(O.S. 6 ins. aTL 26 S.W., bTL 26 S.E., cTL 25 N.W., dTL 25 N.E.)
Croxton is a village about 13 m. W. of Cambridge
immediately to the S. of the present Cambridge to St.
Neots highway. It lies in the middle of a compact parish
of 1909 acres and is surrounded by Huntingdonshire
save that part to the E. which abuts with Eltisley. The
Abbotsley Brook forms much of the S. boundary and
the Gallow Brook part of the N. boundary. To the W.
are the decayed hamlets of Caldecote and Weald, the
last-named suggesting terrain originally well-wooded;
both are now parts of the Huntingdonshire parish of
Eynesbury Hardwicke. The relief varies between 90 ft.
and 200 ft. with drainage W. to the Ouse. The soil for
the most part is boulder clay, but Ampthill clay and
allied formations crop out in the S. towards the
Abbotsley Brook, in the immediate vicinity of which
is some river gravel and alluvium.
The lay-out of the village has been confused by re
alignments of the ridgeway which was the precursor of
the modern high road (Maurice Beresford, The Lost
Villages of England (1954), 358), and by progressive
emparking. The old track may have run from a small
triangular green, shown on the enclosure map, at N.G.
TL 253599 skirting the N. edge of the old park to another
small green in front of the Manor House (Monument
(6)) at N.G. TL 249597, and thence on or near the line
of the modern footpath to the outskirts of Weald at
about N.G. TL 232596. But by the 18th century at latest,
and probably considerably earlier, another road passing
between Croxton Park (Monument (2)) and the church
was in use, as well as the modern high road, which is
presumably at least as old as White Hall (Monument
The distribution of late mediaeval and sub-mediaeval
secular monuments (3), (4) and (6), and their relation
to the church, is consistent with a rather scattered
type of settlement of the kind to be found to the
W. in the E. confines of Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire. From the 16th century onwards the expansion of
the park enforced a series of changes. The nucleus of
this park lay N. of the main house and is likely to be as
old as the reign of Elizabeth, during which Edward
Leeds, Master of Clare, whose family were to reside at
Croxton Park for two and a half centuries, was developing the property. There was a major extension in the
early 19th century, after the open fields, already reduced
in extent, were finally enclosed by act of 1811, with
award in 1818. This extension involved the supression
of part at least of the earlier village (Monument (16)).
a(1) Parish Church of St. James stands on a knoll
150 yds. S. of Croxton Park adjoining the site of the
former village. It consists of a Chancel, Nave with Aisles
and N. Porch; and West Tower. The walls of the nave
and chancel, partly plastered externally, are predominantly of field stones ; those of the tower are of limestone
ashlar ; dressings are of clunch and freestone ; the roofs
are covered with lead and slates.
The chancel and the nave with its aisles are substantially a single build of the late 13th century, but a small
12th-century scalloped cap (see Miscellaneous below)
among the fragments built into the walls of the N.
porch indicates an earlier church. The side walls of the
nave were heightened or rebuilt and the aisles remodelled later in the middle ages. The present tower,
on an axis some 6° N.W. and S.E. of the main axis, is
of c. 1500. The fabric seems to have been considerably
embellished during the course of the 17th century,
especially during the lifetime of Edward Leeds who died
in 1679 at the age of 93 and whose initials with the date
1622 appear on the Jacobean gothic N. doorway of the
chancel. Damage or neglect during the Civil War and
Commonwealth can be inferred from the reconstruction
of the nave and aisle roofs in 1659 and from the eroded
state of the nave piers, as well as from the direct testimony of Dowsing (quoted by Cole, Add. MS. 5820,
66); judging by Cole's account this was subsequently
made good, although nothing survives of the painting
and gilding he describes. The chancel was probably
longer in the middle ages, but by Cole's day the dimensions were as at present; it was restored shortly before
1806. Further work was done to the fabric in 1869. The
S. aisle was rebuilt in 1904 and the original N. porch in
1907, re-using some stones from the former mediaeval
Architectural Description—The Chancel (15¾ ft. by 18¾ ft.)
has a modern E. window. The blocked N. doorway with
continuous moulded jambs rising to an ogee, and mutilated
label, has the initials and date 'EL 1622' incised on the head. It is
presumably an archaism of that date although the moulding is
of late 13th- or early 14th-century character. W. of it is a late
13th-century two-light window with completely restored
geometrical tracery and original shafted splays. In the S. wall
is a late mediaeval window of three cinque-foiled lights in a
four-centred head with external label. The chancel arch of two
chamfered orders is original but the moulded caps and stopped
bases have been severely mutilated; the abaci were originally
returned as short string-courses to the side walls.
Croxton, the Parish Church of St. James
The Nave (42 ft. average by 16¾ ft. ; Plate 75) has uniform
13th-century arcades, each with three arches of two chamfered
orders and octagonal piers with moulded caps and bases. The
mouldings of the caps are eroded and have been made good in
stucco; the bases of the N. arcade are higher than those on the
S. side and the abacus of the first pier on either side is circular.
Towards the nave above all four piers, except the second on the
N., are original roundels carved with octofoils or crosses. The
re-entrants between the two orders of the arches have been
filled up at the springing, probably in the 17th century, with
sloping triangular panels of plaster stamped with a circular
device, not now decipherable.
The North Aisle (10 ft. wide) has an E. window and two
windows in the side wall each of three cinque-foiled lights with
vertical tracery in a four-centred head; the splays are casementmoulded with a continuous roll at the arris which springs from
a moulded base; all three are of the 15th century, heavily
restored. There is a fourth window at the W. end, of two uncusped lights with geometrical tracery in the head, modern
externally, but the splays and rear arch may be 13th-century.
The N. doorway is of two continuous ovolo-moulded orders
and has a worn label. Immediately E. of it on the inside is a
late mediaeval doorway with continuous double-ogee jambs
and head, giving access to the lower steps of a stair for a chamber over the former porch. Below the sills of the windows,
externally, a filleted half-round string-course runs along all
three aisle walls, the added buttresses being built over it. The
aisle parapet is decorated at the corners with added 17th-century finials.
The South Aisle (10 ft. wide) was rebuilt in 1904 save for the
W. wall, but the old features were reset. The windows in the
E. and S. walls resemble those in the corresponding walls of
the N. aisle. The two-light W. window with geometrical
tracery in the head retains little old stone on the outside but its
shafted splays and stilted rear arch are 13th-century. The 13th-century blocked S. doorway is of two continuous moulded
orders with a mutilated label, hollow-chamfered splays and
continuous depressed rear arch. Externally a string, similar to
that on the N. side, runs round the aisle.
The West Tower (11¾ ft. square; Plate 65) is divided by
string-courses into three stages, in addition to the basement
and plinth; that between the basement and the first stage is
enriched with paterae including fleurs-de-lis, lions, portcullises
and similar badges. Buttresses set back somewhat from the
angles rise as far as the top stage. These and other features are
original unless otherwise described. The W. doorway has
moulded jambs with square outer and four-centred inner head ;
it has a moulded label and the spandrels are carved with Tudor
roses and leaves. The three-light W. window has vertical
tracery in the head with a moulded label returned on itself to
form a hexagonal stop. In the middle stage, except to the E.,
there is a narrow delicately cusped round-headed window in
each face. The belfry is lit by windows with two cinque-foiled
lights. The embattled parapet has a string course enriched with
paterae, gargoyles in the middle of each side and pinnacles,
with added 17th-century vanes, now incomplete, at the angles.
The tower arch is of three chamfered orders, the innermost
carried on semi-octagonal shafts with moulded caps enriched
with Tudor roses, and moulded bases, and the outermost order
to the W. dying against the side walls; the remaining orders
are continuous, but with the two outermost orders to the E.
moulded above the springing. Across the S.W. corner of the
tower is a doorway leading to the vice which extends as far
as the bell chamber, the doorway to which has been removed,
leaving a rough opening.
The Roofs of the nave and aisles were probably all reconstructed in 1659, this date prefixed by the letters 'TST' being
carved on the fourth of five tie beams framing the four-bay
roof of the nave. At its corners are four large reset carved and
painted angels with arms of Leeds impaling four unidentified
Fittings— Armour: loose in N. aisle (1) breast-plate, back
plate and pot helmet, mid 17th-century; (2) shako, early 19th-century. Bells: six; 1st, with initial cross, inscribed 'venite et
audite omnes qui timetis deum. Leeds 1687. Tobie Norris cast
me'; 2nd by J. Eayre of St. Neots 1761; 3rd and 4th by R.
Taylor of St. Neots 1804; 5th, with initial cross and fleur-de-lis
stops, inscribed in Lombardic capitals, except for the second
'T' which is in Roman, 'sit. nomen . domini . benedictum';
6th inscribed 'cum cano busta mori cum pulpita vivere disce
1624'. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: Incorporated in monument
(3) are: (a) small figure in academic gown; (b) memorial
inscription plate to Edward Leeds d. 1589; (c) plate inscribed
'Redemptor meus vivit, etc.' (Job xix, 25–7). Indents: In
chancel—(1) for a priest and inscription plate; according to
an inscription, now much worn, cut on the ledger by John
Leeds, Rector in 1680, the indent is for a brass of John Greene,
Rector, c. 1530; (2) for figure and inscription plate, mid or
late 16th-century. In nave (3) for inscription plate, reused as
floor slab (see Floor slab (4)). Clock (Plate 21): in original
wooden frame with turned stiles; installed, according to the
Churchwardens' accounts, in 1682 at a cost of £14. Coffin lids:
see Miscellaneous below. Communion table: with turned legs
and shaped brackets to top rail; 17th-century, restored. Door:
to N. aisle, of planks with applied moulded battens, 17th-century; in the head, which has a moulded and embattled
frame, is a reset renaissance carving of the Virgin and Child
against a semicircular gadrooned background, also reset.
Font (Plate 5): 13th-century octagonal bowl on a later
mediaeval part-octagonal pedestal the E. side of which is
prolonged to attach the font to the W. side of the second
pier on the S. side; mediaeval foot-pace. Glass: late mediaeval
fragments in S. window of the chancel and W. windows of the
N. aisle and tower. In the first window in the S. aisle wall are
further similar fragments and others of renaissance character;
they include (a) female head with jewelled head-dress, 15th- or 16th-century; and (b) roundel depicting the death of Ananias, mid or late 16th-century.
Monuments and Floor slabs: Monuments: In chancel—on E.
wall (1) of John Leeds, Rector, 1704, black marble tablet on
clunch backing crowned by a cartouche of arms, with gadrooned apron enriched with swags and cherubs; on N. wall (2)
of Edward Leeds, 1679, and Martha, his wife, 1672, wall
monument erected by William Leeds, 1683, black marble
inscription tablet in painted stone surround consisting of cornice and cartouche of arms with crest between flaming urns,
scrolled side pieces and apron carved with skull and bones
between cherub heads; (3) of Thomas Kidd, Rector, 1850,
Elizabeth, his wife, 1862, and Georgiana, their daughter, 1836,
wall monument; in S.E. corner (4) of Edward Leeds (Plate 82),
1589, table-tomb with canopy in enriched Ionic, of clunch with
traces of gilding. The free N. side and W. end of the tomb chest
have attached balusters and its top carries a brass of three components (see Brasses). The canopy has a pulvinated frieze
enriched with strapwork and dentil cornice, and its soffit is
panelled with strapwork; obelisks above the cornice are now
incomplete. Above the tomb chest in the S. wall, a clunch
tablet with enriched frame is inscribed in bold capitals 'homo
natus muliere, etc.' (Job xiv, 1 and 2); on S. wall (5) of
Samuel Newton, 1848, by Northern; (6) of William Sanderson, Rector, 1814, by Tomson of Cambridge. In S. aisle—on
S. wall (7) of Thomas Newton, 1847, by Northern; (8) of
Frances Jane Newton, 1829, with female mourner leaning on
urn, by T. Tomson of Cambridge; (9) of Charlotte Newton,
1840, by Wiles of Cambridge; (10) of George Newton, 1837,
by Swinton of Cambridge; (11) of Elizabeth Leeds, 1812; (12)
of Maria, wife of Sir George William Leeds, Bart., 1817,
signed 'Crake Portland Road London'. (5) to (12) are all
wall monuments. In churchyard, on N. side (13) of Rev.
Thomas Kidd, Rector, 1850 (see Miscellaneous). Floor slabs:
In chancel—(1) of Rev. Thomas Howes, Rector, 1743;
(2) of Edward Leeds, 1803, and Joseph Leeds, 1808. In nave—
(3) of William Leeds, 1690, with achievement of arms; (4) of
Anthony Leeds, 1676, inscription cut on reused brass indent
(see Indent (3)); (5) of Elizabeth Leeds (King), 1697, with lozenge of arms; (6) of Edward Leeds, 1704, with achievement
of arms. In S. aisle—(7) of Frances Jane Newton, 1829; George
Newton, 1837; Charlotte Newton, 1840; Thomas Newton,
1847; and of Samuel Newton, 1848.
Panelling: at W. end of N. aisle wall, a short length of runthrough panelled dado having frieze enriched with incised leaf
scroll; 17th-century. Piscina: at E. end of S. aisle wall, having
continuous hollow-chamfered jambs and head, with circular
drain; 13th-century reset. Plate: includes an inscribed paten,
London 1705; and a set of vessels, all plated, presented in 1843.
Pulpit: hexagonal, each closed side consisting of one large
fielded panel; late 18th-century. Scratchings: a number, of the
mid 17th and 18th centuries, include on the rear arch of the S.
window in the ringing chamber of the tower several foot
soldiers, of which the most complete is uniformed as a
grenadier (Plate 22); late 17th-century. Screens (Plate 75):
Enclosing the E. halves of both aisles, symmetrically placed
and, minor variations such as tracery apart, of uniform design.
The W. ends are in six bays, including the entrances which
occupy the second and third bays counting from the nave.
The sides are in two lengths: six bays under the first arch of
the arcade, and an additional two bays W. of the first pier.
The screens are divided into two heights by moulded rails
with solid panels below enriched with applied window forms
and open lights above, with vertical tracery beneath a moulded
top rail. The moulded uprights have buttresses worked on
their outer faces; some of these towards the nave rise off the
tops of the adjacent seating instead of at the ground sill,
indicating that the screens and the seating were designed and
installed together (see Seating); 15th-century save for the
doors and some pieces of 17th-century woodwork placed
above the top rail (see Miscellaneous). Seating: In five blocks,
four in the nave and one in the W. half of the N. aisle. The
front blocks in the nave are framed, at some points rather
ineptly, into the adjacent screens (see Screens). The backs and
fronts either side of the cross aisle are divided into panels
enriched with applied double-cusped trefoil heads by buttress
uprights; the square ends of the corresponding desks and
benches are similar, but the remaining ends have no applied
tracery. The backs of the W. blocks are made up with reused
16th-century material including carved pedestals, perhaps for
columns supporting a former gallery, and there has been
some restoration throughout; otherwise 15th-century. Miscellaneous: Incorporated in N. porch is a quantity of reused
stonework taken from a buttress during the alterations of
1907, including the cap of a small 12th-century respond and
small pieces of mediaeval coffin lids. Placed on the screens
in the aisles are several items of 17th-century woodwork
and plasterwork including carved finials, foliated brackets,
etc. In churchyard on N. side is a stone cross made up of
late mediaeval fragments supplemented by modern material.
These are no doubt from the collection stated by Cole to have
been made in the 18th century by 'ye late Mr. Leeds' (B.M.
Add. MS. 5820, 66). Old features include a square plinth,
sculptured octagonal base, much eroded, and a tabernacle
head, drilled for protecting grille, with carvings in a gabled
canopy on each of four faces: N., St. Anthony with T cross
and a pig at his feet; E., St. Michael weighing souls; S.,
Bishop with crozier trampling a dragon; W., Crucifixion. On
the E. side of the modern shaft is a memorial plate to Thomas
Kidd, Rector, 1850 (see Monument (13)); a corresponding plate
on the W. side is engraved with the names and dates of earlier
(2) Croxton Park (Plates 66, 67) consists of a house
with gardens and park.
The House, 150 yds. N. of the church, is of three
storeys with brick walls and slated roofs. It was rebuilt
by Edward Leeds, died 1803, in place of an E-shaped
house shown in a painting at Croxton (Plate 67), which
was erected by his ancestor, Dr. Edward Leeds, died
1589, some time after the last-named purchased the
property in 1573. The new house was presumably
complete by 1761, the date on two rainwater heads on
the S. front. The elevations are in general of c. 1761,
but the plan and certain irregularities in the walling
suggest that the earlier building may not have been completely demolished. A later W. wing incorporates some
outbuildings of 18th-century origin.
The S. front has a slightly recessed centre-piece of five bays,
and wings of two bays each, with sash windows under flat
arches, stone platband at first-floor level and moulded cornice
below a parapet. The heads of two lead down-pipes are inscribed 'EL' and '1761'. The cast-iron Ionic portico of five
bays is 19th-century. The N. front is similar to the S. front in
style but the centre-piece, which is of three bays, with central
front door and pediment breaking the parapet, projects a little
in front of the three-bay wings.
The interior includes much detail of 18th-century character,
much of it modern reproduction, while genuine features include some which may not be in situ.
Croxton Park, Monument No. 2
The entrance hall and adjoining stair hall have diagonal
stone pavements diapered with small black sets. The early
19th-century main staircase rises in two flights on adjacent sides
of the well to a railed landing at first-floor level; it has square
balusters, turned newels, cut string and a moulded rail ramped
at the turn. A secondary staircase, of c. 1760, rises the full height
of the house. It has turned balusters and newels with cut string
and ramped moulded rail. The drawing room occupies the full
width of the house at its E. end and has been formed by removing a party wall between two smaller rooms. The fireplace surround in the S. half is of c. 1830; that to the N., of
white marble, 18th-century, with side volutes and a central
panel carved with a lion and putti, is an importation. Immediately W. of the entrance hall is a small boudoir decorated in
mid 19th-century Pompeian manner. Some rooms in the W.
wing are fitted with various panelling of c. 1600 reset and augmented. The smoking room has a carved overmantel with an
architectural design based on three arched panels of the same
date, and likewise reset.
Croxton, Monument No. 6
Immediately N.N.E. of the house is an oblong Kitchen
garden of about one acre, enclosed and divided into two unequal parts by high walls of 18th-century red brick. The Park,
which is probably of 16th-century or earlier origin, was extended and landscaped after the general enclosure. The 'Fish
Pond', an ornamental water of some three acres, formed to the
S.E. of the house by damming a small stream which rises in the
vicinity and flows to the S.W., the North Lodge, icehouse,
stables, gamekeeper's cottage, etc., are all of the 19th century.
d(3) Manor Farm (Plate 99), two-storeyed, framed and
plastered, with underbuilding and additions in various brick,
and roofs of tile and slate, is substantially of the 16th century.
It consists of a two-bay main E. and W. range and two-bay
W. cross wing. An 18th-century kitchen block has been
attached to the N. side of the main range, and an original E.
wing or E. continuation of the main range has been replaced
by a 19th-century addition.
The W. cross wing, which has a plinth of reused ashlar, is
jettied to the W. and S. but the overhang is largely masked by
underbuilding and lean-to additions. There is a second overhang at the base of the S. gable.
Inside, the W. wing had originally on the ground floor a
single room divided into four bays by intersecting ceiling
beams with stopped double-ogee mouldings. A chamfered
dragon beam supports the upper storey at its S.W. corner. The
ground floor of the main range is also divided into four bays
by moulded and stopped intersecting beams, the cross beam
having a wide chamfer between two rolls and the axial secondaries a hollow between two rolls. Upstairs are several exposed
tie beams which have or had braces to the posts. Both bed-rooms in the W. wing have ogee-moulded axial ceiling beams.
c(4) Westbury Farm comprises a house and buildings. The
site was probably once moated (see Monument (17)).
The House, two storeys, consists of a late mediaeval framed
N. and S. range cased in red and white brick, with 18th- and
19th-century brick-built additions on its W. side. The roofs are
hipped and tile-covered.
The mediaeval range is divided by original roof trusses into
five unequal bays. It was originally a hall open to the roof but
has been curtailed to the S. and floored, probably in the 16th
or 17th century when the existing chimney of carstone was
inserted. A lean-to at the N. end may represent an original
The first and fourth roof trusses are similar in construction,
with braces from the lower ends of the main rafters to the
collars, and scissor bracing above notched into the collars and
rafters (Plate 40). The first truss has in addition a tie beam
above which it is closed with vertical framing. N. of it is a
small loft floored at eaves level, with a jettied gable. The second
and third trusses (the last considerably mutilated by the insertion of the later chimney) were originally closed above the tie
beams by vertical framing fitted into upper and lower collars.
These closures evidently formed the long sides of a hood,
presumably terminating in a louvre, which does not appear to
have extended below the ties. The inside of the hood where
visible, including a 'bacon beam' framed into the W. top
plate, is heavily smoke-blackened.
Surviving timbers below eaves level include some main posts
and horizontal members, among them what appears to be the
middle rail of a partition below the first truss; four heavy
arched braces to the tie beams of the second and third trusses
are also exposed. Otherwise the framing has been almost
entirely masked or removed.
The Buildings include a rectangular pigeon house 50 yds. E.
of the farmhouse, originally framed, but rebuilt in the early
18th century in red brick with nesting boxes of the same
c(5) House, of two storeys, framed and plastered, with later
brickwork and rough-cast, tiled roof, originated as an internalchimney house of the first half of the 17th century. It was remodelled as a lodge, apparently when the park was extended
in the early 19th century, by curtailing it to the E. and adding
a N. outshut. The W. end is original, with jettied gable and
shallow wooden first-floor oriel (Plate 38), roofed in tile,
divided on the face into three lights by ovolo-moulded
mullions. The main room on the ground floor has a stop-chamfered ceiling beam.
c(6) Manor House (Class B; Plate 80), facing N. on to a
small green, framed and plastered, with some 17th-century
and later under-building in brick, especially to the E. and S.,
and tiled roofs, is a well preserved late mediaeval example of a
hall with cross wings. It was remodelled in the 17th century
or early 18th century when a floor and W. chimney, with
stack of four conjoined diagonal shafts in line across the ridge,
were inserted in the hall and some of the upper rooms ceiled.
The details described below are original unless the contrary is
stated or implied.
Externally the openings in general are modern but much of
the frame is exposed to the N. and W. The two-bay hall range
has a N. elevation divided into two heights of vertical framing
by middle rails which frame into the N. post of the centre truss
and are covered by an applied moulded fascia. Below the rail
and E. of the post is an area without studs corresponding to the
main hall window; its lateral extent is indicated by the absence
of peg holes along the lower edge of the rail. There is similar
evidence for two small top lights at the eaves which have been
replaced by modern windows. The ground stage of the N.
gable end of the E. wing has been rebuilt in brick flush with the
jettied upper wall which is of exposed framing of comparatively light scantling with modern external down braces. The
modern upper window replaces an original feature. The
corresponding gable end of the W. wing has the frame exposed on the ground floor but is plastered above the jetty. The
two modern windows replace original features; the lower one
appears to have been a shallow oriel.
The W. elevation is in three unequal bays and two heights,
with vertical framing which is down-braced externally in the
S. bay. On the ground floor original windows in the middle
and S. bays have been replaced by a modern window and a
door. Above, in the middle and S. bays at the eaves are two
original blocked windows each divided into three lights by
Croxton, Monument No. 6
The framework on the E. and S. sides is nowhere visible.
The S. end of the E. cross wing is faced in late 17th-century
or 18th-century brick and has a gable parapet with moulded
Inside the hall the main truss has a cambered and stop-chamfered tie beam with impressively wide braces, each of two
boards, to the main posts. The heavier end rafters are hollow-chamfered and the wall plates are moulded internally to form a
coved cornice. The passage across the main range at its E. end
is on the site of the screens. An axial stop-chamfered ceiling
beam supports the inserted first floor.
The E. cross wing is in four bays and has a roof of cambered
tie beams with arched braces to the wall posts, crown posts
braced to chamfered collar purlins, and a collar to each pair of
rafters. It has been curtailed at the S. end by a brick chimney.
The wing is divided on the ground floor by an original stair
whose lower treads are solid but have been repositioned. The
room to the N. was originally divided. A partition on the S.
side of the stair rises the full height of the wing and divides
the upper floor into two rooms. The party wall between the
cross wing and hall has the remains of four-centred wooden
doorways either side of the W. post of the first truss; that to
the S., though blocked, is intact. The kitchen is ceiled at first-floor level and has a chamfered cross beam which formerly had
arched braces to the main posts.
The W. cross wing, accommodating the solar, is of three
bays with a partition of full height between the second and
third bay. The larger, N., room on the ground floor has a
moulded cross beam. The party wall between it and the back
room has a doorway at its E. end, masked by modern wallpaper, having moulded jambs and four-centred head with
sunk spandrels. The upper rooms have stop-chamfered axial
beams introduced when they were ceiled at eaves level in the
17th or early 18th century, but the larger room retains its
stop-chamfered tie beam, arch-braced to the wall posts. A
length of original moulded fascia has been reset above the
c(7) The Downs (Class U, but with service quarters forming
a virtually detached additional building), two-storeyed, of
white brick with hipped slate roofs, post dates the enclosure
map of 1811 and stands on the W. side of a green at the
junction of what is now the village street with the highway.
Though subsequently altered, the house is a pleasing example
of its period and type with some distinctive features.
a(8) White Hall, two storeys, of red brick with hipped tiled
roofs, was built during the first half of the 18th century at the
N.E. angle of a cross road formed by the Cambridge to St.
Neots highway and a minor N. and S. road. The design is
intermediate between Class J and Class L, and consists of a
main range facing S. to the road, of three rooms on each floor
with an internal chimney between the first and second rooms,
and a short wide rear wing, behind the third and overlapping
the second room, with a second internal chimney at the junction. The S. front, with first-floor platband and dentilled eaves
cornice, was originally in five bays with front door against the
chimney in the main range, but has been modified. N. and W.
of the house are later farm buildings.
d(9) Rectory (N.G. TL 26365982), two-storeyed, of white
brick with slate roof, originally consisted of a single E. and
W. range with service outshuts on the N. side. It was described
as 'a new parsonage house' in 1825. The S. elevation, in three
bays, has casement doors on to the garden and sash windows
d(10) Hill Farm (N.G. TL 25275779), on an L-shaped plan,
two-storeyed, of red brick, with hipped roof now covered
with asbestos tiles, was built in the first half of the 19th century.
The dwelling is derelict and the farm buildings ruinous.
c(11) Meadow Farm (N.G. TL 23945789), of lath and plaster,
with hipped tiled roofs, is an estate farmhouse built subsequent
to the general enclosure. The design is an individual one consisting of a main block with two rooms on each floor and a
central chimney, flanked by lower transeptal wings of a single
storey with half attics. Most of the farm buildings have been
c(12–15) Houses are of 17th- or 18th-century date or origin,
of Classes I and J, framed save for brick replacement, with
thatched roofs. Monument (14) has an original diagonal shafted
d(16) Village remains (around N.G. TL 253593; not on O.S.;
Plate 66). The site of the E. part of the former village of
Croxton lies S. and E. of Croxton Park. The ground slopes S.
to the valley of a small stream running S.W., now occupied by
the so-called 'Fish Pond'. The principal remains are two N.
and S. hollow-ways, with enclosures beside the E. hollow-way;
secondary remains lie scattered to the N.
On the enclosure map of Croxton (C.R.O. and Croxton
Park), dated 1811, the whole area including the ground now
covered by the 'Fish Pond' is shown occupied by a number of
houses and their gardens, and both the hollow-ways described
below appear as streets. These houses must have been removed
in the first half of the 19th century when the park was enlarged
and the 'Fish Pond' constructed. The ground remains indicate
that there had been more houses on the site than those shown
on this map. It may be inferred that, as at Wimpole, enclosure
and emparking merely completed a process of gradual desertion.
(a) the W. hollow-way lies 200 ft. W. of the church. It is
250 yds. long, 40 ft. wide, 2 ft. to 4 ft. deep and 15 ft. to 20 ft.
wide across the bottom. It separates ridge and furrow on the
W. from the village site on the E.
(b) the E. hollow-way, parallel to the W. one and 500 ft.
from it, is 500 ft. long, 53 ft. wide, 8 ft. deep and 33 ft. across
the bottom. At its S. end it runs into the 'Fish Pond'. Along the
E. side of this hollow-way are the remains of three closes,
bounded by banks, ditches and scarps; they are about 120 ft.
E. to W. and the middle one, which alone is complete, is
100 ft. N. to S.
The secondary remains include a rectangular platform at
N.G. TL 25385944 about 150 ft. square and 9 ins. to 1 ft. high,
with a ditch 6 ft. wide and 9 ins. high outside it; to the N. of it
is some very disturbed ground. At N.G. TL 25355960 is more
disturbed ground with a second rectangular platform 100 ft.
by 50 ft. on the N. There is further disturbance at N.G. TL
c(17) Moated site (Class A1 (b); N.G. TL 246594), being that
of the manor of Westbury (Feet of Fines, Cambs., 20 Edward
III, 13, in C.A.S. Publs. XXVI (1891), 109). A stretch of wet
ditch 408 ft. long, 30 ft. to 40 ft. wide and 3 ft. deep, may be
the surviving N. side of a large rectangular moat around
Westbury Farm (Monument (4)). Its W. side, now only
marked by a depression 40 ft. to 60 ft. wide and 3 ft. to 4 ft.
deep, is shown complete on the O.S. drawings of 1808; there
is no sign of S. or E. sides. E. of the farm buildings is an L-shaped pond with arms 80 ft. to 96 ft. long, 22 ft. to 38 ft.
wide and 2 ft. to 3 ft. deep, which is possibly the remains of a
small inner moat, though this is unlikely.
d(18) Garden remains (?) (N.G. TL 251594; not on O.S.;
Plate 66), perhaps 16th- or 17th-century, on flat ground 500 ft.
W.N.W. of Croxton Park, but not aligned on it. They may
be those noted and sketched by an unidentified traveller,
c. 1750 (B.M. Stowe MS. 1025, 37). The remains consist of a
circular enclosure and a pond. The enclosure is 165 ft. in
diameter with a ditch 50 ft. wide and 6 ins. to 9 ins. deep. The
pond, now dry, lies 30 ft. away to the W. of and below the
enclosure; it is 260 ft. in length N.N.E. to S.S.W., 30 ft. to
35 ft. wide and 3 ft. deep. On the E. is a partly natural scarp
2 ft. high, and on the W. a bank 32 ft. wide and 2 ft. high. The
N. end of the pond is cupped and the S. end partly cupped but
broken on the W. by a ditch 70 ft. long, 12 ft. wide and 2 ft.
deep, continuing the line of the pond but fading out 20 ft. N.
of the drive. From the ends of the pond slight ditches 25 ft. to
30 ft. wide and 9 ins. deep run E. and curve concentrically
with the circular enclosure 30 ft. to 40 ft. outside it.
(19) Cultivation remains (not on O.S.) consist of ridge and
furrow, partly in old enclosures and partly of open-field type.
Ridge and furrow, at one time in old enclosures to the E. of the
former village (Monument (16)) and separated from it by a
bank 5 ft. to 7 ft. wide and 1½ ft. high, is 60 yds. to 80 yds.
long, 7 yds. to 11 yds. wide and 6 ins. to 1 ft. high, with
headlands of 10 yds. to 12 yds. Similar ridge and furrow, 140
yds. long, lies N. of the Cambridge to St. Neots road around
N.G. TL 246601; this area was formerly all old enclosures, but
this is all that now remains. There are extensive remains of
ridge and furrow in straight and curved furlongs belonging to
open fields all over the park and in plantations around it. The
ridges are 70 yds. to 260 yds. long, 7 yds. to 12 yds. wide
and 6 ins. to 1 ft. high.
Traces of curved furlongs of open-field ridge and furrow
can be seen on air photographs in the S. of the parish especially
around N.G. TL 250580. The three open fields in 1811 were
'Meadow', 'Hill', and 'Woodway' Fields.
(Ref: enclosure map 1811 (C.R.O. and Croxton Park); map
of 1826 (Croxton Park); air photographs: 106G/UK/1490/3226–
8, 4193–6; St. Joseph PN78–80.)