16. CHALFONT ST. GILES.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xliii. S.E. (b)xliii. S.W. (c)xlviii.
N.E. (d)xlviii. N.W.)
c(1). Parish Church of St. Giles, stands
S. of the main street. The walls are of
flint, with stone dressings; the roofs are
covered with lead. In the 12th century the
church probably consisted of a small chancel,
Nave, S. aisle and W. tower; c. 1260 the
Chancel was re-built on a larger scale, and a
North Aisle, with an arcade of two bays, was
added. In the 14th century the South Aisle
was re-built and enlarged, and the nave
lengthened towards the W., the original tower
being destroyed; c. 1410 the N. aisle was
widened and lengthened, an extra bay was added
to the N. arcade at the W. end, the chancel arch
and the 12th-century S. arcade were re-built,
and the clearstorey was added; the present West
Tower was probably built at the same time,
some of the material of the old tower being re-used. In 1861–3 the North Vestry was added
and the church completely restored; the South
Organ Chamber and the South Porch were built
later in the 19th century.
The church is especially interesting on
account of the development of the plan; the
masons' marks on the chancel arch, the westernmost arch of the N. arcade and the arches of the
S. arcade are evidence of the work being of one
date (c. 1410). The 14th-century paintings in
the S. aisle are noteworthy.
Chalfont St. Giles, Parish Church of St. Giles
Architectural Description—The Chancel
(37 ft. by 16 ft.) leans to the S.; the 14th-century E. window is of three trefoiled lights
and tracery under a pointed head and an external label; the inner jambs have shafts with
moulded capitals and bases; the tracery and
outer stonework are almost entirely modern.
In the N. wall is a modern doorway, opening
into the vestry, a 14th-century window of one
trefoiled light and tracery under a pointed
head, and, near the W. end of the wall, a wide
splayed squint from the N. aisle. In the S.
wall is a 13th-century lancet window, a modern
arch opening into the organ chamber, and a
squint from the S. aisle. The 15th-century
chancel arch is of two chamfered orders with
double-chamfered responds, moulded half-octagonal capitals and bases; some of the voussoirs
have masons' marks. The North Vestry is
modern. The Organ Chamber is modern, but
in the E. wall is a 15th-century window of two
trefoiled lights under a square head; it was
moved to its present position from the S. wall
of the chancel when the modern arch was built.
In the S. wall is a window of two trefoiled lights
and tracery under a pointed head; the external
stonework, of the 14th century, but restored,
originally belonged to a window in the E. wall
of the S. aisle, where the rear arch and jambs
remain, and form the upper part of the W. archway of the organ-chamber. The Nave (47 ft.
by 15½ ft.) has a N. arcade of three bays, with
two-centred arches of two chamfered orders,
and octagonal columns having moulded capitals
and bases; the two eastern bays are of c.
1260; the original W. respond now forms half
the second column; the other half was added in
the 15th century when the N. aisle was
lengthened, the mouldings of the capital and
base of the new half being roughly copied from
those of the respond: the 15th-century western
arch has larger voussoirs than the eastern
arches, with masons' marks resembling those
on the chancel arch. The S. arcade of three
bays has two-centred arches of two chamfered orders, octagonal columns with moulded
capitals and bases, and is similar in detail to
the chancel arch; the half-octagonal E. and W.
responds rest on 12th-century square bases of
semi-circular responds, with carved foliage on
the corners; the square stones under the bases of
the columns are also remains of the 12th-century
arcade. The thicker wall at the W. end of the
arcade is part of the original W. tower, and has
a small arch, two-centred and chamfered, probably pierced through the wall in the 14th
century when the S. aisle was lengthened. The
staircase to the rood-loft in the S.E. angle of
the nave has been built up to strengthen the
wall. The clearstorey has three N. and three S.
windows, each of two trefoiled lights under a
square head, of the 15th century, restored. The
North Aisle (52 ft. by 12 ft.) has a late 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights
and tracery under a four-centred head and a
moulded external label. In the N. wall are
three windows of late 15th-century date, each
of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in
a two-centred head, and a moulded external
label; the blocked N. doorway is of the same
date. The W. window is similar to those in the
N. wall. The South Aisle (52½ ft. by 11 ft.)
has, in the S. wall, two windows of the 14th
century, similar to that in the S. wall of the
organ-chamber, externally much restored; the
14th-century S. doorway has a moulded two-centred arch enriched with ball-flower and
four-leaf ornament; the external jambs are
modern. The W. window resembles the S. windows, but the external stonework is almost
entirely modern. The West Tower (12 ft.
square) is of two stages with a N.W. staircase
and an embattled parapet. The 15th-century
tower arch is two-centred, of three chamfered
orders, without responds; over the apex is a
small rectangular window. The 15th-century
W. doorway has continuously moulded jambs
and two-centred arch, with modern bases, label
and keystone; the W. window is of two trefoiled
lights and tracery under a two-centred head and
a moulded external label; over it is a rectangular window, and the N. and S. walls have
each a similar opening. The bell-chamber has,
in each wall, a 15th-century window, much restored, of two trefoiled lights and tracery in a
pointed head. The flat-pitched Roof of the
chancel is of the 15th century, and has moulded
purlins, ridge-piece and principals, and curved
brackets with traceried spandrels; the roof of
the nave is similar, but plainer, and has stone
corbels carved as heads. The N. aisle has a
plastered ceiling which probably conceals old
timbers. The 15th-century roof of the S. aisle
has moulded wall-plates, principals, and purlins, and is ceiled with plaster.
Fittings—Bells: five, modern, sanctus, now
used as a clock bell, possibly 17th-century.
Brasses and Indents (see also Monuments).
Brasses: in chancel—on N. wall, (1) small
figure of priest, in Mass vestments, probably late 15th-century, see indent (2). In
N. aisle—in frame on N. wall, (2) palimpsest,
obverse, to John Salter, 1523, and Elizabeth,
his wife, inscription only; reverse, to Thomas
Bredham, 1521, and Anne, his wife, inscription
only, ends cut away to suit later inscription.
In S. aisle—in recess in S. wall, (3) of civilian
in furred gown, and his two wives, c. 1530, see
indent (9), group of three boys, of same period;
(4) figure of a woman, c. 1515, see indent (5);
(5) shield with arms, a cheveron with three
scallops thereon with a griffon's head razed in
the foot and a chief embattled with a cross
potent between two griffons' heads razed
therein, for Gardyner, impaling three mallets;
in floor, in small slab, probably part of larger
one, (6) two shields, with arms somewhat defaced. Indents: in N. aisle—(1) of two figures,
probably 16th-century, inscription and two
shields, lower part of slab hidden by seats;
(2) of small figure of priest, see brass (1);
(3) of a shield, rest of slab hidden by seats;
(4) of two small figures, inscription and children, much worn. In S. aisle—(5) of figure
of a woman, see brass (4); (6) of roundel
and small shield; (7) of upper part of figure and
a shield, much worn, rest hidden by seats; near
S. doorway, (8) of large figure and inscription,
almost obliterated; (9) of three figures, much
worn, see brass (3). Chairs: in the chancel, two,
oak, with arms and high backs, possibly late
17th-century. Communion Tables and Rails:
in the chancel, table with turned legs, probably
late 17th-century: rails, moulded, with pierced
foliated panels, possibly late 17th-century: in
N. aisle, table with turned legs; in organ
chamber, another; both 17th-century. Font:
square bowl of Purbeck marble, 13th-century,
re-tooled, central circular stem and, at the corners, four modern shafts (see also Miscellanea);
cover, of oak, square, with octagonal curved
pyramid and turned finial, 17th-century. Glass:
in N. aisle, in quatrefoils of two N. windows and
W. window, fragments; in S. aisle, in tracery
of W. window, fragments, including the moon
from a Crucifixion, a rose, part of a pinnacle,
etc. Locker: in N. wall of chancel, large, with
rebated jambs and two-centred head, 13th-century, formed by arch found in wall when N.
vestry was built, and closed on vestry side, slab
from 18th-century tomb being inserted as base.
Monuments: in chancel—N.E. corner, (1)
mural tablet of Purbeck marble, with panelled
pilasters and moulding, containing brasses of
Thomas Fletewoode, lord of the Vache, Treasurer of the Mint, Knight of Parliament for
Bucks, Sheriff of Bucks and Beds, 1570,
kneeling figure in armour; his first wife, Barbara (Francis), with two sons and two daughters, his second wife, Brigett, daughter of Sir
John Springe, knight, with eight sons and six
daughters, all kneeling figures, inscription and
three shields, with arms of Fleetwood, Fleetwood impaling Francis and Fleetwood impaling Springe; (2) altar tomb, Purbeck marble,
with indent of rectangular inscription in slab
at the top, on front of base three circular
moulded panels with shields in high relief, one
with brass shield of Fleetwood impaling
Springe, the others with indents of shields,
at W. end of tomb similar panel and shield
with arms of Fleetwood; on S. wall, (3) tablet
of black and white marble to George Fleetewood, knight, 1620, and Katherine (Denny)
his wife, 1634, arms above of Fleetwood,
below of Fleetwood impaling Denny. In
N. aisle—at E. end of N. wall, (4) painted
tablet, on leather or canvas in wood frame,
to Katherine, daughter of Anthony Radcliffe,
1660. In S. aisle—S.E. corner, (5) altar
tomb, black marble slab at the top with brasses
of William Gardyner, 1558, Anne, his wife,
156— (date not filled in), two figures, man
in armour, five sons, four daughters, shield
with arms of Gardyner impaling Newdigate,
and inscription, which has been inverted, sides
of base plain, with two brass shields bearing
arms as above. Paintings: over chancel arch,
circles with quatrefoils, trefoiled spandrels, an
embattled parapet with crosslets in the merlons,
and an enriched cornice, across design, traces
of palimpsest inscription, said to be the Ten
Commandments: in S. aisle, the following, all
probably 14th-century:—on E. wall, fragments
of two figures, one holding a wafer; at E. end of
S. wall, remains of three figures, one crowned,
the second, that of a woman, presenting a document to the first, and the third apparently that
of a bishop; near S. doorway, representing the
Crucifixion, with figures of St. Mary and St.
John; daughter of Herodias with head of St.
John the Baptist in a charger; remains of other
figures below both subjects, and traces of inscription of later date. Panelling: in the
vestry, on N. and E. walls, 17th-century.
Piscinæ: in the chancel, double, with moulded
jambs and heads, small central shaft having
moulded capital and base, deep fluted basins,
13th-century, basins restored, and eastern
basin apparently deepened, moulded projecting
sill, not original: in S. aisle, with moulded
jambs, trefoiled head, chamfered shelf and
quatrefoil basin, 14th-century, restored with
cement. Plate: includes large engraved cup, of
1569, stand paten, of 1637, both formerly gilt.
Poor-box: in W. tower, iron bound, on turned
baluster shaft, 17th-century, base modern.
Recess: for tomb, in S. wall of S. aisle, with
moulded jambs and drop arch, 14th-century,
over apex small head in mail coif and helmet.
Seating: in the chancel, three oak benches,
with fleur-de-lis finials to the standards, probably 15th-century: in W. tower, three similar
benches. Stoup: in W. wall of tower, inside,
semi-circular, with trefoiled head, probably
15th-century, sill modern. Tiles: in floor of
tomb recess in S. aisle, in blocked N. doorway
and in stoup in tower, fragments, one with a
queen's head, possibly 14th-century. Miscellanea: in tomb recess in S. aisle, coffin slab
with remains of cross on stepped base, in relief,
13th or 14th-century: in blocked N. doorway,
part of a second slab, with head of cross in
relief. Near the font, fragment of clunch
tracery, and two pieces of one of the original
Purbeck marble shafts of the font. Lychgate
(see No. 7 below).
Condition—Structurally good; the stonework of some of the windows is decaying.
d(2). Jordans Meeting House, 1¾ miles
S.W. of the church, was built in 1688, and
restored in the 18th century; the S. end of the
house, occupied by a caretaker, is of two
storeys, the meeting-room of one storey. The
walls are of red and blue bricks; the roof is tiled.
Jordans is an early example of a Quaker
meeting house, and of peculiar historical interest from its association with William Penn,
the founder of Pennsylvania.
The plan is rectangular, and the greater part
of the building forms the Friends' meetingroom, with an entrance on the W.; on the E.
side is a stable, which may be of earlier date
than the rest of the building, the rooms above
the stable are modern. The windows in the
W. wall have leaded glazing and iron casements
with ornamental fastenings, in wood frames;
some of the glass is original, but the lead is
modern; in the N. wall is a similar window,
now blocked. At the S. end is a plain rectangular chimney. The meeting-room and the
house have panelled dados of deal; some panels
in the partition between them being movable,
in order that the rest of the building might be
included in the meeting-room when required.
The greater part of the ground W. of the
house was purchased for a burial ground in
1671 by Thomas Ellwood and others; among
those buried there are Isaac Penington, 1679,
Mary Penington, 1682, Gulielma Maria Penn,
1689, Springett Penn, 1696, William Penn,
1718; all the head-stones were set up in 1862–3.
d(3). Homestead Moat, at The Grove, fragment.
d(4). The Vache, about ¾ mile N.E. of the
church, is of two storeys and an attic, built
probably in the 16th century, of brick, but
very little can be seen of the original walling,
as it is now almost entirely cemented or hidden
by ivy. The roofs are covered with slate. The
plan is approximately square, with four wings
surrounding a central hall, originally an open
courtyard; the E. and W. wings project towards
the N.; the former hall was in the E. wing.
The house was completely restored in the 18th
and 19th centuries, and modern additions
have been made on the W. side. The E. and
W. wings are gabled at each end. On the E.
side are two projecting chimney stacks, with
square shafts set diagonally, which may be old.
A little original brickwork remains on the W.
side, and the lower parts of two chimney stacks
are possibly old. Interior:—The central hall
has a 16th-century stone fireplace, brought
from another part of the house; it has moulded
jambs and straight-sided head, carved spandrels and frieze; the 17th-century overmantel,
of oak, has moulded and carved panels. The
dining-room, in the N. wing, has two fireplaces, one is modern and conceals the other,
which is of stone, and was seen when the 16th-century fireplace was inserted in the hall. The
former hall has two doorways with solid oak
frames, and some 17th-century panelling, re-used. On the first floor two rooms have 16th-century fireplaces of similar character to that
in the central hall: the bathroom, over the
former hall, has an original door with strap-hinges; one wall showsmassive timber-framing,
and has a blocked doorway with moulded oak
jambs and four-centred head; some timber-framing is also visible in a passage in the S.E.
part of the house. The roof of the W. wing
is probably original, and has large trusses and
curved wind-braces. In the attic are some
loose pieces of early 17th-century panelling.
a(5). Panelling, at The Stone, a modern
building on the site of a 16th-century house,
400 yards N. of the church. The panelling, in
a room on the ground floor, is of early 17th-century date, and is from the original house.
(See also Ashwell's Farm, Chalfont St. Peter.)
Condition—Good, now painted.
c(6). Cottages, three, known as the 'Church
Houses', next to the Merlin's Cave Inn, and
on the N. side of the churchyard, are of two
storeys, built in the 17th century, of brick;
the roofs are tiled. The three dwellings form
one rectangular building, and at the back are
three original chimney stacks, with square
c(7). Cottages, two, with Lychgate (see
Plate, p. 12), at the N.W. entrance of the churchyard, are probably of late 16th-century date,
and are of two storeys, timber-framed, with
brick filling, restored in the lower storey; the
front of the E. cottage is cemented. The roofs
are tiled. The chimney stacks are of old thin
bricks. Inside the cottages the original timber-framing of the walls is visible. The lych-gate
is between the cottages, under the continuous
upper storey, and has a revolving gate fixed to
a central post; grooved wheels to hold the rope
by which the gate was formerly worked,
remain at the top of the post and on the W.
side of the gateway.
c(8). Stonewell's Farm, about 100 yards
S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed, with brick or plaster filling, built in
the 16th-century, restored and altered at later
dates. The plan consists of a central block, an
E. wing projecting towards the S., and a W.
wing, of which part is now a shop, projecting
towards the N. The roof is tiled. The N. front
has two gables with original barge-boards, and
between them is a dormer window; the projecting porch has a sloping tiled roof supported on
curved brackets; the window of the kitchen, E.
of the porch, has a large moulded wood frame
and modern mullions; some of the upper windows have original casements with ornamental
fastenings. At the back there are two projecting
chimney stacks of thin bricks, partly restored,
and another on the E. side, also restored; all
the stacks have rectangular shafts. Between
the kitchen and one of the rooms on the E. is a
doorway of oak, with a four-centred head and
carved foliage in the spandrels; the door is also
original, of moulded battens, with a small iron
handle and strap-hinges; both these rooms
have wide, open fireplaces and the room on the
E. has an open joist ceiling. On the first floor
the timber-framing is visible in the walls, and
one room on the E. side of the house has an
open roof with plaster between the timbers; the
mortices remain of the brackets for a large
beam formerly placed across the roof; all the
fireplaces have chamfered brick jambs and four-centred or square heads.
Condition—Fairly good; some of the external
walls need repair.
d(9). Milton's Cottage, about 300 yards W.
of the church, is of two storeys, built of timber
and brick in the 17th century, and restored in
the 18th century, when much of the walling
was faced with brick. The roofs are tiled.
The W. front retains the original timber and
brick at the N. end, which is gabled; the windows
are modern, but have 17th or 18th-century ornamental casement fastenings; over the entrance
is a carved shield bearing the arms of Fleetwood of the Vache, quartering Fleetwood (sic)
much defaced. At the N. end of the cottage
is a large projecting chimney stack, much
restored. The two principal rooms have each
a wide fireplace and an original ceiling-beam;
the S. room is now fitted up as a museum for
relics of Milton, and has a 17th-century door.
The oak newel staircase is original, except the
modern balusters at the top.
c(10). House, now divided into the 'Feathers
Inn' and a dwelling-house, opposite the lych-gate of the churchyard, is of two storeys, built
probably in the 17th century, but re-faced with
modern brick and partly covered with rough-cast; the roofs are tiled. The large central
chimney stack, of 17th-century brick, with
oversailing courses, has panelled sides, and,
at the top, a modern addition. In the inn
is a small newel staircase, apparently original,
now disused. Some of the ceilings have old
Condition—Good, much altered.
c(11–12). Houses, two, opposite the Merlin's
Cave Inn, on the N.W. side of the main road,
100 yards N. of the church, are each of two
storeys, built in the 17th century on a rectangular plan, and re-fronted in the 19th century; the roofs are tiled. The first house, now
three dwellings, is of brick, and has a large
central chimney stack with square shafts of
thin bricks. Some of the ceilings have plain
chamfered beams, and one fireplace has an
original hearth. The second house retains the
original brick and timber at one end; the central chimney stack has square shafts on a
moulded base, the top is restored. There are
plain beams in the ceilings and one wide fireplace.
Condition—Of both houses, good; much
restored and altered.
b(13). Cottage, adjoining Chalfont Mill,
about ½ mile N.W. of the church, is of late
16th or early 17th-century date, much restored
late in the 17th, and again in the 19th century.
It is of two storeys, built of red brick with blue
headers; a little original timber-framing remains, and one panel is filled with bricks in
herringbone pattern. The roofs are tiled. On
the ground floor the ceiling of one room has,
painted in an oval panel, a figure, landscape
background, etc., and initials, apparently
E.P.P.; the walls are said to be painted, but are
covered with paper. Another room has an open
d(14). Dell Farm, about ½ mile W. of the
church, is a house of two storeys, built possibly in the 17th century; the lower storey is
faced with modern brick, and part of the upper
storey is of wattle and daub; the S. and W.
sides are almost entirely covered with modern
cement; the roofs are tiled.
d(15–17). Houses, three, in the hamlet of
Three Households, nearly ¾ mile W. by S.W. of
the village; they are of two storeys, built of
brick and timber in the 17th century and subsequently restored. The roofs are tiled. The
plan of the easternmost house is L-shaped, the
others are rectangular. The first house has a
central chimney stack, and, at the S.W. end,
a second stack of original brick, with square
shafts; the second house has a central chimney
stack with square shafts and oversailing courses
at the top. The front of the third house is
covered with plaster.
Condition—Of the first and second houses,
fairly good; of the third house, bad, the
timbers decaying and much ivy at one end.