Parishes : Aston Sanford

Pages 8-9

A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1927.

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Estone (xi cent.); Astun Samford (xiii cent.).

Aston Sandford contains an area of 678 acres, of which by far the greater part is pasture land. (fn. 1) It is watered by the Standbridge Brook, a tributary of the Thames. The land has only a variation of some 10 ft. in level, being about 255 ft. above the ordnance datum. The soil is gault and sandstone, the subsoil clay and limestone. The chief crops are wheat, oats, and beans. The village, with the church, lies in the south-west of the parish. The rectory-house, which was built by the Rev. Thomas Scott on his appointment as rector in the early 19th century, (fn. 2) stands to the south-east and the manor-house to the south-west of the church. Part of a homestead moat lies a mile north-east from the church on the site of Aston Court. (fn. 3)


In 1086 ASTON [SANDFORD] alias COLD ASTON (xvi, xvii cent.) MANOR, previously held by Sotiny, one of Earl Tosti's men, was assessed at 4½ hides and held by Manno the Breton. (fn. 4) In common with his other holdings the overlordship of this manor, which was held in 1328 by the service of half a knight's fee and 10s. yearly towards the ward of Northampton Castle, (fn. 5) descended in the barony of Wolverton (fn. 6) (q.v.). It is last mentioned in 1618. (fn. 7)

Before the Domesday Survey Manno had subinfeudated Aston Manor to Odo, (fn. 8) probably the ancestor of the family from whom it appears to have derived its distinguishing name of Sandford. John de Sandford held lands in Aston in 1199, (fn. 9) 1219, and 1220. (fn. 10) Nicholas de Sandford had succeeded before 1234. (fn. 11) His descendants had mesne overlordship rights in Aston Sandford (fn. 12) during the next two centuries, Nicholas de Sandford being mentioned in 1349 (fn. 13) and 1350, (fn. 14) and his heirs in 1351 (fn. 15) and 1439. (fn. 16)

In the middle 13th century Aston Sandford was held by the Countess of Warwick (Philippa widow of Henry de Newburgh) (fn. 17) for life. (fn. 18) Robert de Vere, son of the Earl of Oxford and Alice his wife, daughter and co-heir of Gilbert de Sandford, (fn. 19) was holding it in 1284. (fn. 20) Robert appears to have given Aston Sandford Manor (probably on succeeding to the earldom) to his younger brother Alphonso, who was holding it in the early 14th century. (fn. 21) He died seised about 1328, when his heir was his son John. (fn. 22) He in 1331 succeeded to the earldom, and Aston Sandford descended with Whitchurch to Edward Earl of Oxford, (fn. 23) who in 1578 sold it to William Fleetwood, (fn. 24) owner of Missenden Abbey. (fn. 25) His widow's life interest in Aston Sandford (fn. 26) appears to have been purchased by Sir David Fowles, who married Fleetwood's daughter Cordelia (fn. 27) in 1604. (fn. 28) In 1610 he agreed to purchase the estate from his brother-inlaw, Sir William Fleetwood, (fn. 29) and obtained a grant in confirmation of his title, (fn. 30) but being unable apparently to raise the purchase-money, transferred it again to Sir William Fleetwood, (fn. 31) who left it to his younger children for life. (fn. 32) In 1711 the manor had reverted to John Fleetwood of Great Missenden Manor. (fn. 33) He sold the Aston Sandford estate about 1737 to Charles Price, (fn. 34) sheriff for the county in 1743. (fn. 35) His son Sir Charles Price, kt., sold it in 1771 to Henry Hurt, (fn. 36) who left it in trust by his will, proved in 1785, to his granddaughter Susannah Gines. (fn. 37) She and her husband John Barber settled the property in 1798. (fn. 38) He died in 1809, (fn. 39) his widow surviving till 1846. (fn. 40) Before 1862 Aston Sandford Manor had passed to John and William Dover, (fn. 41) and in 1873 the former was sole owner. (fn. 42) His heir, Mr. J. Guy Dover, in 1909 sold the manorial rights and the major portion of the land to Mr. Percy Fisher, the present owner.

Sandford. Barry ways argent and azure.

Vere. Quarterly gules and or with a molet argent in the quarter.

Fleetwood. Party wavy azure and or six martlets countercoloured.

The right of view of frankpledge appurtenant to this manor before 1254 (fn. 43) is named in the trust deed of 1798. A grant of free warren in Aston Sandford was made to John de Vere in 1329 (fn. 44) and confirmed in 1424. (fn. 45)


The church of ST. MICHAEL, one of the smallest in the kingdom, consists of a chancel, measuring internally 18 ft. 6 in. by 12 ft., nave 38 ft. by 14 ft., north vestry, south porch and west bellcote. It is built of limestone and roofed with tiles.

The building was so considerably restored in 1878, its details being retooled and reset, that it is now difficult to assign accurate dates to its parts. The nave probably dates from the 12th century, the chancel from the 13th century, and the south porch from the 18th century, while the vestry and bellcote are modern.

The chancel is lighted by three lancets in the east wall, two windows in the south wall, and a single cinquefoiled light in the north wall; all are modern except the last, which, though much retooled, is probably of the 14th century. In the north wall is an old locker. Some late 13th-century painted glass, representing a seated figure, is placed in the central lancet in the east wall. The chancel arch has been replaced by a modern wood truss, below which on both sides are twin shafts with carved capitals, one of the southern pair having a grotesque head; these are probably of 13th-century date, though considerably restored.

The nave is lighted by two windows in the north wall and two in the south wall, while in the west wall is an early window blocked by a 15th-century buttress. The north-east window of two uncusped lights, and the blocked north doorway, though considerably modernized, probably date from the 14th century. The south doorway and the two south windows are modern, but the tracery of the south-east window is set in an old opening. On the western buttresses outside are some incised circles. The nave has an old collar-beam roof.

There are three bells: the treble, with an unfinished inscription 'Sancte Toma Or[a] and the tenor, inscribed 'Sancte Clemes Ora Pro Nobis,' are both from the Wokingham foundry, and date from the first half of the 15th century; the second, dated 1675, is by Ellis & Henry Knight.

The communion plate consists of a chalice and cover paten of 1661, an old pewter flagon and a modern plated flagon.

The registers date from 1615.


The church of Aston Sandford, which is a rectory, was valued at £4 13s. 4d. in 1291 (fn. 46) and at £13 6s. 8d. in 1535. (fn. 47) The advowson has descended with the manor until recently, (fn. 48) when it was sold to Mrs. A. A. Pargiter of Towersey vicarage, the present patron.

There do not appear to be any endowed charities subsisting in this parish.


  • 1. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 2. Scott, Life of Rev. Thomas Scott, 366.
  • 3. V.C.H. Bucks. ii, 29.
  • 4. Ibid. i, 270.
  • 5. Chan. Inq. p.m. Edw. III, file 10, no. 11.
  • 6. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 248; Cal. Close, 1272–9, p. 350; Feud. Aids, i, 84, 95; Cal. Close, 1349–54,p. 169.
  • 7. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclxxx, 131.
  • 8. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 270.
  • 9. Feet of F. Bucks. 1 John, no. 11.
  • 10. Pipe R. Bucks. and Beds. 3 Hen. III, m. 5.
  • 11. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 248.
  • 12. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), 1, 25.
  • 13. Chan. Inq. p.m. 23 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 35.
  • 14. Cal. Close, 1349–54, p. 169.
  • 15. Chan. Inq. p.m. 25 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 6.
  • 16. Ibid. 17 Hen. VI, no. 38.
  • 17. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, viii, 54.
  • 18. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 25.
  • 19. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, vi, 164. Gilbert de Sandford was a contemporary of Nicholas de Sandford (Testa de Nevill [Rec. Com.], 266b), probably his brother, and a son of John de Sandford of Great Hormead, Hertfordshire (Nichols, Coll. Topog. et Gen. v, 199). He died about 1248, when the wardship and marriage of his daughter Alice were granted to Hugh Earl of Oxford (Dugdale, Baronage, i, 191).
  • 20. Feud. Aids, i, 84.
  • 21. Ibid. 95, 114.
  • 22. Chan. Inq. p.m. Edw. III, file 10, no. 12.
  • 23. V.C.H. Bucks. iii, 445.
  • 24. Feet of F. Bucks. Mich. 20 & 21 Eliz.; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxxxviii, 69.
  • 25. V.C.H. Bucks. ii, 351.
  • 26. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxxxviii, 69.
  • 27. Lipscomb, Hist. of Bucks. i, 45.
  • 28. Ibid. ii, 377, quoting Reg. of Great Missenden, but here he confuses her with her niece Cordelia, sister of Marian, daughter of Sir William Fleetwood (ibid. i, 48).
  • 29. Close, 8 Jas. I, pt. ix.
  • 30. Pat. 8 Jas. I, pt. xxxv, no. 1.
  • 31. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclxiv, 99; Feet of F. Bucks. Hil. 8 Jas. I.
  • 32. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclxiv, 99; ccccxci, 88. Three of his daughters lived at the manor-house in the middle 17th century (Lipscomb, op. cit. i, 45, quoting letter from the rector to Willis).
  • 33. Recov. R. Mich. 10 Anne, m. 58. Settlements in respect of the reversion were made in 1655 (Recov. R. Mich. 1655. m. 203; Feet of F. Bucks. Mich. 1655) and 1681 (Recov. R. Mich. 33 Chas. II, m. 160).
  • 34. Lysons, Mag. Brit. i (3), 501.
  • 35. P.R.O. List of Sheriffs, 10.
  • 36. Com. Pleas Recov. R. East. 11 Geo. III, m. 78.
  • 37. P.C.C. 604 Ducarel.
  • 38. Feet of F. Bucks. East. 38 Geo. III.
  • 39. Gent. Mag. 1xxix (1), 989.
  • 40. Tablet in church; cf. Lipscomb, op. cit. i, 45.
  • 41. Sheahan, Hist. and Topog. of Bucks. 333.
  • 42. Ret.of Owners of Land (1873), Bucks. 7.
  • 43. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.) i, 25.
  • 44. Chart. R. 3 Edw. III, m. 15, no. 30.
  • 45. Cal. Rot. Chart. et Inq. a.q.d. (Rec. Com.), 162.
  • 46. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 34, 41b.
  • 47. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 236.
  • 48. Cal. Pat. 1327–30, p. 420; Harl. MS. 6952, fol. 63; Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.); Bacon, Liber Regis. 503.