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St Nicholas, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire

(51°37′28″N, 0°54′33″W)
SU 756 923
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Buckinghamshire
now Buckinghamshire
  • Ron Baxter
14 September 2011

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Ibstone is a village in the Chilterns, 6 miles W of High Wycombe. The village is dispersed, with dwellings scattered over a network of minor roads in the hilly, wooded landscape. St Nicholas’s church is at the S end of the village, alongside Manor Farm. It consists of a tall 12thc nave with N and S doorways; the N blocked and the S protected by a timber porch. At the W end of the nave is an 18thc or 19thc gallery, and on the exterior above it is a weatherboarded bell turret with a tiled pyramid roof. The chancel arch is 12thc too, but the chancel is 13thc. A carved head is set at the apex of the chancel arch, and another is set above a S nave window outside. The church also has a plain 12thc font.


Ibstone was held by Hervey the legate (possibly an interpreter) from the king in 1086. It was assessed at 2 hides with woodland for 100 pigs. Confusingly a second holding of one hide with 3 acres of meadow in Ibstone was recorded under Hervey’s name in the Oxfordshire returns. In 1270 Henry III granted the manor to Walter Merton, Bishop of Rochester, for the endowment of Merton College Oxford. Subsequently the advowson of the church passed to the college.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Interior Decoration





The doorways and chancel arch have very tall proportions, suggesting an early date that is confirmed by the use of chip-carving and plain chamfered imposts. Probably not 11thc , but certainly dateable to the first twenty years of the 12thc. The two heads appear to be carved by the same hand, and could be contemporary with the other Romanesque work. The font can’t really be dated at all, beyond noting that this is a common 12thc form.


N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire. London 1960, 2nd ed. 1994, 409.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Buckingham. Volume 1 (south). London 1912, 212-14.

Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. III (1925), 62-65