After the Saxons had converted to Christianity they started to build churches. The earliest church in Buckinghamshire is All Saints' in Wing. It is thought that this church may have been built as early as the seventh century AD.
The impact of the church
The church is often now the only surviving medieval building in a village or town. It would still have stood out in the medieval period. Houses were built very differently and less permanently than churches. The positioning of churches is also a clue as to their importance in the village. When you have found your village or town's church on Buckinghamshire's Heritage Portal, look at the map of your area. You can print this map out.
Your church will probably have a churchyard, but how close are other buildings to the boundary of the churchyard? Is the church in a large space, so that it stands out? Sometimes churches were built on high spots inside the village to make them more prominent, such as St Peter and St Paul's church at Ellesborough. How big are the surrounding houses? Often churches are the biggest buildings in a village because the wealth of everyone in the village was put into the church to show how religious they were. On other occasions the church was very close to the manor house, such as at St Michael's, Chenies.
Sometimes the main focus of the town or village has moved away from the church, so that it is separate. In these cases, you can often see lumps and bumps in the ground where the original village was closer to the church, such as at All Saints', Little Kimble.
What about the church in your village or town? What date is it? Do a search on Buckinghamshire's Heritage Portal to find out. Are there pictures of your church on the website? Print these out.
Go back to find more Changes in the landscape.