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St Andrew, Great Linford, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

(52°4′24″N, 0°45′35″W)
Great Linford, Milton Keynes
SP 851 424
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Buckinghamshire
now Milton Keynes
  • Ron Baxter
01 November 2011

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Feature Sets

In 1960 when it was still a village, Pevsner noted that the manor house, almshouses and church were part of a vista that unfolded gradually. Today they are still isolated, despite being on the northern edge of Milton Keynes, but the two first named buildings now form part of an Arts Centre with studios, gallery space and a café. The church is on the N edge of this group, and consists of a tall clerestoried nave with a S aisle and N and S doorways under porches, the former contiguous with a N chapel, the latter projecting; a W tower of three storeys with an embattled parapet and a W doorway; and a chancel with a modern N vestry, and a S priests’ doorway. The oldest part is the tower, whose doorway and 2nd-storey windows appear to be 12thc (but see Comments below). The arch to the nave was replaced c1300, diagonal buttresses were added in the 15thc and the top storey in the 18thc. Excavations revealed that there was a smaller 12thc nave and chancel, and a 12thc S aisle, but nothing of these stands above the ground. The present nave is 13thc with a 14thc S arcade, and N chapel. The clerestory was probably added in the 15thc, although it now has 18thc windows. The chancel was also rebuilt in the 18thc and many windows were replaced at that time. Romanesque features described here are the W tower doorway and the 2nd-storey tower windows.


The Domesday Survey identifies three major holdings in 1086, two of them manors. 2 hides and 1½ virgates were held by Hugh de Bolbec as a manor and by 3 thegns before the Conquest. Another manor of 2 hides and 1½ virgates was held by Hugh from Walter Giffard in 1086, and by Aelfric son of Goding before the Conquest. These two appear to be different holding despite the identity of size and names. The first, for example was home to 16 villans, 2 bordars and 4 slaves, while the second housed 5 villans and 2 bordars. The third parcel was held by Ranulph from Robert, Count of Mortain in 1086, and was assessed at 2 hides, held by 2 men of Aelfric son of Goding before the Conquest. Finally a tiny holding of 1 virgate was held by Robert from William fitzAnsculf in 1086 and Grimbold, a man of Bisi before the Conquest.

Following VCH, Hugh de Bolbec, tenant in chief of the first manor was the same Hugh who was subtenant of the second, and at some time the two manors were united to form the single manor of Great Linford. The overlordship remained with the Bolbecs, later passing to the Earls of Oxford, while the tenancy was later subinfeudated to the Pipard family. Robert of Mortain’s Domesday tenant Ranulph was ancestor of the Marshall family, who retained their tenancy until well into the 13thc.

The advowson of the church remained with the manor of Great Linford until 1560.


Exterior Features




VCH (1927) dates the two lower stages of the tower c.1250, and in 1960 Pevsner dated them to c.1300, in which he was followed by the EH list description of 1966. None of these sources made any mention of the 12thc features recorded in the 1994 revision of Pevsner, and indeed there is very little surviving in the way of diagnostic features to allow much certainty about their date. The tower 2nd storey E windows were presumably lost when the clerestory was added in the 15thc.


EH, English Heritage Listed Building 45819.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, Harmondsworth 1960, 145.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Buckingham, Volume 2 (north). London 1913, 126-27.

VCH, Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire IV, London 1927, 387-92.

N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, The Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, London 1960, 2nd ed. 1994, 528.