A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1925.
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The parish of Little Marlow, which contains the village of that name and several outlying hamlets, consists of 3,328 acres, (fn. 1) of which 1,525 acres are arable land, 997 acres are laid down in grass and 485 acres are covered by woods and plantations. (fn. 2) The soil is chalk, flint and gravel, producing crops of wheat. The Thames forms the southern boundary, and the low-lying land along its banks nowhere rises to a greater height than 100 ft. above ordnance datum. North of the village, however, the rise in the ground is marked and reaches 476 ft. at Handy Cross on the north-west boundary. From here one of the familiar 'bottoms' of Buckinghamshire, Winchbottom Lane, which forms the northern boundary, dips down to 262 ft. at Winchbottom Farm, and then rises again to over 450 ft. on its way to Flackwell Heath in the east.
The village, which is very small, lies in a low position, not far from the Thames bank. The church of St. John Baptist stands in a churchyard entered by a lych-gate at the southern entrance, with the vicarage, a substantial late 18th-century building, opposite. Higher up the street, on the left, an avenue of fine elms leads to the Manor House, the seat of Mrs. Bradish-Ellames. The house is an irregular building, with a modern front, though other parts date from the early 17th century. The staircase is original, and the hall is lined with panelling of the same date brought from elsewhere. The house stands in well-arranged gardens. Little Marlow Farm at the top of the street, with a group of cottages, the usual smithy, public-houses and post office complete the village.
The high road, which runs westward from Little Marlow to Great Marlow, skirts the park of Westhorpe House on the western boundary. The house was built by James Chase, who was M.P. for Great Marlow in the reign of Queen Anne, and is a large square building in the classical style with an imposing porch. During the 18th century it was successively occupied by Dr. Maddox, Bishop of Worcester, and Mr. Everard Faukener, ambassador to the Porte and postmaster-general. (fn. 3) It was later the seat of General Nugent, and is at present the residence of Major H. S. C. Gordon. In the grounds, where is a lake, there are some fine old cedar trees.
The Marlow branch of the Great Western railway runs through the parish close to and parallel with the north bank of the Thames. At Spade Oak, near the eastern boundary, there is a ferry across the River Thames, and on the road leading to it are a few cottages of early 17th-century origin.
The stream which flows eastward from Westhorpe and passes the village on the south divides further on near the Ferry Hotel and Cold Moorholm, a group of 17th-century cottages and a farm, and empties itself into the Thames near the site of the priory of Little Marlow. The remains of this nunnery are in the grounds of the 'Abbey,' a modern house, with parts, however, built of ancient materials. The priory was a small and never wealthy house of Benedictine nuns, and occupied a site with a plan of somewhat irregular setting out on level and marshy ground by the river. It was surrounded by streams watered by the springs that rise to the east and west and gave it its name 'de fontibus de Merlawe.' The grantees at the Dissolution seem to have allowed the buildings to remain unoccupied, and though as late as 1719 a great part of the conventual buildings were standing they had been used as a quarry for the neighbouring farms and had fallen into ruin. The hall, 60 ft. in length, was pulled down in 1740; part of the church tower was still standing in 1797; and in 1813 Lysons records that 'there are now no remains of the convent buildings.'
In 1902 a fragment of rough stone wall which formed part of a summer-house in the grounds of the abbey was identified as the north-east angle of the frater, and excavations revealed the footings and lower courses of several walls of flint and chalk with angles of red tile. The subsequent digging out of the remains of the nunnery by Mr. Vaughan Williams in 1902 has given a practically complete plan of this interesting establishment. (fn. 4)
The aisleless church had a nave about 50 ft. long, a quire of half that length, each having a width of 20 ft. 6 in., to which in later times were added a western tower 12 ft. 6 in. square with foundations 6 ft. wide, an eastern extension of the quire for 15 ft., and a north transept 19 ft. by 24 ft. having a small eastern chapel 24 ft. long by 11 ft. 9 in. wide. To the south of the nave lay the cloister, roughly 50 ft. square, having on its eastern side the chapter-house 17 ft. by 18 ft. 10 in., separated from the south wall of the quire by a passage 6 ft. wide; extending southward beyond it for 69 ft. 9 in. was the warminghouse with dorter over.
The frater, 40 ft. 6 in. by 19 ft., with a narrow passage to the infirmary between it and the warminghouse, was on the south side of the cloister, while the cellar (with guest hall over) 17 ft. wide, extending southward from the tower of the church for 60 ft., formed the western range of the conventual buildings. The kitchen, approximately square, was added at a later date at the south-west angle of the frater. The infirmary, 67 ft. by 19 ft. 6 in., lay to the south of the frater, running parallel with it and with the L-shaped reredorter further east formed the southern range of a second inclosure.
Of these buildings the earliest are the church, those about the cloister, and the reredorter. These belong to about the year 1220. The transept of the church with its chapel is apparently not earlier than 1250. The eastern extension of the quire may be dated as 1292, for in that year Bishop Sutton of Lincoln dedicated the high altar on the feast of St. Agatha. (fn. 5) The date of the tower cannot be determined, but it is not considered to be part of the original church. The kitchen and infirmary are perhaps work of the 14th century, a conclusion suggested by Bishop Dalderby's indulgence in 1311. (fn. 6) The walls of the buildings generally are 3 ft. 6 in. thick, those of the infirmary are 2 ft. 6 in., of the chapel 2 ft. 3 in.
Many flooring tiles of the 14th and 15th centuries were found in course of the excavations, one of which had a shield of Clare.
Of the outer buildings nothing remains except an old timber barn, now converted into cottages, lying to the west beyond the stream, and signs of masonry in the dry ditch to the north, which are perhaps remains of the bridge to the precincts of the priory. (fn. 7)
This part of the parish, now called the Abbey Estate, Bourne End, which extends into Wooburn, has been cut up into building sites. Recent years have witnessed the erection of bungalows and thatched cottages, so arranged that their gardens slope down to the edge of the stream which flows through the estate. Easy access to London has been established by the Great Western railway, which has a station just over the boundary in Bourne End, and thus the district has become a favourite summer resort of visitors.
Well End, which was transferred to Little Marlow from Hedsor under the Divided Parishes Act, is a continuation of Bourne End on the north and is a large-sized hamlet with several good houses and a Congregational mission hall built in 1886. From here a road leads north past a gravel-pit and quarry, leaving Pigconhouse Farm on the right and Sheepridge and New Farm on the left, to Flackwell Heath, a large hamlet in the north-east, with Sedgmore House and Farm to the south. Several of the roads run straight north from the Marlow road. One, leading from the village, passes an old quarry and leads through Bloom and Warren Woods to Hard-to-Find Farm. Winchbottom Farm and Ray Farm are reached by a road leading past Lower Winchbottom through Horton Wood. Further west, near the entrance to Westhorpe, a road runs north, branching at about half a mile distance. The left fork climbs to Harper's Heath and Handy Cross, while the right leads to Monkton Farm, a building with an old wing of three gables, which probably marks the site of Monkton Manor.
Among place-names occur those of Lachenes Croft, Smethmeres, Walendes, (fn. 8) Colmers Croft and Wadbrecke (fn. 9) (xvi cent.); Caspanter Wood (fn. 10) (xvii cent.); the Gibbs, the Linnards, Ivory Field, Vineyard Close and Little Sandell Common Field (fn. 11) (xviii cent.).
Five hides in Marlow, held formerly by Queen Edith and assessed in 1086 among the lands of the Bishop of Bayeux, with Tedald as tenant, (fn. 12) afterwards became the LITTLE MARLOW MANOR held by the priory there. This holding escheated to the Crown after the forfeiture of Odo, and appears to have been given to the Earls of Gloucester, who afterwards held overlordship rights here. (fn. 13) They seem, however, to have given the greater part of their estate in free alms to the priory of Little Marlow, to the election of the heads of which religious house they gave their consent in the early 13th century. (fn. 14) On the other hand, this estate, said to be 4 hides in 1196, when Brian de Britwell granted one-third to William and Matilda Barbell his wife, (fn. 15) was held by the prioress in the 13th century of Geoffrey de St. Martin, (fn. 16) who had overlordship rights in 1 carucate of land here in 1225. (fn. 17) In 1242 the prioress obtained a renunciation of all claim to this carucate from Isabel daughter of Alexander, (fn. 18) who in the same year gave up certain rights to Geoffrey de St. Martin. (fn. 19) In 1247 the prioress acquired John de Hedgerley's interest in onethird of 4 hides here for 5 marks (fn. 20) and later made additions to the estate. (fn. 21) In 1339 the Bishop of Lincoln was allotted a pension of 20s. from the manor in consideration of his good services to the nuns, (fn. 22) and his successor was still in receipt of the same in 1540. (fn. 23) The prioress's cattle were distrained in 1345 for non-payment of the subsidy granted to the king, but they were restored on proof that the 2 carucates of land had been granted to the priory in free alms before the Statute of Mortmain. (fn. 24) After the Dissolution the priory's estate, assessed at £7 6s. 10½d. in 1535, (fn. 25) was leased in 1537 to Elizabeth Restwold, (fn. 26) and the rent reserved was bestowed later in the year on the new foundation of Bisham Abbey. (fn. 27) It was dissolved, however, in the following year, (fn. 28) and the manor was bestowed in fee in 1540 on John Tytley and Elizabeth Restwold, later his wife, (fn. 29) by whom it was alienated in 1556 to John Lord Williams of Thame. (fn. 30) Thomas, Anthony, John, Arthur and James Wilmot acquired the rights of Lord Williams two years later, (fn. 31) and in the following year Thomas Wilmot alienated his one-fifth to William Bury, (fn. 32) by whom it was conveyed in 1561 to John Borlase. (fn. 33) He was at once called upon to prove his right, (fn. 34) the Crown contending that a grant of the manor made in 1541 to Anne of Cleves was valid. (fn. 35) Borlase, however, remained in possession, and was sheriff for the county in 1567 and again in 1588. (fn. 36) He acquired another fifth of the manor from John Wilmot in 1570, (fn. 37) a third fifth from Arthur Wilmot in 1573, (fn. 38) and a fourth share from James Wilmot in 1574. (fn. 39) The remaining fifth must have been acquired from Anthony Wilmot, as at John Borlase's death in 1593 the whole manor passed to his son William. (fn. 40) He was sheriff in 1601 (fn. 41) and in 1616 received a grant of a court leet and view of frankpledge twice a year in the manor (fn. 42) and a grant of free warren in 1620. (fn. 43) He continued to hold Little Marlow (fn. 44) until his death in 1629. (fn. 45) His son and heir, another William, (fn. 46) died in the following year, leaving a son John, then a minor, (fn. 47) who with his step-father, Gabriel Hippesley, (fn. 48) represented Great Marlow in the Long Parliament. (fn. 49) He was created a baronet in 1642, (fn. 50) and both he and Hippesley compounded in 1647 as delinquents for their estate in Little Marlow. (fn. 51) At his death in 1672 (fn. 52) he was succeeded by his son John, (fn. 53) member for Great Marlow from 1685 until his death without issue in 1689. (fn. 54) His whole estate was inherited by his sister Anne wife of Arthur Warren (fn. 55) and was held by their son Borlase Warren in 1701. (fn. 56) By 1754 the manor had descended to his son John Borlase Warren, (fn. 57) who died in 1763, leaving Marlow to his son Admiral John Borlase Warren, (fn. 58) who represented the borough in Parliament 1774–84 (fn. 59) and was made a baronet in 1775. (fn. 60) On the occasion of his marriage in 1780 he vested the manor in trustees, (fn. 61) and in 1781 it was sold to pay his debts, the purchaser being William Lee Antonie. (fn. 62) He was in possession in 1786 (fn. 63) and was member for Great Marlow in 1790, (fn. 64) but sold Little Marlow in 1810 to General Sir George Nugent, bart., (fn. 65) lord of the manor until his death in 1849. (fn. 66) His son Sir G. E. Nugent, bart., conveyed the estate in 1862 to the trustees of John Pattison Ellames, then a minor, (fn. 67) in whose family it has remained, (fn. 68) the present owner, Mr. J. E. M. Bradish-Ellames, succeeding on the death of his father Colonel W. Bradish-Ellames in 1905.
The overlordship rights retained in Little Marlow by the Earls of Gloucester were exercised by them and their descendants, as in Great Missenden, (fn. 69) until probably 1521, though 1460 is the last date recorded of their connexion with this holding. (fn. 70)
The manorial rights appear to have been obtained by Richard Lord Fitz John with those of Singleborough in Great Horwood (fn. 71) (q.v.), with which this portion of Little Marlow descended until the end of the 16th century, after which date its history is lost.
Eight and a half hides and half a virgate in Little Marlow held formerly by Haming, a thegn of King Edward, were among the lands of Miles Crispin in 1086. (fn. 72) His possessions afterwards formed part of the honour of Wallingford, to which this portion of Marlow remained attached (fn. 73) as late as the 16th century. (fn. 74)
There were two tenants at Domesday, Ralf and Roger, (fn. 75) and this dual holding was afterwards represented by two distinct manors. They are said to have been sons of the Roland de Anvers who came over with William of Normandy, (fn. 76) and the part of this holding which appears to have been assigned to Ralf acquired from their family the name of DANVERS MANOR. The connexion between the early members of this family is obscure. Roland Danvers held under the honour of Wallingford in 1165 (fn. 77) and 1186–7 (fn. 78) and died in 1196, when the custody of his children and lands was given to Jordan de Valognes and his son Robert. (fn. 79) A Ralf Danvers, who may have been his son, was holding about 1201–2. (fn. 80) The Denise Danvers who in 1203 called her son Roland to warrant in connexion with lands in Little Marlow (fn. 81) was probably Roland's widow. Ralf Danvers died about 1213, when William Archdeacon of Huntingdon gave £100 for the custody of his lands and heirs with their marriages and that of Ralf's widow. (fn. 82) In 1218 this custody was acquired by Peter du Bois (fn. 83) and also by the Bishop of Chichester. (fn. 84)
The name of the son appears to have been Ralf, (fn. 85) and the Agnes Danvers who was patron of Little Marlow Priory in 1230 (fn. 86) was doubtless his mother. By 1234 Ralf appears to have attained his majority (fn. 87) and gave permission for the election of a prior in 1236 (fn. 88) and again in 1244, when he is called Sir Ralf. (fn. 89) He may be identical with the Ralf son of Ralf mentioned in 1272, (fn. 90) who was succeeded by William Danvers by 1275. (fn. 91) He held the manor until the late 13th century, (fn. 92) when it descended to his son, another William, (fn. 93) in possession in 1346. (fn. 94) His son Hugh in 1372 conveyed the manor to John atte Hull of Wooburn and his wife Agnes for their lives with twenty years' remainder to their heirs. (fn. 95) The history of this manor is by no means clear for the subsequent twenty years. In 1383 John de Gayford and his wife Joan for 400 marks renounced for themselves and the heir of Joan any right in the manor to Hugh de Cotyngham, clerk, and others, (fn. 96) who in the following year transferred their interest to Nicholas Salesbury, clerk, and John Salesbury the elder, merchant. (fn. 97) In 1388 Nicholas Salesbury, clerk, acquired the whole right, and in the following year paid a fine of £80 for the confirmation of his claim, Sir John Salesbury, kt., to whom the manor had been leased, having forfeited the same to the king. (fn. 98) The above transactions were probably connected with the lease granted by Hugh Danvers in 1372, which doubtless had expired by 1391, when Joan widow of William Danvers of Stanton, Derby, quitclaimed her interest in the manor to Thomas Chelreye and others. (fn. 99) Nothing further is known of it until its alienation in 1445 by Sir William son of Sir Walter Lucy to Ralf Ingoldesby, (fn. 100) who with Agnes his wife was living in 1463. (fn. 101) It was doubtless his widow Agnes who was the wife of Thomas Restwold in 1483, when a settlement of the manor, held in her right, was made. (fn. 102) Mention occurs of Thomas and his wife Agnes in 1492, (fn. 103) but she died in the following year, when she is styled widow of Ralf Ingoldesby. (fn. 104) Her son Thomas Ingoldesby having predeceased her, his son John, then aged eleven, succeeded to the manorial rights, (fn. 105) which, in conjunction with his son and heir Richard, he alienated, under the title of Danvers Manor, to Sir John Baldwin, chief justice of Common Pleas, in 1536. (fn. 106) The transaction appears to have been completed in 1539, (fn. 107) and on the death of Sir John Baldwin in 1545 it descended to his daughter Parnel's son John Borlase, (fn. 108) by whom it was settled in 1575 on his wife Anne for life. (fn. 109) John Borlase afterwards acquired the chief manor of Little Marlow (q.v.), with which Danvers has since descended.
Roger, the other tenant of Miles Crispin in Little Marlow, (fn. 110) also held in conjunction with Ralf in Hitcham, where he appears to have acquired sole right, and with which his share of Little Marlow, known from the 14th century as LOSEMERE MANOR, (fn. 111) descended through the Beauchamps, Ramsays and Clarkes until 1660. (fn. 112) In 1684 it was alienated by John and Theophila Langham to James Chase, (fn. 113) whose family had been connected with Marlow for some time. (fn. 114) The manorial rights appear to have been dispersed about this time, and there is no further reference to Losemere, but the Chases settled on the estate, where James the purchaser built Westhorpe House. He represented Great Marlow in Parliament in 1705 and 1708, (fn. 115) and tied with George Bruere in 1710, when his name was erased. (fn. 116) After his death in 1721 his widow held the estate for life with contingent remainder to Dr. Stephen Chase, the son of his cousin Stephen, (fn. 117) who came into possession in 1736. (fn. 118) At his death in 1740 his son Stephen inherited (fn. 119) and was in possession in 1761. (fn. 120) Westhorpe House and estate were later owned by Alexander Winch, after whose death in 1780 they were sold to Thomas Wilkinson, (fn. 121) sheriff in 1786, (fn. 122) of whom they were purchased towards the end of the century by General afterwards Sir George Nugent, bart. (fn. 123) He later acquired Little Marlow Manor, with which Westhorpe has since descended.
An estate in Little Marlow, known from the 16th century onwards as MONKTON MANOR, probably derived its name from its owners, the Abbot and monks of Medmenham. The abbey is first mentioned in connexion with Little Marlow at the end of the 13th century, (fn. 124) and its possessions in 1291 were valued at £2 1s. 4d. (fn. 125) Additions to the estate were made during the 14th century, (fn. 126) and about 1535 the rent of their place or mansion called 'Moncion,' or 'Monkeken,' was £3 6s. 8d., and other rents 13s. 4d., of which 19s. was paid to the priory of Marlow in recognition of certain claims on the holding. (fn. 127) Monkton was granted in 1540 to John Chaundler of London, goldsmith, (fn. 128) who with Robert Traps obtained licence in 1543 to alienate it to Sir John Baldwin and Alice his daughter. (fn. 129) The conveyance took place in the same year, (fn. 130) whereupon William Lovejoy, tenant of the manor, sued Chaundler and Traps for breach of contract, alleging that he had supplied the money to purchase Monkton from the Crown. (fn. 131) The claim proved abortive, and Monkton was inherited on the death of Sir John Baldwin in 1545 by his daughter Alice and after her death by John Borlase, (fn. 132) and henceforward descended with Little Marlow Manor, with which it doubtless amalgamated, as it is not specified by name after 1820. (fn. 133)
CRAWLTONS MANOR in Little Marlow may have taken its name from Thomas de Crowelton, who witnessed a charter here in 1312. (fn. 134) It belonged to Bisham Abbey and was granted to the new foundation in 1537. (fn. 135) It was afterwards granted with Monkton to John Chaundler, (fn. 136) and passed with it to John Borlase, whose right was contested by the Crown in 1561 on the ground that Crawltons had been bestowed on Anne of Cleves in 1541. (fn. 137) It was proved, however, that the previous grant in 1540 to Chaundler, though it did not mention Crawltons by name, comprised lands late of Bisham Abbey which corresponded in extent to Crawltons, (fn. 138) and the manor henceforward descended with Little Marlow Manor, being last mentioned in 1820. (fn. 139)
A small portion of land here which was held in 1284–6 by John de Somery of Nicholas de Segrave and by him of John de Hedsor, who held of the Earl of Cornwall, (fn. 140) appears in 1488 with the manors of Segraves in Penn and Wing in the possession of William Berkeley, Earl Marshal and Earl of Nottingham, as the manor of Little Marlow. (fn. 141) It can never have been of any importance, and nothing is heard of it after the middle 16th century. (fn. 142)
Among the possessions of the priory in Little Marlow was PROFITTS FARM, which was leased in 1528 to Robert Lovejoy for fifty-eight years at £2 0s. 8d. per annum. (fn. 143) The Lovejoys were a numerous family in the place, (fn. 144) and several of them were tithing-men for the different manors or on the list of jurors. (fn. 145) At the Dissolution Profitts was obtained by Thomas Clarke, who conveyed his interest to John Borlase. (fn. 146) The lease made to Robert Lovejoy in 1528 was due to expire in 1586, but Thomas Lovejoy, who then enjoyed it, had forged later leases and not only refused to give up his copy of the original lease, but also transferred the lease to Thomas Page of London, at the instigation of Rowland Hynd. (fn. 147) Thomas Lovejoy died in 1612, leaving a son Thomas, (fn. 148) whose widow Christian quarrelled in 1618 with her brother-in-law Nicholas Lovejoy. (fn. 149) The family seems to have died out after the 17th century.
The parish church of ST. JOHN BAPTIST consists of a chancel 25 ft. by 13 ft., south chapel 24 ft. by 10 ft. 6 in., nave 39 ft. by 18 ft., north aisle 11 ft. wide, south aisle 11 ft. wide, north porch and west tower 13 ft. by 12 ft. These measurements are all internal.
The walls generally are of flint rubble with chalk dressings, plastered; the roofs are tiled, and the porch is of timber and plaster. The south wall of the chancel and the chapel date from the end of the 12th century, which was probably the original date of the nave; while the north, and perhaps the east, wall of the chancel was rebuilt about a century later. About the middle of the 14th century the nave was widened on the north, the north aisle was added, and the tower either added or rebuilt. The south aisle was built in the 15th century, perhaps by Nicholas Ledewich, who restored the church, (fn. 150) and possibly the south chapel was lengthened eastward at the same time. The gabled porch with barge-boards and oak door is work of the early 16th century. Modern restorations were effected in 1866, when a gallery and high pews were taken out, and in 1902, when the 17th-century ceilings of the nave and chapel were removed, exposing the 15th-century roof timbers, and the dormer windows of the nave were inserted in place of the 17th-century dormers.
The chancel is lighted from the east by a restored late 14th-century pointed window of three lights with tracery, and from the north by two late 13th-century windows of two lights with tracery and moulded rear arches springing from attached shafts. A 15th-century depressed arch opens into the eastern part of the south chapel, and to the east of it is a decayed piscina with a credence shelf. The late 12th-century western arch of the chapel is of one plain semicircular order with moulded imposts. The contemporary pointed chancel arch is of a single order.
The south chapel is lighted from the east by a 15th-century window of three lights which retain a few pieces of contemporary glass, including a shield with the arms, Argent three crescents and a border sable charged with molets or, impaling Argent a cheveron between three fleurs de lis sable. In the south wall is a square-headed 15th-century window of two lights, also retaining some fragments of contemporary glass, one of which bears the name 'Ledewych.' On the sill of the east window is the square bowl of a 12th-century pillar piscina. There is a plain 15th-century arch to the south aisle with semi-octagonal responds and moulded capitals and bases. The roofs of the chancel and chapel are of 15th-century date.
The 14th-century north arcade of the nave is of three bays with arches of two moulded orders and octagonal columns with moulded capitals and bases, which seem to have been recut in the 16th century. The octagonal columns of the 15th-century south arcade, which is of the same number of bays, have been similarly treated. The arches are of two orders, the inner having a plain chamfer and the outer being moulded. To the north of the chancel arch is a late 13th-century reredos niche with a trefoil head enriched with the dog-tooth. At the north-east corner of the nave is the upper doorway to the rood-stairs.
The windows of the north aisle are all of 15th-century date. The east window has three lights with tracery. The two north windows are square-headed and are each of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery. Some original glass with figures of angels remains in the north-east window. The restored north doorway has over it an inscription now indecipherable. The west window is a single trefoiled light of mid-14th-century date. The south windows of the south aisle are of the same type and date as the corresponding windows of the north aisle. The pointed south doorway between them is continuously moulded, and in the west wall is a single cinquefoiled light.
The tower arch is of the 14th century and is of two orders. In the west wall of the ground stage is a restored doorway with a window above it, also restored. The side walls have each a single pointed light placed high above the floor. Externally the tower rises in two stages and has angle buttresses on the west, the walls being crowned by an embattled parapet. The four bell-chamber windows are of the 16th century. The tower contains a clock.
The lower part of the font is modern, but the circular bowl appears to be of the 12th century. With the exception of the 17th-century altar table, the other fittings are of little interest. Some mediaeval tiles are laid in the floor of the porch, one of which bears a shield of Clare with two other shields.
Under the western arch of the chapel is the table tomb of Nicholas Ledewich (d. 1430). On the covering slab was a brass with figures of himself and his wife Alice, an inscription and three shields of arms, but only the figure of his wife, the inscription and two shields now remain. The first two lines of the inscription are as follows:—
'Armis ornatus Nichol' hic ledewich tumulatur
A quo fundatus locus iste deo decoratur.'
A tablet in the north aisle commemorates Henry Corker (d. 1696–7). There are also 17th-century floor slabs commemorating members of the Freeman, Newbery and Hippesley families, and later monuments to the families of Wethered, Gardner, Hoare and Pepper.
There is a ring of three bells, the treble by Mears & Stainbank, 1873, the second and third by Thomas Swain, 1757 and 1777.
The plate includes a cup of 1569.
The registers of marriages and burials begin in 1559, those of baptisms in 1562. The baptisms and burials of Hedsor are included up to 1590.
The church of Little Marlow was attached in two moieties to the manors of Danvers and Losemere, (fn. 151) and is first mentioned about 1219, when Richard de Horton presented to a moiety in right of his wife Avelina. (fn. 152) The Danvers' moiety of the rectory was assessed at £8 in 1291 and the Beauchamps' at £7 6s. 8d., (fn. 153) but in 1338 a petition was made by Sir John Stonor for the appropriation of these two moieties to Little Marlow Priory, (fn. 154) which accordingly took place in 1339, (fn. 155) and in 1343 an agreement was made between the prioress, Sir John Stonor and the vicar of the church, of which there were two parsons, as to the vicar's share. (fn. 156) The Stonors retained the right of nominating the vicar for presentation by the prioress, and thus nominated in the late 14th and early 15th centuries during successive minorities in the Stonor family. (fn. 157) In 1535 the rectory was assessed at £10, (fn. 158) and the vicar received £8 8s. 9d. in salary. (fn. 159) The advowson and rectory were bestowed on Bisham Abbey together with Little Marlow Manor (fn. 160) (q.v.), with which they henceforward descended, (fn. 161) but about the middle 19th century the advowson was alienated and was vested in 1862 in Samuel Birch, (fn. 162) the patron also in 1877. His trustees were patrons in 1899, and the living is now in the gift of the trustees of Little Marlow Estate.
A yearly rent given for an obit in the church amounted to 4s. (fn. 163)
In 1633 William Allanson gave the profits of £50 to the poor annually in bread. The gift was laid out in the purchase of 5 acres in Great Marlow, known as the Churchwardens' Field, let at £11 5s. a year, which, less a deduction for tithe rent-charge, is distributed in bread usually among poor widows.
In 1847 Field-Marshal Sir George Nugent, bart., by his will bequeathed £300, now represented by £300 8s. 4d. consols, the annual dividends, amounting to £7 10s., to be divided equally between the schoolmaster and schoolmistress so long as the children are instructed in accordance with the doctrines of the Church of England.
The same testator further bequeathed a legacy of £300, represented by £295 17s. 10d. consols, the dividends, amounting to £7 7s. 8d., to be applied in the distribution of bread every alternate Sunday among twelve poor persons.
In 1863 Mrs. Margaret Birch, by her will proved 11 December, bequeathed £100, now £113 6s. 4d. consols, the dividends, amounting to £2 16s. 8d., to be given as a subscription to a clothing club or laid out in the distribution of flannels and blankets for poor women.
The several sums of stock are held by the official trustees.