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St Nicholas, Ickford, Buckinghamshire

(51°45′41″N, 1°3′55″W)
SP 646 074
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Buckinghamshire
now Buckinghamshire
  • Ron Baxter
06 July 2007

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Ickford is a village in the east of central Buckinghamshire, 11 miles SW of Aylesbury near the Oxfordshire border, formed at this point by the river Thame. The village is in the wooded, rolling pasture-land of the Thame floodplain, and the church is outside the village centre at the end of a lane to the W. A large stone-built house, The Grange, stands to the S of the church.

The church has an aisled nave without a clerestory, a S porch, chancel and W tower. The nave has a wooden W gallery added by J. O. Scott in 1906-07, which obscures much of the c.1200 tower arch. The nave roof has heavy crossbeams; the westernmost with an original wooden corbel supporting its N end, carved with low broad horizontal rolls alternating with thin double steps. The chancel arch dates from the end of the 12thc or, more likely, the start of the 13thc, as do the 3-bay arcades. The S nave doorway contains some sculpture of this phase too, but was remodelled in the 15thc or 16thc. There is a round-headed lancet in the N aisle wall, and the N doorway is completely plain and round-headed. The chancel is largely early-13thc, with plain pointed lancets, a S low-side window with a cusped-headed window above it and a plain pointed S priest’s doorway. The E window is 3-light reticulated; a 14thc replacement. The W tower is unbuttressed with a saddleback roof and dates largely from the 13thc, although the N and S bell-openings are 14thc reticulated. The church did not receive a major restoration until 1906-07, when it was restored by John Oldrid Scott & Son. Recorded here are the tower and chancel arches, the nave arcades, the S doorway and the plain font.


In 1086 the monks of Grestain in Normandy held a manor of 6 hides in Ickford from the Count of Mortain. This manor also contained meadow for 6 plough-teams, and was held before the Conquest by Ulf, a man of Earl Harold. A second manor of 4 hides of ploughland with meadow for 4 plough-teams was held by Richard from Miles Crispin.

In 1226 the Guardians of Geoffrey de Appleton held Ickford, and it remained in this family until c.1313, passing soon afterwards to the atte Water family, who had been sub-tenants of the Appletons. By the mid-14thc , several estates had been combined under the name of Great Ickford Manor, held by William atte Water. His son John alienated the manor to John, Lord Grey of Rotherfireld, who granted him a house and 47 acres to be held for life at an annual rent of a rose.

The church was first noted in 1194-95, when Helias was accused of robbing its priest. It was held by the Appletons in 1226, but in 1262 Thomas de Appleton granted the advowson to Thomas de Valognes, who also held Shabbington, and thereafter the advowson descended with that of Shabbington.

The parish is now in the benefice of Worminghall with Ickford, Oakley and Shabbington.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches
Tower/Transept arches






The work recorded here, including the plain font, probably comes from a single campaign at the end of the 12thc or the beginning of the 13thc. At nearby Shabbington is a loose trumpet scallop capital, similar to that on the chancel arch here, suggesting that the same workshop was active at both sites.


N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire. London 1960, 2nd ed. 1994, 409-11.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Buckingham. Volume 1 (south). London 1912, 214-18.

Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. IV (1927), 56-61.