Beachampton

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1913

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60-63

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'Beachampton', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 2: North (1913), pp. 60-63. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=121207 Date accessed: 01 September 2014.


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109. BEACHAMPTON.

(O.S. 6 in. xiv. N.W.)

Ecclesiastical

(1). Parish Church of the Assumption of the Virgin, at the N.W. end of the village, is built of yellow limestone rubble; the roofs are covered with lead and with tiles. The former church existing on the site was re-built during the first half of the 14th century. The North Aisle was built first, probably as an addition to an aisleless Nave, and soon afterwards the Chancel was re-built and enlarged to its present size, the South Aisle and West Tower were added, and the clearstorey was constructed. Early in the 15th century the aisles, except the arcades, were re-built. In the the 19th and 20th centuries the South Porch and the North Vestry, with the Organ-chamber, were added, and a wooden bell-chamber was built, the chancel was almost entirely re-built, and the whole church much restored.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (28 ft. by 14 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a modern window and a modern arch opening into the organ-chamber. In the S. wall are two windows; the eastern is of the 14th century, and of two trefoiled lights with an uncusped opening in a two-centred head; it has been re-set and much restored; the western window is of late 16th or early 17th-century date, and of two uncusped lights under a square head with a moulded external label, which is much defaced: between the windows is a small 14th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, re-set and restored; the moulded imposts have been cut away and chamfered. The 14th-century chancel arch is two-centred, and of two chamfered orders carried on simple moulded capitals with a grotesque head-corbel on the N. side, and a foliated corbel on the S. side; the label in the nave is moulded. The Vestry, with Organ-chamber, is modern, but re-set in the E. wall is an early 15th-century window of three trefoiled lights with tracery under a square head. The Nave (33 ft. by 14½ ft.) has an early 14th-century N. arcade of three bays; the arches are two-centred and of two chamfered orders, with a label similar to that of the chancel arch; the columns are quatrefoil on plan, and have moulded capitals of slightly varied design; the bases are moulded; the outer order of the E. and W. arches is continued down the responds, and the inner order is carried on moulded capitals with foliated corbels. The S. arcade is of three bays, and is similar to the N. arcade, but of slightly later date; the detail of the capitals is similar to that in the chancel arch; the capital of the E. respond is carried on a foliated corbel, that of the W. respond on a grotesque head-corbel. The clearstorey has three N. and three S. windows, each of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head, and apparently of the same date as the S. arcade. The North Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has modern flying buttresses from the N. wall of the nave. In the E. wall, opening into the vestry, is a modern arch. In the N. wall are two 15th century windows, the eastern of three, the western of two lights, with tracery; the heads are square; both windows have been considerably restored, and between them is a modern doorway. The W. window is modern; against the W. wall is a flight of steps, beginning about 5 ft. above the ground, and possibly leading originally to the second stage of the tower, but with no remaining traces of an entrance. The South Aisle (8 ft. wide) has, in the E. wall, a late 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights with a transom and tracery under a two-centred head. In the S. wall are two 14th-century windows, similar to those in the N. aisle, but less restored: between the windows is the S. doorway, which is apparently of the 14th century, but considerably scraped and restored; the jambs and two-centred head are of two continuously chamfered orders, and the label is similar to that of the S. arcade. The West Tower (6 ft. by 5½ ft.) is of three stages, with diagonal buttresses rising to the top of the second stage, and a plain parapet surmounted by a modern bell-chamber of wood; above it is a modern shingled spire; the rest of the tower is possibly of the 14th century, but has been much restored, if not re-built; the stages are marked by moulded string-courses, much restored. The tower arch is of two chamfered orders; the outer order has broach-stops at the springing, the inner order rests on rough corbels; the jambs are square. The W. window is of two lights, but only the pointed opening is old. In the third stage, low down in the S. wall, is a square opening of the 14th century, filled with tracery. The Roof of the nave is dated 1622, on the tie-beam of the E. truss, and is of low pitch, with four principals, which have cusped wall-brackets, moulded purlins, etc. The roof of the N. aisle is modern, except two principals, which are probably of the same date as the roof of the nave.

Fittings—Bells: include sanctus, by Richard Chandler, 1695. Brackets: In S. aisle—on N. side of E. window, chamfered, 15th-century; on S. side, completely restored. Brasses (see also Monument (2)): In nave—at E. end, (1) to William Elmor, 1652. In N. aisle—in modern slab, (2) of William Bawdyn, blacksmith, 1600, figure of man in civilian dress, with inscription and verse. In S. aisle—at E. end, in modern slab, (3) of 'Ales,' daughter of William Mathew, of Calverton, wife of George Baldwyn, 1611, woman's figure in ruff, head-veil, cape and full skirt, plate with figures of two sons, two daughters, and inscription. Locker: In N. aisle— in N. wall, rectangular, rebated for doors. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel— on N. wall, in modern recess, (1) of Simon Benet, 1682, bust of white marble on moulded pedestal of black marble, in architectural setting with Ionic columns carrying architrave, frieze and curved pediment of veined marble, shield of the arms of Benet with helm crested with a half-lion coming out of a mural crown, Latin inscription on pedestal; on S. wall, (2) to Mathew Pigot, 'pastoure of this church and of Calverton', 1598, in elaborate crudely worked frame of stone, with hour-glass, panel with shrouded figure holding skull, broken pediment carried on Ionic pilasters resting on trunks of trees, inscription on brass plate. Floor-slab: In chancel —to Sir Simon Benet, baronet, 1631, lozenge, of marble, with incised circle, foliated corners and inscription. Piscina: In S. aisle—with trefoiled two-centred head, round basin, 15th-century. Stoup: In N. aisle—on E. side of N. doorway, niche with rounded chamfered head, no basin, probably stoup.

Condition—Good; much restored.

Secular

(2). Hall Farm, house and fishpond, on the S. bank of the river Ouse, 300 yards N. of the church. The House is of two storeys, with a basement at the S. end; the walls are of stone. The roofs are tiled. The present building is a N. addition made early in the 17th century to a house probably of c. 1500, which was pulled down in the 18th century; some of the material was re-used in the present outbuildings.

The house is an interesting example of domestic architecture of early 17th-century date, and the contemporary staircase is especially noteworthy.

The plan consists of a main block running N. and S., with N.W. and S.E. wings. The N. part of the house has been considerably altered internally and modern partitions have been inserted in it. The S. part is now uninhabited and retains much of the original arrangement; the floors are on a different level to those of the N. part, the ground rising towards the S.; the basement contains two rooms divided by a passage, one, with the principal staircase, being in the main block, the other in the S.E. wing under the Great Chamber which adjoined the former hall. The original windows have moulded stone jambs, heads and mullions, and many of them have labels. S. Elevation:—The gabled end of the main block has been slightly extended towards the E. and has a moulded plinth; on the ground floor is a window, partly blocked and converted into a doorway, in which is a 17th-century panelled door, formerly in the Great Chamber; in the gable is a window of four lights; the S.E. wing is slightly set back from the main block, and the W. half of the wing has a gable which probably indicates the roof-line of the N. end of the former hall; the E. half has one small window. The N.W. wing has some original windows; the doorway, now the principal entrance, is modern. W. Elevation:— The N.W. wing is gabled, and has no windows at the W. end; the main block has a gable towards the S. end; in the basement is a window of four lights; the two windows on the ground floor are modern; on the first floor are four windows, each of four lights, the two under the gable are larger than the others, and in the head of the gable is a similar window, now blocked. N. Elevation:— The N.W. wing has four windows on each floor, some of them original; the doorway, at the E. end, is modern. The S.E. wing has a doorway with a nail-studded panelled door of the 17th century, and three windows, those on the first floor being blocked. E. Elevation (see Plate, p. 61):—The N.W. wing and the main block are partly covered with plaster; the wing is gabled and has two windows on the ground floor and one, of five lights, under the gable. The main block has one window on the ground floor and two on the first floor. The S.E. wing is also gabled, and has, on the first floor, the bay window of the Great Chamber; it is of seven lights, with moulded mullions and transom: over it is a blocked window. One chimney stack is of stone, the others are of thin bricks, with pilasters.

Interior:—At the S. end of the house, in the basement, the ceiling of the W. room has moulded cross-beams, which had formerly a boss in the middle; the E. room, under the Great Chamber, has plain ceiling-beams. On the first floor the Great Chamber is lined with 17th-century oak panelling, now painted; it is probably of slightly later date than the house, and has a deal frieze of a still later date; two windows in the N. wall are now covered by the panelling; in the bay window is some glass, probably of the 16th century, representing a shield enclosed in a garter, a portcullis, etc.; in the S. wall is a stone fireplace, with a depressed head, now blocked; on the same floor are three similar fireplaces, one of them is blocked, and one is in the N. part of the house. The staircase is in four flights; the three lower flights have moulded and carved hand-rails, turned balusters, carved fasciæ and newel-posts, with finials carved as heraldic beasts, two collared unicorns, a lion and a griffin, each holding a shield; the fourth flight has turned balusters, carved fascia and newelposts; the edges of the treads are slightly moulded. On the landing of the second flight, opening into the Great Chamber, is a moulded doorway, the original door being now in an outer doorway on the ground floor (see S. elevation).

In the grounds, on the S., are remains of a boundary wall with gate-posts, probably of the same date as the present house; on the N.W. are fragments of another wall, with a doorway having moulded jambs, apparently of c. 1500. In the outbuildings are some re-used worked stones from the original house, including—in the stables, the head of a doorway, and two moulded window-frames; in a barn, a nail-studded panelled oak door; in a summer-house, some heads of two-centred windows, with moulded jambs. The Fishpond is E. of the house.

Condition—Sound structurally; the N. part of the house, good, altered internally; the S. part uninhabited, internally in bad repair, especially the staircase.

Monuments (3–6)

These cottages are all of two storeys, built in the 17th century, and, except one, are partly of stone, partly of timber and brick. The roofs are thatched.

Main street, S.W. side

(3). Cottages, two, 250 yards S.E. of the church, probably originally one house. The two chimney stacks are of early 17th-century brick, and have each two square shafts set diagonally; one stack has a stone base and the other a brick base. Interior:—The N. cottage has a wide open fireplace and a chamfered ceiling-beam.

Condition—Good; the S. cottage has been recently restored and altered.

N.E. side

(4). Cottage, about ¼ mile S.E. of the church. Some of the windows have old metal casements. Interior:—On the ground floor is a wide open fireplace and a chamfered ceiling-beam.

Condition—Good.

Lane, leading to Elmer School, N. side

(5). Cottage, about 530 yards S.E. of the church. The walls are timber-framed, with plaster filling, and much of the timber-framing is covered with plaster. The building was originally of central chimney type, but has been considerably altered; an outhouse at the N.E. end makes the plan L-shaped. At the S.W. end the upper storey projects. The doors and windows are of rough construction, with a few original iron casements of simple type. The chimney stack is of stone, re-built with brick at the top.

Condition—Poor.

(6). Cottage, about 730 yards S.E. of the church. It is of central chimney type and at each end is a half-hipped gable. The doors and windows are rough and plain. The brick chimney stack is probably of late 17th-century date.

Condition—Dilapidated.

(7). Elmer School, now a farmhouse, about half a mile S.E. of the church, is of two storeys and an attic, built of stone rubble in the second half of the 17th century, and altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. The roofs are tiled. The plan is rectangular, with a projecting porch on the S.W. front. A chamfered stone plinth is carried round the building; the windows have wood frames and mullions. The outer doorway of the porch has a semi-circular head with a simple moulded archivolt. At each end of the house is a gable and a plain stone chimney stack; the roof, with a cupola and dormer windows, is of the 18th or 19th century.

Condition—Good, much altered.

S. side

(8). The Grange, a farmhouse, opposite to Elmer School, is of two storeys, built in the 17th century, and said to be dated 1629; the walls of the lower storey are of stone, of the upper storey timber-framed, with filling of modern brick. The roofs are tiled. The plan was originally of the central chimney type, with a projecting porch on the S.W. front; a long narrow lean-to addition at the back and N.W. end and a wing at the S.E. end were added probably in the 19th century. On the S.W. Elevation the upper storey projects, and has a gable with a modern barge-board: the porch has an open lower storey; the sides are formed by turned balusters set on dwarf walls with a narrow opening; the doorway is framed with heavy moulded timbers, and above it the upper storey is timber-framed, and has a gabled projecting window with moulded mullions, supported on shaped brackets; in the gable is said to be a small medallion inscribed '1629. W.E.', now hidden by creepers. The N.E. Elevation is covered by the lean-to addition. Interior:—The first floor is supported by two chamfered beams.

Condition—Fairly good; the porch has settled slightly, but is strengthened by modern posts.



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