Croxton

Sponsor

English Heritage

Publication

Year published

1968

Supporting documents

Pages

63-71

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Croxton', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire, Volume 1: West Cambridgshire (1968), pp. 63-71. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=128746 Date accessed: 30 July 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

12 CROXTON

(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 (8)).

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)).

Ecclesiastical

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 entrance.


Croxton

Croxton

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

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 coats.

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 incumbents.

Secular

(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

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

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 feature.

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 material.

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 diagonal mullions.


Croxton, Monument No. 6

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 kneelers.

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 fireplace.

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 above.

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 demolished.

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 chimney stack.

Earthworks

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 25385975.

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.)



<--Previous:
Coton
Next:-->
Croydon