An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 1, South. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1912.

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'Boveney', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 1, South, (London, 1912) pp. 60-61. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. lv. N.E.)


(1). Church of St. Mary Magdalene, stands on the N. bank of the Thames, about 1½ miles W. of Eton. The walls are of chalk rubble, garreted with small flints, and have been strengthened by modern buttresses at the angles; the dressings are of sandy limestone and clunch; the roof is tiled. It is a small rectangular building of 12th-century origin, but most of the detail is of later date.

The remains of the mediæval alabaster figures (see Miscellanea below) are of interest.

Architectural Description—The building (51 ft. by 19 ft.) has walls 3 ft. 4 in. thick. The 16th-century E. window, which is unusually high up, is of two four-centred lights under a square head; above it is the outline of a pointed window of earlier date. In the N. wall the eastern window, possibly of the 13th century, is a small rectangular light with rebated and chamfered external jambs; the splayed internal jambs and almost semi-circular rear arch are of clunch: the second window, almost in the middle of the wall, is of the 15th century, and of two cinque-foiled lights with traceried spandrels under a square head; the two-centred segmental rear arch and the central mullion are of modern limestone; the rest of the window is of clunch: the N. doorway has jambs and two-centred arch of two chamfered orders, and is probably also of the 15th century. In the S. wall the two eastern windows resemble the 15th-century N. window, but the external stonework is modern, except the lower half of each jamb; the internal jambs have old quoins: the third window, near the W. end of the wall, beyond the S. doorway, is a small rectangular light of similar section to the 13th-century N. window, with jambs of clunch and a lintel of soft sandy limestone, which has weathered badly: the S. doorway is similar to the N. doorway, but has a 15th-century label. In the W. wall, high up, is a small lancet window, probably of the 12th century, with a head of much-weathered sandy limestone, and jambs of clunch. The bell-turret at the W. end rises above the roof and is carried on a framework which rests on the ground; much of it is enclosed in plaster and gives an apparent additional thickness to the walls at the W. end. The Roof is ceiled with plaster at the level of the collar-beams, but four plain old tie-beams of oak are visible.

Fittings—Bells: (inaccessible) said to be, 1st, by Ellis Knight, 1631, 2nd, by Ellis Knight, 1636, 3rd, probably 16th-century. Brackets: in N. wall, moulded stone corbel, with carved vine-leaf enrichment, 15th-century. Communion Table: of oak, with plain, turned legs, possibly late 17th-century. Font: plain, tapering cylindrical bowl, of limestone, with projecting edge-roll, possibly re-cut, base, in two courses, same width as bottom of bowl, apparently of clunch, covered with old whitewash, possibly 13th-century, the base older than the bowl. Panelling: in chancel, oak, raised panels, mitred joints, without capping, late 17th-century: on N. and S. walls of nave, plainer, unmoulded, probably same date: on N. wall, W. of N. doorway, with fluted frieze, early 17th-century. Pulpit: made up of panelling similar to that W. of N. doorway, early 17th-century. Screen: dividing nave and chancel, low, made up of old pieces of oak, on each side of middle opening taller post with 15th-century poppyhead, from a seat, roughly set on it, above middle rail of screen fluted frieze of 17th-century panelling added in the 19th century, set reversed, with the edge shaped to form cresting. Seating: in nave, eleven oak benches with shaped standards, probably early 16th-century, some of the standards modern. Miscellanea: detached, set in frame, under glass, fragments of small sculptured figures, alabaster, with traces of colour and gilding, possibly part of reredos, representing several scenes, including the Assumption, Crucifixion, Resurrection, etc., possibly 15th-century.



(2). Boveney Court, 240 yards W. of the church, is almost entirely modern, but the N.W. wing is of early 17th-century date; the walls are probably of brick, covered with rough-cast; the roofs are tiled. The position of a large truss at the E. end of the roof seems to indicate that the wing was formerly part of an L-shaped building. The S. Elevation retains the original central porch, of stone, repaired with cement; the door is original. The N. Elevation has, on the ground floor, mullioned windows, apparently original, covered with plaster. At the W. end is a chimney stack of old thin bricks, with two square shafts set diagonally and coated with cement. Interior:—The kitchen has a heavy moulded oak joist in the ceiling; the westernmost room has an arched fireplace of plastered brick and, in the window, a small piece of old glass. Other stop-chamfered ceiling-beams indicate the position of a narrow central hall, with the front door on the S. and a room on each side. In the modern part of the house one room has oak panelling and carved roundels of the 17th and 18th centuries, all brought from elsewhere. The hall has an overmantel partly made up of 17th-century panelling. Some of the windows have heraldic glass, probably of the 17th century.


(3). House, 1/8 mile N. of the church, on the N. side of the road, is of two storeys, built probably in the 17th century, and timber-framed; the brick filling is of later date, partly modern, and there are modern additions at the back; the roof is tiled. The building was possibly originally a farmhouse, with cottages attached to it. The plan of the old part is L-shaped, with the space between the wings filled by a modern sitting-room and staircase; the original plan was probably T-shaped, as foundations have been discovered E. of the short wing of the L. The W. front is gabled at the S. end, and has four dormer windows. The ceilings on the ground floor have been made up partly with old timbers from elsewhere, and some original timbers are exposed in the roof.


(4). Cottage, W. of (3), on the opposite side of the road, is probably also of the 17th century, and built of brick and timber. The roof is tiled.