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St Mary's Buckden (©RGL 2023)

St Mary, Buckden

History of St Mary Buckden

Listed Building:

Parish church largely rebuilt between 1436-49 by Bishop Alnwick. The tower, early C15 is asymmetric to main building axis perhaps due to the intention of widening the church later. Earliest features are C13 south facing doorway, not in situ, the piscenae, and sedilia in chancel. C15 roofs repaired in 1649 and 1665 and marked by dated wall plate and boss. North vestry and organ chamber built in 1833. Roofs restored in 1937, dated timber. Historic England

According to the St Mary’s Buckden Church guide:

1086 church mentioned in Domesday Book. No trace of Saxon church survives.

1215 stone columns on either side of the porch date from the original of this time. Lower courses of the Bell Tower date to this time as well. Stone face of Norman origin survives in the wall at the top western end of the north aisle wall.

1270 vestry door dates from this time, as do the piscina and sedilia

c1400: font bowl carved

1435 – 1440 church rebuilt by Bishops Gray and Alnwick of Lincoln. Carved wooden angels of chncel ceiling date to late 1430s. they are carved showing a lute, viol, shawm, dulcimer and hurdy-gurdy.

1485 porch added. Rood loft door dates from this time.

1551 there is a medieval table top tomb, 15 metres south east of the porch. Here lie, probably, the remains of the young Duks of Suffolk. On 10th July 1551 Henry Brandon, 15 year old Duke of Suffolk arrived with his 13 year old brother Charles. Four days later both boys were dead of the ‘English Sweat’.

1600 Buckden’s earliest school was held in the porch. Note schoolboys initial on stone and wood.

1649 roof restored (see inscription) possibly following Commonwealth period.

1660 King Charles II altar dates from restoration of the monarchy.

1692 Memorial to Bishop Thomas Barlow.

1764 John Newton (1725-1807) former slave-ship captain, was ordained priest in Buckden Church. He wrote hymns including ‘Amazing Grace’ and campaigned with William Wilberforce.

1788 moat between church and Buckden Tower drained and filled in.

1827 Memorial to death of Bishop Pelham

1880s: vestry and organ replaced

1888 Brass eagle lectern used for the first time.

1909 plaster work replaced and new pews

St Mary’s Buckden (©RGL 2023)

St Mary’s Buckden (©RGL 2023) Lower two courses date from 1215.

St Mary’s Buckden (©RGL 2023)

St Mary’s Buckden (©RGL 2023)

St Mary’s Buckden (©RGL 2023)

St Mary’s Buckden (©RGL 2023) The musical angels.

St Mary’s Buckden (©RGL 2023) Inscription recording repair to roof.


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