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St Mary, Haversham, Buckinghamshire

(52°4′38″N, 0°47′35″W)
SP 828 428
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Buckinghamshire
now Milton Keynes
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • Ron Baxter
02 March 2017

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Haversham is a village on the N edge of Milton Keynes and the N bank of the River Great Ouse. It extends along the minor road linking Castlethorpe and Newport Pagnell with the church isolated on a short spur road to the S. St Mary's has a 12thc nave with 3-bay aisles, and a 13thc chancel, refenestrated in the 14thc, with an organ room on the S side. The nave apparently had no W tower originally but one was added in the 14thc, turning the W doorway into a narrow tower arch. The area under the tower is now largely occupied by lavatories, and there is a curtained-off kitchen area at the W end of the N aisle. The outstanding feature of the church is the alabaster effigy of a lady under a slightly older canopy, said to be that of Lady Clinton and dated to the 1420s. The nave W doorway and W window are the only features recorded here.


Haversham was held by William Peverel in 1086, when it was a large manor of 10 hides. The Domesday Survey lists 16 villans, 8 bordars and 5 slaves, along with a mill, a fishery, meadow and woodland for 300 pigs. Before the Conquest it was held by Countess Gytha, wife of Earl Ralf of Hereford. Haversham was attached to the Honour of Peverel and remained part of it until the early 16thc. The 12thc tenants took their name from the manor. Robert and Nicholas de Haversham were mentioned in 1174-77, and Hugh de Haversham was recorded as the tenant between 1190 and 1220. He was succeeded by Nicholas of that name, who died c.1251 leaving a wife, Joan, and an infant daughter Maud. Maud was to marry James de la Plaunche, who held the manor in right of his wife until he died in 1306. The remainder of the history of the manor will be found in VCH.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches

VCH suggests c.1160 and RCHME c.1170 for the W wall of the nave, the only Romanesque fabric which includes both of the features described here. We are grateful to Sue Blake for her photograph of the W window.


Historic England Listed Building 351002

N. Pevsner, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire. London 1960, 159.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Buckingham. Volume 2 (north). London 1913, 143-46.

Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. IV (1927), 366-72.