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St Peter, Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire

(51°39′40″N, 0°54′9″W)
SU 760 964
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Buckinghamshire
now Buckinghamshire
  • Cristian Ispir
  • Ron Baxter
26 October 2011

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Feature Sets

Stokenchurch is a large village in the Chiltern Hills, some 4 miles NW of High Wycombe. It extends for about a mile on both sides of the A40; formerly the main road from Oxford to High Wycombe and London but now superseded for long-distance traffic by the M40, which acts as a bypass running just S of the village itself. The church is in the centre of the village, on the N side of the A40, and consists of a nave with a N aisle and a N transept, a chancel and a tall gabled westwork with a shingled bell turret. The oldest part is the chancel, which has a 12thc chancel arch but no other features of that period. It was partly rebuilt c1330. The nave is dated by an early 13thc S doorway under a porch, but was remodelled in the 15thc; the N transept was built in the 14thc, including the arch from the nave, but rebuilt in the 16thc. The aisle and its 3-bay N arcade are the work of John Oldrid Scott (1893); the arcade following the form of the 14thc transept arch. The present bell turret dates from 1960 but there was reputedly a Norman one here before. The church is of flint, partly rendered, and was restored by E. B. Lamb in 1847. The chancel arch is the only Romanesque feature described here.


Stokenchurch is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey, but it is assumed by VCH to have been included in the 20 hides held by Miles Crispin in the manor of Aston Rowant (Oxfordshire), that had been held by Wulfstan before the Conquest. As such it belonged to the Honour of Wallingford by the 13thc and later to the Honour of Ewelme. In the 13thc the church was a chapelry of Aston Rowant, and had been given along with the mother church to Wallingford Priory, which kept it until it was dissolved in 1524.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

The arch of the chancel arch looks as if it originally had a single order on both faces, and the chevron arch was moved outwards to supply a field for the inscription above the now redundant shafts and capitals. Pevsner and Williamson ((1994), 650) describe it as ‘Norman, or rather Transitional, although clearly muddled up later.’


Buckinghamshire County Council, Historic Environment Record 0463700000.

EH, English Heritage Listed Building 46630.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Buckingham, Volume 1 (north) London 1912, 283-94.

VCH, Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. III , London 1925, 96-101.

N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, The Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, London 1960, 2nd ed. 1994, 650.