
falling down and is overgrown with ivy, and Grange Farm, Kimble, which is
suffering from disuse; while the barn at Grove Farm, Ashley Green, and the
outbuildings at Deyncourt Farm, Wooburn, have suffered from rough treatment.