Collyweston is a parish of 630 hectares on the S.E.
bank of the R. Welland, the village lying on the
crest of the valley side. The underlying rock is
mainly Lower Lincolnshire Limestone, a fissile bed
of which outcrops in a narrow band across the
parish and was the source of the stone slates to
which the village gives its name (see Sectional
Preface). These slates have been worked since the
Middle Ages or earlier and the industry only ceased
The village has a rectangular plan formed around
the broad High Street, and Back Lane, a lesser road
on the N. The church, parts of which are probably
of the 11th century, stands away from High Street,
and the village has the appearance of having been
replanned, perhaps in the 15th century in
conjunction with alterations to the former manor
house which lay in the closes immediately W. of
the High Street. This manor house, also known as
the Palace (2), was occupied in the 15th century by
Ralph Lord Cromwell and later by Lady Margaret
Beaufort who remodelled it as well as the church.
The house was demolished in 1640. The manor
was bought in 1650 by Peter Tryon, who built a
new house on the site of the palace, and whose
descendants lived there until 1778 when it was
demolished. In 1800 the manor was bought by the
Earl of Exeter. Most tenements in the village were
copyhold. Two large 17th-century farm houses
(mons. (7) and (41)) appear to have belonged to the
manor, but all other and later houses of any
pretension were copyhold. In 1673 there were 53
tenements, and in 1801 there were 54 houses; by
1851 the number of houses had increased to 93.
Some of this increase was made possible by the
subdivision of copyhold tenements, especially in
the S.E. corner of the village. The slate industry
never created great wealth but it was probably
responsible for a modest affluence in the village. In
1673 there were relatively fewer exemptions from
Hearth Tax than average, and fewer single-hearth
houses, yet the population was high in relation to
the area of the parish, suggesting that trade rather
than agriculture was responsible for the level of
wealth. A similar situation existed at Easton-on-the-Hill, where slaters also formed an important
section of the population. This is probably reflected
in a tendency for houses before 1800 to be on
average a little larger than elsewhere. After 1800
this statistical difference ceases to exist. Following
enclosure of the open fields in 1842 a number of
houses was built on new copyhold plots to the
N.E. of the village, on the former slate workings
along the road to Easton.
Fig. 41 Collyweston Church
(1) Parish Church of St. Andrew (Fig. 41; Plate 50),
stands on the N. side of the main village street in a small
churchyard. It consists of a Chancel, South Chapel, Nave
with North Aisle, West Tower and South Porch. The walls
of the chancel and nave are constructed in various types
of limestone masonry comprising large blocks, rubble,
and walling in alternate bands of squared stones and
rubble; the tower is faced with ashlar. On the evidence
of the large wall blocks the earliest parts of the church
are the W. section of the N. wall of the chancel and
lower half of the S. wall of the nave which also has a
plinth of abnormal section. A simple building consisting
of a chancel and nave is indicated, probably of the 11th-century. Early in the 13th century the chancel was
extended as demonstrated by the change in masonry
from large square stones, with characteristic levelling
courses, to banded courses of freestone and rubble; a
blocked 13th-century lancet window towards the E. end
of the S. wall of the chancel is integral with the banded
masonry. In the 14th century the chancel arch was
widened. Considerable alterations made in the late 15th
century included the building of the S. chapel, the tower
and the porch; at the same time the N. aisle was added,
the nave heightened and its S. wall remodelled. These
works appear to have followed on the acquisition of the
manor by Lady Margaret Beaufort in 1487 (Cal. Pat.
1485–1494, 155). In 1499 the chapel was referred to as
'my Lady's chapel' and Lady Margaret may have been
responsible for its construction. In that year John
Abylsby of Collyweston was paid 115 for 'perging and
meding of the roof of my Lady's chapel joining to the
chancel of the church in the said town, and for perging
of the walls of the same chapel' (St. John's College,
Cambridge, MS. 102.9). The consistent design of the
windows in the chapel, aisle and tower implies a similar
date for all, probably around 1490. The chapel became a
mausoleum for the Tryon family in the 18th century; the
earliest coffin is dated 1750. The interior of the church
was much restored in the mid 19th century, new pews
being installed in 1857 (Stamford and Rutland Guardian, 29
The church is of interest not only for its early origins
but also for the late medieval work to which a date and a
patron can be ascribed.
Architectural Description – The Chancel has a gable
parapet and plain eaves, and the walls are without
buttresses. Masonry of two types indicates the original
chancel and the 13th-century extension (Fig. 42). The
earlier masonry extends for 5.3m. along the W. part of
the N. wall, and there is also a short length at the W.
end of the S. wall. Both walls have doubled-chamfered
plinths and that on the N. has large irregular dressed
stones with wedge-shaped levelling courses. The second
phase, consisting of the eastern end of the present
chancel, has banded masonry and a single chamfered
plinth visible on the E. and N. In the E. wall is a late
15th-century window with four-centred head and
cinque-foiled lights, and on the N. are two windows of
the same date with square heads and trefoiled lights. To
the E. of the second window is an area of patching,
probably the blocking of a former window belonging to
the first period, of which an E. jamb stone, set upright,
survives. In the S. wall is a rectangular opening or squint
with two trefoiled lights of the 15th century. High in the
wall and visible from the S. chapel is a blocked early
13th-century lancet window with plain chamfered jambs,
but the lower part has been destroyed. The 15th-century
arch to the S. chapel, of two chamfered orders, has
responds with crenellated capitals. To the W. a window
of the 13th-century has two lights with Y-tracery and a
label with mask stops. Below, a blocked rectangular
opening of two lights with depressed ogee heads is
probably a low-side window of the 15th century. The
14th-century chancel arch has two wave-moulded orders
separated by a deep hollow, part-octagonal responds and
plain coved capitals. A groove for a former wooden
tympanum is visible in the soffit of the arch; housings
for a beam are cut in the capitals.
Fig. 42 Collyweston Church N. wall of chancel
Fig. 43 Collyweston Church Mouldings:
nave plinth 11th-century; N. arcade c. 1490.
The South Chapel (Plate 50), probably built by Lady
Margaret Beaufort in c. 1490 has rubble walls, freestone
quoins, gable parapets and plain eaves. On the E. the
wall is partly tusked into the chancel wall and at the roof
valley is a gargoyle carved as a grotesque animal. Against
the S. wall are two-stage ashlar buttresses which are
probably post-medieval additions. The design of the E.
window repeats that of the chancel E. window. Two
rectangular windows on the S. have lights with four-centred heads. The interior has a raised floor above the
burial vault. A porch with a square-headed doorway is
probably early 19th-century.
The Nave, Visible externally in the E. wall is a line of
a former nave roof. On the N. a two-bay arcade of the
late 15th century has arches of two chamfered orders, the
outer continuous, the inner resting on half-round
responds with moulded part-octagonal capitals and wave-moulded bases (Fig. 43). The S. wall, in three main bays,
has a plinth consisting of a chamfered string and a double
roll-moulding which returns on the E. (Fig. 43). The
wall, up to window level, is built of large squared stones
with levelling courses and is probably of 11th-century
date, but the upper part consists of smaller squared
stones, possibly reused; at clearstorey level the wall is of
rubble with freestone quoins. In spite of the difference in
materials these two upper sections of walling are both of
the late 15th century. Two two-stage buttresses almost
reach the clearstorey. Placed high in the wall are two
large rectangular windows each of three lights with
square, cusped heads, contemporary with the walls. The
clearstorey, of the same date, has plain parapets and
cusped two-light windows with four-centred heads. The
S. door has continuous hollow-chamfered jambs enriched
with paterae, and a crocketed ogee hood flanked by
slender standards with finials; in the centre is a shield
with the arms of Porter, for William Porter who held the
manor in the early part of the century until 1441. At the
N.W. corner are straight joints against the tower and the
aisle wall indicating building phases of the late 15th
The North Aisle, of c. 1490, has a moulded plinth,
rubble walls, diagonal and side buttresses, and a plain
parapet with two mutilated beast-gargoyles. All the
windows have four-centred heads and three trefoil-headed lights, much restored. A doorway in the W. bay
has a four-centred head and continuous chamfered jambs.
The West Tower, of c. 1490, entirely replacing the
former W. wall of the nave, is built in fine ashlar in four
main stages (Plate 50). It has a moulded plinth, clasping
buttresses, battlemented parapet and tall octagonal
crocketed pinnacles. The W. doorway, blocked
internally, has a continuous moulded four-centred head.
The W. window has a four-centred head, casement-moulded jambs, and three cinquefoil-headed lights. Each
belfry window in the fourth stage has two cinquefoil-headed lights with a transom.
The South Porch of c. 1490 has diagonal buttresses,
battlemented parapet on the gable, and plain eaves. The
four-centred archway has a continuous outer order and
an inner order resting on half-round responds with part-octagonal moulded capitals and bases. Inside are stone
Fittings – Bells: treble by Thomas Norris, 1636, recast
in 1903; tenor with same inscription survives. There
were originally four bells of which one may have been a
sanctus; two of these were sold in 1549 (North). A gift
towards a new bell was made in 1515 (Arch. J., LXX
(1913), 301). Bell-frame: down-braced frame for three
bells, probably 15th-century. Brass: in N. aisle, set in
grey marble slab, to Elizabeth Ffollett, February 1508,
female figure, standing above plate with black-letter
inscription in English (Plate 63). Clock: in tower, made in
1779 by Thomas Rayment of Stamford, payment being
made by the Earl of Exeter in January 1780 (BEO,
Exeter Day Books; Plate 68). Font, octagonal on square
plinth, plain bowl, 15th-century. Monuments and Floor
slabs. Monuments: (1), of Zachary Hunt, rector, 1615, oval
limestone tablet with latin inscription; (2), of Rev.
Charles Posthumous Belgrave, curate, white marble
sarcophagus-shaped tablet, 1840. Floor slabs: in chancel-(1), of Rev. Alexander King, 1751, rector; (2), of Rev.
William Shield, 181–; (3), of Elizabeth Delafosse, 1810.
Seating: oak pews throughout church, with poppyheads
or finials carved as pelicans etc., backs with cusped
openwork, 1857. Table of Law and Decalogue: in tower,
painted cusped panelling, early 19th-century.
(2) Site of Collyweston House or 'Palace' occupies the
area beyond the W. road of the village. The manor of
Collyweston was bought in c. 1415 by Sir William
Porter, a man said to be of humble origin; he may have
carried out building work at the manor house (Leland,
IV, 91, 92). After his death, the manor was bought by
Ralph Lord Cromwell who used the house and died
there in 1455. The house must have been of some size.
Having changed hands several times the manor fell to the
Crown in 1486 and was given to Lady Margaret
Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, the King's mother, for
life. In the years around 1500 she altered and enlarged the
house, and also improved the park and gardens adjoining
the house (RCHM, Northants. I, Collyweston (8); St.
John's College, Cambridge, MS 91.7, 13, 14; 102.9). The
house was visited by members of the royal family during
the 16th century, and was later leased to Sir Richard
Cecil. In 1625 James I gave the manor to Patrick Maule,
groom of the bedchamber, as a reward for his services
(PRO, IND 6746), and he in turn sold it in 1631 to Sir
Robert Heath, Attorney General. Heath's main intention
was to dismantle the house, the materials of which were
valued at £1000, and this he did in 1640 (NRO, SG43,
45; NPL 1412, 1413). As a Royalist Heath's estates were
sequestrated and in 1650 Collyweston was sold to Moses
Tryon of Harringworth and his son Peter of Seaton
(NRO, NPL 1459). Peter's son inherited Collyweston in
1660, and it remained in the hands of his descendants
until 1800 when it passed to the Earl of Exeter. Peter
Tryon or his son built a new house on the site of the old
manor house, although a few fragments of the earlier
building were still recognizable in 1776 (Nichols, Literary
Anecdotes, VIII, 621–2). In 1778 Tryon's house was
dismantled and the materials sold, including marble and
stone chimney pieces (Mercury, 5 Feb.). In 1780 the Earl
of Exeter paid £400, and in 1782 £48, for materials from
Newman and others; in 1783 he paid for levelling the site
and converting it to paddocks (BEO, Exeter Day Books,
Oct. 1779. March 1782, March 1783).
Built within the area is a square Dovecote with shaped
kneelers inscribed 'E R' and '1570' or '1578'. It has some
300 nesting boxes and is now roofless. Secondary to this
is a 16th-century Barn (Plate 123) with freestone
dressings, ventilation slits and a wide entry on the S.
side; at the E. end is a two-storey section with a
plastered floor. Five bays of the original roof with
principal rafters diminishing above clasped purlins, and a
ridge-piece supported by short collars, survive at the W.
On the N. boundary is a large Sundial (Plate 108) of
the 18th century, in the form of an clliptically headed
alcove with ashlar front. At the springing are large
Roman numerals, to which lines in the semi-dome
radiate. The gnomon was at the crown.
Fig. 44 Collyweston (3)
Fig. 45 Collyweston (4)
Nearby, a doorway with moulded freestone architrave
and an oval window, reset in a garden shed, date from
the late 17th century.
(3) Two storeys, class 4a, early 19th-century (Fig. 44).
(4) One storey and semi-attics, class 4a, 19th-century
(5) Pond Yard, two early 19th-century houses of one
storey and attics, now united. (Not entered)
(6) The Poplars, an L-shaped house of 17th-century
origin. The main range, running N.–S. is now of class 2
and was heightened to two storeys and attics in the 18th
century, but the S. gable wall of the former single-storey
range is preserved together with an ovolo-moulded
mullioned window. The 18th-century windows have
plain ashlar surrounds with keystones. A single-room
addition on the S. has a panel inscribed 'BM 1625'; this
was further extended in the 18th century. (Not entered)
Fig. 46 Collyweston (7) Manor Farm
(7) Manor Farm (Fig. 46), two storeys, class 2, second
half 17th century. Rendered rubble with moulded
freestone surrounds. Doorway with moulded jambs and
flat hood. Mullioned windows survive on first floor.
Ovolo-moulded beams in ground and first-floor rooms.
(8) Collyweston House, of two storeys, was built in
1838 as an L-shaped house with stair in the entrant angle.
Later in the 19th century the central entrance passage was
incorporated into the N. room and a new doorway
formed in the window of the S. room; the entrant angle
was filled and additions were made on the E. and S.
Walling of coursed rubble with freestone quoins and
window dressings; hipped roof. On a chimney stack is a
stone panel inscribed '1838 TC' for Thomas Close
(BEO, Court Rolls). N.W. of house, a long 18th-century
barn and stable range with roof of two dates, and a
dovecote at one end.
(9) Swan Farm, two storeys and cellar, class 4a with
central staircase and entrance compartment, built in the
early 18th century. Heightened to three storeys in early
19th century; formerly with mullioned windows, many
(10) Two single-storey and attics cottage of one and
two rooms, early 19th-century.
(11) Two storeys, class 6b, early 19th-century;
(12) Two storeys, class 2a, early 19th-century.
(13) Two storeys, class 6b, early 19th-century.
(14) Two storeys, formerly with cellar, originally class
4a, 17th-century, now class 6b; 19th-century single-storey addition at rear includes a bar associated with the
use of the building as a public house. Two-storey bay
windows, 19th-century; blocked mullioned window in
(15) The Steward's House (Plate 123), two-room
symmetrical house of two storeys, with freestone
dressings and two two-storey gabled bay windows with
mullioned windows, of the first half of the 17th century;
in gable of the W. bay is a sundial. A wing at the rear
may be later 17th-century. Central doorway with four-centred head, continuous moulded jambs and sunk
spandrels; a string-course across the bay windows
continues as a label over the door. (Not entered)
(16) Two storeys and attics, single-room house with
gable entrance opposite the fireplace, 18th-century;
(17) Originally of two rooms flanking a central
waggon entry, first half 17th-century. W. part of single
room 4b plan with two-storey gabled bay with
mullioned windows. Attic above entrance lit by gabled
dormer dated 1637 in the pargetting; the entry has been
infilled and the E. room rebuilt in the 19th century as a
(18) Single-room front range of 17th-century origin,
with two-room rear wing.
(19) Class 4a with two heated rooms, 17th-century;
extended to the E. in 19th century. Ovolo-moulded
bressumer to fireplace. At rear, four-bay 18th-century
barn and 18th or 19th-century rectangular dovecote with
about 270 nesting holes.
(20) Church Cottages, one storey and attics, originally
a single three-cell house of the 17th century, but
sub-divided by 1845 to give a class 4a house on the W.
and a single-room house and a butcher's shop on the E.
(BEO, Court Book, 30 May). E. part refaced. Two-storey gabled bay with ovolo-moulded mullioned
windows with sundial in gable inscribed 'I Ray for no
Man'; dormers with gables plastered in imitation of
Fig. 47 Collyweston (21) The Rectory Plans and elevation of 1832 taken from the design by James
Richardson of Stamford (NRO)
(21) The Rectory (Fig. 47), of two storeys and cellar,
class 8, with freestone dressings and hipped roof, was
built in 1832 to designs of James Richardson of
Stamford, builder (NRO, Plans of Parsonages, Box 2/6).
A kitchen wing was added on the W. later in the 19th
century. The house retains its original sash windows,
door-case and internal fittings.
(22) Two-storey cottage with freestone quoins, 19th-century, adjoining a low single-storey building of
uncertain date; at W. end, two-storey 17th-century
single-room house with mullioned windows. (Not
(23) Two storeys, class 6b front range of the late 18th
century with bay windows to ground floor and flush
architraves to first-floor windows. Behind, a 17th-century single-storey and attics range survives from a
previous building. At rear, 18th-century farm buildings.
(24) Parks Farm, freestone quoins and parapeted
gables, class 6b front range of two storeys with attics and
cellar of 18th-century origin; 17th-century two-room rear
wing with mullioned windows. Barn with triangular
ventilation apertures, and pigeon holes under eaves.
(25) One storey and attics, parapeted gables, 17th-century, originally class 1a with an extra, perhaps non-domestic, compartment at the W. end which was
incorporated into the house in the late 17th century when
the building was made into two dwellings (Fig. 48). The
two E. rooms have chamfered beams, that in the W.
room being axial and associated with a wall beam; this
compartment was probably the hall and that to the E. a
parlour. The two W. compartments were refitted in the
later 17th century and have ovolo-moulded beams.
(26) One storey and attics, perhaps originally class 4a,
early 17th-century. Ground-floor bay window. Fireplace
bressummer with cambered top. W. end rebuilt in 19th
century in two-storey urban style. In mid 19th century it
was the Blue Bell Inn.
(27) Two storeys, class 4a. 18th-century. (Not entered)
(28) One storey and attics. L-shaped house, early 18th-century, the front range probably originally class 4a but
altered to class 6b in the 19th century. The rear wing has
a corner fireplace.
Fig. 48 Collyweston (25)
(29) One storey and attics, L-shaped, early 18th-century, the front range originally class 4a but altered to
class 6b in the early 19th century.
(30) Unequal pair of two-storey single-room houses
with kitchen lean-to, now united. Built shortly before
1846 (BEO, Court Book). To S.E. a small barn
converted to a cottage before 1829 (ibid), now a garage.
(31) A single-storey 17th-century house, approximating
to class 1b, heightened in the 19th century. Recently united
with a mid 19th-century house on the N. to form an L-shaped plan.
(32) One storey and attics, class 2a, 1782, the date on
the S. gable. Probably built by one of the Osborn
family, bakers and victuallers, who lived at mon. (26)
(BEO, Court Book).
(33) Early 19th-century house, two storeys, T-shaped
plan; freestone dressings. (Not entered)
(34) One storey and attics, class 4c, early 19th-century
Fig. 49 Collyweston (34)
(35) The Cavalier, formerly the Slaters' Arms Inn, one
storey and attics, class 4a with bay windows, 17th-century. Extended in 1856 by a two-room addition, the
date being recorded on the gabled dormer windows with
the initials 'WCM' for William Close, slater (BEO,
Court Book, 1851).
(36) Three two-storey class 4c houses built by William
Close between 1847 and 1851 (BEO, Court Book, 1851).
(37) One storey and attics, probably originally class 4a,
17th or 18th-century. Extended to W. in late 19th
century and curtailed on the E. Fragment of medieval
window tracery in W. gable.
(38) An unequal two-storey pair, classes 4a and 6b,
with original outshuts and sash windows. Built 1842-c.
1850 on land allotted to Hugh Close, probably a slater
(39) Two storeys, freestone dressings, sash windows,
class 6b, second quarter 19th-century.
(40) (TF 004035; Fig. 50), two storeys and attics, class
6a, with panel inscribed 'RMF 1824' for Richard
Fitzjohn (BEO, Court Book, Oct. 1830). Adjoining
house, class 4c, built shortly afterwards.
Fig. 50 Collyweston (40)
(41) Manor House (SK 993023), built in 1912 using
material from a demolished house in High Street
between (17) and (18). The original house was built in
1696 and had mullion and transom windows with
cavetto-moulded architraves, perhaps in a five-bay
elevation. Other reused materials include a bolection-moulded fireplace and a staircase with turned balusters.
(42) Cuckoo Lodge (TF 003017), former Toll House,
one storey and attics, class 4c, early 19th-century. (Not
(43) Collyweston Bridge (SK 990035; Plate 75), of
ashlar and squared rubble, has a medieval origin. It
crosses the R. Welland spanning the boundary between
Northamptonshire and Rutland. There are six arches, the
E. three in Collyweston parish, the W. three in Ketton.
The bridge was repaired after 1576 following a bequest
by Christopher Medcalf of Collyweston (PRO, Prob. 11/
58 (15 Carew)). In 1620 the three W. arches were rebuilt,
and in 1815 the three E. arches were repaired by Samuel
Holt (NRO, Northampton Q.S. Minute Book 1815–18,
p. 60). The three E. arches are two-centred with
voussoirs in two receding orders; the W. arches, also of
two orders, are round and one is inscribed 'AD 1620'.
The piers have cutwaters on both sides.