An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 1, South. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1912.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
91. UPPER WINCHENDON.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxvii. S.E. (b)xxviii. S.W.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene, about 1½ miles S. of Waddesdon Church, is built of limestone rubble, except the tower, which is of rough ashlar. The roofs are tiled. The N. arcade of the Nave is probably of the 12th century, but is covered so thickly with plaster that the exact date is uncertain. The S. wall of the nave was re-built c. 1150, and c. 1200 the Chancel was re-built in its present form; c. 1340 the North Aisle was re-built and the South Porch added. The West Tower was built early in the 15th century, and windows were inserted in the nave late in the same century. The church was restored and re-roofed in the 19th century.
The church is of especial interest, as it contains a 14th-century pulpit of wood, an example of unusually early date (see Plate, p. 300); the 16th-century brass of an Austin canon is also noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (24 ft. by 14½ ft.) has, in the E. wall, two lancet windows of c. 1200, with jambs rebated inside and semi-circular rear arches; there are three similar windows in the N. wall and three in the S. wall; the splay of the westernmost window in the S. wall has been roughly cut down, and below the sill are the remains of a low-side window with a square head; E. of it is a small doorway of c. 1200, now blocked. At the W. end of the N. wall is the opening of a squint from the aisle. An internal string-course of varying profile, but apparently entirely of c. 1200, is carried round all the walls. The chancel arch, also of c. 1200, is two-centred and of one order, slightly chamfered on the W. side; the jambs are square, with moulded abaci, much restored. The Nave (41 ft. by 16½ ft.) has a N. arcade, probably of the 12th century; it is of three bays with semi-circular arches of one square order, and plain rectangular piers and responds; there are no bases or abaci, but the arches are slightly offset from the E. and W. faces of the piers, possibly to give a support for centring; the whole arcade is covered heavily with plaster; the E. respond is pierced by the upper doorway to the rood-loft. The S. wall has, at the E. end, a pointed recess, in which is a small round-headed window, both apparently of late 12th-century date; further W. are two late 15th-century windows, each of three cinque-foiled lights, under a square head, with moulded external reveals and internal splays; the rear arches are modern; between the windows is the S. doorway of c. 1150, with a semi-circular moulded head of two orders, and shafted jambs; one of the shafts is decorated with lozenges, the other is twisted, and both have multi-scalloped capitals. The North Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has a 14th-century E. window of three trefoiled lights, with tracery of crude design, possibly re-set or made up of old material, under a two-centred head. In the N. wall are two 14th-century windows, each of two trefoiled lights, under a pointed head; the eastern window has flowing tracery and an external label; the western window has a quatrefoil in the head; between the windows is the N. doorway, also of the 14th century, and of two continuously moulded orders. In the W. wall is a 14th-century window similar to the western window in the N. wall. The West Tower (11 ft. by 9 ft.) is of two stages, with diagonal W. buttresses and an embattled parapet; the ground stage is unusually high; the S.E. stair-turret is square in plan to the top of the ground stage, half-octagonal to the parapet, and octagonal above it, with a pyramidal stone cap. The 15th-century tower arch is two-centred, and of three chamfered orders dying into flat responds. The W. doorway has continuously moulded jambs and obtuse two-centred head; the W. window is of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a pointed head, a moulded external reveal and an external label. In the S. wall, opening into the stair-turret, is a small doorway, with a pointed chamfered head. The bell-chamber has four windows, each of two trefoiled lights, with a quatrefoil in a pointed head. All the windows and doorways are of the 15th century. The South Porch is constructed of timber on dwarf walls of masonry, and has been much restored, but some of the framing and the remains of the pointed entrance archway, of heavy timbers, are of the 14th century. The Roofs are modern, but some 15th-century material is incorporated in the roof of the chancel.
Fittings—Bells: three, by Richard Chandler, 1675. Bracket: between E. windows of chancel, in a line with string-course, plain, c. 1200. Brass: in chancel—on floor, of Sir John Stodeley, 1502, vicar of the parish, figure in habit of Austin canon, inscription, in English verse, also to Emmot, his mother. (See Monuments). Chest: in N. aisle, plain, with pin hinges, probably 13th-century. Communion Table and Rails: table with small turned legs, fluted apron, mid 17th-century; rails, moulded, with twisted balusters, late 17th-century. Font: plain circular bowl, 12th or 13th-century, stem modern, cover, made of octagonal sounding board, with arabesque panels, from a pulpit, early 17th-century. Locker: in N. wall of chancel, plain, square, with old wooden lining, mediaevel. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monument: In chancel—partly blocking easternmost window in N. wall, to John Goodwyn, 1558, and Katheryn, his wife, chamfered frame of clunch round small marble slab carved with arch on shafts, having foliated spandrels; under arch, brass plate with inscription in English verse, and three brass shields with arms—1, party a lion between three fleurs de lis counter-coloured, for Goodwyn, carefully drawn helm and mantle, crest, a demi-lion collared with a crown; 2, Goodwyn impaling a saltire fretty between four scallops, for Blondesden; 3, Goodwyn quartering Blondesden impaling quarterly 1 and 4 party cheveronwise—and ermine with two lions facing each other in the chief all within a border with fleurs de lis, 2 and 3 a heron. Floor-slabs: In aisle—at W. end, (1) to Anna, wife of Lewis Fetto, late 17th-century, nearly illegible; (2) stone lozenge with date 1694 and illegible initials; (3) to Joan, wife of George Clere, 1696. Painting: in chancel, on corbels, traces of colour. Piscina: in chancel, with rounded chamfered head, apparently c. 1200. Pulpit: three panels, carved in one piece, forming half-hexagon, with blind tracery of flowing character in two stages, embattled top, second half of 14th century, much defaced with nails. Screen: under chancel arch, with open traceried upper panels and close lower panels with small trefoil piercings, 15th-century. Seating: at W. end of nave, nine plain open seats and three fronts, some of the bench ends with trefoiled panels; against wall, moulded embattled rail, possibly cap of panelled dado, all 16th-century. Sedile: in the chancel, with plain pointed head, uncertain date. Stoup: in S. wall of nave, inside, with rough pointed head, mediæval. Miscellanea: in S. wall of chancel, roughly carved corbel, with sunk seating, for altar beam, probably c. 1200; over chancel arch, funeral helm, with wooden crest, head of animal (unicorn or goat) collared with a crown, 16th or 17th-century; on E. jamb of S. doorway a cross-potent, deeply scratched.
Condition—Good; pulpit has been much defaced with tacks and nails used for decorations at festivals.
b(2). The Wilderness, formerly the Manor House, E. of the church, is a house of two storeys and an attic, of brick, with some stone in the S.E. walls. The roofs are tiled. It was built apparently in the middle of the 17th century and was part of a large house of earlier date which extended towards the N. and W.; the foundations are said to remain under the lawn. The plan is now of a modified T-shape, a small wing on the S.W. front forming the stem to the T. The walls have been re-faced almost entirely with late 17th or early 18th-century brick; those on the S.E. are partly of stone and the N.W. end is modern and covered with tiles. Two plain chimney stacks are of mid 17th-century brick, the others are of later date. Some of the rooms have old chamfered ceiling-beams and from the first floor to the attic the 17th-century staircase remains; it has a moulded handrail, plain square newels and turned balusters.
In an outhouse is a piece of early 16th-century stonework found embedded in the N.W. wall; it appears to have been part of the head of a fireplace with a moulded arch, and has a spandrel carved with vine leaf ornament, and a shield bearing the arms, a cheveron with a cock thereon between three roundels, and a chief with a rose between two leopards' heads therein.