Building record 0404000000 - BUCKINGHAM PARISH CHURCH


Eighteenth century parish church of St Peter and St Paul at Buckingham, built in 1777-80 in classical style and restored in 1862 in medieval Decorated style.

Protected Status/Designation

  • Listed Building (I) 1282713: CHURCH OF ST PETER AND ST PAUL


Type and Period (1)

  • PARISH CHURCH (Built 1777-1780, 18th Century to Modern - 1777 AD to 1999 AD)


Dimensions - Length 50m, Width 29m.
Plan Form - Subrectangular.
Grade I. Church. 1777-80. Repaired, remodelled and extended, with addition of porch, chancel and chancel aisle, in late C13, geometrical style by G Gilbert Scott 1862-66. Limestone ashlar, copper roof to nave, graded slate roofs to porch, chancel and chancel aisle. Chancel, N chancel aisle, aisled nave, S porch and W tower. 3-bay chancel has 5-light window with sumptuous Geometrical tracery: large circle to head filled with 7 sexfoiled circles, central cinquefoil-headed light meeting circle, outer lights grouped in sub arches with cinquefoiled circles to head, Y-tracery and cinquefoils above trefoil-headed lights. Bottom of lights is filled by square sunk panels containing letters Alpha and Omega outermost, then Instruments of Passion and Chi-Ro symbol, with arms of St Peter and St Paul to centre. Foundation stone below inscribed THIS FOUNDATION STONE/ OF THE CHANCEL ERECTED BY/ RICHARD PLANTAGENET CAMPBELL GRENVILLE/ THIRD DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM & CHANDOS/ WAS LAID BY/ CAROLINE DUCHESS OF BUCKINGHAM & CHANDOS/ JULY 6TH 1865. In gable above, the ducal arms in large sunk panel; foliated gable cross. 2-light windows N and S with sexfoils to head, those either side of central S window in foliated circles. 2-bay chancel aisle has 3-light E windows with encircled quatrefoil and trefoils to head, and 2-light windows to N with cinquefoil-headed lights and encircled cinquefoils to head. N door has keel and roll-moulded head dying into sunk chamfered jambs. 7-bay nave with aisles under one roof has 2 tiers of windows: small paired lancets, then 2-light windows with cinquefoiled circles to heads. S door in porch has double-leaf doors with ornamental wrought-iron hinges and 2 orders of shafts. Porch has doorway with 3 orders of shafts, many-moulded head and low double-leaf wrought-iron gates. Paired niches above doorway with cusped heads and statues of St Peter and St Paul. 1-light windows to E and W sides. 2-bay roof on stone wall shafts bearing arch-braced collar trusses. Polygonal gallery stair turret to left angle with nave; 1-light windows with cusped heads, nailhead ornament to corbel table and gabled ridged stone roof with foliage bosses to gables. 3-stage tower has C19 W door with 2 orders of shafts and many-moulded head. Convex shield over door with Swan of Buckingham in relief. C19 paired lancet windows above with big nailhead ornament and blank quatrefoil to central spandrel. 2 tiers of similar, smaller windows to N and S sides. Cast-iron clock faces to middle stage, 3-light bellchamber windows with intersecting tracery and 4-centred heads, and corbel table of arches on balls. Battlement parapet with crocketed pinnacles to angles and recessed stone spire of octagonal plan with ball finial and weathervane. Tower has diagonal offset buttresses and deep hollow-chamfered string courses. Church has chamfered plinth and offset buttresses to nave, porch and chancel, those to nave and chancel with gabled tops. Similar buttresses between each bay. Buttresses have bar stop-chamfered angles, stiff leaf foliage carving to cornices and foliage bosses to gables. Solid parapets to nave pierced with quatrefoils and arcaded parapets to chancel and aisle; crocketed pinnacles to gable end of chancel. Doors and windows all have hoodmoulds with label stops of foliage and heads. INTERIOR: chancel has 2-bay arcade with shafted piers to N aisle, which houses organ chamber and vestry. Piscina with keeled and roll mouldings and cusped head. 3-seat sedilia with cinquefoil-headed arches on shafts with moulded bases and capitals. Timber lierne vault with C20 polychrome decoration. Vaulting springs from long wall shafts. Chancel arch has attached shafts and nailhead ornament to moulded capitals and dogtooth ornament to many-moulded head. Nave has 7-bay arcades. Circular piers of black fossiliferous marble alternating with limestone piers diagonally set, with attached shafts to angles. Marble piers stand on chamfered octagonal stone plinths and have moulded stone bases, mid-rings and moulded capitals, which incorporate corbels with pendant mouldings. Stone piers stand on octagonal chamfered plinths and have moulded bases, mid-rings and capitals. Double keel-moulded and chamfered arches. C19 timber quadripartite vault with ridge ribs and foliage bosses, springing from piers. Vault, probably of redwood, is ingeniously fitted below original C18 roof, which has massive timber trusses designed to give clearance to former elliptical plaster vault. Ridge rib of timber vault undulates to clear these trusses. W gallery on octagonal fossiliferous marble piers, which have moulded octagonal stone bases and capitals, chamfered and keel-moulded arches dying into octagonal stilts, and continuous hoodmould 6-panel, double-leaf doors to tower. Re-used, hollow-chamfered stone doorway with Tudor-arched head in tower leading to stair. FITTINGS: oak reredos of 1904 by John Oldrid Scott with painted panels of Nativity and angels. Prayer desks in Lady Chapel incorporating late C15/early C16 pew ends from old church with poppy heads and complex blank tracery panels. Another pew end dated 1626 now part of reading desk with coat of arms and scrollwork. Oak pulpit on tapering stone base with saints' heads in circular medallions and eagle book rest. Oak lectern with similar medallions to sides of book slope and support on lions feet with miniature buttresses. Splendid early C18 brass chandelier with 2 tiers of 9 arms and globe inscribed the GIFT OF BROWNE WILLIS ESQ member of parliament/anno domini 1705; gilded dove on top. Charity board with gilded frame dated 1685. Former altarpiece in gallery presented by Marquis of Buckingham, oil on canvas, a copy of Raphael's Transfiguration purchased in Italy. Hanoverian Royal Arms to timber gallery front of carved and painted wood. Stained-glass windows by Clayton and Bell, notably E window of 1877 depicting Te Deum. MONUMENTS: marble and brass wall monuments of early-late C19. HISTORICAL NOTE: church originally built to replace medieval parish church at other end of Church Street. Tower is largely unaltered. Nave is still structurally C18. Buttresses added after 1862 when serious cracks appeared in walls; their foundations were taken down 14ft to bedrock below medieval castle motte, on which church was constructed. Church largely paid for by Earl Temple of Stowe. Repairs and chancel paid for by his descendant, the last Duke of Buckingham. (Harrison J T: Historical Buckingham: Buckingham: 1909-: 48-51; The Victoria History of the Counties of England: A History of Buckinghamshire: London: 1925-: 487; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Buckinghamshire: London: 1960-: 73-4) (B7).
Partly on site of castle (see CASS 01755). For original church see CASS 01925.
Photographs from watching brief of plaster stripping on south wall show uniform coursed undressed limestone. Stripping also on north wall, from floor to sill level. No features of interest noted. Although supposedly rebuilt with material from the old church, no reused moulded material was visible (B8).
Watching brief by Oxford Archaeology during test pitting inside church at west end (for foundations for extension to gallery) and during service trenching (to the southeast of the church between the NE churchyard gate and the church porch) recorded make up layers, and layers of demolition and construction material associated with the clearance of the top of the castle mound and the building of the church in 1777. A compact dark greyish clay with charcoal flecks and patches of gravel and brown clay was interpreted as the make up of the castle mound (B11).
Photographic survey and architects drawings of internal arrangements at 'west' end prior to extension of the gallery (B12).
Measured drawings of part of gallery balustrade made prior to dismantling (B13).
Guide book (B14).

Sources (23)

  • ---SBC21392 Aerial Photograph: Mike Farley (BCM). 1992. Oblique AP by Mike Farley taken 1992. SP69523388. Yes.
  • ---SBC21393 Aerial Photograph: Aerofilms, Boreham Wood. 1973. Aerofilms oblique AP. SP69533379. Yes.
  • ---SBC21394 Aerial Photograph: Mike Farley. 1992. 1992 oblique AP by Mike Farley. SP69443370. Yes.
  • ---SBC21396 Aerial Photograph: Mike Farley (BCM). 1994. Oblique AP by Mike Farley, taken 1994. SP69423378. Yes.
  • ---SBC21397 Aerial Photograph: Aerofilms. 1973. Aerofilms oblique AP. SP69533392. Yes.
  • ---SBC21398 Aerial Photograph: Michael Farley. 2000. Oblique AP by Mike Farley. SP69403360. Yes.
  • ---SBC21399 Aerial Photograph: Aerofilms. 1971. Aerofilms Oblique AP. SP69443379. Yes.
  • ---SBC21400 Aerial Photograph: Aerofilms. 1971. Aerofilms Oblique AP. SP69563338. Yes.
  • ---SBC21401 Aerial Photograph: Mike Farley (BCM). 1986. 1986 oblique AP by Mike Farley. SP69503376. Yes.
  • <1>SBC7653 Bibliographic reference: LIPSCOMB 2 PP580-581.
  • <2>SBC14387 Bibliographic reference: SHEAHAN PP236-238.
  • <3>SBC13149 Bibliographic reference: RCHM BUCKS 3 P487.
  • <4>SBC15597 Bibliographic reference: VCH BUCKS 3 P487.
  • <5>SBC10450 Map: OS 1972 1:2500 MAP.
  • <6>SBC11818 Bibliographic reference: PEVSNER N 1960 BUCKINGHAMSHIRE PP73-74.
  • <7>SBC23498 Bibliographic reference: Department of National Heritage (DNH). 1994. LIST OF BUILDINGS OF SPECIAL ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC INTEREST: BUCKINGHAMSHIRE: BOROUGH OF BUCKINGHAM. pp35-37.
  • <8>SBC19665 Unpublished document: Mike Farley. 1996. FARLEY M E (BCM) JUNE 1996 CORRESPONDENCE & PHOTOS FROM SITE VISIT.
  • <9>SBC15205 Graphic material: UNSIGNED & UNDATED PLAN OF ?1777-81 CHURCH IN BRO REF: PR 26/6/6 (COPY, FILED).
  • <10>SBC19562 Unpublished document: Thames Valley Archaeological Services. 2001. Church of SS Peter and Paul, Church Hill, Buckingham: an Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment.
  • <11>SBC19598 Unpublished document: Oxford Archaeology. 2002. St Peter and St Paul's Church, Buckingham: Archaeological watching brief March 2002.
  • <12>SBC19699 Unpublished document: The Open Door Project. 2001. Photographic survey and architects drawings of internal arrangements at 'west' end of church.
  • <13>SBC20896 Graphic material: -. 2002. Measured drawings of gallery balustrades from Buckingham Church.
  • <14>SBC23162 Bibliographic reference: Warren Whyte. 2008. The History and Architecture of the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul Buckingham.


Grid reference SP 69470 33778 (point)
Civil Parish BUCKINGHAM, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • Event - Survey: Site visit (EBC1357)
  • Event - Intervention: Watching brief (EBC16040)
  • Event - Intervention: Watching brief (Ref: BUCPP 01) (EBC16041)

Record last edited

Nov 28 2023 11:41PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any questions or more information about this record? Please feel free to comment below with your name and email address. All comments are submitted to the Heritage Portal maintainers for moderation, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible. Comments, questions and answers that may be helpful to other users will be retained and displayed along with the name you supply. The email address you supply will never be displayed or shared.