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St Nicholas, Cuddington, Buckinghamshire

(51°47′40″N, 0°55′57″W)
SP 737 112
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Buckinghamshire
now Buckinghamshire
  • Ron Baxter
06 July 2007

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Cuddington is a village in the W of central Buckinghamshire, 5 miles W of Aylesbury. It stands on the rising ground on the E bank of the river Thame in rolling wooded pasture, and the church is in the centre of the village.

St Nicholas’s has a nave with N and S aisles, no clerestory and a S porch, a chancel with a N vestry and a W tower. The building history is a complicated one, not entirely resolved. The S arcade is of 4 bays and the N of 3 slightly wider ones, but the N aisle does not extend as far W as the S. It may have been shortened by a bay, according to Pevsner. In the S aisle is a transverse arch, connected to pier 2. To the E of this the aisle was widened c.1300 to form a chapel. This transverse arch, the two arcades and the chancel arch belong together stylistically (although they differ slightly in their details), and are dateable by their sculpture to the early 13thc, except for two trumpet-scallop capitals, one in each of the nave arcades, which must be a decade or more earlier and are presumed to have been reused. The S nave doorway belongs to the mid-13thc, and its porch was added by Street in 1856-57. The chancel has details suggesting a date around 1300, and the tower is 15thc with diagonal W buttresses and an octagonal N stair that rises higher than the embattled parapet and has its own battlement. The church was restored by G. E. Street in 1856-57. Features recorded below are the two nave arcades (on account of the reused capitals they contain) and the font. Photographs of the other features described above are included as an aid to understanding this complex building.


Cuddington is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey, but may have been included with Haddenham (held by the archbishop of Canterbury). Certainly in the 1220s Cuddington church was a chapel of Haddenham parish. By 1309 the advowson was held by Merton priory (Surrey) and in that year the church was appropriated by the priory. It became a parish in its own right in 1855, and is now part of the benefice of Haddenham with Cuddington, Kingsey and Aston Sandford.


Interior Features






The two trumpet scallop capitals must be reused from an earlier arcade of c.1170-90, and this hardly seems surprising in view of the crude carving of the 13thc moulded capitals. Another arcaded font is at Drayton Beauchamp, but the Cuddington font is more simply carved.


R. Frazer, The Church of St Nicholas Cuddington. Church guide, Cuddington 1998.

N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire. London 1960, 2nd ed. 1994, 263-64.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Buckingham. Volume 1 (south). London 1912, 109-11.

Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. II (1908), 267-71.

Victoria County History: Surrey. II (1967), 94-102 (on Merton abbey).