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St Peter, Stoke Goldington, Buckinghamshire

(52°8′5″N, 0°47′9″W)
Stoke Goldington
SP 832 492
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Buckinghamshire
now Buckinghamshire
  • Ron Baxter
08 September 2006

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Stoke Goldington is in the N of the county, in the Domesday hundred of Bunsty, 3 miles W of Olney and 1½ miles from the Northamptonshire border. The village lies in the hollow formed by a tributary of the Great Ouse and is built on an outcrop ofUpper Liasclay. To the E is a deposit of river gravels that has been exploited commercially. The country hereabouts is rolling and wooded, mostly arable farmland. The church stands on the higher ground outside the village to the N, and may represent the old village centre.

St Peter’s is of coursed rubble and roughly shaped stones. It consists of an aisled nave with a S porch, a chancel with a S chapel, and a W tower. The earliest fabric is in the chancel arch, which is 12thc. The 3-bay nave arcades are 13thc work with cylindrical piers, moulded capitals and two-order pointed and chamfered arches. The N and S doorways date from c.1200 or slightly later, and the S porch is 13thc work (RCHME says c1330), but the clerestory, curiously pierced on the S side only, has square-headed windows of the 17thc. The chancel is late-13thc or early-14thc with a trefoil-headed piscina and contemporary N windows, and the chapel windows indicate a similar date. The chapel is now used as an organ room and vestry. The W tower is 15thc with diagonal W buttresses, tall two-light Perpendicular bell-openings and a battlemented parapet. The tower and chancel were restored in 1897-98 by J. S. Alder of London. Romanesque sculpture is found on the two nave doorways, the chancel arch and the plain font.


The manor of Stoke Goldington was held by Drogo from William Peverel in 1086. it was assessed at 3 hides and 1 virgate, with meadow for 4 ploughs and woodland for 200 pigs. Before the Conquest it was held by Countess Gytha (King Harold’s mother). In 1344 this manor was given to Ravenstone priory, passing to the Mulso family after the Reformation. In 1596 Mary Mulso married Everard Digby, executed in 1605 for his part in the Gunpowder Plot.

A second estate on 1 hide and 1 virgate was held in 1086 by “a certain Englishman” from the Bishop of Coutances. This also contained meadow for 1 plough and woodland for 50 pigs, and was held before the Conquest as 2 manors by 2 thegns. This estate was in the hands of the Goldington family by the 13thc, and in 1265 a marriage between Isabel de Goldington and Sir William de Nowers of Gayhurst united the two villages.

The parish is now in the benefice of Gayhurst with Ravenstone, Stoke Goldington and Weston Underwood.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches




The chancel arch with its chip-carved decoration dates from c.1100. The nave doorways probably date from the early years of the 13thc but are included here since they are clearly contemporary with one another and the N doorway contains nailhead – a Romanesque ornament. Labels similarly carved with frontal sawtooth may be seen in the N arcade at Tingewick; both may be a misapprehension of an original nailhead ornament.


N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire.London 1960, 2nd ed. 1994, 647-48.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Buckingham. Volume 2 (north).London 1913, 280-81.

Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. I (1905), 381-82 (on Ravenstone Priory).

Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. IV (1927), 466-71.