Chetwode, Church of St Mary and St Nicholas.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xvii. N.E. (b)xviii. N.W.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary and St.
Nicholas, stands about 4 miles S.W. of Buckingham. It is built of stone rubble, that in the walls of
the transept being coursed; the tower is covered
with rough-cast. The roofs are covered with slate,
except that of the tower, which is tiled.
The church was formerly that of an Augustinian
priory, and was appropriated to the uses of a
parish church c.1480. The Chancel and Nave of
the present structure were built c. 1250 and were
apparently the chancel of the priory church;
the North Chapel was added c. 1330, and the North-West Tower late in the 15th or early in the 16th
century. The church is said to have been almost
wholly re-built c. 1820, but much of the 13th and
14th-century material was re-used, some of the
14th-century windows being re-set in new positions.
Repairs were also carried out in 1868.
The building is especially interesting as it
comprises the remains of a priory church, with
fine 13th-century windows at the E. end; in the
S. window is some unusually good glass of the
13th and 14th centuries.
Architectural Description.—The Chancel and
Nave (together 57½ ft. by 24 ft.) have no structural
division. The Chancel has, in the E. wall, a window
of five tall lancets of c. 1250, of ascending height
from the sides to the middle; externally they
have double-chamfered and rebated jambs and
heads, and moulded labels with head-stops;
internally the jambs have keeled edge-rolls, and
attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases;
the edge-rolls are continued in the inner orders
of the rear arches, but have carved foliage at the
springing level; the outer orders of the rear
arches are elaborately moulded and are carried on
the attached shafts, which are all of one height, the
arches being stilted to follow the height of the
lancets; the moulded labels have head-stops at
the outermost ends and foliage points at the
mitreing; the N. and S. jambs respectively of
the outermost lancets have a filleted edge-roll to
the outer order, with foliage-stops below the
abaci; under the window, outside, is a moulded
string-course, probably modern. The N. and S.
walls have each a window of three grouped lancets
similar to that in the E. wall, but the capitals are
carved with animals, monsters and foliage; the
labels of the N. window have head-stops; the
rear arches of the S. window have been re-built,
and the labels have mask-stops. The Nave has,
in the N. wall, opening into the chapel, an arch of
c. 1330, of two chamfered orders; the outer
order is continuous, the inner order rests on a
moulded capital supported on a corbel carved
as a crowned head; W. of the arch is part of
a window of c. 1300, of two lights, with a modern
flat lintel in place of a former traceried head; it
is set high in the wall and has, attached to the
jambs and mullion, inside and outside, small
shafts with moulded octagonal bases and carved
capitals; the external bases, which are roughly
cut, are probably modern; the inner edges of the
jambs have keeled edge-rolls with ogee-stops
above the window ledge. In the S. wall, close
together, are two high windows of c. 1310, each
of two trefoiled lights and tracery in a two-centred
head, with a moulded external label; the inner
face of the tracery has an attached roll, continued
in the moulded jambs, which are restored externally; the drop rear arch is hollow-chamfered.
In the W. wall is a window of two plain pointed
lights with a pierced spandrel in a two-centred head,
probably of early 14th-century date, re-set; further
S. is a small window of two lights, probably modern.
The North Chapel (21 ft. by 16 ft.) has a modern
E. window and N. doorway. In the W. wall
is an early 14th-century window of two trefoiled
ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head
which has a plain external label. The North-West Tower (8½ ft. by 8 ft.) is of two stages, the
lower stage being of two storeys; the roof is
pyramidal. The tower arch is of plastered brick,
and has moulded corbel-capitals of the 17th century.
The modern W. doorway has a 17th century beam,
re-used as the internal lintel, inscribed 'William
War Churchwarden'; the W. window is of two
four-centred lights in a square head with a plain
label, and is probably of the 16th century. The
second storey has a single light in the W. wall,
hidden by ivy. The bell-chamber has, in each wall,
a window similar to the W. window of the ground
storey, and also probably of the 16th century;
that in the N. wall is hidden by ivy. The Roofs
are modern, but a number of stone corbels and other
fragments of carved stone of various dates have
been re-set high in the walls, apparently as roof
Fittings—Bells: one and sanctus, 1st, inscribed
in small Lombardic capitals '+ me tibi xp~e
dabat i chetwode quem peramabat,' c. 1350,
sanctus, blank, possibly 18th-century. Brasses
and Indents. Indents: In chancel—near E. end
of quire stalls, in marble slab, of figure, in
upper corners two small figures, and marginal
inscription, 15th-century. Chest: In N. transept—
of oak, with three locks, possibly 17th-century.
Communion Tables: In N. chapel—small, possibly
17th-century. In tower—part of table, with
moulded rail and turned balusters, 17th-century.
Glass: In chancel—in S. window (formerly in E.
window), grisaille, partly restored, with geometrical
patterns in colour—in E. lancet, two circles near
the top, upper white with scroll pattern, coloured
middle and yellow border; lower, geometrical
pattern in yellow and red, blue middle and border;
below circles, green cross, bordered yellow, red
ends to arms, between four roundels, two green,
two yellow; all c. 1250; at foot of lancet, figure
of saint with book, in fragmentary architectural
setting with tracery and canopy, 14th-century:
middle lancet, two vesicae piscis, one with figure of
St. John the Baptist, in various colours, holding the
Agnus Dei (see frontispiece), the other with figure
of archbishop in Mass vestments with pall and cross-staff, below figures shield with arms of England
reversed, all 13th-century: W. lancet, two circles,
upper as in E. lancet, lower with fragments,
including part of crucifixion on pale blue ground,
foliage, etc., c. 1250; under circles, two figures,
St. Peter with keys, and the Virgin crowned,
probably 14th-century; at foot figure of bishop
with crozier and fragment of inscription in Lombardic capitals, 'Amicus dei Nicholaus', 14th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monument: In chancel—on N. wall, to Mary, daughter
of Paul Risley of 'Chitwood', 1668, black marble
panel flanked by weeping figures, cherubs' heads
at base, urn at the top, all of stone. Floor-slabs:
In chancel—at E. end, (1) to Elizabeth, widow of
Henry Risley, arms at the top, 17th-century;
(2) to Susan, daughter of Thomas Risley, 1660,
arms at the top; (3) to John Risley, 1682, arms at
the top; hidden under wood floor near organ,
visible through trap door, (4) to Sir John Giffard,
large, with richly designed incised cross, and
marginal inscription in French, mid 14th-century.
Painting: In chancel—E. of chapel arch on N.
wall, at back of recess (see below), foliage design in
red and yellow, 13th-century. Panelling: In N.
chapel—forming pew, and lining walls of W. half
of chapel, c. 1630, re-used. Piscina: see Sedilia.
Recess: In chancel—in N. wall, E. of chapel arch,
with plastered jambs and pointed head, 13th-century. Sedilia: In chancel—in S. wall, under
window, four, the easternmost probably recess
for piscina, third recess wider than the rest,
now a doorway; moulded jambs having filleted
rolls with dog-tooth ornament, moulded bases and
carved foliage capitals, arches elaborately moulded,
with dog-tooth ornament, and irregularly set, with
small horizontal moulding at apices, crossing the
other mouldings, probably part of destroyed string-course, moulded labels foliated at mitreing but
dying on to abaci at E. and W. ends, all of c. 1250,
re-set, some modern stones in arch of third recess.
In the Churchyard all the graves are on the N.
side of the church; on the S. side is the garden of a
modern house (the Priory), on the site of the
cloister and domestic buildings of the former
Condition—Good, but much overgrown with ivy.
Homestead Moats (2–7)
b(2). W. of Plough Farm.
a(3–7). A representative group of three moats,
S.W. of the church, and some fish-ponds N.E. and
S. of the church.
a(8). The Manor House, nearly ½ mile E.N.E.
of the church, is of two storeys and an attic,
built chiefly of brick with stone dressings; the
roofs are tiled. The original house was erected
c. 1600, on a plan of modified T-shape, the vertical
wing projecting towards the E.; an addition was
made on the N. side of the E. wing apparently in
the 18th century; E. of this addition another
block was built early in the 19th century, and
recently the house was again enlarged towards
the E. by the extension of the original E. wing,
now part of the main block of the house, and the
addition of a large cross wing to match the W. wing,
the plan thus becoming H-shaped above the ground
floor; an attic was added to the main block, and
a further one-storeyed addition was built on the N.
side, making the wall of the ground floor on that
side almost on one plane.
The house is an interesting example of domestic
architecture of c. 1600.
The N. Elevation is of the 18th and 19th centuries,
except the W. wing, which is original, and of red
bricks, with a diaper pattern of black bricks; on the
first floor are two original windows of moulded stone,
each of one light with a moulded label; the upper
storey is gabled. The original part of the main block
has an old chimney stack with a modern shaft, and
the W. wing has an original chimney stack with four
square shafts set diagonally. The E. wall of the
wing is of stone. All the other original walls are
of red and black bricks as on the N. front. The W.
Elevation, now facing the kitchen yard and domestic
offices, was probably the original entrance front;
on the ground floor, in the N. half, are two original
windows, the northern of three lights, now blocked,
and enclosed by a modern larder, the southern set
higher in the wall, and of two lights, also blocked;
the first floor has a window of four lights similar
to the others, and the second floor two gabled
dormer windows, each of three lights with brick
mullions and a moulded stone coping; the S.
half of the elevation has a large projecting chimney
stack, modern at the top. On the S. Elevation,
facing the garden, the W. wing is original, and has
a moulded stone window of four lights on the
ground floor, and another of three lights on the first
floor, similar to the other windows; the main wall
is set back from the wings, and part of it is original;
on the ground floor are two windows, one of two
lights, the other of three lights; another two-light window has been converted into a doorway;
the first floor has three windows each of three
lights; all the windows have dressings of moulded
stone; in the attic are two modern dormer
windows; the rest of the main wall and the projecting E. wing are modern.
Interior:—The kitchen in the S. half of the
W. wing has a large original arched fireplace, now
partly blocked. The room in the N. half of the
wing has an original oak doorway. In a passage
on the first floor is an original stone fireplace with
moulded jambs and flat four-centred arch; the
jambs have moulded stops; the room over the
kitchen is lined with moulded oak panelling of
c. 1630, and the frieze is elaborately carved;
two doors in the panelling have cock's-head hinges;
the fireplace and overmantel (see Plate, p. 71) are
also of carved oak and of c. 1630; the fireplace is
flanked by Doric shafts standing on high panelled
plinths and supporting a mantel-shelf enriched
with carved ornament including lions' faces;
the overmantel has a heavily carved square frame,
flanked by Corinthian columns and flat pilasters,
carrying an entablature and cornice with carved
strapwork and faces; the pilasters are enriched
with arabesque ornament; the frame encloses an
achievement of arms including a shield, helm and
mantle and a crest of a demi-lion coming out of a
crown; the arms affixed to the shield are quarterly
four crosses formy (counter coloured) for Chetwode;
the crosses are modern. In the attic are two
original doors, one with cock's-head hinges.
Condition—Good, but much of the old walling is thickly covered with ivy.
b(9). Cottage, about 5/8 mile E.N.E. of the
church, is of two storeys, built in the 17th century,
of timber and brick, except the gabled ends, which
are of stone. The roof is thatched.
a(10). Sunflower Farm, about 600 yards S.
of the church, is of two storeys, built of stone;
the roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped, the
wings projecting towards the N. and W. On
the N. side is a small staircase wing with
'T.B.C. 1662.P.H.' inscribed in the head of the
gable; the date is probably that of the house.
A low modern addition has been added in the
internal angle of the L. Some old wooden window frames remain in the upper storey. Two of
the chimney stacks are of late 17th-century brick.