Building record 0109800000 - ALL SAINTS' CHURCH, WING


Probable mid or late Saxon minster church, with medieval alterations and additions, restored in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Protected Status/Designation

  • Listed Building (I) 1320141: CHURCH OF ALL SAINTS
  • Planning Notification Area: Saxon minster church and associated cemetery


Type and Period (4)

  • PARISH CHURCH (11th Century to Modern - 1000 AD to 1999 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) MINSTER? (7th Century to 11th Century - 600 AD? to 1099 AD?)
  • CHURCH (7th Century to 15th Century - 600 AD? to 1499 AD)
  • TOMB (16th Century - 1500 AD to 1599 AD)


Dimensions - Width 0022 Length 0036 m
Grade I. Orginally C10; nave, north aisle, chancel and crypt survive from this period. S aisle was rebuilt in C14. S porch, w tower and clerestory C15. Restored 1848-9, 1893-4, 1939-40. See detailed listing description (B15).
One of the most interesting Saxon church, for its polygonal apse, crypt and aisles (B7).
During November 2001, a watching brief was carried out during work to remove the organ from the ground floor to the replaced first floor in the western tower. The works included unblocking a doorway leading from the stair turret to the first floor. The door's outline had been visible as a depression in the wall and in the absence of quoins which were present higher up the wall above the blocking. The Tower is believed to be 15th century. The blocking material consisted of small, undressed limestone (200mm x 100mm x 230mm) with occasional pieces of local ironstone set in orangey mortar. The exposed jambs of the aperture were faced with plaster and not made from stone. An pencil or slate inscription on one of the limestone infil stones suggest a 19th century date for the blocking of the doorway (B18).
During February 2001, an informal watching brief was carried out during the excavation of a new rainwater trench around the church. Details of the footings and brick courses of the walls of the North aisle were revealed. The spoil included fragments of human bone and skulls of an adult and a child (B19).
A watching brief was carried out in July 2001 by Thames Valley Archaeological Services during the installation of new central heating pipes. Three trenches were dug and 19th century floor tiles inside the church were lifted to facilitate the work. In all areas only sandy fill and recent building rubble were noted. Historical notes suggest that the church's patron may have been Aelfgifu, who owned the Manor of Wing and who was the sister-in-law of King Edgar (reigned from AD 956 to 975) (B20).
A Glebe terrier of 1607 gives the site of the vicarage to the north of the churchyard and containing approx 1 acre and three roods (B21).
Negative watching brief during drainage trenching across churchyard in September 1999 (B22).
Reassessment of origins and importance of Wing church by Richard Gem, included in Northants Archaeology's excavation report for former school site (CAS 1090), suggests that Wing church originated as a middle Saxon minster serving a discrete local territory, but possibly subsiduary to the minster at Aylesbury. Possible Post-Conquest attempts to replace the minster with a new religious community by the grant of the church to the Abbey of St Nicholas at Angers appears to failed and the church remained as a parish church from the medieval onwards. Detailed discussion of evidence for dating construction of church and subsequent alterations proposes the following sequence: church constructed in late 7th ot 8th century with unaisled nave, two flanking porticos, crypt and apse; the apse was rebuilt in the 9th century, followed by other alterations in the 10th and 11th centuries. Post-Conquest alterations may include the addition of the aisles in the late 11th and 12th centuries and some fragments of re-used sculpture (capital and part of a font). Arches between the nave and aisle chapels were inserted in the 13th century; the aisles had new windows inserted in the mid 14th century; the south porch, tower and clerestory were added in the 15th century and the building was reroofed; the 16th century saw the first of the Dormer memorials in the north chapel. Subsequent work appears to be fairly minor re-ordering and repairs until the 19th century restorations in 1850 and 1892-3 and clearing of the crypt in 1881 (B23,B27).
Illustrated guide book (B24).
Church restored by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1850 (B26).
Crypt: in plan is apsidal with seven slightly irregular sides. Within the crypt itself the central chamber is in the shape of an elongated octagon. The walls are constructed from roughly coursed, rubble masonry with wide set mortar joints. The ambulatory is barrel vaulted.
The niche above the doorway is of 15th century date. Wethered and flaking elements were removed after photographing. The north aisle east window: the damaged mullions were photographed and extent of weathering noted before their removal. No architectural features of note were observed after removal. The north passageway can be described as representing 4 phases. Its initial contstruction, possibly in two phases. Secondly the infilling of the passageway in the medieval or early post-medieval period. Thirdly, the clearing of the crypt by G Gilbert Scott in the 1890s. The fourth phase being 20th century works including consolidation work in the 1950s (B28).
Included in Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register in 2023. Described as Priority C: Slow decay; no solution agreed; with condition described as 'poor' (B29).

Sources (29)

  • <1>SBC7782 Bibliographic reference: LIPSCOMB 3 PP527-33.
  • <2>SBC14315 Bibliographic reference: SHEAHAN P784.
  • <3>SBC13214 Article in serial: RECS OF BUCKS (VARIOUS REFS - SEE INDICES).
  • <4>SBC13117 Bibliographic reference: RCHM BUCKS 2 PP331-5.
  • <5>SBC20462 Bibliographic reference: William Page (ed). 1925. A History of Buckinghamshire (Victoria County History) Volume III. Volume 3. pp453-457.
  • <6>SBC1946 Bibliographic reference: BROWN G BALDWIN 1925 THE ARTS IN EARLY ENGLAND 2 (VARIOUS REFS, ESP P321-3).
  • <7>SBC11814 Bibliographic reference: PEVSNER N 1960 BUCKINGHAMSHIRE PP294-6.
  • <9>SBC15032 Bibliographic reference: TAYLOR H M & TAYLOR J 1965 ANGLO-SAXON ARCHITECTURE VOL 2 PP665-72 (COPY, FILED).
  • <10>SBC10751 Bibliographic reference: OS RECORD CARD SP 82 SE 5.
  • <11>SBC6867 Article in serial: E M Jope. 1984. 'THE SAXON BUILDING INDUSTRY', IN MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY 8 PP101,109.
  • <13>SBC887 Bibliographic reference: BCM ACCESSION REGISTER.
  • <14>SBC15216 Bibliographic reference: UNWIN C 1981 WING PARISH SURVEY (IN CAS FILE 2800).
  • <15>SBC19252 Bibliographic reference: DoE. 1984. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest: Buckinghamshire: Aylesbury Vale District: Parishes of Aston Abbotts &C. p52.
  • <18>SBC19484 Unpublished document: Michael Farley Archaeology. 2001. Archaeological Recording in the Tower of All Saints, Wing.
  • <19>SBC19847 Unpublished document: Steve Mitchell. 2001. The Excavations at Wing Church, Buckinghamshire, 2001.
  • <20>SBC19192 Unpublished document: Thames Valley Archaeological Services. 2001. All Saints Church, Wing, Bucks..
  • <21>SBC19033 Article in serial: Michael Reed. 1988. Buckinghamshire Glebe Terriers 1578-1640. p254.
  • <22>SBC19194 Unpublished document: Northamptonshire Archaeology. 2000. An Archaeological Watching Brief During Excavation of a Drainage Trench in All Saint's Church, Wing.
  • <23>SBC22390 Unpublished document: Northamptonshire Archaeology. 2005. Excavation of a Late Saxon - Medieval Cemetery At the site of the Former Victorian School, Wing May-June 1999.
  • <24>SBC23181 Bibliographic reference: Richard Gem. 2003. All Saints Church, Wing (Church guidebook).
  • <25>SBC23351 Article in serial: Mark Holmes & Andy Chapman (editor). 2008. 'A Middle- Late Saxon and Medieval Cemetery at Wing Church', in Recs of Bucks 48 pp61-123. Vol 48. pp65,104.
  • <26>SBC15132 Article in serial: Ian Toplis. 1975. 'SIR GILBERT SCOTT'S CLASSICAL WORK IN BUCKS', IN RECS OF BUCKS 20 PP93-99. Vol 20. p99.
  • <27>SBC24862 Article in serial: Richard Gem. 2017. 'The Anglo-Saxon Church of All Saints, Wing, From the 7th to the 11th Centuries', in Records of Bucks 57 pp95-115. Vol 57.
  • <28>SBC24892 Unpublished document: Thames Valley Archaeological Service. 2017. All Saints Church, Wing, Buckinghamshire, Building Recording.
  • <29>SBC26583 Digital archive: Historic England. 2023. Heritage at Risk Register 2023.


Grid reference SP 88030 22582 (point)
Civil Parish WING, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (6)

  • Event - Intervention: Building recording survey (Ref: ASW16/56) (EBC17923)
  • Event - Intervention: Informal watching brief carried out along the outside wall of the north aisle of Wing Church (EBC16163)
  • Event - Survey: Site visit (EBC13573)
  • Event - Intervention: Watching brief (EBC18456)
  • Event - Intervention: Watching brief during excavations of a drainage trench in All Saints Church, Wing (EBC16164)
  • Event - Intervention: Watching brief during the replacement of heating pipes within All Saints Church, Wing (EBC16165)

Record last edited

Nov 14 2023 1:51PM

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