Glapthorn is a parish of 600 hectares and until the
present century was a chapelry of Cotterstock. The
village consists of two separate streets, on the N.
and S. of a wide stream-valley, and known
respectively as Upper and Lower Glapthorn. A
third road, shown on a map of 1614 (NRO) and
surviving as a hollow-way, ran along the S. end of
the plots of Lower Glapthorn. Initially there were
probably no house-plots on the N. side of Upper
Glapthorn, where Coneygrey Close suggests a
different land-use. The manor seems always to
have been owned by non-residents. In 1574 it
passed to Thomas Brudenell and has remained in
possession of his successors, but the manor house
was usually let to tenants. A fragment of the 16th-century house survives. In 1630 Brudenell
redistributed much of the demesne land of
Glapthorn among the customary tenants, creating a
series of uniform holdings of 66 acres (27.5
hectares) (NRS 19 (1956), 160). The effects of this
policy can be seen in the 1673 Hearth Tax returns,
where less than a quarter of the households were
exempt, and there was a relatively high proportion
of families with two hearths. This points to more
than average prosperity at the lower end of the
social scale. Only two houses that can be associated
with the 66 acre (27.5 hectares) holdings survive
(11, 12). There were 39 households in 1673 and 49
Provost Lodge is an isolated farm in the N.E. of
the parish, and owes its origin to John Gifford who
in 1319 had licence to assart and build on 86 acres
(35.8 hectares) of forest. This extra-parochial land
he later gave to the college he founded at
Cotterstock (Cal. Pat. (1317–21), p. 405; (1338–40),
p. 61), and it was subsequently transferred to
Fig. 95 Glapthorn Church
(1) The Parish Church of St. Leonard (Fig. 95; Plate
22) stands on the S. side of the village street, in the
N.W. part of a churchyard. It comprises a Chancel, North
Chapel, Nave with North and South Aisles, West Tower
and South Porch. The walls are of coursed rubble. The
chancel roof is steep-pitched and stone-slated, and the
nave and aisles have low-pitched roofs. There is evidence
of a mid 12th-century church, the nave of which
occupied the two E. bays of the present nave; it was
certainly aisled on the S. and possibly also on the N. The
base of the S.E. respond of this nave survives and the W.
wall is indicated by the wide piers in the centre of the
existing nave. Although the 12th-century arches have
been rebuilt, voussoirs with chevron ornament were
reused in the S. arcade. Late in the 12th century the nave
was extended westward by two further bays; the S.
arcade of this extension remains, separated from the two
E. bays by a wide pier. The W. wall of this extension is
abnormally thick and has a round-headed opening which
would have been above the level of the nave roof,
presumably indicating a bell-cote. There was no tower at
this date as shown by the straight joint between the W.
wall and the post-medieval tower.
In the 13th century the church was again considerably
enlarged. Probably during the first half of the century the
two E. bays on both sides of the nave were rebuilt. Later
in the 13th century the two W. arches of the N. arcade
were constructed, leaving a wide pier between the two
pairs of arches. At the same time the round-headed
opening high in the W. wall of the nave was replaced by
two small lancets. Also in the 13th century a large
chancel and a N. chapel were built; the chapel connects
with the N. aisle, with which it is contemporary,
without structural division. In the 14th century the S.
aisle was widened and the S. porch built. The W. tower
and clearstorey are post-medieval. There was formerly a
N. porch which was described in the 17th century
(NRO, Glapthorn Church Survey Book, 1681–3). The
church was restored by J. C. Traylen in 1895 (NRO,
Faculty, May 1895), the early fabric being
The building is of interest for its growth by piecemeal
development to more than double its original size within
a century or so. The 13th-century window tracery in the
chancel illustrates variations in simple window forms
current at one time.
Architectural Description – The Chancel has single-stage diagonal buttresses, gable with parapet, and plain
eaves. In the E. gable wall is the line of a former lower
roof; the heightening of the chancel walls are also
indicated by the smaller quoins in the upper courses of
the wall. The 14th-century E. window, below which is
the sill of a previous window, has restored intersecting
tracery with trefoil subcusping, a quatrefoil in the head
and an external label with stops, one carved as a sow
suckling piglets, the other as a boar (Plates 37, 45).
Above is a small pointed headed niche cut from one
stone. In the N. wall the 13th-century archway to the N.
chapel has chamfered orders and moulded capitals and
bases. In the S. wall the first window has Y-tracery, the
second has a vesica in the head rebated externally, and
internal shafted jambs, and the third has a quatrefoil in
the head and sunk spandrels, both lights being rebated
externally (Plate 24); the first two have labels with mask
stops and the third has head stops, one female with head-dress and chin-band, the other a grotesque male. The
chancel arch has chamfered orders, bell-shaped capitals
and roll-moulded bases.
Fig. 96 Glapthorn Church. Section through W. tower showing position of earlier bell-cote on W. wall
of nave. Perspective reconstruction and sections through openings: a. central Romanesque opening; b.
13th-century twin openings.
The Nave has plain parapets and rectangular clearstorey
windows probably of post-medieval date. Inside, each
arcade consists of two pairs of arches separated by a wide
pier (Plate 23). On the N. the first pair, of the 13th
century, has chamfered arches, coved capitals, and roll-moulded bases. The second pair, also of the 13th century
has a squat pier and responds, chamfered arches and
labels with carved stops. The pier has a roll-moulded
base which rests on a plinth consisting of two inverted
respond capitals with scalloped decoration of the mid
12th century. On the S., the E. pair of arches, with
pointed heads of two chamfered orders, have reused and
recut 12th-century voussoirs decorated with chevron
ornament. The pier and responds were rebuilt in the 13th
century, but the base of the E. respond has spurs at the
angles and is probably original. The capitals and other
bases are similar to those in the N. arcade. The W. pair
of arches are of late 12th-century date. They have round
heads of two chamfered orders with coved capitals and
roll-and-hollow moulded bases.
The North Chapel and North Aisle have low single-stage buttresses, and a late medieval low-pitched roof
with eaves. The height of the 13th century E. window
and its relation with the former eaves level of the chancel
would suggest that the chapel and aisle originally had a
gabled roof. This window has a quatrefoil within a
roundel in the head and the label has head stops. The
three windows on the N. are 15th-century and have
casement-moulded jambs and graduated cinquefoil lights.
The W. window, probably modern but of 13th-century
type, has a square head with two cusped and square-headed lights. The N. doorway with continuous hollow-chamfered jambs has a reused label with male head stops
of uncertain date.
The South Aisle of the 14th-century has a plain parapet.
The aisle wall is thick, without buttresses, and has some
banded masonry. The E. window has ogee-headed lights
and a quatrefoil in the head, and the first window in the
S. wall is similar. The second window, with cinquefoil-headed lights in a four-centred head, is 15th-century. The
S. doorway has continuous wave-moulded jambs. In the
W. wall is a square-headed window with two shouldered
lights of 13th-century design.
The West Tower, unbuttressed with plain parapets, of
two stages with a high plinth, is post-medieval. It is built
against the old W. wall of the nave which is considerably
thicker than the other walls. The tower arch is pointed
but has straight jambs without mouldings. In the W.
wall of the tower is a reset 13th-century window with
Y-tracery. Below it is a blocked doorway. The belfry
windows have round heads with two cusped lights. On
the first floor, in the E. wall of the tower, are two
blocked pointed 13th-century openings with splayed
rear-arches on the E. side; they have on the W. side
chamfered and rebated jambs, and chamfered labels (Plate
5). Between the heads of these openings is part of the
head and label of a blocked late 12th-century
round-headed opening (Fig. 96). The pointed openings are
set in squared masonry but the walling below is of
coursed rubble. Within the rubble walling are two large
sockets for beams which penetrated the full thickness of
the wall and must have projected over the nave to
support a wooden belfrey or turret built on the E. side of
the stone wall. The rafters of the nave roof which were
cut by this turret probably rested on the edges of the
cantilevers. Stonework around these holes suggests that
they are contemporary with the walling and not later
The South Porch has a parapeted gable, plain eaves and
no buttresses. The archway has a chamfered head and
side shafts with moulded capitals. Inside are stone
benches, and beneath that on the E. is a slab inscribed
The roofs are mostly replacements of 1895; the chancel
has a semicircular wooden vault.
Fittings – Bells: three with canons; 1st by Henry Penn
of Peterborough with shield of arms of Griffin, 1710;
2nd by John Sleyt, inscribed in Lombardic capitals on
neck and rim. 14th-century; 3rd inscribed in black letter,
London founder, 15th-century (inf. R. W. M. Clauston).
Brackets: in N. chapel (1), coved and moulded; in S. aisle
(2), a pair flanking E. window, part octagonal; all
medieval. Communion Rails: oak, symmetrically turned,
early 17th-century. Doors: two in nave, oak, fielded
panels., c. 1800. Font: octagonal, bowl with sunk
quatrefoils, stem with cusped recesses, leaf and flower
forms on splayed base and under bowl, 15th-century.
Font-cover: modern with 15th-century poppy head finial.
Hearse: with large wheels and raising mechanism, second
half 19th-century. Inscription: on angle buttresses at N.W.
corner of N. aisle, moral verse engraved by John
Brokesby, 4 February 1604. Lockers: in chancel (1), E.
wall, with pointed head, continuous dog-tooth
ornament, rebated, iron hinge-pins, possibly a reliquary,
13th-century; (2) N. wall, rectangular rebated recess,
Monuments. Floor slabs: in chancel (1), of Robert
Burdet, 1714, and another, 1725; (2), of – Burdet, wife
of David, 1699, pitch-filled inscription; (3), of M.F.,
1677; in nave (4), H.C., 1742 and P.C., 1778; in N. aisle
(5), of Robert Palmer, 1812, pitch-filled inscription; (6),
of William G-, 1724; (7), of M.C., 1684; in S. aisle (8),
1698; (9), of John Southwell, 1778 and wife; (10), of –
Southwell, 1817; (11), of Caroline Kirby, 1836, and three
other infants; (12), of William Sanderson, 179-; (13), of
Elizabeth Sanderson, 1785. Paintings: extensive but only
partly visible; in N. chapel, S. wall (1), masonry and
flower pattern, 13th-century; over chancel arch (2), a
Doom, very faint, overpainted with an overall red
lozenge pattern; in N. aisle, N. wall (3), large figure of
St. Christopher, red, 15th-century, possibly overpainting
earlier figure; also 13th-century scroll pattern; S. wall (4),
overall pattern of simulated masonry and flowers, with
later overpainting, perhaps 14th-century, showing scene
of the Three Living and Three Dead. Piscinae: in chancel
(1), S. wall, part-octagonal shelf, added to sill of first
window, octofoil sinking, perhaps 14th-century; (2), in
sill of second window, with trefoil sinking, 13th-century;
in N. chapel (3), pillar piscina, half column with
moulded base and capital, late 13th-century (Plate 41); in
S. aisle (4), single stone, pointed head with label,
projecting shelf with sexfoil sinking, 14th-century. Pulpit:
octagonal, oak, upper panels with scroll-work in shallow
relief, lower panels with shallowly carved arches and
pilasters, early 17th-century. Seating: in chancel (1), oak,
made-up bench with 17th-century panels decorated with
chip carving and semi-circles, and Victorian carved
panels; in nave (2), three pews incorporating late
medieval pew-ends; in N. aisle (3), high-backed seat
incorporating medieval moulded woodwork, with ogee
finial, possibly 17th-century. Miscellaneous: reset in desk,
tracery and linenfold oak panels, 15th and 16th-century.
(2) The School was established as a National School in
1847 by the Countess of Cardigan. It consists of a single-storey schoolroom with a classroom behind of the same
date. One original window has casements with shaped
heads and diamond panes. The porch opening has a
pointed head. The two-storey house is of later date and
may have been built in 1876 when £483 was expended
(3) Kimberley Cottage and neighbours, a row of four
two-storey, class 4c cottages, early 19th-century.
(4) Rose Cottage and neighbours, originally comprised
three 19th-century cottages similar to (3) but with
Welsh-slated roofs. Some windows retain leaded lights.
(5) The Cottage, two storeys. Welsh-slated hipped
roof, probably originally class 6, early 19th-century.
(6) The Crown Inn, two storeys, hipped roof, three-room plan, early 19th-century. It is probably the Crown
Cottage occupied in 1851 by the Meadows family, who
were carpenters and beer retailers, but by 1871 it was
called the Crown Inn (Census). Extensively modernized.
(7) A tall two-storey class 4c house of early 19th-century date with red brick stack and Welsh-slated roof;
chamfered beam and wide cooking-fireplace. The
proportions suggest conversion from a dovecote.
Fig. 97 Glapthorn (8) Manor Farm
(8) Manor Farm (Fig. 97) has a complicated building
history and retains fragments of several periods. The
earliest part consists of the lower end of a hall, possibly
dating from c. 1538 when the manor was acquired by
Thomas Lord Cromwell. Later in the 16th century it was
owned by the Brudenells of Deene, who from 1544 to
1557 let it to John Johnson, a London Merchant of the
Staple who continued to trade and farm until his
bankruptcy in 1553 (B. Winchester, Tudor Family Portrait
(1955), 92, 169–73). At the end of the century John
Brudenell almost entirely rebuilt the house, the work
being completed in 1599 (NRO, Bru. E.VI.14). The W.
part of the rear range is doubtless of this period.
Brudenell demolished the greater part of the hall,
building a new external wall containing a first-floor
window on the line of the screens. The service end was
remodelled and a new range was probably built on the
N. side of it. From 1606 to 1617 the house was occupied
by his widow and thereafter was usually let as a farm to
tenants. In the 18th century the present main range was
built on the N. replacing an earlier range, and in the 19th
century a kitchen and secondary room was built
approximately on the site of the old hall, and the
principal rooms were refitted.
The main range, of two storeys and attics, is of class
6a plan. In the rear wall is a triple-flue stack of earlier
date than the range; it is possibly part of the rebuilding
work of John Brudenell and may have belonged to the
main room of his new house. In the rear wing a central
passage has a doorway at the S. end with chamfered
jambs, now mutilated, and on the W. side are two
doorways to the former service rooms, all of the earlier
16th century; they have moulded hood moulds, four-centred heads, continuous chamfered jambs and
triangular rear arches. In the W. wall at first-floor level
are two blocked two-light windows with chamfered
mullions in ogee frames, probably of c. 1599. The range
to the E. of the passage is entirely 19th-century.
(9) One storey and attics, thatched roof, class 4b, the
entry in the gable wall now blocked, 18th-century. (Not
(10) Melton Cottage, one storey and attics, thatched
roof, class 1b, probably 17th-century. A later range to
W. of similar height and material is now a separate
tenement. (Not entered)
(11) South Farm House (Fig. 98; Plate 101), of two
storeys and formerly with a shallow bay window on the
front and a deeper one on the back has a class 1a plan. It
is of 17th-century date and was formerly thatched. The
axial beam in the W. room has a bar stop; a curved
recess in the rear wall of the middle room indicates the
former position of the stair. The room has a cross beam
with stepped stops and the E. room has an axial beam,
one end carried on a bracket resting on the mantel beam
of the fireplace.
Fig. 98 Glapthorn (11)
(12) Floral Cottage, of one storey and attics with
parapeted gables with moulded kneelers and with
thatched roof, class 1a plan, is of 17th-century date. The
attic was apparently always a store room. (Not entered)
(13) House of one storey and attics with leaded-light
casement windows and thatched roof, c. 1800. Class 4a,
but the original stair compartment, defined by stud
walls, is central in the building. The W. room originally
was almost unlit.
(14) The Old Post Office, two storeys, Welsh slate
roof, formerly a pair of class 4c cottages, now united,
early 19th-century. (Not entered)
(15) A two-storey pair of class 4c cottages with hipped
roof with overhanging eaves, second quarter 19th
century. (Not entered)
(16) The Little Manor, formerly the Royal Oak Inn, of
two storeys with large sash windows, dates in its present
form from the early 19th century but scars on its N. and
S. gables show it is an adaptation of an earlier, lower,
house. It was occupied in 1847 by John Hancock, a
farmer, who in 1851 farmed 180 acres (Kelly; Census).
Class 6 with added S. section and formerly with thatched
cellar, projecting at the rear. The building has been
modified and incorporates brick in the rear wall.
(17) A two-storey house with symmetrical elevation,
now class 8 with two parallel roofs. Mid 19th-century in
appearance but incorporating two late medieval
doorways in rear range.
(18) Churchside, two storeys, leaded-light casement
windows, perhaps originally class 4a, early 19th-century.
(19) Lower Farm, of two storeys with parapeted
gables, originated in the 17th century, perhaps as a three-room class 1a house at right-angles to the road. The N.
room with wide fireplace and cross passage survives. In
the 18th century the central room was heightened, and at
the end of the century the S. room was demolished when
a new two storey and attics front range of class 6a plan
was built parallel to the street. The staircase has turned
balusters. Externally the house was altered in the late
(20) Laburnum Cottage, a pair of two-storey, class 4a,
early 19th-century cottages. (Not entered)
(21) Hope Cottage, one storey and attics. Only the E.
room with an axial beam retains evidence of a 17th-century origin; a large stack at the W. end of this room
has been removed. The W. room was rebuilt or added in
the 19th century. A class 1b origin is possible.
(22) Shortwood (TL 014911), single storey and attics,
c. 1840, of picturesque appearance. The central entrance
porch has a four-centred headed opening, windows have
deeply chamfered surrounds and the chimney stacks are
octagonal or set diagonally. Two front rooms with larder
projection and rear wing. Presumably the gamekeeper's
house recorded in Glapthorn in 1851 (Census).