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St Faith, Newton Longville, Buckinghamshire

(51°58′28″N, 0°46′0″W)
Newton Longville
SP 848 314
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Buckinghamshire
now Buckinghamshire
  • Ron Baxter
23 October 2006

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Newton Longville is a village in the rolling, wooded pasturelandofNE Buckinghamshire, just outside the southern boundary ofMilton Keynesand in the Domesday hundred of Rowley. The village stands on rising ground with the church at the crossroads marking the centre. The manor house is to the S of the church.

St Faith’s has an aisled and clerestoried nave, a chancel with a N chapel formed from the continuation of the nave aisle, and a W tower. The nave arcades are of two bays with cylindrical piers and half-column responds. The capitals of the central pier of each arcade are late-12c; the arcade was remodelled c1300; the responds given moulded capitals the arches a double-chamfered inner order. The N arcade arches retain nailhead labels, and both arcades have spandrel figures above the piers reused from the 12thc arcade. The aisles belong to the c1300 remodelling, when they were widened and given new, plain doorways. The S porch and clerestory are 15thc. The chancel arch is, like the nave arcades, a mixture of late-12thc and c1300 work. In the chancel, the arch to the chapel is also of c1300, but the chapel itself is Perpendicular work of the 15thc, so was presumably rebuilt. The W tower is 15thc, with diagonal buttresses at the W angles. It is constructed of large blocks of grey ashlar, badly eroded, whereas the remainder of the church is of irregular stone rubble. The embattled nave parapets are 15thc, while that on the tower is modern. The 15thc work is presumed to correspond with the grant of the church to New College Oxford in 1441. The church was restored by A. W. Blomfield in 1881 and was again restored in 1891. Romanesque sculpture is found in the nave arcades, the chancel arch and the font.


The manor was held by Edward Cild before the Conquest, and in 1086 it was held by Walter Giffard. It was then assessed at 10 hides, of which 4 were in demesne, and there was meadow for 6 ploughs. Walter Giffard founded the Cluniac priory of St Faith at Longueville, nearRouenbefore his death in 1104, endowing his foundation with land in Buckinghamshire including the manor and its church. His son, also Walter, founded a cell of Longueville here and confirmed his father’s gifts to the Norman church. The dedication to St Faith is unusual, and of approximately forty English churches and chapels with this dedication, this is the furthest north. Longueville priory, probably retained its Buckinghamshire possessions until the 14thc when its property was confiscated by the crown as a consequence of the Hundred Years War. In 1441 church and manor were granted toNewCollege,Oxford.

The parish is now in the benefice of Newton Longville and Mursley with Swanbourne and Little Horwood.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches






The N arcade and chancel arch capitals are top-quality late-12thc work, and similar dragons are found at nearby Lathbury and on the font at Old Linslade by the same sculptors. The font may be similar in date or slightly earlier, but it is very inaccurately laid out and has been over-restored. It is comparable with the better-carved example at Hambleden. The inscription above the head in the N arcade may well reward further research.


N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire. London1960, 2nd ed. 1994, 581-82.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Buckingham. Volume 2 (north).London 1913, 212-15.

Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. I (1905), 395-96 (on Newton Longville priory).

Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. IV (1927), 425-29.