St Bartholomew, Fingest, Buckinghamshire

Feature Sets (3)

Description

Fingest is a small village in the Chiltern Hills, surrounded by wooded rolling pasture. It consists of a few houses, a pub and the church clustered around a minor crossroads some 5 miles W of High Wycombe. The church is dominated by its 12thc W tower with a later twin gabled roof. It has an unaisled nave with a plain round-headed N lancet indicating a 12thc date, and a 13thc chancel with no chancel arch. Entry is through the timber S porch. The exterior is rendered, although much has been lost from the tower. Romanesque features recorded here are the tower bell-openings and tower arch.

History

The manor of Fingest is not recorded in the Domesday Survey, but was granted with the church to St Albans Abbey during the abbacy of Richard Daubeny (1097-1119). The abbey held the manor until 1163, when a legal dispute over its ownership was settled in favour of the Bishop of Lincoln. It remained attached to the see of Lincoln until 1547, when it was alienated to Edward, Duke of Somerset, the Protector. The advowson of the church followed the manor throughout the Middle Ages.

Features

Exterior Features

Windows

Tower E face double bell-opening

Two windows separated by plain walling but linked by a common 2nd-order impost. Each has two orders with en-delit nook-shafts on bulbous bases carrying capitals of different types (described below) all with plain neckings and supporting plain chamfered imposts. The arch orders differ between the two openings and are also described below.

N opening

1st order S capital. Double scallop with angle tuck

1st order N capital. Cushion with angle tuck.

1st order arch is plain and unmoulded.

2nd order S capital. . Cushion with angle tuck.

2nd order N capital. Double scallop with angle tuck.

2nd order arch has a heavy angle roll and a chamfered face with a plain chamfered label.

S opening

1st order S capital. Cushion with angle tuck.

1st order N capital. Cushion with angle tuck.

1st order arch has a heavy angle roll and a chamfered face.

2nd order S capital. Double scallop with angle tuck

2nd order N capital. Double scallop with angle tuck

2nd order arch has an angle roll and face hollow with a plain chamfered label.

Tower N face double bell-opening

As E face double bell opening with the following differences.

E opening

1st order E capital. Cushion with angle tuck.

1st order W capital. Double scallop with angle tuck

1st order arch has an angle roll and a chamfer on the face.

2nd order E capital. Double scallop with angle tuck

2nd order W capital. Double scallop with angle tuck.

2nd order arch has an angle roll and face hollow and a chamfered label.

W opening

1st order E capital. Double scallop with angle tuck.

1st order W capital. Cushion with angle tuck.

1st order arch is plain and umoulded

2nd order E capital. Cushion with angle tuck.

2nd order W capital. Double scallop.

2nd order has an angle roll and a chamfer on the face. The label is chamfered.

Tower S face double bell-opening

As E face double bell opening with the following differences to capitals and arch orders

E opening

The E window arch designs are similar to the W window. Of the capitals the 1st order W capital is a cushion with an angle tuck, and the E is a double scallop; while the 2nd order capitals may be volute capitals but are badly eroded.

W opening

1st order W capital. Double scallop.

1st order E capital. Cushion with angle tuck.

1st order arch has an angle roll and face hollow.

2nd order W capital. Damaged cushion with an angle tuck and a replacement impost.

2nd order E capital. Worn double scallop.

2nd order arch has an angle roll and face hollow and the chamfered label has a row of single billet on the chamfer.

Tower W face double bell-opening

As E face double bell opening with the following differences.

N opening

1st order N capital. Double scallop with angle tuck.

1st order S capital. Cushion.

1st order arch has a heavy angle roll and a chamfered face.

2nd order N capital. Badly eroded cushion

2nd order S capital. Double scallop

2nd order arch has an angle roll and a chamfer on the face, with a plain chamfered label.

S opening

1st order N capital. Cushion

1st order S capital. Cushion

1st order arch has a heavy angle roll and a chamfered face.

2nd order N capital. . Cushion.

2nd order S capital. Cushion

2nd order arch has an angle roll and a chamfer on the face, with a plain chamfered label.

Interior Features

Arches

Tower/Transept arches

W tower arch

Single order, round headed. Plain, unmoulded jambs and arch with plain chamfered imposts at the arch springing.

Comments/Opinions

Pevsner makes the point that the famous tower of Fingest is “absurdly mighty” for the church appended to it. Clapham has suggested that the tower served as a nave when first built, with the present nave as the chancel. The bell-openings have clearly been restored rather patchily. Capitals are very plain, and the only decorative feature of much interest is the extra ornament given to the S face, which looks onto the village street.

Bibliography

  • Buckinghamshire County Council, Historic Environment Record 0463800000.

  • EH, English Heritage Listed Building 46688.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, Harmondsworth 1960, 136.

  • VCH, Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. III , London 1925, 42-45.

Location

Site Location
Fingest
National Grid Reference
SU 777 912 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Buckinghamshire
now: Buckinghamshire
Diocese
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: Oxford
Dedication
now: St Bartholomew
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
<p>14 September 2011</p>