(O.S. 6 in. (a)ii. S.W. (b)iii. N.E. (c)iii. S.E.
c(1). Arbury Banks (Hill Fort), lies ¾ mile
S.W. of the village, between Claybush and
Newnham hills, not quite 300 feet above
O.D., and consists of the remains of a rampart
and ditch partly enclosing an area of 12½ acres.
The defences were formerly double on the N.W.
and S.E., but are now reduced to a single scarp,
from 5–9 ft. high and 8–16 ft. broad; this is
better preserved on the S.E. and S., where it
forms a bank 5–6 ft. high and 14–27 ft. broad.
There were formerly traces of entrances on the
NN.W. and SS.E., and of pit dwellings within
Dimensions—Greatest length, S.W. to N.E.,
930 ft. Greatest width, N.W. to S.E., 770 ft.
d(2). Parish Church of St. Mary, stands
under the hill at the edge of the great plain
stretching N. and E. to Cambridge and the
Fens, and is of flint rubble and clunch.
The first four bays of the Nave, with clearstorey, and the chancel arch were constructed
c. 1340–50; the Chancel, West Tower and Aisles
were built, the last bay of the nave was inserted
to connect it with the tower, and the clearstorey was completed c. 1360–80. A North
Vestry, since destroyed, was also built in the
14th century. The South Porch, with parvise,
was added c. 1420; and in the same century a
North Porch was built, and some of the windows of the aisle were heightened. During the
19th century the chancel was repaired, and the
roofs of the chancel and nave renewed.
The lofty W. tower of four stages, the untouched though rather dilapidated condition of
the whole fabric, the Latin verses commemorating the Black Death, and the drawing of
what is supposed to be old St. Paul's, scratched
on the wall of the tower, are features of peculiar
Architectural Description—The Chancel
(50½ ft. by 19½ ft.) has an E. window of five
lights, two N. windows and three S. windows,
each of three lights; all are of late 14th-century date, with much repaired tracery.
In the N. wall are two 14th-century doorways,
one partly under a window, the other, which
led to the vestry, now blocked. The 14th-century chancel arch is of two moulded orders,
with responds having moulded bases and capitals. The Nave (90 ft. by 24 ft.) has five bays;
the first four are of c. 1340–50, and are of two
moulded orders with labels on both sides of the
walls; the piers have clustered shafts with
moulded bases and capitals; the plinths of the
bases have been mutilated; the last bay, wider
than the others and of slightly different detail,
is of c. 1380; W. of this bay the walls have long
traceried panels and form the E. buttresses of
the tower; the rood-loft doorways on the E. are
blocked, but their lines are distinct. The
clearstorey has six windows on each side; the
two middle windows on the N. side are of c. 1350,
the two westernmost windows on both sides are
of c. 1380, and the others were altered in the
16th century. The North Aisle (90 ft. by 14 ft.)
has a 14th-century E. window of three lights
with tracery, and five 15th-century N. windows
of three lights, of which the tracery is much
decayed and partly destroyed. The N. doorway
is of late 14th-century date. The W. wall, built
of ashlar, is of c. 1360–70, and has a large,
blocked barrow hole. The South Aisle (90½ ft.
by 13½ ft.) has an E. window of three lights
with tracery. In the S. wall are five windows,
also of three lights; the heads were raised in the
15th century, and the decayed tracery is of that
date; much of the head tracery is missing. The
S. doorway is of the 14th century, and W. of it
is a blocked doorway to the parvise staircase.
The Tower (16 ft. square), unusually high, is of
four stages with a parapet, formerly embattled
but now retaining only the corner merlons, and
a small leaded spire on an octagonal drum.
The walls are about 8 ft. thick at the base, and
are supported at the corners by massive buttresses. The stair-turret begins at the S.W.
corner, and is continued above the first stage in
the S.E. angle, the connection being through a
passage in the thickness of the wall. The tower
arch is of c. 1360; it is of three sub-divided,
moulded orders, the shafts in the jambs having
moulded bases and capitals; the bases are worn,
and large pieces have been cut out above the
capitals on the W., probably for a gallery which
has been taken down. The large W. window of
four lights has lost some of the head tracery,
and the rest is repaired with cement. Of the
sexpartite stone vault over the first stage only
the corbels and wall ribs remain. In each face
of the third stage are two lofty windows with a
band of much defaced tracery below them. The
fourth stage, less high and of plainer appearance than the other stage, has four windows
each of two lights with tracery. The North
Porch, an interesting example of 15th-century
work, has unglazed traceried windows, and holes
for an oak bar remain in the doorway. The
South Porch, with parvise, has unglazed windows
with iron stanchions; the stone vault is modern.
The parvise has been restored, and the stair-turret is now entered from the porch. The
Roofs of the aisles are probably of the 14th century, and the roof of the N. porch is of the 15th
century. The chancel roof is modern, and the
nave roof is almost entirely of modern timbers.
Fittings—Bells: six; 2nd 1694. Brackets:
in E. wall N. aisle, of stone, much defaced:
in E. wall S. aisle, large, moulded, much
broken. Brasses and Indents: in the nave,
inscription to John Sell, 1618: in the
chancel, three slabs with indents, 15th-century: on S. doorstep, part of a similar
slab. Chest: in the vestry, of carved oak, early
17th-century. Communion Table: 17th-century. Doors: N. and S., oak with ironwork,
original. Font: modern, steps probably 14th-century. Glass: in heads of N.E., N.W., and
S.W. windows of the clearstorey, some painted
glass, probably early 15th-century: in the N.
aisle, some fragments of later date. Locker:
in S. aisle, on N.E., recess only remains. Monuments: on N. wall of nave, to Ralph Baldwyn,
1689, with arms: at E. end of N. aisle, rectangular tomb, 15th-century, with plain top and
traceried sides, much defaced and mutilated.
Niches: in two chancel windows, one plain, the
other with moulded brackets: in S. aisle above
the piscina, of considerable height; all probably 15th-century. Piscinae: one in each
aisle, c. 1350: one in N. wall of chancel, outside, also c. 1350: one inside chancel, forming a
group with sedilia, c. 1380; the projection has
been broken away from each bowl. Plate: includes an engraved cup of 1688, and a paten of
1632. Pulpit: of carved oak, dated 1627.
Screens: at W. end of both aisles, probably
removed from E. end, traceried oak, 15th-century. Stalls: remains, including two finials,
incorporated in the back of the organ stool,
possibly 15th-century. Sedilia: in chancel
triple, with cinque-foiled and crocketted heads,
and foliated finials, c. 1380. Miscellanea: On N.
wall of tower, scratched inscription as follows:—
M.C. ter X. penta miseranda ferox violenta
...................superest plebs pessima testis
....................oc anno Maurus in orbe tonat:
with glosses: over first line, 'pestilencia'
with 'xlix' over it; over penta 'quinque':
at end of second line, 'in fine eq (?) ventus
validus': at end of third line, M. C.C.C. lxi.
Also a drawing, apparently of old St. Paul's
Lychgate: at the S.W. entrance to the
churchyard, of timber, probably 15th century.
Condition—Of chancel, good; tracery of aisle
windows much broken and decayed. Stonework generally of aisles, and parapets, buttresses
and windows of the tower much decayed and
a(3). 'Mobs Hole,' 1 mile E. of Guilden
Morden, with a wet ditch, and a smaller moated
site in the W. corner.
b(4). N. of Love's Farm, two moats.
b(5). At Bluegates Farm, fragment.
d(6). At Westbury Farm, encloses a long
narrow island. Traces remain of a further
extension on the N.E.
High Street, S. side
d(7). Cottage, formerly the ' British Queen
Inn,' about ¼ mile from the church, at the W.
end of the street, was built in the 15th century
and altered in the 17th century. It is a small
rectangular building of two storeys with
plastered walls, partly timber-framed and
partly of harder material; the roof is thatched
and is gabled at the E. and W. ends; the two
chimney stacks are of thin bricks, but have been
restored at the top. The N. side, facing the
road, appears to have been originally the back
of the house; in it, near the W. end, are the
remains of a 15th-century stone window of two
trefoiled lights in a square head with a moulded
label; the E. jamb was destroyed to make room
for a modern window; the kitchen, or westernmost room on the ground floor, is lighted by this
window, and has a moulded oak beam in the
ceiling with cable ornament on the edges. The
principal entrance is in the S. wall opposite the
chimney stack, and between the other two
rooms on the ground floor; the original oak
lintel of the doorway is now in an outhouse;
the soffit is cut to form an ogee arch. All the
internal fittings of the house are modern.
d(8). House, of plastered timber, was built
probably in the 17th century, but retains little
of its original character, except the two
chimney stacks of red brick, with square shafts
d(9). Cottages, S. of the church, on both sides
of the street, built in the 17th century, of red
brick and of timber and plaster, with projecting
upper storeys supported on wood brackets. On
the S. side of the street one of the cottages has
a pargetted front which bears the date 1681,
and the figure of a dolphin.
b(10). Farmhouse, at Ashwell End, about
½ mile N.E. of the church, is a two-storeyed
building of plastered timber, partly decorated
with combed work; the roofs are tiled. It is
of early 17th-century date, and of the L type.
Both wings are gabled; one contains the
parlour, an enclosed staircase and domestic
offices; in the other is the kitchen. Between
the kitchen and parlour is the original chimney
stack. In the interior the studding shows in
many places, and the kitchen has a wide fire-place, partly blocked. A few of the doors are
made up of early 17th-century panelling, and
some iron casements with plain furniture
d(11). Tumulus, on Highley Hill.