11. AYOT ST. LAWRENCE.
(O.S. 6 in. xxviii. N.W.)
(1). Old Church of St. Lawrence, W. of
the village, has flint rubble walls with stone
dressings. Since the 18th century, when the
new church was built, this building has fallen
into disrepair. The Nave was built probably
in the 12th century, and early in the 13th
century a North Aisle with an arcade of two
bays was added. The nave was partly, and the
Chancel wholly re-built, and a North Chapel
added, early in the 14th century. At the
beginning of the 15th century the N. arcade
was destroyed (one arch being re-set at the W.
end of the chapel), the North West Tower was
added and the aisle re-built a little further N.,
widening the nave.
The church is of considerable interest on
account of its complex history and architectural
Architectural Description—The Chancel
(30½ ft. by 16½ ft.) has an early 14th-century
moulded arch with shafted jambs, opening into
the N. chapel. Only small fragments of the E.
and S. walls remain. On the S.W. are the W.
jambs of an internal wall recess and of a window
set in it. The chancel arch has been destroyed,
but the shafted jambs, of the same date as the
arch of the chapel, remain. The North Chapel
(30½ ft. by 14½ ft.) has an E. window of three
lights, and two N. windows of two lights, with
hollow moulded jambs; little of the tracery
remains: in the S. wall an archway leads to the
chancel, and, on the W., is the re-set arch of
the 13th-century arcade; the responds are made
up of circular shafts with foliate capitals, the
arch is of two moulded orders, and is badly
distorted: on the N.W. is a rough recess, with
what appears to be a flue. The Nave (29 ft. by
18 ft.) has no structural division from the N.
aisle, and the N.W. bay is covered by the tower.
There are two windows in the S. wall and one in
the W., all inserted in the 15th century; the
tracery has been destroyed. The lower part of
the internal jambs of the S. door is 12th-century
work, but the rest is of the 14th century. On
the W. is a blocked door. The Aisle (14 ft. by
15 ft.) has one 15th-century N. window, in which
only part of the tracery remains. The Tower
(12 ft. square) is of three stages, with embattled
parapet: on the E. and S. two early 15th-century arches of three chamfered orders with
shafted jambs, open into the aisle and the nave.
On the N. is a small door and a window of two
lights, both of early 15th-century date: on the
W. is a blocked window, apparently the W.
window of the former aisle, and on the S.W.
are traces of a stair-turret now destroyed. The
windows of the bell-chamber are also of early
15th-century date, and are much defaced. The
Roofs no longer exist, except on the tower,
which also retains an upper floor with moulded
Fittings—Bracket: In the chapel, on N.E.,
for image, large, moulded. Brass-Indents: in
the aisle, of a man and his wife, kneeling figures, three sons and five daughters.
Font: octagonal, much broken, with a panelled
bowl, early 15th-century. Image: over the
N. jamb of the W. arch of the chapel, small
defaced figure inserted in the wall. Monuments: in the tower, altar tomb, with a
panelled side and defaced remains of effigies
of a knight and lady, early 15th-century:
in the blocked window of the tower, of
Nicholas Bristow, 1626, with small kneeling
effigies of alabaster, defaced. Piscina: in the
chapel, on the S.E., ogee-headed, blocked.
Plate: now in new church, includes cup of
1659 and paten of 1696.
Condition—Ruinous; the N. wall of the
chancel is badly out of the perpendicular, and
is partly supported by a clumsy brick buttress.
The ivy is tearing the walls to pieces and the interior is entirely exposed to the weather.
(2). The Old Manor House, in a park near
Ayot House, is a red brick, square building,
probably of the 16th century. The lower part is
practically all that remains of the original
(3). The School House, opposite the ruins of
the old church, is probably of the 17th century,
and retains much of the original exposed timber
Condition—Good; has been enlarged and
(4). The Post Office, E. of the village, is a
16th or 17th-century cottage of two storeys,
the lower of brick, the upper of timber and
(5). The Old Rectory, opposite the old
church, is modern, but contains, in a staircase
window, three shields of early 17th-century glass
said to have been removed from the old church;
they are surrounded by foliage, etc., of 18th-century and modern glass. 1st shield, France
modern quartering England, with a label of
three points argent: 2nd shield, Bristow, ermine,
a fesse between two bars sable with three
crescents or thereon: the 3rd shield, Bristow
impaling, quarterly 1 and 4, Bibbesworth,
azure three eagles or, 2 and 3, Barley, ermine
three bars wavy sable, in chief a pierced molet,
quartering (?) Skipwith, gules three bars or,
in chief a running greyhound argent.