Newton Longville is a village in the rolling, wooded pasturelandofNE Buckinghamshire, just outside the southern boundary ofMilton Keynesand in the Domesday hundred of Rowley. The village stands on rising ground with the church at the crossroads marking the centre. The manor house is to the S of the church.
St Faith’s has an aisled and clerestoried nave, a chancel with a N chapel formed from the continuation of the nave aisle, and a W tower. The nave arcades are of two bays with cylindrical piers and half-column responds. The capitals of the central pier of each arcade are late-12c; the arcade was remodelled c1300; the responds given moulded capitals the arches a double-chamfered inner order. The N arcade arches retain nailhead labels, and both arcades have spandrel figures above the piers reused from the 12thc arcade. The aisles belong to the c1300 remodelling, when they were widened and given new, plain doorways. The S porch and clerestory are 15thc. The chancel arch is, like the nave arcades, a mixture of late-12thc and c1300 work. In the chancel, the arch to the chapel is also of c1300, but the chapel itself is Perpendicular work of the 15thc, so was presumably rebuilt. The W tower is 15thc, with diagonal buttresses at the W angles. It is constructed of large blocks of grey ashlar, badly eroded, whereas the remainder of the church is of irregular stone rubble. The embattled nave parapets are 15thc, while that on the tower is modern. The 15thc work is presumed to correspond with the grant of the church to New College Oxford in 1441. The church was restored by A. W. Blomfield in 1881 and was again restored in 1891. Romanesque sculpture is found in the nave arcades, the chancel arch and the font.
The manor was held by Edward Cild before the Conquest, and in 1086 it was held by Walter Giffard. It was then assessed at 10 hides, of which 4 were in demesne, and there was meadow for 6 ploughs. Walter Giffard founded the Cluniac priory of St Faith at Longueville, nearRouenbefore his death in 1104, endowing his foundation with land in Buckinghamshire including the manor and its church. His son, also Walter, founded a cell of Longueville here and confirmed his father’s gifts to the Norman church. The dedication to St Faith is unusual, and of approximately forty English churches and chapels with this dedication, this is the furthest north. Longueville priory, probably retained its Buckinghamshire possessions until the 14thc when its property was confiscated by the crown as a consequence of the Hundred Years War. In 1441 church and manor were granted toNewCollege,Oxford.
The parish is now in the benefice of Newton Longville and Mursley with Swanbourne and Little Horwood.
The angles have various foliage motifs: at the SE a lily, at the NE a leaf similar to those on the N face, at the NW something similar, partly broken away, and at the SW a tree-like motif with tangled branches and multilobed leaves.
To the L of the face is an amphisbaena; a dragon with a head at each end. The clue to which is the neck and which the tail is given by the leg, which tends to slope towards the head. In this case this indicates that the true head-end is on the L, near the angle, and this head turns back to bite its own neck. At the tail end, the other head turns back and bites its own back. As on the chancel arch, the body is fat amd the neck and tail are long and thin. There is a spinal ridge and the skin is hatched. To the R of this face, three leaves from the angle motif curve to cover the bell.
A row of six similar leaves, rising vertically from the necking and having a central spine and three fleshy lobes to either side of it.
A pair of addorsed quadrupeds with their tails twisted together and terminating in trilobed leaf-forms above their backs. The R beast has a lion’s head, while the L has a long snout.
The R part of the bell has a pair of grooved stems twisted together and terminating in fleshy multilobed leaves. In the L section are three creatures in a row: to the L a pair of affronted dragons, shown upright with wings folded and heads turned away from one another; to the R what must be described as a human head on a snake’s body that terminates in a spiral with a leaf at the tip. This creature is also vertical.
|Ext. diameter of bowl at rim||0.695m|
|Height of bowl (not including cable lower rim)||0.39m|
|Int. diameter of bowl at rim||0.59m|
N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire. London1960, 2nd ed. 1994, 581-82.
RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Buckingham. Volume 2 (north).London 1913, 212-15.
Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. I (1905), 395-96 (on Newton Longville priory).
Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. IV (1927), 425-29.