Astwood

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English Heritage

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1913

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57-59

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'Astwood', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 2: North (1913), pp. 57-59. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=121205 Date accessed: 02 September 2014.


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107. ASTWOOD.

(O.S. 6 in. (a)vi. N.W. (b)vi. S.W.)

Ecclesiastical

b(1). Parish Church of St. Peter, stands at the W. end of the village, and has walls of stone rubble, partly covered with cement, and partly with plaster. The roofs are covered with lead, except those of the chancel and porch, which are tiled. The N., S. and E. walls of the Nave are probably of late 12th or early 13th-century date, but only some re-used stones in the chancel arch and inside the tower show detail of that period; c. 1340, the chancel was re-built and the South Aisle was added; the West Tower was built c. 1400, cutting several feet off the W. end of the nave, and destroying the W. respond and part of the westernmost arch of the S. arcade, the axis being S. of that of the nave. In the second half of the 15th century the Chancel was again re-built, and in the 16th century the clearstorey was added to the nave, and probably a S. porch was built. The whole church was restored and the South Porch re-built in the 19th century.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (24½ ft. by 14 ft.) has a 15th-century E. window of three trefoiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded external label. In the N. wall is a modern window. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern is of the 15th century and of two trefoiled lights with tracery under a square head having a moulded external label; the western window is modern: between the windows is a 15th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head under a plain external label, which is possibly modern. The chancel arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, with a plain label on the W. side; it was re-built in the 14th century, 12th and 13th-century material being re-used in the outer order of the arch and in the jambs, which have half-round shafts; the moulded capitals and bases are of the 14th century. The Nave (37 ft. by 20½ ft.) has an embattled parapet of early 16th-century date. In the N. wall is a window of two uncusped three-centred lights under a square head with a moulded external label, all of early 16th-century date, except the splays and rear arch, which are of the 14th century: at the W. end of the wall is a blocked 14th-century doorway which has chamfered jambs and two-centred head with an external label. The S. arcade is of c. 1340, and of four bays, the fourth bay being reduced to nearly half the original width by the encroachment of the tower; the columns and E. respond are of quatrefoil plan, with moulded bases and capitals; the arches are two-centred, and of two chamfered orders, with a plain label on the N. side. The clearstorey has, on each side, three 16th-century windows, each of three uncusped lights under a four-centred head with a moulded label, which has shield-stops bearing either a cross or a saltire. The South Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has an early 16th-century parapet similar to that of the nave. In the S. wall are three windows of c. 1340, the easternmost of three foiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head with an external label; the two western windows are partly restored, and each of two trefoiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head with an external label: W. of the windows is a doorway, also of c. 1340, with shafted jambs, partly restored, and with modern capitals; the head is two-centred and of two moulded orders with an external label which has modern stops. The West Tower (11 ft. by 8 ft.) is of three stages, with a large octagonal stair-turret at the N.W. corner, and an embattled parapet. The two-centred tower arch is of c. 1400, and of three chamfered orders with semi-octagonal responds which have moulded capitals and chamfered bases. The W. window is of c. 1340, and is similar to the western windows of the S. aisle; it was moved probably from the W. wall of the nave when the tower was added, and is not in the middle of the elevation; over the blank space S. of it is a label of cement, enclosed, with the window, in a chamfered two-centred blank arch; in the N.W. corner, opening into the stair turret, is a small doorway with chamfered jambs and four-centred head. The second stage has, in the W. wall, a small single-light window of c. 1400, with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. The bell-chamber has, in the E. wall, a window of two cinque-foiled lights under a square head, of late 15th-century date, except the rear arch and inner splays which are of c. 1400; the N., S., and W. walls have each a window of c. 1400 and of two trefoiled lights with tracery. The South Porch has a 16th-century outer archway, re-set, with a four-centred head and chamfered label; the jambs have chamfered bases and imposts. The Roof of the nave is of early 16th-century date, flat-pitched, of three and a half bays, with large moulded tie-beams, moulded ridge, intermediate rafters and purlins, covered with plaster between the timbers. The flat lean-to roof of the S. aisle is of the same date as that of the nave, and is of four bays, with moulded wall-plates and principal rafters, chamfered wall-pieces and moulded purlin, covered with plaster between the timbers.

Fittings—Bells: three; 1st inscribed 'Sancta Katerina Ora Pro Nobis', 2nd inscribed 'Sit Nomen Domini Benedictum', both by John Walgrave, early 15th-century; 3rd by James Keene, 1631. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In nave—on N. wall, (1) to Roger Keston, 1409, inscription only, slightly mutilated. In S. aisle—on E. wall, (2) of Thomas Chivnale, 1534, Emma and Alice his wives, figures, of man in fur-lined gown, two women in furtrimmed gowns and loose caps, inscription in English and verse in Latin, with symbols of St. Matthew and St. Luke. Indent: In S. aisle— near E. end, partly covered by seats, of figures, inscription and symbols, see brass (2). Chair: In chancel—with carved back, shaped arms, turned legs, plain foot rail and carved top rail, mid 17th-century. Chest: In S. aisle—with three carved panels in front, moulded framing, carved upper rail, panelled lid, 17th-century. Communion Table and Rails: table with turned legs, moulded rails, late 17th-century; rails, now under chancel arch, with turned balusters, plain posts, moulded upper rail, small iron drop-handle to gate, 17th-century. Doors: In S. aisle—in S. doorway, of battens, with frame planted on, large strap-hinges, probably 17th-century. In tower—in doorway of stair-turret, with frame planted on and strap-hinges, 16th or 17th-century. Font: octagonal bowl, chamfered at the bottom, square stem, having at each angle attached shaft with moulded capital, S., E., and W. sides of stem carved with various designs, including Stafford knot on S. side, 14th-century, now painted. Locker: In chancel—at S.E. corner, square, rebated, covered with plaster. Monument: In chancel—on N. wall, to Samuel Cranmer, collateral descendant of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1640, and to Mary (Wood), his second wife, afterwards wife of Sir Henry Chester, Knight of the Bath, 1684; monument erected by their son, Cæsar Wood, alias Cranmer, 1685; of grey and white marble, with two Corinthian columns, entablature, curved broken pediment, and achievement of arms. Panelling: In S. aisle—in backs and ends of some modern seats, with moulded framing, 17th-century. Piscinae: In chancel— in sill of S.E. window, with plain circular basin, probably 14th-century. In S. aisle—at E. end of S. wall, with chamfered jambs and trefoiled head, circular basin, with raised sexfoil, 14th-century. Plate: includes cup, 18th or 19th-century, with stem of c. 1570; knife and fork with silver handles, probably late 17th-century. Seating: In nave— at W. end, four complete seats, parts of four others, with plain backs and moulded rails, panelled standards with moulded rails, and small attached buttresses, one buttress with remains of crocketed finial, plain seats, late 15th-century. Stoup: In S. aisle—E. of S. doorway, recess with straight-sided pointed head. Miscellanea: S. aisle—on jamb of S.W. window, outside, sundial, incised. Tower— built into upper part of walls, a few worked stones, late 12th or early 13th-century.

Condition—Fairly good; ivy at E. end of S. aisle; external plaster weak in some parts; floor somewhat uneven, owing to settlement.

Secular

Homestead Moats (2–3)

b(2). 450 yards E. of the church.

a(3). W. of Dove House, about ¾ of a mile N. of the church, fragment of an apparently circular moat.

a(4). Dove House, formerly a dovecot attached to Astwoodbury House, now a cottage, 1500 yards N. of the church, on the E. side of the road. It is an octagonal building of two storeys, and probably of late 17th-century date; the walls are of red and black bricks in Flemish bond, with larger bricks at the angles, and a moulded plinth. The pyramidal roof is tiled.

Condition—Fairly good.

Monuments (5–6)

The following cottages are of the 17th century, and are timber-framed with brick filling, partly restored with modern brick; the roofs are tiled.

a(5). Cottages, two, formerly a farmhouse belonging to Astwoodbury House, and Barn, ¾ mile N.W. of the church, on the W. side of the road. The Cottages are of two storeys and an attic. The plan is rectangular, with modern additions, and the W. end is covered with rough-cast. Interior:—On the ground floor two rooms have chamfered ceiling-beams with moulded stops; the wide fireplaces are partly blocked.

The Barn, E. of the cottages, and probably of the same date, is a rectangular building of stone, with gabled ends.

Condition—Of cottages and barn, fairly good.

b(6). Cottages, three, about ¼ mile E. of the church, on the N. side of the road, are of two storeys. At the back two panels have wattle and daub filling. One small chimney is probably original.

Condition—Fairly good.

a(7). Bury Farm, about 1 mile N.N.E. of the church, is a house of two storeys and an attic. The walls are timber-framed with modern brick filling; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century on a T-shaped plan, the central wing extending towards the S.; on the E. side is a large modern addition. Interior:—On the ground floor are two chamfered ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good.

b(8). House, formerly the farmhouse, now tenements, at Green Valley Farm, about ¾ mile S.E. of the church. It is of two storeys, built in the first half of the 17th century. The walls are timber-framed with brick filling, partly covered with plaster and partly restored with modern brick. The roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped, the wings extending towards the S. and W., with a modern addition on the E. side. The S. wing has a heavy chimney stack, the lower part of stone and the upper part of 17th-century brick. Interior:— On the ground floor two rooms have stop-chamfered ceiling-beams.

Condition—Fairly good.



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