Parishes: Ivinghoe

A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1925.

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'Parishes: Ivinghoe', in A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3, (London, 1925) pp. 379-387. British History Online [accessed 11 April 2024]

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Evinghehou (xi cent.); Iuingeho, Hythingho, Yvyngho (xii–xiii cent.); Ivanhoe (xvii cent.).

The parish of Ivinghoe contains 4,787 acres, of which 2,010 are arable land, 1,570 permanent grass, and 425 woods and plantations. (fn. 1) The soil is chalky, subsoil clay and chalk. The land, which is comparatively low in the north, averaging about 300 ft. above the ordnance datum, rises to the east and south, where lie the Ivinghoe hills. The Icknield Way flanks the hills on the north side, and divides near the town into the two branches known as the Upper and the Lower Icknield Way. Beacon Hill (762 ft.) and Gallows Hill (615 ft.) are the chief summits in the north of the range. According to an account of the parish, c. 1712–20, a beacon once stood on the former hill, and the kettle and other materials belonging to it were at that date still in the church. (fn. 2)

Further south the land is well wooded, and rises even higher, one point, near Crawley Wood, being 811 ft. above the ordnance datum. In the extreme south of the parish the ground again becomes more open, and sinks some 50 ft. to 100 ft. The Grand Junction Canal passes through the low land in the west of the parish, and, nearer the centre, Whistle Brook, rising near the town, flows in a northerly direction. Probably the low-lying parts were formerly of a more marshy nature than at present. In the 16th-century records of the parish such names as Nott Lake furlong, Little Water furrow, Bosbrook, Holy Well Brook occur, (fn. 3) and in the 18th century Waddon Lake and the 'lake next Slapton field.' (fn. 4)

The small town of Ivinghoe occupies a fairly central position in the parish. It contains several 16th and 17th-century houses, all of which have been altered and added to. The old manor-house, a timberframed building of late 16th or early 17th-century date, has now been completely altered, and retains but few of its original features. The King's Head Hotel is a house of 15th-century origin which was apparently almost rebuilt in the 17th century, and has since been much altered and modernized. In a bedroom on the upper floor is an original stone fireplace with a four-centred head.

The old town hall dates probably from the 16th century, and originally had an open ground story and chimney stacks with diagonal shafts. It has now been almost entirely modernized, the ground story having been inclosed, but retains the old timbers in the projecting upper story and in the ceiling of the ground story.

Besides the church there is a Baptist chapel built in 1804, and a Wesleyan chapel built in 1866.

In the north-west, and lying partly in other parishes, is the hamlet of Horton. Horton Hall, Horton House and Horton Farm stand in the neighbourhood, where are also the remains of a moat. Ivinghoe Aston, somewhat larger, but very scattered, lies in the north-east. At both these hamlets are Wesleyan chapels. To the west of Ivinghoe town is the hamlet of Seabrook, divided into two parts known as Great and Little Seabrook, both lying near the canal. Two other hamlets, St. Margaret and Ringshall, were formerly in Ivinghoe, but were transferred to Hertfordshire, being now in the parishes of Nettleden and Little Gaddesden respectively. (fn. 5) The name of Barley End, a former hamlet, still survives in the neighbourhood, as does that of the family of Duncombe, who lived there for many generations. The cellar alone remains of their old house, which has been replaced, on the same site, by a farm-house. Most of these hamlets represent ancient tithings of Ivinghoe, and the 16th-century Court Rolls show that the manorial courts were attended by tithingmen from Ivinghoe Major, Ivinghoe Minor, Nettleden, Hencombe, Whytwey, Horton, Seabrook, Aston Castroffe, Aston Bishop and Wardhurst. (fn. 6)

The parish, agricultural to a large extent, produces good wheat crops, also barley, oats, peas and beans. As early as 1317 the Bishop of Winchester, who held Ivinghoe, received protection for the corn which was being sent from his manor here to London. (fn. 7) Ivinghoe was apparently occupied by troops in the Civil War in 1645. (fn. 8)

It is interesting to note that the name of this parish provided Sir Walter Scott with the title for one of the Waverley novels. Scott, who chose it for its 'ancient English sound,' says that it was called to mind by the rhyme recording the forfeiture of this and other manors by an ancestor of John Hampden for striking the Black Prince at tennis:—

'Tring Wing and Ivinghoe
For striking of a blow
Hampden did forgo
And glad he could escape so.'
Both rhyme and legend are, however, entirely unsupported by facts. The names of the same three parishes occur in other doggerel also, and with as little reason. (fn. 9)

An Inclosure Act for the lands of Horton hamlet, in the parishes of Slapton, Ivinghoe, Edlesborough and Pitstone was passed in 1810, (fn. 10) while the lands of Ivinghoe parish were inclosed by an Act of 1821. (fn. 11)


The manor of IVINGHOE belonged before the Conquest to the demesne of the church of St. Peter of Winchester, and at the time of the Survey it was still held by the bishop, being assessed for 20 hides and valued at £18. (fn. 12) Succeeding bishops held the manor until the reign of Henry VIII. (fn. 13) In 1531 William Cholmeley was appointed to be bailiff of Ivinghoe, which had come into the king's hands by the forfeiture of Wolsey, who was Bishop of Winchester. (fn. 14) It was, however, restored to the bishopric almost at once (fn. 15) and so remained until in 1551 John Poynet, bishop, surrendered it to the king. (fn. 16) In the following month Edward VI made a grant in fee of the manor to Sir John Mason, kt., and Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 17) After the death of Edward VI and the flight of Poynet, Ivinghoe, (fn. 18) with other episcopal manors, was regranted to the see of Winchester, but was again taken by the Crown at the accession of Elizabeth, (fn. 19) the grant to Mason apparently holding good. (fn. 20)

Bishopric of Winchester. Gules St. Peter's keys crossed saltirewise with St. Paul's sword in their proper colours.

Anthony Mason held in 1582 and in 1586 alienated the manor to Charles Glenham, (fn. 21) who sold it in 1589 to Lady Jane Cheyne, widow (fn. 22) of Henry Lord Cheyne. In 1603 she conveyed to Ralph Crewe, Thomas Chamberlayn and Richard Cartwright, trustees for the Egertons (fn. 23) and Sir Thomas Egerton, Lord Ellesmere, and Sir John Egerton, kt., his son and heir, received Ivinghoe from the trustees in 1604. (fn. 24) Lord Ellesmere, who also bore the title of Viscount Brackley, died seised of the manor in 1617. (fn. 25) In the same year his son was created Earl of Bridgewater and the manor descended with this title until the latter became extinct in 1829. (fn. 26) By the will of the seventh earl, who died in 1823, the estates were then held by his widow until her death in 1849, when they devolved upon his great-nephew John Home Cust, Viscount Alford, father of the second Earl Brownlow, (fn. 27) from whom they descended to the present earl.

Egerton. Argent a lion gules between three pheons sable.

The capital messuage of the manor was held in 1589 by Edward Lea, who mortgaged it in that year to Edward Alford. (fn. 28) In the early 18th century the 'Berrystead,' described as the 'remains of the old manor-house,' (fn. 29) belonged to the lord of the manor.

The Bishop of Winchester claimed view of frankpledge and other privileges in his manor here, and in 1286 quoted charters of King John and Henry III in support of his claim. (fn. 30) In 1318 the bishop received a grant of a Thursday weekly market and an annual three-day fair at the feast of the Assumption. (fn. 31) Sir John Mason, having surrendered this grant, received one, in 1563, of a weekly Saturday market, of two annual two-day fairs—on the vigil and feast of St. Mark (25 April) and of St. Faith the Virgin (6 October)—and of a court of piepowder. (fn. 32) Two fairs are still held in the parish on 6 May and 17 October, but they are now only pleasure fairs. The market had by the early 19th century become so small that, according to Lysons, it might almost be said to have been discontinued, (fn. 33) but Sheahan, in 1862, states that it was still held. (fn. 34) The fisheries of Ivinghoe were the subject of a dispute in 1347–8, when Thomas de Swanlund accused various persons of taking fish from his vivaries there. (fn. 35)

A certain man of Ulf had held 3 virgates of land worth 6s. 8d. in HORTON before the Conquest, and in 1086 Suarting held them of Gilbert de Ghent. (fn. 36) The manor of Dagnall in Edlesborough (q.v.) was similarly held at the Survey, and the water-mill in Ivinghoe held in the 14th century by the Spigurnel and Alberd families as parcel of their manor of Dagnall (fn. 37) was probably situated on this land.

The Prioress of Barking held land in Ivinghoe in the 13th century, (fn. 38) called HORTON MANOR, which she had subinfeudated by the 14th century. (fn. 39) In the 17th century the overlordship was in the Dormer family, afterwards Earls of Carnarvon, (fn. 40) and the claim made in 1810 by their descendant, Philip Earl of Chesterfield, to the manorial rights (fn. 41) had its origin doubtless in his ancestor's connexion with Horton.

The subinfeudation had probably already taken place by 1339, when Henry 'Jonesbailiff Brokas' of Horton and Cheddington was accused of trespass. (fn. 42) Sir Bernard Brocas made a settlement of the manors of Horton and Cheddington in 1384. (fn. 43) Horton descended in this family with Cheddington Manor (q.v.) from this date until 1579, when Bernard Brocas conveyed the manor of Horton to Thomas Cheyne, who married Frances Brocas, daughter of Bernard. (fn. 44) Thomas Cheyne died seised of the manor in 1612, his heir being his son Sir Thomas Cheyne, kt., who married Margaret daughter of Oliver St. John of Bletsoe. (fn. 45) Sir Thomas died in 1632, and his son Thomas succeeded him. (fn. 46) In 1655 Thomas Cheyne conveyed the manor to John Theed, (fn. 47) who died in 1686, leaving a son and heir John, (fn. 48) who died in 1695. (fn. 49) The latter's brother William, with Hester his wife, held Horton in 1699, (fn. 50) but he appears to have died without issue, as in 1716 Elizabeth, the widow of his brother Richard, and his uncle, Christopher Theed, sold the manor, by the name of the manor and lordship of Horton Hall, to John Hall. (fn. 51) The latter held in 1732. (fn. 52) Henry Hall, grandson of John, sold it in 1777 to his sister Sarah and her husband, Christopher Johnson, (fn. 53) who held the manor until his death in 1813, (fn. 54) when, by will, it passed to Charles Augustus Hoare, who held about 1831. (fn. 55) The old house was destroyed by him about 1835; a new and smaller one, still called Horton Hall, was afterwards occupied by a farmer. (fn. 56)

Before the Conquest a hide of land in Horton was held by Lepsi, a man of Brictric; it had passed by 1086 to Suarting, who held it of Miles Crispin. (fn. 57) This holding doubtless became part of the honour of Wallingford, (fn. 58) and was included in the grant made by Edmund Earl of Cornwall to the college of Ashridge of the homage and services of the heirs of Isabel, late wife of Richard Beauchamp, for lands held by them in the hamlet of Horton within the bounds of the said honour. (fn. 59) Confirmation of this charter was made in 1291. (fn. 60) The college held rents in Horton at the Dissolution, (fn. 61) and the land here probably passed with the other possessions of Ashridge (see Pitstone parish) to the Egertons.

A third Domesday entry concerning Horton shows that a virgate of land, held before the Conquest by Bruman, a man of Archbishop Stigand, was held in 1086 by Alestan of the Count of Mortain. (fn. 62) There is no further trace of this holding, but, as it doubtless became part of the honour of Berkhampstead, (fn. 63) it may have been included with the other lands in Ivinghoe and Pitstone given to the college of Ashridge. (fn. 64)

Before the Conquest Asgar the staller held 4 hides and a virgate in Aston in demesne, which land in 1086 was held as a manor by Germund de St. Ouen of Geoffrey de Mandeville. (fn. 65) This manor of ASTON (Eston, Estone, xi cent.; Assheton, xvi cent.) or IVINGHOE ASTON afterwards became attached to Quarrendon Manor, (fn. 66) which was among the possessions of Geoffrey de Mandeville in 1086, and the connexion between the two existed until the 17th century. (fn. 67)

Richard de Amary was tenant here at the close of the 13th century. (fn. 68) In 1313 Ralph son of William Fallowell held land in Aston (fn. 69) which was probably this manor (see Aston Chapel). There is reference to him in 1340, (fn. 70) and he died in 1369. (fn. 71) It was afterwards acquired by the Duncombe family, which had long been seated at Barley End (q.v.) in this parish. Thomas Duncombe died seised of lands in Ivinghoe in 1531, (fn. 72) leaving a widow Joan, who died in 1539. (fn. 73) Of their three sons, (fn. 74) John appears to have obtained Aston Manor, as he and his wife Letitia are mentioned in possession of it in 1562. (fn. 75) He must have died without issue, as the manor, in accordance with the terms of his father's will, (fn. 76) had reverted before 1572 (fn. 77) to his brother William, who died in 1576. (fn. 78) By his two wives he had nine sons, (fn. 79) and the John Duncombe who died in 1594, leaving a son and heir William, (fn. 80) was doubtless one of them. In 1604 William and Edmund Duncombe quitclaimed the manor to William Mackereth, (fn. 81) but probably this transaction was a mortgage only, as Giles Duncombe (fn. 82) died seised in 1634, leaving it to Edmund his son. (fn. 83) Edmund's son Giles (fn. 84) obtained a quitclaim of their right from his uncles John and Giles Duncombe in 1660. (fn. 85) Samuel Duncombe held the manor in 1721, (fn. 86) and John Duncombe was lord in 1737. (fn. 87) He died in 1751, (fn. 88) and John Duncombe, presumably his son, held in 1758. (fn. 89) In 1762, after the death of the latter, and in accordance with the terms of his will, (fn. 90) the estate was advertised for sale. (fn. 91) The manor was held in the early part of 1806 by Robert Lord Carrington and Ann his wife. (fn. 92) According to Lipscomb, the Earl of Bridgewater purchased it in the same year of Sir Philip Monoux, bart. (fn. 93)

Duncomby. Party cheveronwise and engrailed gules and argent with three talbots' heads razed and countercoloured.

A second Domesday entry concerning Aston shows that 3 virgates, held of Archbishop Stigand before the Conquest by Godwin, a priest, were of the land of the Count of Mortain in 1086, his tenant being Ralf. (fn. 94)

In 1538 Anthony Pounds sold to Henry Goldsmith the manor of ASTON CASTROFFE (Aston Castraff, Aston Chartres). (fn. 95) John Goldsmith sold it in 1565 to Thomas Barnes. (fn. 96) It was a reputed manor only. (fn. 97) In 1590 Barnes conveyed it to Thomas Newman, (fn. 98) from whom, in 1591–2, it passed to George Colshill. (fn. 99) It was held in 1622 by John Eames, who leased it, excepting the royalties and profits of courts, &c., in that year to Henry Coles. (fn. 100) On the death of the latter, a year later, his brother Francis inherited and arranged to give up his interest to Eames for £50, but finally refused to do so at the instigation of his son Thomas. Eames alleged that Coles was spoiling the trees and that the house was in decay. (fn. 101) In 1647 Henry Brugis bequeathed it to his wife Frances for a term of five years after his death, with reversion to his son Thomas and his grandson Henry. (fn. 102) The estates of Thomas Brugis were sequestered in 1650, when his mother begged discharge of Castroffe, in Aston Manor, Ivinghoe. (fn. 103) In 1652, the five years having expired, she further begged the yearly allowance of £10 from the manor to which she was entitled by the will; the claim was allowed. (fn. 104) In the early 18th century the house of Aston Castroffe was said to have several houses, lands, and tithes belonging to it, these being then the demesnes of Mrs. Benet and the Countess of Salisbury. (fn. 105)

The earliest mention of SEABROOK (Seibroc, Sebrok, xiii cent.) occurs in 1227–8, when William son of Elias quitclaimed to John son of Robert half a virgate of land there which was partly bounded by the land of Ralph Chenduit. (fn. 106) The latter holding passed to Ulian Chenduit and was given by him to Edmund Earl of Cornwall, who granted it to his foundation of Ashridge College, it being described as parcel of the honour of Berkhampstead. (fn. 107)

Geoffrey de Lucy and his heirs held part of a knight's fee in Seabrook in the 13th and 14th centuries, (fn. 108) and subinfeudated their share to the Waleyraunds. In 1292 John Waleyraund died seised of this estate and was succeeded by his brother William. (fn. 109) In 1293, in response, apparently, to some claim, Hugh le Keu, or le Cok, and Lettice his wife recovered land in Seabrook against Joan widow of John Waleyraund. (fn. 110) Lettice, as Hugh's widow, held the land as one-quarter of a knight's fee in 1302. (fn. 111) John son of Roger le Cok (fn. 112) held the same in 1346, (fn. 113) but there is no further trace of it.

The PRIORY OF ST. MARGARET or MURSLEY PRIORY stood on land which was formerly part of Ivinghoe parish. (fn. 114) In 1225 the prioress received a grant of an annual five-day fair, commencing on the vigil of St. Margaret's Day (20 July), at 'her manor of Ivingho.' (fn. 115) Rents from the priory's land here in 1535 amounted to 22s. annually. (fn. 116) A lease of the site for twenty-one years was granted to John Verney in 1536, and two years after the reversion was granted in tail-male to Sir John Daunce, kt., (fn. 117) who died seised of it in 1545, leaving a son William. (fn. 118) Bartholomew Daunce died seised in 1593, having obtained a further grant; his heir was his son Richard, (fn. 119) who held until his death in 1624, when his son, also called Richard, succeeded him. (fn. 120) In 1630 the king granted the reversion of the lease, which was in the Crown, (fn. 121) to Francis Keate and John Saunders. (fn. 122) From the latter the site passed to the Catherall family. (fn. 123) John Catherall, whose father had held the property before him, was owner in the early years of the 18th century, (fn. 124) and in 1788 John Catherall and Mary his wife held it by the name of the 'manor of Mursleys.' (fn. 125)


BARLEY END (Berle, xiii cent.) is first mentioned in 1291, when the gift of the Earl of Cornwall's land in this 'hamlet' to Ashridge College was confirmed. (fn. 126) In 1531 John Duncombe described himself in his will as 'of Barley Ende.' (fn. 127) An account of the parish in the early part of the 18th century says that Barley End House was the seat of William Duncombe, whose family had held it for generations. (fn. 128) According to Lipscomb it passed, by an heiress of the Duncombes, to the Lucy family, from whom the Earl of Bridgewater purchased it in 1809. (fn. 129) It has since descended with Ivinghoe Manor to the present Earl Brownlow.

The rectory rents, valued in 1535 at £29 9s. 10d. yearly, (fn. 130) were granted to William Cavendish for twenty-one years in 1544. (fn. 131) This estate, called the MANOR OF THE RECTORY, was held by the king in 1548, John Duncombe of Ivinghoe Aston (q.v.) being one of the principal tenants. (fn. 132) The manor itself was acquired by this family, and William Duncombe, grandson of the John Duncombe who died in 1594, (fn. 133) was lord in 1630. (fn. 134) He, with his son William, sold the manor in 1640 (fn. 135) to his brother (fn. 136) Thomas Duncombe, who, by will proved 1659, left it to Francis, one of his sons. (fn. 137) Francis Duncombe held in 1703–4. (fn. 138) According to a tablet in the church it belonged after this time to Francis Neale, (fn. 139) but in 1812 it was held by James Gordon and Harriet his wife, (fn. 140) who in 1819 sold it to the Earl of Bridgewater. (fn. 141)

A capital messuage of the Rectory Manor is mentioned in the survey of 1548, when it was held on a lease from Ashridge College by William and John Newman (fn. 142); it was afterwards held with the manor by the Duncombes. (fn. 143)


The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of a chancel 35 ft. by 17 ft., central tower 14 ft. square, north and south transepts 22 ft. 6 in. by 17 ft., nave 55 ft. by 19 ft. 6 in., north aisle 9 ft. 6 in. wide, south aisle 11 ft. wide, and north, south, and west porches.

The thickness of the west wall suggests that the present building has been enlarged from a 12th-century church, but no detail earlier than the first half of the 13th century now remains. The chancel, transepts, and nave arcades are of this period, but the central tower, then erected, seems to have been rebuilt in the succeeding century, when the 13th-century aisles were reconstructed. In the 15th century the upper part of the tower was rebuilt, and at the same time the walls of the chancel, transepts and nave were raised and a clearstory added, the west porch built, the whole church was reroofed and a number of windows were inserted. The church was restored in 1819 and again in 1872, when the north and south porches were added, but many of the old details were destroyed.

The walls, which are of flint, include a good deal of stone rubble and have ashlar dressings which are considerably restored. The east wall of the chancel has a plain parapet and a tablet with the date 1743, while the parapets of the north and south walls are embattled. The transepts and nave have embattled parapets and the aisles plain parapets. The walls of the west porch are of ashlar masonry with a modern parapet. There are a number of old lead rain-water heads, one of which is dated 1716 and another 1719. The roofs generally are covered with lead, but those of the north and south porches are tiled.

The east window of the chancel is 15th-century work of four cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred drop head. In the north wall, visible externally, are two blocked lancet lights, the labels of which have been cut off, and a 15th-century window of three cinquefoiled lights in a four-centred head. Below the blocked lancets is a 15th-century recess with a four-centred moulded and cinquefoiled subcusped head, which may have been an Easter sepulchre. It now, however, contains the effigy of a priest vested for mass. The head and feet of the figure have been defaced. On the left side is a small hollow with a drain-hole in the bottom. The effigy has been variously assigned to Peter Chaceporc, rector here from 1241 to 1254, to Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester, brother of King Stephen, who died in 1171, and to one 'Gramfer.' The first is the most probable both for date and person, but it is doubtful if Chaceporc was buried here. (fn. 144) In the south wall are two windows, similar to that in the opposite wall but considerably restored, and between them is a small blocked doorway, of the same period and also restored, with a four-centred head. West of this point on the external face part of a 13th-century lancet, masked by a 15th-century buttress, is visible.

The central tower is of three stages, with a modern parapet and an octagonal leaded spire. The stair turret in the north-west pier continues through the second and third stages as a square projection and is carried above the level of the parapet. The ground stage has a pointed arch in each face, of three chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner two springing from jambs of two chamfered orders with moulded capitals and bases. In the middle of each face of the second stage is a blocked opening into the former steep-pitched roofs, the lines of which are visible on all the faces. The east face has on either side of this opening a narrow trefoiled light and at the top of the stage two quatrefoiled circular lights, modern externally. The north and west faces each have two similar circular lights, and the south face a clock dial. In each face of the bell-chamber is a restored 15th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; that on the west face has the quatrefoil blocked by the clock dial. The east and west faces each have in addition a small rectangular loop, the former of which is blocked. The stair turret projects slightly into the nave and north transept, and is entered by a doorway from the latter with a flat, shouldered head. There is a narrow loop light through the north-west pier of the tower; the doorway to the ringing chamber is similar to that from the transept and has an old door. There are other doorways to the roof of the nave, to the chamber which, with the ringing chamber, forms the second stage, to the bell-chamber, and to the roof.

The north transept is now used as a vestry and organ chamber. There are two tall 13th-century windows with early 14th-century trefoiled and traceried heads in the east wall. Between the windows at a lower level is a 14th-century piscina with a trefoiled head. The north window is of three lights, the middle light being wider than the others. It is of the best type of 14th-century work, but has been a good deal restored; above the apex internally there is an angel corbel, probably of the 15th century. In the west wall is a restored late 13th-century window of two uncusped pointed lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head, and beneath the window is a restored 15th-century doorway. At the south end of the wall a two-centred arch of 14th-century date gives access to the north aisle. It is of two moulded orders, the inner continuous on the north side only and having broached stops at the base. In the upper part of the wall there are two sexfoiled circular clearstory windows, probably of about 1300, but restored externally.

Plan of Ivinghoe Church

The details of the south transept correspond to those of the north transept, with the exception that there is no west doorway and that the inner order of the arch to the south aisle is continuous on both sides. All the dressings are considerably restored externally.

In the turret projection at the north-east angle of the nave is a rectangular recess, evidently for the end of the former rood-beam, on the back of which is a part of an old black-letter inscription. The north and south arcades are each of five bays and have narrow pointed arches of two hollow-chamfered orders, which have apparently been recut. The arches spring from octagonal piers and semi-octagonal responds with moulded bases, probably recut in the 15th century, and capitals carved with stiff-leaved foliage, those of the north arcade being at a slightly lower level than those of the south. A peculiar feature occurs on the nave side of the easternmost pair of arches. The inner order of the arches is unaffected, but the western curves of the outer order and label are continued to a higher level, throwing the apex out of the centre and necessitating a vertical break in the eastern curve. The reason for this is not apparent, but it is probably a 15th-century alteration made to afford a more satisfactory finish for the rood-loft against the walls. Above each pier in both walls the lower stones of former clearstory windows similar to those of the transepts remain in the walls. Above the apex of each arch is a 15th-century clearstory window of three cinquefoiled lights in a two-centred drop arch. The windows, especially on the south side, are much restored externally and have labels, the stops of which are carved as human and grotesque heads. The west doorway is a beautiful example of 13th-century workmanship of a period rather later than the remainder of the nave. The elaborately moulded arch is pointed and springs from moulded jambs, each of which has an engaged shaft and a capital carved with stiff-leaved foliage. The doorway has been a good deal restored, and the bases of the shafts are modern. The window above was originally of the same period as the doorway, but is now entirely modern with the exception of the inner jambs, which have attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases.

In the north wall of the north aisle are two muchrestored 14th-century windows, the easternmost of three cinquefoiled lights and the other of two trefoiled lights, both with traceried two-centred heads. The doorway between them is of the same period and has continuously-moulded jambs and a two-centred head enriched alternately with ball-flower and four-leaved ornaments. The door and its hinges are old. The window in the west wall is of two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head, the inner jambs and rear arch alone being original.

In the east wall of the south aisle, south of the arch to the transept, is a rough stone corbel. The south wall is pierced by two windows, the easternmost of which is similar to the corresponding window in the north aisle. The other window and the window in the west wall are of the 14th century, but almost entirely restored; each is of two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. Between the windows in the south wall is a doorway similar to that in the north aisle; several of the enrichments of the mouldings are modern.

The west porch has a 15th-century outer archway of two continuously moulded orders, the inner four-centred and the outer square, with sunk traceried spandrels. In the battlement above is a modern shield of Cust quartering Egerton.

The chancel roof of the 15th-century is of flat pitch with moulded cambered tie-beams, beneath which are four-centred spandrel pieces springing from variously carved stone corbels, including human heads. The other timbers are also moulded, and at the feet of the intermediate principals are carved figures of angels holding shields.

The roofs of the transepts are of similar date and character; in the north transept a circlet or wreath and a crown are substituted for the shields held by two of the angels, while in the south transept the shields are charged with various heraldic devices. Two of the stone corbels are simply moulded, while one represents an angel with a shield.

The nave roof of five bays is also of similar date and character, but two only of the figures of angels hold shields, one holding a circlet or wreath, and the remainder scrolls. The spandrel pieces spring from a lower level and rest on carved wooden full-length figures, perhaps representing the twelve apostles. The bay nearest the chancel is ceiled and subdivided into panels by moulded ribs, with carved bosses at the intersections.

The roof of the north aisle is of flat pitch and has simply moulded timbers, while that of the south aisle is of similar form; but it has curved spandrel pieces beneath the principals, springing from moulded stone corbels. It is possibly of earlier date, the timbers being of rougher workmanship.

The roof of the west porch is divided into three bays by four-centred moulded stone ribs, with an infilling of masonry.

On the south side of the chancel is a brass with an inscription to 'Rauf Fallywolle' (Fallowell) and 'Lucie' his wife, who died in 1349 and 1368 respectively; another to Richard Blackhed, who died in 1517, and Maude his wife, with small figures of the man in a long gown and the woman in pedimental head-dress. A third brass to William Duncombe, who died in 1576, and Mary and Alice, his wives, shows a small figure of the man and an indent for the figure of a wife on either side, below the first of which is a group of three sons and two daughters, and below the second the indent for six sons and five daughters. On the north side of the chancel in one slab are brasses to Thomas 'Doncombe,' who died in 1531, and Joan his wife, with a small figure of the man, a space for that of the woman, and groups of six sons and four daughters, and to John 'Douncombe,' who died in 1594, and Alyce his wife, with small figures of the man and woman, and groups of four sons and three daughters.

Ivinghoe Church from the South-east

The pulpit is of oak, hexagonal on plan, probably of early 17th-century date and elaborately panelled and enriched with strapwork. The standard, flanked by two griffons, is panelled, the lower panel being crudely carved with a representation of the Resurrection, and has a cherub's head frieze and a cornice enriched with scrollwork. The canopy has a panelled soffit with a carved and pierced hexagonal drop in the centre and a pierced and turned drop at each outer angle. It has a pierced strapwork frieze with a dentilled cornice, and at each angle is a pair of carved and pierced finials, behind which is an arcaded carved and pierced cresting. The original iron hour-glass stand remains, but the hour-glass is modern.

Incorporated in the seating of the nave are thirtytwo bench ends of 15th or 16th-century date with poppy-head finials of a variety of designs into which are introduced grotesque faces and figures. The lectern is probably of the same period and has an octagonal shaft with a moulded base and a two-way revolving top on which is scratched the date 1686.

In the north transept there is a 17th-century chair with a carved back, shaped arms and turned legs, and in the south transept a small table of the same century with pierced and shaped standards and carved arcading beneath the middle rail.

There is a benefaction board on the east wall of the north transept dated 1740.

There are five bells, which were recast by John Warner & Sons of London, with the addition of a sixth, in 1875, and a sanctus.

The communion plate includes a large paten of 1672, the gift of Lady Mary Miller; a cup of 1722, a flagon of 1767 (apparently), presented by Samuel Whitbread in memory of his wife Harriet Hayton, who died in 1764; a small unmarked paten; and a large pewter almsdish given by Francis Parr in 1704, engraved with the royal arms in a garter with supporters, the motto 'Semper Eadem,' mantling and crest.

The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms and burials 1559 to 1669, marriages 1559 to 1653 and 1661 to 1669; (ii) births 1653 to 1660, baptisms 1669 to 1709, marriages 1653 to 1660 and 1669 to 1709, burials 1653 to 1709; (iii) baptisms and marriages 1709 to 1745, burials 1709 to 1744; (iv) baptisms and burials 1746 to 1800, marriages 1746 to 1766; (v) marriages 1766 to 1809; there are also a number of loose sheets with entries of baptisms and burials to 1812.

The churchyard contains a number of headstones, apparently of 17th-century date but mostly indecipherable, and on a buttress of the south aisle is a tablet to Elizabeth wife of Richard Talbot, who died in 1777.

On the outside of the churchyard wall there is a large firehook with long pole, formerly used for tearing off the thatch of a building threatened by fire.


The church belonged with the manor to the see of Winchester, and reference to it occurs in 1241, when, on voidance of the see, the king presented Peter Chaceporc, (fn. 145) his Poitevin favourite, to the rectory. In 1291 the church was valued at £36 13s. 4d. (fn. 146) The church remained attached to Winchester until 1413, in which year the bishop received permission to grant the advowson in mortmain to the college of Ashridge provided a perpetual vicar were well endowed and a competent sum from fruits of the church assigned for yearly distribution to the poor parishioners by the ordinary. (fn. 147) The bull from the pope allowing this was issued in 1420–1. (fn. 148) The college continued to hold the church until the Dissolution. (fn. 149) The advowson of the vicarage was granted in 1551 to Sir John Mason, kt., with the manor (q.v.), with which it has since been held, (fn. 150) Earl Brownlow being the present patron.

In the early 16th century Margaret Warcope, widow, left land in Pulloxhill (Beds.) (fn. 151) to William Quarendon to find a priest to sing for her soul in Ivinghoe Church for six months. A chapel dedicated to St. James the Apostle stood in Ivinghoe Aston before 1337, in which year Ralph Fallowell alienated a messuage, land and a rent of 16s., seven capons and sixteen hens to a chaplain who should celebrate mass daily in the chapel for the souls of Ralph's ancestors and the good estate of himself and his wife Lucy. (fn. 152) This grant was followed in 1340 by the bishop's licence to Ralph Fallowell for the foundation of a chantry in the chapel, in which, as there had previously been no endowment, it was feared divine service must otherwise cease. (fn. 153) Thomas Duncombe, by his will proved in 1531, left 49s. 4d. annuity for the space of thirty years to the chaplain of the chantry. (fn. 154) Its annual value in 1535 amounted to 71s. 8d. (fn. 155)

As was stated in a 16th-century survey the chapel was both a chapel of ease for the parish of Ivinghoe and a private chapel of the Fallowells, and was distant a mile and a half from the parish church. (fn. 156)

The survey shows that the annual value was 66s. 6d., whereof 58s. 10d. was paid for the salary of the priest, for whom no house was provided, the parishioners augmenting this by 53s. 4d. yearly owing to the fact that there were '240 houseling people within the said parish and none to help the vicar but only the said priest,' who was then one Thomas, aged forty, and 'having no other livinge doth occupy himself teaching of childernes.' (fn. 157) Parishioners living on the land belonging to the chapel paid no rent, but were, instead, responsible for the repairs. (fn. 158) In 1550 Edward VI granted this chapel with very many others to Thomas Rede, John Johnson and Henry Herdson. (fn. 159) No further mention of it appears, but Chapel Hill (fn. 160) was still so named in the early 19th century, and mounds of the graves were visible there. (fn. 161) In the 18th century a wake or feast was still kept at Aston about the date of St. James's Day. (fn. 162)


The benefactions anciently belonging to this parish were recorded on a tablet in the church bearing date 1740, including a gift of land by William Duncombe of Aston in 1576, a gift of 2½ acres in Aston by John Symon in 1617, and of a close in Aston by Mrs. Alice Duncombe, also 2 acres purchased in 1736 with £10 given by Mr. Alsop, and £20 timber money from the Poor Close.

By an Inclosure Award of 1825 about 19 acres situate in the hamlet of Aston were allotted in lieu of the properties above mentioned, including the Poor Close. The gross rent amounts to £31 16s. a year, which after payment of rates and expenses is distributed among the poor, but a new scheme is under consideration.

In 1603 William Duncombe of Battlesden, by his will, devised a messuage in Leighton Buzzard for the poor of Leighton, Ivinghoe, Dunstable, Battlesden and Potsgrove. This parish receives £10 a year, being one-fifth of the rent, which is distributed among poor widows of the parish and hamlets.

The church lands, also mentioned in the church tablet, consist of 6 acres of pasture land let at £22 yearly, and a sum of £284 18s. consols with the official trustees, producing £7 3s. 4d. a year, issuing from the sale in 1872 of a house, formerly the workhouse; £10 is paid to the organist, £7 10s. to the clerk, and the remainder for church repairs and insurance.

Countess of Bridgewater's Educational Trust.

This parish receives £10 a year from the trustees, which is applied towards the support of the school. (See under Edlesborough.)

The hamlet of Aston.

This hamlet also participates in the Countess of Bridgewater's educational trust, the sum of £10 being received annually and applied towards the support of the school.

The hamlet of Horton.

The poor's allotments consist of arable and grass land containing 1 a. 2 r. 25 p. and 2 a. 3 r. 30 p. respectively, and a public watering place, of the annual letting value of £13 15s.


  • 1. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 2. Add. MS. 5840, p. 130.
  • 3. Com. Pleas D. Enr. Hil. 8 Eliz.
  • 4. Ibid. Trin. 2 Geo. I, m. 8.
  • 5. V.C.H. Herts. ii, 317, 208.
  • 6. Eccl. Com. Ct. R. Winton Dioc. bdle. 85, no. 5.
  • 7. Cal. Pat. 1317–21, p. 31.
  • 8. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1645–7, p. 97.
  • 9. Add. MS. 5840, p. 139; Rec. of Bucks. (Bucks. Arch. and Archit. Soc.), viii, 435–45.
  • 10. Loc. and Personal Act, 50 Geo. III, cap. 201.
  • 11. Priv. Act, 1 & 2 Geo. IV, cap. 1.
  • 12. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 233.
  • 13. Feud. Aids, i. 74, 103, 111, 129.
  • 14. L. and P. Hen. VIII, iv (3), 6516; v, g. 80 (9).
  • 15. Eccl. Com. Ct. R. Winton Dioc. bdles. 84, no. 25; 85, no. 5, 6.
  • 16. Acts of P.C. 1550–2, p. 359.
  • 17. Orig. R. 5 Edw. VI, pt. i, m. 91.
  • 18. Pat. 4 & 5 Phil. and Mary, pt. vii, m. 24.
  • 19. V.C.H. Hants, ii, 74.
  • 20. Feet of F. Bucks. Hil. 24 Eliz.
  • 21. Ibid. Mich. 28 Eliz.; Pat. 28 Eliz. pt. xiii, m. 41; Recov. R. Mich. 28 Eliz. m. 113.
  • 22. Pat. 31 Eliz. pt. xv, m. 3; Recov. R. Mich. 35 Eliz. m. 225.
  • 23. Feet of F. Bucks. East. 1 Jas. I; Close, 2 Jas. I, pt. xiii.
  • 24. Close, 2 Jas. I, pt. xiii.
  • 25. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccxcvi, 151.
  • 26. Feet of F. Bucks. Mich. 16 Chas. II; Div. Co. East. 25 Chas. II; Recov. R. Hil. 2 Anne, m. 73; Trin. 8 Geo. I. m 230; Priv. Act, 1 & 2 Geo. IV, cap. 1.
  • 27. G.E.C. Peerage, ii, 23.
  • 28. Chan. Proc. (Ser. 2), bdle. 244, no. 17.
  • 29. Add. MS. 5840, 101. 129.
  • 30. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 83.
  • 31. Chart. R. 12 Edw. II, m. 18, no. 84.
  • 32. Pat. 5 Eliz. pt. i, m. 15.
  • 33. Lysons, Mag. Brit. i (3), 587.
  • 34. Sheahan, Hist. and Topog. of Bucks. 694.
  • 35. De Banco R. 350, m. 211; 355, m. 66 d.
  • 36. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 260.
  • 37. Chan. Inq. p.m. 40 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 34; 10 Ric. II, no. 39, 80.
  • 38. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 246.
  • 39. Chan. Inq. p.m. 1 Hen. IV, no. 17.
  • 40. Ibid. (Ser. 2), cccxxxvi, 71; dxxiii, 62. See also Grove.
  • 41. Loc. and Personal Act, 50 Geo. III, cap. 201.
  • 42. Cal. Pat. 1338–40, p. 278.
  • 43. Feet of F. Div. Co. Hil. 7 Ric. II.
  • 44. Feet of F. Bucks. Trin. 21 Eliz.; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclxiv, 109.
  • 45. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccxxxvi, 71.
  • 46. Ibid. dxxiii, 62.
  • 47. Recov. R. Trin. 1655, m. 21.
  • 48. P.C.C. 67 Lloyd; M. I. in Edlesborough Church.
  • 49. Musgrave's Obit. (Harl. Soc.), vi, 75.
  • 50. Feet of F. Bucks. Hil. 11 Will. III.
  • 51. Com. Pleas D. Enr. Trin. 2 Geo. I, m. 8.
  • 52. Feet of F. Bucks. East. 5 Geo. II.
  • 53. Lipscomb Hist. and Antiq. of Bucks. iii, 353–4.
  • 54. Ibid.; Loc. and Personal Act, 50 Geo. III, cap. 201.
  • 55. Lipscomb, op. cit. iii, 354.
  • 56. Sheahan, op. cit. 677.
  • 57. V.C.H. Bucks, i, 262.
  • 58. Ibid.
  • 59. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 384.
  • 60. Ibid.
  • 61. Dugdale, Mon. vi, 517.
  • 62. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 245.
  • 63. Ibid. 212.
  • 64. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 383.
  • 65. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 259.
  • 66. Chan. Inq. p.m. 25 Edw. I, no. 50b.
  • 67. Ibid. (Ser. 2), dccxlix, 38.
  • 68. Cal. Close, 1296–1302, p. 284.
  • 69. Feet of F. Bucks. Mich, 7 Edw. II.
  • 70. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Bek.
  • 71. a M. I. in church.
  • 72. P.C.C. 7 Thower.
  • 73. Ibid. 33 Dyngeley.
  • 74. Ibid.
  • 75. Feet of F. Bucks. Hil. 4 Eliz.
  • 76. P.C.C. 7 Thower.
  • 77. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1566–79, p. 426.
  • 78. P.C.C. 30 Carew.
  • 79. Ibid. M. I. in church.
  • 80. P.C.C. 57 Scott; M. I. in church.
  • 81. Feet of F. Bucks. Trin. 2 Jas. I; East. 3 Jas. I. There is a single record, in 1612, of a manor in Ivinghoe Aston called East Aston alias Darches held by Richard Sawell and Thomas Fountayne (ibid. Mich. 10 Jas. I).
  • 82. John Duncombe had three brothers, William, Edmund and Giles (P.C.C. 30 Carew), who may be identical with the persons here mentioned. His son and heir William died in 1629, leaving several sons, of whom William had the Rectory Manor (P.C.C. 58 Scroop).
  • 83. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), dccxiix, no. 38.
  • 84. P.C.C. 44 Seager.
  • 85. Feet of F. Bucks. Mich. 12 Chas. II. In 1678 Giles Duncombe sued his brother Charles for lands in Ivinghoe settled in September 1667 by their father John Duncombe, who died before the following April. Chan. Proc. (Bridges Div.), bdle. 474, no. 36.
  • 86. Recov. R. East. 7 Geo. I, m. 54.
  • 87. Feet of F. Bucks. Trin. 10 & 11 Geo. II.
  • 88. Muigrave's Obit. (Harl. Soc.), ii, 228.
  • 89. Feet of F. Bucks. (K.S.B.), Mich. 32 Geo. II.
  • 90. P.C.C. 416 St. Eloy.
  • 91. Add. MS. 5840, p. 139.
  • 92. Feet of F. Bucks. East. 46 Geo. III.
  • 93. Lipscomb, op. cit. iii, 398.
  • 94. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 245.
  • 95. Com. Pleas D. Enr. Mich. 30 Hen. VIII, m. 8.
  • 96. Ibid. 7 & 8 Eliz.
  • 97. Ibid. Hil. 8 Eliz.
  • 98. Feet of F. Bucks. Mich. 32 Eliz.
  • 99. Ibid. Hil. 34 Eliz.; Close, 34 Eliz. pt. iii.
  • 100. Chan. Proc. (Ser. 2), bdle. 346, no. 10.
  • 101. Ibid.
  • 102. P.C.C. 198 Fines.
  • 103. Cal. Com. for Comp. 2290.
  • 104. Ibid.
  • 105. Add. MS. 5840, p. 129.
  • 106. Feet of F. Bucks. 12 Hen. III, no. 36.
  • 107. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 383.
  • 108. Chan. Inq. p.m. 21 Edw. I, no. 45; 20 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 34.
  • 109. Ibid. 21 Edw. I, no. 45.
  • 110. Cal. Close, 1288–96, p. 380.
  • 111. Feud. Aids, i, 103.
  • 112. Cal. Pat. 1340–3, p. 105.
  • 113. Feud. Aids, i, 128; Chan. Inq. p.m. 20 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 34.
  • 114. V.C.H. Herts. ii, 317.
  • 115. Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), ii, 41.
  • 116. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 227.
  • 117. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiii (1), g. 887 (20).
  • 118. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), Ixxiv, 3; Fine R. 38 Hen. VIII, no. 15.
  • 119. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxxxvi, 20.
  • 120. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccccvi, 7.
  • 121. Ibid. ccxxxvi, 20.
  • 122. Pat. 3 Chas. I, pt. viii, no. 5.
  • 123. Add. MS. 5840, p. 141.
  • 124. Ibid. pp. 129, 141.
  • 125. Feet of F. Bucks. Mich. 28 Geo. III.
  • 126. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, pp. 383–4.
  • 127. P.C.C. 7 Thower.
  • 128. Add. MS. 5840, fol. 129.
  • 129. Lipscomb, op. cit. iii, 402.
  • 130. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 226.
  • 131. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xix (1), g. 1036 (61b).
  • 132. Misc. Bks. (Exch. L.T.R.), clxxxviii, fol. 161.
  • 133. See Ivinghoe Aston.
  • 134. Feet of F. Bucks. Mich. 6 Chas. I.
  • 135. Ibid. East. 16 Chas. I; Mich. 16 Chas. I.
  • 136. P.C.C. 58 Scroop.
  • 137. Ibid. 528 Pell.
  • 138. Recov. R. Hil. 2 Aune.
  • 139. Sheahan, op. cit. 698.
  • 140. Feet of F. Bucks. Hil. 52 Geo. III.
  • 141. Ibid. Mich. 59 & 60 Geo. III; Priv. Act, 1 & 2 Geo. IV, cap. 1.
  • 142. Misc. Bks. (Exch. L.T.R.), clxxxviii, fol. 164.
  • 143. P.C.C. 528 Pell.
  • 144. a See as to this effigy Bucks. Rec. ix, 143; x, 266–7.
  • 145. Cal. Pat. 1232–47, p. 249.
  • 146. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 33.
  • 147. Cal. Pat. 1413–16, pp. 9, 174.
  • 148. Linc. Epis. Reg. Memo. Fleming, fol. 217 d.
  • 149. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 9.
  • 150. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 151. Early Chan. Proc. bdle. 438, no. 4.
  • 152. Cal. Pat. 1334–8, p. 554.
  • 153. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Bek, fol. 147. His father and mother, William and Isabel, are mentioned as joint founders.
  • 154. Chant. Cert. 5, no. 100; P.C.C. 7 Thower.
  • 155. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 231.
  • 156. Chant. Cert. 4, no. 8.
  • 157. Ibid.
  • 158. Ibid.
  • 159. Pat. 4 Edw. VI, pt. vii, m. 24.
  • 160. Com. Pleas D. Enr. Hil. 8 Eliz.
  • 161. Rec. of Bucks. vii, 198.
  • 162. Add. MS. 5840, p. 130.