All Saints, Middleton, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

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Feature Sets (2)


The village of Milton Keynes gave its name to the new town designated in 1967, that subsumed a total of 15 villages and the farmland between them.  Considered as part of Milton Keynes, the village is now known as Middleton, which was its original (11thc ) name.  The supplement Keynes comes from the family name of the Lords of the Manor from the 12thc onwards.  Middleton, as we must now call it, really does retain a village appearance, consisting of the church, a thatched pub and a collection of attractive old houses arranged around a large green.

All Saints has a nave and chancel with a 2-bay N chapel, all of 14thc date.  The tower is on the N side of the nave at the E end.  It is of 3 stages with a battlemented parapet. There is a S porch, and a vestry has recently been added to the N side of the church, accessed from the interior by the N nave doorway.  The church is usually assumed to have been a rebuilding by Walter Keynes (d.1330) of a 12thc church (of which only the E nave wall including the chancel arch remains).  The chapel was built for Philip Aylsbury (d.1349).


The main Domesday holding in Middleton (Milton Keynes) was a manor of 8½ hides held by Godric Cratel from the king.  This had been held by Queen Edith in 1066.  The 30 listed people represent a total population of around 150, and the holding also included a mill and meadow for 8 ploughs.  Smaller parcels were those of Hugh, who held half a hide from Walter Giffard, held by Oswig, a man of Aelfric, in 1066; and Otbert, who held a hide from William FitzAnsculf, held by Saeweald, a man of Wulfweard Cild in 1066.

In the 12thc the manor was held by the Bereville family, whose line ended in a daughter called Mabel who married Hugh de Kaynes around 1166. This family remained Lords of the manor until the early 14thc, although for a period between c.1170 and c.1230 a younger branch of the Bereville family are recorded as holding lands in the parish. The advowson of the church descended with the manor.  It is first mentioned in 1221 when Luke de Kaynes presented Ralph de Kaynes to the rectory.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Chancel arch

Pointed, two orders to E and W.

1st order (shared)

Engaged (mostly coursed) half-columns with thin central fillets, carried on low roll bases with roll neckings, on tall square plinths with chamfered angles.  The capitals are carved with a broad flat leaf on each angle, and behind them a similar flat leaf on each face.  On the N side the leaves have thin spinal ribs and their edges are defined by a groove.  On the S the leaves are fleshier, the spinal decoration is more comples, and the leaf on the main face is trilobed.  Neckings are both plain rolls.  Imposts are rectangular in plan with chamfered angles.  In section they have a lower roll and a pair of grooves on the face.  The arch is hollow-chamfered to E and W, with simple pyramid chamfer stops.

2nd order (W face)

Engaged, coursed nook-shafts on bases similar to the 1st order.  Both capitals are of the flat-leaf type: that on the N similar to the 1st order N capital alongside it; that on the S with the leaves enriched with vertical fluting. Imposts and arch are as the 1st order.


VCH offers a 12thc date for the chancel arch, while Pevsner (1960 and 1994) prefers c.1200. RCHME gives late-12thc, accepted here.


  • EH, English Heritage Listed Building 45867

  • N. Pevsner, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire. London 1960, 210.

  • N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire. London 1960, 2nd ed. 1994, 537-38.

  • RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Buckingham. Volume 2 (north). London 1913, 199-202.

  • Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. IV (1927), 401-05.

Exterior from SE
Exterior nave N side from W
Interior to E


Site Location
Middleton, Milton Keynes
National Grid Reference
SP 888 392 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Buckinghamshire
now: Milton Keynes
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: Oxford
medieval: not confirmed
now: All Saints
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
04 September 2009