The parishes of Stone hundred: Cuddington

Pages 267-271

A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.

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Cudintuna (xii cent.); Codyntone (xiv cent.) Coddington (xvi cent.).

Cuddington is a small parish, bounded on the north by the River Thame and on the south by its tributary Dad Brook. It contains 1,307½ acres, (fn. 1) and the land varies from 200 ft. to 400 ft. above the Ordnance datum. The subsoil is Portland Beds and London Clay. (fn. 2) The people are entirely engaged in agriculture. There are 620 acres of arable land and 627½ of permanent grass. (fn. 3)

No main road passes through the parish, and the village lies at the point where the cross road from Haddenham meets that from Chearsley and Dinton. The ground falls from south to north towards the River Thame, and the church is at the north end of the village, with the school close to it on the west, and Tyringham House, now used as a reading-room, a little beyond it to the north. The country in general is open, with little timber except in the neighbourhood of the village.

Tyringham House at the present day is a small two-story building, standing east and west, with wrought stone window frames and quoins, containing a hall with a room over it and a staircase on the south. It is an early 17th-century building, and the date over the doorway to the staircase, 1609, is probably that of its erection. The hall is a handsome room with a square-headed bay window of five lights, and on either side of the bay a two-light window, all having mullions and transoms, and the same arrangement is repeated on the first floor, where there is a room of the same size as the hall. Both have fireplaces in the north wall, opposite to the windows, and the rooms have been formerly panelled in wood. The entrance to the house is through a cottage built against its east wall.

The nearest station is 4½ miles away, at Thame on the Great Western Railway.


CUDDINGTON is not mentioned in Domesday Book, but was probably included in the vill of Haddenham, which was assessed at 40 hides. (fn. 4)

The manor appears first in the confirmation by Archbishop Theobald of a grant, made by William Rufus, to the priory of St. Andrew, Rochester.

Haddenham was granted 'cum manerio quod appendit Cudintuna nomine,' and this manor presumably had been included in the previous grants of Haddenham. (fn. 5) Before the dissolution of the priory, Cuddington Manor is mentioned separately amongst its possessions, and was valued together with the rectory at £34 6s. 8d. a year. (fn. 6)

It was granted, however, by the prior to Sir Edward North, and was recovered by the Crown at the same time as the manor of Haddenham (q.v.). (fn. 7)

The history of Cuddington Manor diverges from that of Haddenham from this time, and becomes obscure. Queen Mary granted it to Thomas White, John White, Roger Martin, and William Blackwell to hold to them, their heirs and assigns. (fn. 8) Queen Elizabeth, however, seems to have recovered possession of the manor, which she sold to Lord Cheyne, (fn. 9) and at his request granted it to John Dudley and John Ascoughe in 1575. (fn. 10) From these grantees it appears to have come into the possession of the Tyringhams of Lower Winchendon. This, however, is not definitely stated in any of the documents in which the manor of Cuddington is mentioned. The family certainly had land in the parish, (fn. 11) and one branch probably resided in the house now called Tyringham House, close to the church. In 1654 Thomas Tyringham of Lower Winchendon sold the capital messuage or site of the manor of Cuddington, called 'the Farme House,' with land in the parish to Dr. Henry Wilkinson, Prebendary of Christ Church, Oxford, and Lady Vere his wife, for £1,800. (fn. 12)

Tyringham. Azure a saltire engrailed argent.

An attempt is said to have been made by James Herbert, lord of the manor of Haddenham, who died in 1721, to obtain possession of the manor of Cuddington, but evidently without success. (fn. 13)

The manor is mentioned in 1805, apparently being in the possession of William Clarke, (fn. 14) but some years later the Rev. David Jones, curate of Cuddington, said that there was no manor there and all the tenures were freehold. This seems to have been in 1826. (fn. 15) The Prior and Convent of St. Andrew held the manor of Cuddington in frankalmoign. (fn. 16) They also obtained a grant of free warren in their demesne lands there from Edward I in 1295. (fn. 17)

Cuddington Church from the South-east

In Cuddington, as in Haddenham, (fn. 18) a military tenant of the priory of St. Andrew paid homage to the Bishop of Rochester, and therefore is found amongst the bishop's tenants.

His land apparently is mentioned in 1210–12, but the name of the tenant is not given. (fn. 19)

In the reign of Henry III John son of Miles held certain lands of the bishop, for which he paid scutage at the rate of 40d. whenever the bishop paid 40s. (fn. 20) It is not definitely said that this land was in Cuddington, but it seems probable that it was the land that Richard Franklyn held in 1302–3. (fn. 21)

His land was held in 1346 by John Franklyn, Roger Beel, John de Saunterdon, and John atte Asshe. (fn. 22)

In the 14th century Geoffrey Darches held land in Cuddington. In 1321–2 he granted a messuage there, with land and rent, to Robert de Upton, clerk, for his life. (fn. 23) This land descended to his son Richard, (fn. 24) and finally to Joan, the heiress of Darches. (fn. 25) She married Sir John Dinham, who died in 1457–8, seised of a toft, cottages, and land in Cuddington, held in right of his wife. (fn. 26) On the death of their son Lord Dinham, his lands, including these tenements, were divided amongst his four sisters and heiresses. (fn. 27) About this time, however, their possessions in Cuddington were called the manor of Cuddington. (fn. 28) In 1502 Elizabeth, the widow of Lord Dinham, recovered seisin of one-third of this manor (fn. 29) to hold in dower. The manor was divided into four parts after her death, and it is impossible to trace their later history. (fn. 30) Two of these parts were however bought by Ralph Redman, William Hawtrey, and Richard Holyman in 1576 and 1576–7, (fn. 31) and probably came into the possession of Richard Holyman. He and another Richard Holyman were defendants some years later (fn. 32) in a lawsuit as to the customs of the manor of Haddenham.

Their family had, however, been settled in Cuddington many years before this, for John Holyman, Bishop of Bristol from 1554 to 1558, was born there, and must have belonged to the same family. (fn. 33) In 1620–1 Robert Holyman, sen., held a messuage, land, and various rights in Cuddington. (fn. 34) At the present day there is a farm called Holyman's Farm in the parish.

The Dinhams held this land of the Prior of Rochester, as of the manor of Haddenham. (fn. 35) The service due from it is not given, but as a third part was assigned in dower, it was probably held by military service. (fn. 36)

A water-mill in Haddenham is mentioned in the grant of the manor of Cuddington to John Dudley. (fn. 37) At this time Cuddington seems to have been included in Haddenham parish, so that the mill may have been at Cuddington. In 1588 a water-mill called Cuddington Mill was held by Richard Holyman the younger. (fn. 38) He had let it on lease for twenty-one years to Thomas Tyringham in 1582; Tyringham, however, bought the freehold, with its appurtenances, for £650 in 1588. (fn. 39) His son, Thomas Tyringham, together with Sir John Dormer, sold this water-mill to Richard Mills in 1617. (fn. 40)

Ellen, the only daughter and heiress of Richard Mills, married Sir Francis Knollys, kt. (fn. 41) After her death Cuddington Mill came to her son Richard Knollys, (fn. 42) who sold it again to Thomas Tyringham of Lower Winchendon and his wife Ellen. They paid £1,100 for two water-mills under one roof, with their appurtenances, called Cuddington Mills. (fn. 43)

Attached to these mills were rights of free fishing in the water of Cuddington. The Holymans however retained their right to a free fishery in Cuddington after the sale of the mill. (fn. 44)

A free fishery in the water of Evershipp in Cuddington is also frequently mentioned. In 1577 it was in the possession of the Burnands, (fn. 45) but in 1611 John Burnand, sen., and John Burnand, jun., sold it to Simon Mayne. (fn. 46) His descendants held this fishery till 1679, when it was sold to William Lambourne, (fn. 47) who had already acquired other fishing rights in Cuddington. (fn. 48)

A century later, in 1772–3, Richard Lambourne held a free fishery here. (fn. 49)


The church of ST. NICHOLAS consists of a chancel 24 ft. 7 in. by 15 ft. 5 in., with a small vestry; a nave 49 ft. 4 in. by 15 ft. 2 in., with north aisle 36 ft. 2 in. by 11 ft. 6 in., a south aisle 5 ft. 4½ in. wide, south-east chapel 13 ft. 3 in. by 19 ft. 5 in., and south porch; and a western tower 11 ft. 6 in. by 10 ft. 7 in., all measurements being internal. The development of the building appears to have been as follows:—In the 12th century there existed an aisleless nave of the same width as now, but perhaps a little shorter from east to west, with a chancel smaller in both dimensions than that now in existence. A series of enlargements began in the early years of the 13th century, the first being probably the building of a transept chapel at the northeast of the nave, and the rebuilding of the chancel. North and south aisles were soon afterwards added, the south aisle having an arcade of four evenly spaced bays, while the north arcade seems to have been set out with the idea of not disturbing the arch of the north transept, and there was in consequence a break between the first and second bays of the arcade. At a later date the arcade was made continuous, the west respond of the east bay (the former transept) being made into an octagonal column by adding a half-octagon to it on the west side. The second bay in the north arcade is therefore wider than those to the west of it, and while copying the details of the rest has a label of early 14th-century section, giving a clue to the time of the alteration. In the latter part of the 13th century a further enlargement took place, the east bays of the south aisle being widened to form a south chapel. At a later date, difficult to fix, but perhaps in the 17th century, the north aisle was shortened by one bay, the western bay of the north arcade being replaced by a solid wall. The south porch is an addition of c. 1340, and the west tower is of 15th-century date. The small north vestry is modern.

Plan of St. Nicholas' Church, Cuddington

The east window of the chancel is a modern one of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery of 14th-century style. In the north wall is a small plain modern door to the vestry and at the west a square-headed 15th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery over. In the south-east angle of the chancel is a small hexagonal moulded bracket with a shallow pin-hole in its upper surface. In the south wall is a square-headed 14th-century window with two cinquefoiled lights and quatrefoiled spandrels, and to the west of it another window of the same date but of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil over and a two-centred head. The chancel arch is of two roll-moulded orders with an undercut label to the west, which is continued as a string north and south to the walls of the nave. The responds of the arch are half-octagonal, with moulded capitals and bases of the same details as the eastern responds of the nave arcades. The nave is of four bays, the first bay of the north arcade having an arch of two chamfered orders, with a filleted roll for a label. The first column of this arcade is octagonal, having been made up, as already noted, from the respond of the transept arch. All the other columns of the arcades are circular, and the arches are of two hollow-chamfered orders with the angles of the chamfers bevelled off, the workmanship being rather rough and uneven. This is particularly the case with the wider arch (the second), in the north arcade, which, as already explained, is probably an early 14th-century alteration. The first column of the south arcade, and the second of the north (fn. 50) have circular capitals with fluted scallops, a survival of Romanesque forms, while all the other columns have plainly moulded capitals. The present west respond of the north arcade, which is of three bays only, is really a round column half buried in the walling of the blank western bay. The west respond of the south arcade is a half-octagon, like that at the east.

The north aisle has an early 14th-century east window of three cinquefoiled lights with modern tracery and an external scroll-moulded label. In the north wall of the aisle, to the east, is a modern window in an old opening, with two trefoiled lights and tracery of 14th-century style. The north door is also modern, with plain chamfered jambs and two-centred head, and west of this is a two-light window of 17thcentury date with rounded uncusped heads and a flat lintel. The west window is probably of the same date, and is of three uncusped lights with smaller uncusped lights over and a four-centred head.

The south chapel has a late 13th-century east window of three uncusped lights with much-restored interlacing tracery. There are internal and external labels, and jamb-shafts with moulded capitals and bases, both having a member ornamented with a cable pattern. In the south wall are two windows, the openings of which are of the same date as the east window, but have been cut back in the 15th century and filled with tracery of two narrow trefoiled lights with smaller lights over under a square head. On the internal jambs portions of the 13th-century jamb-shafts and the cable-moulded capitals and bases are still visible. At the east end of the south wall is a 15th-century piscina with chamfered jambs and trefoiled head. The chapel opens to the south aisle by an arch of two moulded orders, of rough late 13th-century workmanship, with responds of three half-round shafts separated by square projections, having coarsely-cut and moulded capitals and bases. The north respond is somewhat clumsily set against the second column of the south arcade, and the south respond is pushed back into the south wall of the nave to make the passage-way from the aisle as wide as possible.

The south doorway of the nave is of the date of the south aisle, and has a pointed arch of two orders with filleted rolls and a band of dog-tooth ornament on the outer order. In the jambs are circular shafts with coarsely moulded capitals and bases. The south porch has a small modern west window, and an outer archway of two moulded orders c. 1340.

The tower, of the 15th century, is of three stages with an embattled parapet, above which rises the turret of a north-east staircase. The belfry openings are of two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil over, and the west window of the ground stage is of three cinquefoiled lights under a four-centred head, the second stage being lighted by small trefoiled openings. The west doorway has a four-centred head, and jambs with continuous mouldings.

The font is of late 12th-century date, having a slightly tapering circular bowl, carved with narrow pointed flutings, and a short stem with a roll-moulded base.

The roofs throughout the church are modern, and though there is a good deal of old material used up in the open seating there is no woodwork of any particular interest. A plain 17th-century altar-table has been preserved. In the east window of the south aisle are two heads of angels in 15th-century glass.

The tower contains six bells, all cast by John Warner & Sons in 1884, and a sanctus which is blank.

The plate is modern, and comprises a silver-gilt chalice, paten and flagon, and a silver paten.

The first book of the registers contains burials between 1653 and 1812; the second baptisms between 1663 and 1811, and the third marriages from 1698 to 1750; while the first printed book of marriages contains entries from 1754 to 1812.


The chapel of Cuddington was appendant to the church of Haddenham, and was held by the Priory of St. Andrew, Rochester, until its dissolution in 1540. (fn. 51) The vicarage of Haddenham was ordained by Bishop Hugh of Wells (1209–35) and appropriated to the Priory. (fn. 52) It consisted of the whole altarage of Haddenham Church and all the chapel of Cuddington, the vicar finding a chaplain to celebrate at the latter place. (fn. 53)

The advowson of the vicarage of Cuddington, together with that of Haddenham, was granted by Henry VIII to the Dean and Chapter of Rochester, who are the patrons at the present day. (fn. 54) Queen Elizabeth in 1579 granted to Edward Thomlynson and Anthony Page, their heirs and assigns, all the late free chapel of Cuddington, commonly called Cuddington Chapel, with all land belonging to it, but this grant does not seem to have taken effect. (fn. 55) There is a Baptist chapel in Cuddington, built in 1831, and a Wesleyan chapel which was built in 1894.


Nicholas Almond, by deed of feoffment bearing date 4 April 18 Charles I, conveyed a parcel of land, part of Middle Moor, containing between five and six acres, upon trust that the rents and profits should be applied for apprenticing or otherwise for the benefit of the poor, subject to the payment of 6s. 8d. to the minister for preaching a sermon every Easter Monday. In 1906 the sum of £14 15s. was received as rent of the Moor, which, after payment of 6s. 8d. for a sermon, was applied, together with a sum of £1 charged in 1695 by William Almond on land called Nunheyes, in the distribution of 1s. to each recipient.

The poor are also entitled to receive one sack of wheat, and two sacks of barley out of the Great Tithes, being also the gift of the said Nicholas Almond.

Thomas Hill, by will, proved in the P.C.C. 7 January 1804, charged his estate with the payment of a certain quantity of wheat and barley, which was formerly distributed with the last-named charity, but the distribution was discontinued on the ground that the bequest was void under the Mortmain Act. (fn. 56)

The Rev. John Willis, a former rector, by will proved in 1855, left £600 consols (with the official trustees). The annual dividends, amounting to £15, are applied in accordance with the trusts in the distribution of coal, 3½ cwts. being given to each recipient.


  • 1. Ord. Surv.
  • 2. V.C.H. Bucks. i, Geological map.
  • 3. Information from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 4. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 232b, 233a.
  • 5. Sloane MS. 940, fol. 108.
  • 6. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 101.
  • 7. See Haddenham; Pat. 31 Hen. VIII, pt. 1, m. 35.
  • 8. Pat. 5 & 6 Phil. and Mary pt. 3.
  • 9. Exch. Dep. Mich. 25 & 26 Eliz. no. 29.
  • 10. Pat. 17 Eliz. pt. 5, m. 15, 27.
  • 11. Feet of F. Bucks. Trin. 38 Eliz.
  • 12. Close, 1654, pt. 7.
  • 13. Lysons, Mag. Brit. i, 547.
  • 14. Recov. R. East. 45 Geo. III, rot. 342.
  • 15. Lipscomb, Hist. of Bucks. ii, 131.
  • 16. Cott. MS. Dom. x, fol. 105; cf. Haddenham.
  • 17. Chart. R. 23 Edw. I, no. 88.
  • 18. See Haddenham.
  • 19. Red Bk. of Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 474.
  • 20. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 245.
  • 21. Feud. Aids, i, 97.
  • 22. Ibid. 122.
  • 23. Feet of F. Bucks. Hil. 15 Edw. II.
  • 24. Chan. Inq. p.m. 18 Edw. II, no. 18.
  • 25. See Little Kimble.
  • 26. Chan. Inq. p.m. 36 Hen. VI, no. 39.
  • 27. Ibid. vol. 15, no. 58.
  • 28. De Banco R. Mich. 18 Hen. VII, m. 115.
  • 29. Ibid. Mich. 19 Hen. VII, m. 116.
  • 30. Feet of F. Div. Cos. Mich. 1 Hen. VIII; Chan. Inq. p.m. vol. 31, no. 21; Feet of F. Bucks. Trin. 21 Hen. VIII.
  • 31. Ibid. Trin. 18 Eliz.; ibid. Hil. 19 Eliz.
  • 32. Exch. Dep. by Com. Mich. 25 & 26 Eliz. no. 29.
  • 33. Dict. Nat. Biog. xxvii, 214–15.
  • 34. Feet of F. Bucks. Hil. 18 Jas. I.
  • 35. Chan. Inq. p.m. 36 Hen. VI, no. 39; ibid. vol. 15, no. 58;, ibid. vol. 31, no. 21.
  • 36. De Banco R. Mich. 18 Hen. VII, m. 115.
  • 37. Pat. 27 Eliz. pt. 5, m. 15.
  • 38. Close, 31 Eliz. pt. 15, no. 1.
  • 39. Ibid.
  • 40. Feet of F. Bucks. Trin. 14 Jas. I; Lipscomb, Hist. of Bucks. i, 519.
  • 41. Ibid. i, 528.
  • 42. Close, 1649, pt. 26, m. 22.
  • 43. Ibid.
  • 44. Feet of F. Bucks. Hil. 18 Jas. I.
  • 45. Ibid. East. 19 Eliz.
  • 46. Ibid. 8 Jas. I.
  • 47. Ibid. 31 Chas. II.
  • 48. Ibid. Mich. 24 Chas. II.
  • 49. Ibid. Hil. 13 Geo. III.
  • 50. These are really the corresponding columns in the two arcades, as that on the north was the first from the east as originally set out, the transept arch not being reckoned as part of the arcade.
  • 51. Cott MS. Dom.x, fol. 105; Dugdale, Mon. i, 169.
  • 52. Linc. Epis. Reg. Bishop Bek's Inst. 1342–7.
  • 53. Ibid.
  • 54. Pat. 33 Hen. VIII, pt. 9, m. 44.
  • 55. Pat. 21 Eliz. pt. 7, m. 38.
  • 56. Char. Com. Rep. xxvi, 73.