2. ABBOTSLEY (C.f.).
(O.S. 6 in. XXVIII N.W.)
Abbotsley is a small parish and village 3½ m.
S.E. of St. Neots. The Church is the principal
(1). Parish Church of St. Margaret stands
in the village. The walls are of pebble-rubble with
dressings of Barnack, Ketton, ironstone and
clunch; the roofs are covered with tiles and lead.
The earliest part of the existing building is the
mid 13th-century chancel-arch. About 1300–10
the S. arcade of the Nave was built and the South
Aisle added, and c. 1330 the N. arcade was built
and the North Aisle added; late in the same
century the West Tower was built outside the W.
end of the church, the nave was then extended to
meet it and the clearstorey added. The church
was restored in 1854 and again in 1861 when the
Chancel was re-built and the North Vestry and
North Porch added. The tower was restored in
Among the fittings the 14th-century tomb-recess is noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel is
modern except for the mid 13th-century chancel-arch which is two-centred and of two chamfered
orders interrupted by re-cut moulded imposts;
the inner order has moulded bases.
The Nave (50¾ ft. by 18½ ft.) has a N. arcade
of clunch, of c. 1330, and of four bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the
columns are of quatre-foiled plan, with small rolls
in the angles, and have moulded capitals and
bases; the responds have attached half-columns.
The S. arcade, of c. 1300–10, is also of clunch and
of four bays with two-centred arches of two
chamfered orders; the octagonal columns and
semi-octagonal responds have moulded capitals and
bases. The late 14th-century clearstorey has on
each side five windows, each of two trefoiled lights
in a square head, all partly restored; the fourth
window on the N. is modern and differs in design
from the rest; there is a straight joint on each
side of the clearstorey above the western termination of the aisles, showing that the joining up to
the tower is of slightly later date than the rest of
The North Aisle (11¾ ft. wide) has a 15th-century E. window of three trefoiled lights with
vertical tracery in a four-centred head with moulded
reveals and label. In the N. wall are two partly
restored early 14th-century windows, each of two
trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the N. doorway
is modern. In the W. wall is a window similar to
those in the N. wall.
The South Aisle (11¾ ft. wide) has a late 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights in
a four-centred head with moulded reveals and
label. In the S. wall are two modern windows and
between them is the 14th-century S. doorway with
jambs and two-centred arch of two chamfered
orders; the jambs have alternate courses of
Barnack and ironstone; the label has been cut
back. In the W. wall is a modern window set
within a larger 15th-century opening with a four-centred head. In the N. wall, E. of the arcade
is an early 16th-century doorway to the rood-loft,
with double chamfered jambs and four-centred
The West Tower (about 11½ ft. square) is of late
14th-century date (Plate 14) and of three stages
with a moulded plinth and embattled parapet with
four gargoyles; at the angles are late 16th-century
octagonal pedestals supporting carved figures of
kings of Renaissance character (Plate 159); the
two figures and pedestals on the N. are modern and
those on the S. much defaced. The two-centred
tower-arch is of three chamfered orders with a
moulded label and head-stops; the responds have
each one semi-octagonal and two round attached
shafts with moulded capitals and defaced bases;
above the arch on the E. face of the tower is the
weathering for the late 14th-century low-pitched
roof of the nave. The W. window is modern,
except for the splays and rear-arch, as is the W.
doorway, except for two re-used head-stops to the
label. The second stage has in the N. wall a
window of one cinque-foiled light in a two-centred
head with a moulded label; in the S. wall is a
quatrefoil-window and in the W. wall is a single
square-headed light. The bell-chamber has in
each wall a window of two cinque-foiled lights with a
quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded
label and head-stops.
Parish Church of
The Roof of the nave is modern but rests on
six late 14th-century moulded stone corbels with
angels holding shields, and carved heads and faces.
The late 15th-century roof of the N. aisle is of four
bays and a half bay with moulded and cambered
tie-beams, moulded N. wall-plate, chamfered
purlins and S. wall-plate.
Fittings—Bells: five; 2nd by John Grene,
1575; 3rd possibly by John Kebyll, 15th-century
and inscribed "En sum campana Margarete
Nominata"; 4th by Miles Graye, 1653. Bell-frame old. Brackets: In N. aisle—on E. wall
two moulded brackets, carved with angels holding
blank shields, 15th-century. Font: octagonal,
tapering bowl on high octagonal base with
chamfered top edge, probably 13th-century. Glass:
In S. aisle—in tracery of E. window, fragments of
tabernacle-work, oak-leaf ornament, etc., mostly
15th-century. Monuments: In S. aisle—in S. wall,
(1) tomb-recess (Plate 13) of limestone, with
moulded and cinque-foiled ogee head, moulded label
with carved crockets, running rose-sprig ornament
in the hollow moulding of the arch, carved heads on
cusp-points (two only remain) and foliated spandrels
to cusps; recess flanked by projecting buttresses,
carried up as pinnacles with crocketed heads,
face of both pinnacles carved with square paterae
and sides with traceried panelling; on wall above
arch, two shields each charged with a cross paty
between four crescents; c. 1340; crockets and cusping
much defaced and broken. In churchyard—
S.W. of nave, (2) to William Heylock, 1688,
table-tomb, with panelled sides carved with
emblems of mortality; S. of tower, (3) to Lucy
Pedley, 164; (4) to [Sus]anna Pedley, 1646;
(5) to Robert Pedley, 1650; (6) to Nicholas Pedley,
1651; (7) to James Pedley, 1651, all flat stone
slabs. Niche: re-set in W. wall of vestry—
curved recess with three-sided canopy with trefoiled
ogee heads with crockets, finials and pinnacles
and surmounted by spire-shaped capping, soffit
carved with ribbed vault, shafted jambs to recess
and bracket supported by two carved angels,
15th-century. Painting: In chancel—wood panel
forming reredos, painted with an 'Adoration of
the Magi,' Flemish, early 16th-century. Piscinae:
In N. aisle—in S. wall, with trefoiled head, having
lobed cusp-points, moulded sill with defaced
octofoiled drain, early 14th-century. In S. aisle—
in S. wall, with chamfered jambs and trefoiled
head, projecting trefoiled front to drain, c. 1300–10.
Plate: includes a cup of 1564. Screen: (Plate 33)
formerly under chancel-arch, now under tower-arch,
of oak and of three bays including doorway, side
bays each of two bays with traceried heads, mostly
modern, close lower panels with cinque-foiled heads
and carved cresting, doorway with ogee crocketed
head, enriched with interlacing ornament, two
doors each with open upper panel and two close
lower panels similar to side bays; moulded posts
between bays, with small attached shafts, early
16th-century, head of screen modern. Stoup:
In S. aisle—in S wall, E. of doorway, recess with
chamfered jambs and three-centred head, broken
round basin, early 16th-century.
(2). Homestead Moat at Waterloo Farm, 200
yards S: of the church.
(3). Dovecote and Moat, at Manor Farm, 350
yards S.W. of the church. The Dovecote is of
late 17th-century date, timber-framed and with
brick nogging. It is square on plan and has
brick piers at the angles and a pyramidal tiled
The Moat is fragmentary.
Condition—Of dovecote, poor.
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described are of the 17th century and of two
storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs
are tiled or thatched. Some of the buildings have
original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
(4). Cottage, on the N. side of the road, nearly
200 yards W.N.W. of the church.
(5). Cottage, 60 yards E.S.E. of (4).
(6). Cottage, 30 yards E.S.E. of (5).
(7). Cottage, 150 yards E. of the church.
(8). Cottage (Plate 73), two tenements, 100
yards E.N.E. of (7), is of L-shaped plan with the
wings extending towards the E. and S.
(9). Cottage, 230 yards E. of (8).
(10). Cottage, two tenements, on the S. side of
the road, 60 yards S.E. of (9), is of L-shaped plan,
with the wings extending towards the W. and S.
(11). Cottage, 170 yards W. of (10), has modern
additions on the N. and S. The original central
chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts.
(12). House, 180 yards W.S.W. of (11).
(13). Forge Cottage, 40 yards W. of (12).
(14). Cottage, 70 yards S. of (12), was built
probably early in the 18th century.
(15). Cottage, W. of (14), was built probably early
in the 18th century.
Abbotsley, Plan Showing the Position of Monuments.
(16). Cottage, 30 yards W. of (13), was built
probably early in the 18th century.
(17). Cottage, 50 yards S. of (16), was built
probably early in the 18th century.
(18). Whitehouse Farm, house 60 yards S. of
the church, has a modern extension at the N. end.