Bugedene (xi cent.); Bugendena, Buggeden,
Bukeden (xiii cent.); Bokeden (xv cent.); Bugden
(until late xviii cent.).
Buckden lies on the road from Huntingdon (4 m.
north-east) to St. Neots (south-east), i.e., the London or
Great North Road, which for some distance forms its
northern boundary, and from which a road branches
here to Peterborough. It is bounded on the east by the
Ouse, a bridge over which connects it with Offord
Cluny, where there is a station on the London and
North Eastern Railway. The Kettering to Cambridge
branch of the London Midland and Scottish Railway cuts through the north of the parish, and has a
station at Buckden, about a mile north of the village.
A little south-east of the station is Vicarage Farm.
The parish lies somewhat low, the ground near the
Ouse being liable to floods, and the higher ground in
the west reaching a level of not more than 150 ft.
It has an area of 3,096 acres of land, 18 of water. The
land is arable, the soil clay and gravel, and the
subsoil Oxford clay.
Place names found: the Eymore, (fn. 1) the Checker, the
Swan House (fn. 2) (xvi cent.); Hermitage Wood (xviii
cent.). (fn. 3)
The village lies in the middle of the parish on the
Huntingdon Road, here called the High Street.
The main part of the village, however, stands along
Church Street and its continuation, Mill Street, which
lead eastward to the River Ouse and Offord Cluny.
Branching from Church Street is Silver Street, going
north to Hardwick and Hunts End, and Luck's Lane,
going south to Stirtloe House and Park, the residence
of Mr. Linton, both lanes probably taking their
names from former landowners.
The church and Buckden Palace, formerly the seat
of the Bishops of Lincoln, stand at the west end of
Church Street. It is not known how early the bishops
had a residence at Buckden, but the fact that the
manor was held in demesne in 1066 is suggestive
that it was then a residence of the bishop. There is
no doubt that by the middle of the 12th century
the bishop had a house here at which he held a court, (fn. 4)
and from this date there is ample evidence of periodical
visits of the bishops to their palace here. Bishop
Hugh de Welles (1209–35) is said to have rebuilt the
house and Bishop Robert Grosseteste (1235–52) to
have built the great hall. This house, however,
was burnt down in 1291, but was at once rebuilt,
for Thomas de Beyvill had licence in June of that year
to supply oaks from the Forest of Weybridge for
rebuilding 'the bishop's manor of Buckden, lately
burnt by misadventure.' (fn. 5)
According to Leland, Bishop Scott, alias Rotherham (1472–80), built the new red brick tower, completely altered the hall, and did much else besides,
but it is obvious that Bishop Russell (1480–1494)
finished the great brick tower, and he certainly built
the entrance gatehouse. It was probably Bishop
Smith (1496–1514) who rebuilt the chapel to half its
former size upon the western end of the earlier foundations.
Bishop Chaderton (1595–1608) let the palace go
to ruin, (fn. 6) but Bishop Williams (1621–1641) spent large
sums on the buildings, and in the grounds he formed
fishponds, gardens, which he had found 'rude, waste
and untrimmed,' and a raised walk between two
rows of trees all round the Little Park. (fn. 7) Williams fell
into disgrace with the king, and Kilvert, the Solicitor
to the Star Chamber, was sent down to Buckden and
seems to have lived here for three years 1637–1640,
doing much damage. (fn. 8) A survey taken in March and
April 1647, for the Trustees for the sale of Archbishops'
and Bishops' Lands, (fn. 9) gives a very interesting account
of the house at this time; it included a hall (65 feet
by 37½ feet) with two rows of stone pillars, partly
covered with lead and partly with stone slates, and
having a porch vaulted with stone; a small cloister;
a Great Chamber (49 ft. by 23½ ft.) with a 'round
high roof' (probably a trussed-rafter roof with a
boarded ceiling); a wainscoted chapel (22 ft. by
21 ft.) with chambers adjoining and over it; a
winter parlour; a kitchen, etc., a great brick tower
(50½ ft. by 27 ft.) four stories high called the King's
Lodging; and a gatehouse; all the above inclosed
by a moat. There was also an outer court inclosed
by a brick wall, with an outer gateway; outbuildings;
gardens and a fishpond; the Little Park with three
fishponds, and encircled by a raised path and a double
row of trees; the Great Park with Keeper's House
and about 200 deer. Towards the southern side
of the outer court stood the Chancellor's Lodging.
Thomas Winniffe, the puritan
bishop appointed in 1641 to
succeed Bishop Williams on his
translation to York, petitioning
the Protector in 1654 for payment of arrears of rent, etc.,
wrote: 'During the late wars
I was always at my house at
Bugden, in Parliament quarters,
and submitted to all the
Ordinances, and was never
charged with delinquency; I
paid taxes, and had great
charges in the quartering
of soldiers, so that without
these arrears I shall be unable
to subsist.' (fn. 10) Writing, after
the Restoration, of Bishop
Williams's work at Buckden,
Bishop Hacket asks: 'What
remains of all this cost and
beauty? All is dissipated,
defaced, pluckt to pieces to
pay the army, etc.' (fn. 11) Alderman Pack, the grantee under
the Commonwealth (1649–60), pulled down many of
the buildings. (fn. 12)
Buckden: The Manor House
The episcopal residence at Lincoln having fared
even worse, and Buckden being 'about the midst of
his diocese,' Bishop Saunderson, upon his appointment
in 1660, though finding a great part of the palace
demolished, 'and what was left standing under a
visible decay,' partly at his own expense, set about
erecting and repairing 'with great speed, care, and
charge.' (fn. 13) He apparently built a large group of rooms
in the site of the cloister, north of the Great Chamber
and westward of the chapel.
Bishop Laney, who succeeded, found Buckden
'the only place where there was a house standing
fit to receive him,' (fn. 14) and divided his days between
Buckden and Westminster. The palace remained
the favourite abode of his successors, and Bishop
Barlow (1675–91) spent so much of his time at
Buckden before his death there and burial in the same
grave as his predecessor, Bishop William Barlow, that
he was nicknamed the Bishop of Buckden. Bishop
Pretyman-Tomline (1787–1820) added a private
library with a morning room above it on the north
side of the chapel, and filled up the moat on all sides
except the west. (fn. 15) Bishop Kaye, the last bishop of
Lincoln to have this county included in his see,
resided at the palace until the transfer of Huntingdonshire to the diocese of Ely in 1837. In 1839 the
process of demolishing the palace began with about
half the main building and part of the gatehouse,
and the Great Tower was at the same time dismantled. The remaining buildings and small park
were annexed to the vicarage in 1842, and were sold
by the vicar in 1870 to James Marshall, who was
succeeded by Sir Arthur W. Marshall. It was
purchased from him by Rev. Dr. Joseph Edleston
and is now held by Mr. Robert Holmes
Bishop Kaye (1827–1853) added a turret staircase
on the north side of the Entrance Hall. (fn. 16)
In 1871 the Great Chamber and Bishop Smith's
Chapel were pulled down, a modern house was built
in the grounds, and the western part of the moat was
filled up and the bridge demolished.
The existing remains consist of the gatehouse, the
outer gateway, the boundary walls on the south and
west sides of the outer court, the walls of the great
brick tower, the walls which formed the inner side
of the moat; and the foundations of the Great Chamber, the early chapel (49 ft. by 16¾ ft.), some buildings
to the north of the gatehouse and some of those of
the Great Hall. These foundations have been exposed during the years 1921–1925 and have since
been brought up to the ground level with concrete,
while Bishop Smith's chapel has been partly rebuilt,
and the walls of the moat surmounted with a balustraded parapet.
Numerous drawings (fn. 17) and photographs of the old
buildings remain. The Great Chamber, mainly of
late 13th-century date, had on the north three
original two-light windows rather high up in the
wall (they must have been blocked up when Bishop
Saunderson built his new rooms against them, and
uncovered again when these rooms were pulled down);
on the south side was a large chimney stack between
two four-light windows with transoms, of c. 1500.
The east end had a large oriel window mostly of
wood and modern, but the stone canopy over it was
of c. 1500.
Site Plan of Buckden Palace
The west wall was very thick with a blocked doorway
in the centre.
The high-pitched roof covered with tiles and the
ancient gables with their
finials still remained, but a
floor had been inserted to provide attic bedrooms lighted
by dormer windows. A basement had been converted
Smith. Argent a cheveron sable between three roses gules.
Bishop Smith's chapel was
of brick; the east window
set in a projecting bay was
of three cinquefoiled lights
under a four-centred head
having a plain label moulding; the north wall had two
square-headed two-light windows, which must have
been blocked by Bishop Pretyman-Tomline's library,
and the south wall had a three-light window with a
four-centred head. It had a flat ceiling supported
upon heavy moulded beams; the walls were covered
with Georgian panelling, and the altar rails had
twisted balusters. Two carved poppy-heads were
incorporated in the pew-inclosures, one of them
bearing the arms of Bishop Smith—a cheveron between three roses.
Above the chapel was a chamber of contemporary
date, having a three-light window under a square
label in the east wall; a two-light and a single-light
in the north wall, and two single-lights in the south
wall, all having cinquefoiled lights under square
heads. A string-course on the gable indicates a flat,
lead-covered roof, but at some late date an attic with
a steep tiled roof had been added.
These upper rooms were approached by an octagonal turret at the south-west corner; and at some
later date a smaller turret or octagonal porch had been
built to the south of the other.
The great brick tower, or King's Lodging, had a
basement vaulted with brick and three main floors,
and was covered with a flat, lead roof. Roof and floors
have gone, but the red brick walls diapered with
simple patterns in black bricks still stand; each floor
is marked by a stone string-course, and the walls are
surmounted with embattled brick parapets with
stone copings. On the south side is a large chimney
stack having plain fireplaces in each floor. The
windows are of stone and of three lights and two
lights; the lights of the upper windows have plain
square heads, and the others have two-centred cinquefoiled heads under square labels. At each corner of the
tower are large octagonal turrets carried up one
story above the main building and finished with
embattled parapets; those at the north-east and
north-west corners are staircases, that at the southeast contained garderobes, and that at the south-west
Reproduced by permission of the Controller of H.M. Stationery Office from the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, Hunts.
The principal floor had been occupied as the king's
dining room, the northern end cut off by a screen,
the walls panelled and the ceiling supported upon
heavy moulded beams with large carved bosses at the
intersections—one of which had Bishop Russell's
rebus, a thrush or throstle with the motto 'Verus
celluy je sui,' (fn. 18) the other had the bishop's arms. The
upper stories were divided into several rooms.
At the angle between this tower and the Great
Chamber, and at the west end of the latter, was a passage and staircase, possibly erected by Bishop
Saunderson, of red brick with an embattled parapet
with three-light and two-light windows.
Bishop Saunderson's main group of rooms seems
to have consisted of an entrance hall, two living rooms,
staircase and a small open courtyard, and chambers
above; it appears to have had brick walls with threelight windows, embattled parapets and tiled roofs.
The large octagonal staircase turret built by Bishop
Kaye on the north side rose above the main parapet
and was itself embattled.
Bishop Pretyman-Tomline's library and morning
room had brick walls with sash-windows and a
hipped tile roof; there was a large chimney on the
north side, and the east end was finished with a semioctagonal bay.
The gatehouse of red bricks diapered with black
and with stone dressings has a four-centred archway
on the west, above which are
Bishop Russell's arms formed
in coloured bricks; in the
stage above is a three-light
window with two-centred
cinquefoiled heads under a
square label; the top stage
has a similar window, but of
two lights; and the whole is
surmounted with an embattled parapet. The side
facing the inner courtyard is
similar to the other.
Russell. Azure two cheverons or between three roses argent.
At the north-east corner
a square staircase turret rises one story above the
This gatehouse was flanked north and south by a
two-storied range of buildings. That on the south
still remains, and has two-light windows similar to the
others, embattled parapets and tiled roofs; the south
gable has a stepped parapet, and the bishop's arms
in coloured bricks under a crocketed ogee label.
The northern range has been pulled down, but its
foundations remain; it appears to have been very
similar to the other, but was twice as long and had an
open loggia on the east side and a large octagonal
staircase turret projecting from its north-east corner.
The room on the south side of the entrance tower
was the almonry, and the hatch still remains; the
rooms on the north side were the dairy, brewery,
etc. The upper rooms were secretaries' and registrars' rooms and offices.
The bridge was of two semicircular arches, almost
entirely of brick and with plain brick parapets.
From the north-east corner of the southern range
to the south-west turret of the great brick tower ran
a red brick embattled wall against the moat, with a
parapet-walk raised on arches on its inner side.
The outer gateway, entirely of brick, has a fourcentred arch in the east and west walls and is surmounted with an embattled parapet; there is a small
lodge on the south side. The red brick wall inclosing
the outer court at this point has, at the south-west
corner, a diagonal buttress with an ornamental top.
Some other interesting old buildings remain still,
though with alterations and additions in successive
centuries, to give Buckden something of an old-world
character. Opposite the church, and on the south side
of Church Street, is the Manor House, its main cross
wing of late 16th-century date, its north wall, fronting
the street, probably mediæval. It has 17th- and
18th-century and modern additions, and a fine 17thcentury barn. To the west of it, and east of Luck's
Lane, which here runs south out of Church Street, is
the vicarage house. A little to the west, at the
corner of Church Street and High Street, stands the
Lion Hotel, dating from c. 1500. This, though externally much altered, retains in its original state a
15th- or 16th-century hall, long used as a kitchen
but now as a lounge. Its rafters are concentrated in
a boss in the middle of the ceiling, and on the boss in
relief is a rose, with the Agnus Dei in the middle.
Across the High Street, at the opposite corner, is
the George Hotel, a fine old posting house of the
17th or 18th century, with handsome staircases and
some early 17th-century panelling. The Spread Eagle
Inn, on the west side of High Street, was built early
in the 18th century, and has in the vicinity cottages
of the same date. At the end of Mill Street are two
17th-century timber-framed and plaster houses, one
on each side of the road.
There is a moat at Buckden Wood, which lies to
the south of Top Farm. A windmill stood near the
Huntingdon Road. Diddington Brook divides the
parish from Diddington on the south.
BUCKDEN alias BUCKDEN with
cum STIRTLOW, (fn. 20) the chief of the four
manors in Toseland Hundred, in which Remigius,
Bishop of Lincoln, has already been shown to have
succeeded his English predecessor Wulfwig. (fn. 21) The
Survey records that its value had fallen from £20 to
£16 10s. There were a church, a priest, a mill, 84
acres of meadow, and woodland for pannage a league in
length and breadth. (fn. 22) Between 1155–8, Henry II
granted to Bishop Robert and the Church of St. Mary
of Lincoln 53 acres of assarts at Buckden and Spaldwick in perpetual alms. (fn. 23) King Richard in a charter
of rights of 1190 granted to the Bishops of Lincoln,
free of regard and exactions, 50 acres of old assart
and 50 acres of new assart at Buckden with the
purprestures made in the same. (fn. 24) King John in
1215 confirmed to them their woods in Buckden, (fn. 25)
and in 1227 Henry III granted them the right to have
deer-leaps in their park there. (fn. 26) In 1265 the vill
was restored by the Earl of
Gloucester to the bishop,
who was believed to have
been at one time an adherent
of Sir Simon de Montfort. (fn. 27)
View of frankpledge was
returned as held by the
bishops in their vill in 1276
and 1279, (fn. 28) and in 1284 was
claimed under King Richard's
charter. (fn. 29)
Bishopric of Lincoln. Gules two leopards or and a chief azure with Our Lady and the Child or enthroned therein.
A grant of free warren in
1329 to Bishop Henry and
his successors in their demesnes at Buckden (fn. 30) was
followed in 1330 by another of a licence for him to
add 200 acres to his park there. (fn. 31) The park was in
1354 restored to John, Bishop of Lincoln, after being
taken into the king's hands in consequence of the
action of his parker, who had driven into it the king's
deer from the forest of Weybridge and Sapley. (fn. 32)
Henry VIII appears as a visitor at Buckden, which
figures frequently in correspondence of the 16th
century for its lodgment of prisoners (including Queen
Catherine of Aragon), as well as of visitors of note. (fn. 33)
In the survey of the manor in 1535 it appears that the
demesnes were leased, and there is mention of a
mill, dovecot, and Herthey pasture; of the Great
Park and the Little Park, adjacent and annexed to
the manor, with gardens and orchards in the precincts of the manor. The manor was conveyed to the
Crown in 1547 and granted to the Protector Somerset,
but was restored to the bishopric after his attainder
in 1550. (fn. 34)
After episcopal property had been vested in 1646
in trustees for the sale of bishopric lands, the survey
of the palace already cited was made. A contract
for the purchase of the manor was entered into with
Sir John Maynard, who, however, in 1648 was discharged from all penalties for not perfecting this. (fn. 35)
In 1649 the Great Park, with tenements and lands,
was sold to Christopher Packe, citizen and alderman
of London, and his wife Anne. (fn. 36)
Buckden was again restored to the bishops of
Lincoln in 1660 and remained with them until 1858,
when it was taken over by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners by exchange. In 1862 the Commissioners
handed it over to the Bishop of Peterborough, who is
the present owner. (fn. 37)
Land in Buckden held by the family of le Breton,
de Britannia or Briton, in the 13th century, appears
to have been the origin of a manor of BRITTENS
alias BUCKDEN BRITTENS alias BRITTAINS
in Buckden and Stirtlow which
from the 16th was held of
the bishops of Lincoln as of
their manor of Buckden. (fn. 38)
In 1218 William Dacus
granted to Ralph de Bray
the homage of Geoffrey le
Breton in Buckden, (fn. 39) and in
1248 a fine was levied between Hugh and William le
Breton (Bretan) of 2 carucates of land in Buckden and
2 virgates in Grafham and
Beachampstead. (fn. 40) In 1252
Hugh le Breton conveyed to
Thomas le Breton lands in Buckden, (fn. 41) and in 1260 was
engaged in a dispute with John Russel about common
of pasture in his lands in Buckden. (fn. 42) In 1272 a fine was
levied between Stephen de Graveshende and Thomas
le Breton of a messuage 4 virgates of land and 13s. 10d.
rent in Buckden with ½ virgate in Grafham. (fn. 43) It
may have been this land which in 1376 was released
by Nicholas Grymbaud kinsman of William Grymbaud with the manor of Grymbaud in Diddington to
Nicholas Stukely. (fn. 44) In 1380 John Brunne, Richard
Hemingford, John de Stukely and others, evidently
feoffees, by deed dated at Buckden, leased to Nicholas
de Stukely and Blanche his wife, daughter of Sir
Andrew Luttrell and the heirs of their bodies, the
manors of Madingley (co. Cambs.) and Buckden, and
all the lands there of Nicholas de Stukely the elder. (fn. 45)
The manor continued to be held by the Stukelys
and was in 1477 conveyed by John Stukely and his
wife Margaret with the manors of Beaufoes and Crofts
in Beachampstead to John Broughton, junior, William
Broughton, Thomas Taylard, clerk, William Taylard,
and Thomas Burton. (fn. 46) With Grymbauds it passed
to the Taylards and, at the death in 1514 of William
Taylard, to his brother and heir Laurence, (fn. 47) these
boys being the grandchildren of William and Elizabeth
Taylard of Diddington, sons of their son Walter.
Elizabeth, then the widow of William Taylard, died in
1518. (fn. 48) Sir Laurence Taylard, kt., of Diddington, was
dealing with the manor in 1549, (fn. 49) and by the marriage
of Katherine, daughter and sole heir of his son and
heir Geoffrey, with Robert Brudenell of Diddington,
it passed to the Brudenells of Deene, co. Northampton,
who continued to hold it with Diddington. (fn. 50) William
Taylard of Upwood, second son of Sir Laurence, with
his own son and heir Laurence Taylard, covenanted
to secure possession of the manors of Buckden,
Grymbauds, Everton, Tetworth, etc., in 1574 (fn. 51) to
Robert Brudenell and Katherine. It was coupled
with Diddington in a grant
of free warren in 1616 to
Sir Thomas Brudenell, bart. (fn. 52)
In 1627, in a grant of the
recusancy of Sir Thomas
Brudenell to Francis Earl of
Rutland, a concession was
made because Robert, son
and heir of Sir Thomas, had
been held to ransom in
Flanders by the King of
Spain. (fn. 53) Thomas, created
Lord Brudenell of Stonton in
1628, and Earl of Cardigan
in 1661, his son and heir Robert, and the latter's
wife Anne, were dealing with both manors in
1656–7, (fn. 54) but in 1676 Brittens was in the hands
of George and Roger Smith, John and Robert
Peter, who made a conveyance of it to Robert
Williams. (fn. 55) A Robert Williams was holding in 1744
and his widow Ann in 1754. On the death of Ann
the manor appears to have been divided into moieties
held in 1755 by John Gray and Elizabeth Harvey.
John Gray sold his moiety in 1755 to Francis
Nailour of Offord Darcy and Elizabeth Harvey sold
her moiety to him shortly after. Francis Nailour
settled the manor in 1756 (fn. 56) and his son and heir
William Nailour, who took the name of Blundell,
sold it in 1763 to John Waller. Leonard Waller
was lord in 1778 and John Waller in 1796. Before
1815 it had been purchased by Laurence Reynolds.
From him it passed to Edward Reynolds, whose
sisters, Mrs. Irene Larsen and Miss Gwendolen
Reynolds sold it in 1920 to Mr. Robert Holmes
Edleston, the present owner. (fn. 57)
Bishopric of Peterborough. Gules two crossed keys between four crosslets fitchy or.
Brudenell. Argent a cheveron gules between three hats azure.
Licence was granted to Ralph de Quincy, Earl
of Winchester, in 1245 to inclose his wood at 'Stert,'
so that the king's wild deer could go in and out, to
assart and cultivate it, and that the grange he had
built himself there should not be taken into the hands
of the king's justices. (fn. 58) This appears to be identical
with 2 carucates in Stert in the said earl's manor of
Southoe Weston of which the earl died seised in
1270, (fn. 59) and which has been identified with Stirtlow in
Buckden. Stirtlow House was in 1768 in the occupation of — Alexander and in 1784–90 Lancelot
son of 'Capability' Brown is described as of
Stirtlow. Stirtlow House had been acquired before
1820 by Lawrence Reynolds and before 1854 by
Col. Linton and is now in the possession of Capt.
The mill in Buckden has always been of importance, and directions appear in the Inclosure Act of
1813 that nothing done was to prejudice Buckden
mills. (fn. 60) Bishop Hugh de Welles granted the monks
of Elstow a rent of 10s. from Bugden Mill, which
they retained until the Dissolution. Thomas
Williamson and his wife Dorothy conveyed a horsemill with two messuages, lands, etc., in 1561 to Henry
Williamson and his wife Florence, who were dealing
with them in that year and in 1564–5. (fn. 61) These, with
the close called Harthay, were later the subject of
Chancery proceedings instituted by Henry Williamson of Buckden against Ellen widow of James Caterall. (fn. 62)
The abbey of Sawtrey had grants of lands in Buckden
in the 13th–14th centuries. (fn. 63)
The Church of ST. MARY consists
of a chancel (40¼ ft. by 18½ ft.) with
modern organ chamber (13 ft. by 12 ft.)
and vestry (18 ft. by 10 ft.) on the north, nave (54¼ ft.
by 19¼ ft.), north aisle (10 ft. wide), south aisle (10¼ ft.
wide), west tower (14¼ ft. by 14¼ ft.) and south porch.
The walls are of rubble with stone dressings and
the roofs are covered with lead.
Although mentioned in the Domesday Survey
(1086) nothing of this date remains, the earliest existing portions being the south doorway of the nave,
which is of the early 13th century, and parts of the
chancel walls which date from the latter part of the
Apparently early in the 15th century it was contemplated to rebuild the whole church, widening it
towards the north; the east wall of the chancel was
rebuilt to suit the proposed wider church, but
evidently the scheme was changed and the earlier
north and south walls were retained, but the upper
part rebuilt and new windows formed. (fn. 64)
Meanwhile the south arcade, south aisle and west
tower were built, the latter with its axis to suit the
widened church; the north arcade, however, which
evidently followed a year or two later, was rebuilt on
its former line. (fn. 65)
The rebuilding of the north aisle no doubt followed
the completion of the north arcade.
Considerable repairs to the roofs took place in
1649 and 1665, and large buttresses were added on
the north side in the 18th century.
The church was restored in 1840, 1860 and 1884,
when the present vestry and organ chamber were
built, and again in 1909 when the seating was renewed
and the font removed to the tower.
The late 13th-century chancel reconstructed in the
15th century, all the windows being of the latter
date, has a five-light east window with transom.
The north wall has a three-light window blocked
below the transom, a 13th-century door to the vestry,
and a modern opening to the organ chamber. The
south wall has three three-light windows, a 13thcentury priest's doorway, triple-graded sedilia and a
The chancel doubtless had parapets like those of
the nave, but now has overhanging eaves.
The chancel arch is of the 15th century.
The late 15th-century roof is of low pitch with
curved braces and has angels with outstretched wings
at the feet of the intermediate principals; some of the
bosses are of the 17th century and one bears the
initials 'R.W. 1665.'
The 15th-century nave has an arcade of five bays
on each side with moulded arches of two orders
resting on slender columns formed of four grouped
shafts divided by hollows. The upper door to the
rood loft is in the S.E. corner. The clearstory,
contemporary with the arcades, has five three-light
windows on each side.
The roof, of about the same date, is of low pitch
with curved braces to the jack-legs which rest on stone
corbels carved with angels and shields, four of which
bear a cross moline, the arms of Bishop Alnwick.
The roof was much restored in the 17th century,
and one wall plate is inscribed 'I.I. - C.P. - ANNO
BUCKDEN The PARISH CHURCH of ST MARY.
Reproduced by permission of the Controller of H.M. Stationery Office from the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, Hunts.
The 15th-century north aisle has a three-light east
window now opening into the organ chamber, a small
square recess, and a shallow niche and broken piscina.
In the north wall are four three-light windows and
a plain doorway, and another three-light window is
in the west wall. The roof is of the 15th century.
The 15th century south aisle has windows similar
to those on the north, but slightly earlier and with
The east and west windows retain fragments of
contemporary glass with figures and inscriptions,
that in the east window representing a Coronation
of the Virgin, and that in the west an Annunciation. The windows are recorded to have contained
numerous shields of arms, amongst them those of
Bishop Gray. (fn. 66)
In the south wall there is also an early 13th-century
doorway reset, the door itself being of the 15th
century and formerly finely panelled with tracery in
the head, the outlines of which are still shown by the
green paint of the background; a broken piscina;
and a small door leading to the room over the porch.
The rood stairs are in the north-east corner and the
lower door opens into the aisle; there is a shallow
recess above it.
The 15th-century roof has five figures on the jacklegs, the eastern apparently St. Stephen and the rest
The 15th-century tower has an arch to the nave of
three chamfered orders, the lowest resting on attached
shafts with moulded caps and bases. The southern
buttress on the east projects into the church, but the
northern rests on the north arcade.
The west door is of two moulded orders; the west
window is a much-restored three-light, and above it is
a two-light window with a transom.
The belfry windows are coupled two-lights with
The tower is finished with an embattled parapet,
and surmounted by an octagonal spire having three
tiers of lights all on the cardinal faces.
The 15th-century south porch has a depressed fourcentred arch with crocketed label slightly turned up
at the apex, and above it is a canopied niche which
rises above the sill of the three-light window of the
chamber above. It is flanked at the angles by diagonal
buttresses carried up as crocketed pinnacles, and has
a richly panelled and embattled parapet the stringcourse of which is carved with various animals including a monkey, muzzled bear, lion, lamb, fox
stalking a goose, dog chasing a rabbit, etc.
The lower story is vaulted and has carved bosses
at the intersection of the ribs, the central boss representing an Assumption of the Virgin.
The 15th-century font is octagonal with panelled
sides, and stands on a modern stem and base.
There are five bells inscribed:—(1) S[anct]a Katherina
Ora Pro Nobis; (2) John Green Esq. and John
Waller, Churchwardens. Robt. Taylor, St. Neots,
fecit; (3) John Green Esq. and Robt. Burder, Church
wardens, 1779. Edwd. Arnold, St. Neots, fecit; (4)
Miles Graie fecit, 1654; (5) John Bardar, Michel
The treble is by Thomas Bullisdon, of London,
c. 1510; the second, by Miles Gray II, was cast at
Gamlingay; (fn. 67) and the tenor by William Haulsey, of
St. Ives. (fn. 68) In 1552 there were six bells and one
Sanctus bell. (fn. 69)
The early 17th-century octagonal pulpit is of oak
and has carved panels, styles and rails, etc., but the
stem and base are modern.
Some 16th-century foreign panels have been refixed
in the modern priests' desks.
There are the following monuments: In the
chancel, to Thomas Barlow, Bishop of Lincoln, d.
1691; John Green, Bishop of Lincoln, d. 1779;
John Hodgson, d. 1822; Louisa, wife of Colonel
Linton, d. 1847, and Colonel Linton, d. 1877; Anne
Maria, widow of Robert Gatty, d. 1852; Henry
Waller, d. 1855; the Rev. Henry Meux Roxby,
vicar, d. 1900; the Rev. John Eales Courtenay,
formerly Vicar, d. 1924; and floor slab to Robert
Sanderson, Bishop of Lincoln, d. 1662–3; and four
small brass tablets to Sarah, daughter of Dr. George
Reynolds, d. 1726; the Hon. Anna Sophia Reynolds,
d. 1737; Richard, son of Anthony Reynolds, d. 1737;
and the Hon. Sarah Reynolds, wife of Bishop Reynolds,
d. 1740. In the nave floor slabs to Sarah, wife of
John Green, d. 1778, and John Green, her son, d.
1785; John Green, d. 1793, and Margaret his wife,
d. 1834; and Robert Stuart Whitworth, d. 1831.
In the north aisle, to George Pelham, Bishop of
Lincoln, d. 1827; Robert Stuart Whitworth (formerly
Hurst), d. 1831; Margaret Mary, wife of Rev. Dr.
Maltby, formerly Bishop of Durham, d. 1868;
Catherine Frances Campion, and Charles Stuart
Campion, both died 1869; Sarah Isabella (Hurst)
relict of Titus Berry, d. 1874; and Harriet Hurst,
In the south aisle, to Mary (Harvey) wife of Rev.
Dr. Maltby, d. 1794; George Rivers Maltby, d.
1820; Augusta, dau. of Robert and Sarah Hurst, d.
1834; Frances Susan (Urquhart) wife of John George
Green, d. 1845, and John George Green, d. 1882;
and Henry Thomas Usher, killed in France, 1917.
In the churchyard, southward of the chancel, is a
table-tomb composed of panelled sides (possibly old
material reused) and a coped top, supposed to cover
the remains of the young Duke of Suffolk and his
brother who died in Buckden Palace, of the sweating
sickness, in 1551.
The registers are as follows: (i) Baptisms, marriages
and burials, 6 July 1659 to 11 March 1653–4; (ii)
baptisms, marriages and burials, 1 Oct. 1653 to 5 March
1696–7; (iii) baptisms, marriages, burials, 26 March
1697 to 26 Dec. 1768. Marriages end 20 Nov. 1753;
(iv) baptisms and burials, 26 March 1769 to 28 Sep.
1783; (v) baptisms and burials, 4 Oct. 1783 to 11 Jan.
1788; (vi) baptisms, 9 March 1788 to 31 July 1792,
and burials, 3 Feb. 1788 to 7 May 1794; (vii) baptisms,
19 Sep. 1792 to 13 Dec. 1812, and burials, 13 June
1794 to 23 Dec. 1812; (viii) the official marriage
book, 22 April 1754 to 12 Dec. 1781; (ix) the official
marriage book, 11 Dec. 1781 to 19 May 1783; (x) the
official marriage book, 11 Oct. 1783 to 17 June 1795;
(xi) the official marriage book, 4 June 1795 to 20 Oct.
The church plate consists of: A tall silver cup, hallmarked for 1607–8; a large silver cup, inscribed ✠
Donum Reverendissimi in Christo Patris Wilhelmi
Archiep: Cant: in usum Eccl. Prebend: de Buckden
✠ 1716' but hall-marked for 1679–80; a silver standing paten, inscribed '✠ Donum Reverendissimi in
Christo Patris Wilhelmi Archiep: Cant: in usum Eccl.
Prebend de Buckden. Anno Dom: 1716' but hallmarked for 1679–80; a silver standing paten, inscribed
'Ric: Reynolds Episc: Lincoln,' and hall-marked for
1745–6; a plated flagon, inscribed 'St. Mary's Church,
Buckden, Daniel Haigh, MA., Vicar, 1863.'
The prebendal church of Buckden
was taxed at £40 c. 1291, with the
pension of £2 from the parish church
of Staughton included. (fn. 70) It was taxed at 60 marks
in 1428, and the vicarage at £5. (fn. 71) A lease of the parsonage, with the pension of 40s. from the parish church
of Staughton to the parsonage of Buckden, was the
subject in 1621 of Chancery proceedings instituted by
Alice and Jane, the daughters and coheirs of Bishop
Barlow, married respectively to Sir Henry Yelverton,
kt., and Mr. Rookes. (fn. 72) The prebend, or mansionhouse of Buckden, leased in 1641 for the lives of John
Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, Griffith Williams, and
Richard Owen to Richard Owen for a yearly rent of
£18 2s. 6d., with 4 quarters of wheat and 6 of barley,
was sold in 1650 by the trustees for the sale of ecclesiastical property to Thomas Dickenson, with closes called
Parsonage Pickle, etc., in the tenure of John Williams
of Brampton. (fn. 73) The reserved rent was settled as an
augmentation for the vicarage by Act of 4 and 5
Queen Anne. The vicar's right to the above rent,
wheat, and barley from the prebend of Buckden was
safeguarded at the Act of inclosure of 1813. The
Ecclesiastical Commissioners retained the rectory. (fn. 74)
The advowson belonged until the close of the 17th
century to the prebend of Buckden, in the cathedral
church of Lincoln, annexed to the see, the king or
the bishop presenting by lapse. When the bishop in
1639 desired to keep the appointment for his domestic
chaplain, it was reported that the right of presenting
was only in the prebendary. (fn. 75) From 1713 the bishops
of Lincoln presented, and from 1875 the bishops of
Peterborough, (fn. 76) now owners of the advowson.
The tithes of Brickhouse Leyes or Leases, closes
belonging to the manor of Brittens, were in 1646 the
property of John Langland of Stirtlow. (fn. 77)
There is a Wesleyan chapel, erected in 1876; a
joint Baptist and Congregational chapel; a Gospel hall;
recreation rooms, and a rifle range. A memorial was
erected in 1920 in the churchyard to the men who
fell in the Great War.
The following charities comprise
the parochial charities, and are
regulated by a scheme of the Charity
Commissioners dated 22 June 1909:—
The Charity of William Burberry founded by will
dated 18 March 1558. The endowment of this charity
consists of land, allotments and a cottage and garden,
all in Buckden, the whole containing about 45 acres.
The land is let to various tenants for about £97 per
annum which is distributed in doles to the poor.
The Dole Charity.
The origin of this charity is
unknown. The endowment now consists of seven
rentcharges amounting to £5 12s. 4d. issuing out of
various properties in the parish. This sum is applied
with the income of South's Charity.
The Charity of James South founded by will
proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 17 May
1885. The endowment consists of the almshouses and
£1,503 19s. 5d. 2½ per cent. Consols with the Official
Trustees producing £37 12s. yearly in dividends. This
sum, together with the income of the Dole Charity,
Maltby's Charity and a yearly sum received from Burberry's Charity, is expended in payments of money to
the almspeople and in providing coal for and keeping
in repair the almshouses.
Susannah Travell by will dated 17 February 1692
gave a sum of £100, the income to be given to the poor
widows of the parish. The endowment now consists of
two closes of land at Ellington containing about 4½
acres and producing £10 per annum in rent. This
sum is distributed in doles to poor widows.
The trustees of these charities consist of four
representative trustees and two co-optative trustees appointed under the provisions of the abovementioned scheme.
The Charity of Bishop Maltby originally consisted
of a gift of £100 to the poor of the parish. The
endowment now consists of £119 14s. 7d. 2½ per cent.
Consols held by the Official Trustees producing
£2 19s. 8d. annually in dividends which are applied with
South's Charity. Under a scheme of the Charity
Commissioners dated 5 October 1909 the trustees
of the parochial charities administer this charity.
This charity consists of 6 a. 3 r. 10 p.
of meadow land and 3 r. 19 p. of garden land which are
let for £20 10s. per annum and the rent applied
towards church expenses. The churchwardens are the
trustees of the charity.