Gt Kimble Church

GtKimbleChurch.jpgThe Church of St Nicholas consists of a Chancel 26ft-6in x 15ft-3in with North and South Chancel Aisles 8ft and 6ft-5in wide respectively; a Nave 52ft-6in by 19ft with North and South Aisles 6ft and 5ft-5in. wide respectively; a Western Tower 10ft-10in Square and a South Porch, all measurements being Internal. The early History of the Church has been much obscured by recent drastic restorations, but sufficient remains to show that the Aisles were added about the middle of the 13th century, at which time the Nave was of the same size as at present.  The old Chancel has, however, completely disappeared, and the present Chancel Arch belongs to the early years of the 14th century.

At about the same time the tower was added, while the aisles of the chancel were built somewhat later in the 14th century. In the 15th century, the clearstory was added, while in modern times the south aisle, tower, and chancel arcading have been practically rebuilt, the external surface renewed, and much new material inserted throughout.

The east window of the chancel is modern and of three trefoiled lights with cusped circular lights over and shafted jambs. On the north are two bays of arcading of 14th-century detail with obtuse 2-centred arches of 2 hollow-chamfered orders. The column is of four half-round shafts with round fillets between with circular capitals and bases, while the responds have half-octagonal corbel capitals with carved heads. Such old work as remains in the arcade is of mid-14th-century date. There is a similar arcade of two bays on the south, but of slightly different detail and not quite as much renewed. The chancel arch is of two wave-moulded orders with a modern label to the west and responds of three half-round shafts with moulded capitals and bases.

The north aisle of the chancel is lit by three modern windows of 13th-century type, a single lancet to the east and double and triple lancets on the north. At the west is a modern arch to the north aisle of the nave.

The south chancel aisle is used as a chapel and is also lit by three modern windows, that to the east being a single lancet with an elaborately moulded rear arch. The two on the south are double lancets, and that to the east has a modern piscina drain in its sill. Between these two windows is a small modern door, and there is an arch to the nave aisle similar to that on the north.

The nave is of four bays, and both arcades are of the same detail and date. The arches are 2-centred and of 2 orders with plain and hollow chamfers, both orders being stopped at the springing. The columns are octagonal with excellently moulded capitals and bases on square plinths. Above the arcade and on a level with the sills of the clearstory windows are a series of small plain corbels, the supports of a former roof. The clearstory windows, three on either side, are on the north single trefoiled lights of 15th-century date; those on the south are modern and of 2 cinquefoiled lights. The tower arch is of three chamfered orders, the innermost resting on carved corbels, the outer pair dying into plain square responds.

The north aisle of the nave has on the north three windows, each of two trefoiled lights under a square head. The east and west of the three windows are of late 14th-century date much restored, but the middle one has hardly an old stone remaining. Between the pair to the west is the north door, much restored, and with plain chamfered head and jambs. The west window is a modern lancet.

The south aisle has three modern windows to the south, each of two cinquefoiled lights with square heads and quatrefoiled spandrels, while the west window is a much restored 13th-century lancet. The south door, between the westernmost pair of windows, is modern and of two chamfered orders. The south porch is also modern, with an entrance similar to the south doorway and small east and west windows of two cinquefoiled lights with a 6-foil over.

The tower is of three stages, and has been largely rebuilt. The embattled parapet is completely modern, and below it is a plain 14th-century corbel table. The belfry openings, much restored if not quite modern, are of two trefoiled lights with a blind quatrefoil over. The west door is also modern or completely restored, and is of 14th-century detail, while the west window is of 15th-century date and 2 cinquefoiled lights.

The Font is of the common local type, of late 12thcentury date with a circular scalloped bowl and square scalloped base, the stem being moulded and the rim and base of the bowl richly ornamented with foliage.

The nave roof is of 15th-century date, low in pitch, and of the king-post type with cusped tracery in the spandrels. The other roofs are practically modern. There is a 17th-century altar table and a good chest (in the vestry) with mediaeval ironwork.

The modern fittings of the Chancel are good. A curious and unusual feature is the use of Doulton ware for the reading-desk and low chancel screen.

The Tower contains a ring of 6 bells, the treble and 2nd cast by G. Mears in 1860, the 3rd and 4th by Henry Knight in 1587, and inscribed respectively, ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo,’ and ‘Ave Maria Gracia Plena.’ The 5th and tenor were cast by Mears & Stainbank in 1897.

The Communion Plate is modern. The 1st book of the Registers contains all entries from 1701, baptisms and burials running to 1802, and marriages to 1754. Marriages are continued in a separate book from 1754 to 1812, and baptisms and burials in a 3rd book from 1803 to 1812.

Advowson
The Church of Great Kimble was granted by Giffard Palefridus in the 12th century to the abbot and convent of Missenden.  The grant was confirmed some years later by Hugh de Bolebec, the mesne lord of the fee, at the request of three of his men, Hugh of Kimble, Richard Fitz Neel, and Humphrey de Kimble.  In this confirmation the grant is of the church of St. Nicholas of Kimble, the invocation being the same as at the present day. The rectory was impropriated and the vicarage was ordained before or during the episcopate of Hugh of Wells (1209–34).  After the Dissolution, the rectory and advowson of the church were granted to Sir Richard Dormer with the manor belonging to Missenden Abbey. 

William Dormer sold the reversion of the Rectory and Advowson and the appendant tithes in 1579–80 to Griffith Hampden,  and the owners of the Great Hampden estates have held them till the present day,  the Earl of Buckinghamshire being the patron of the living.

There is a small Mission Church at Marsh.

Charities
The Poor’s Land consists of 4 a. or. 13 p. in the parish of Ellesborough, and an allotment in Box Field containing 3 r. 14 p. awarded under the Inclosure Act, 1803. In 1905 the sum of £5 9s 2d was received as rent, of which £4 4s. 6d. was distributed in bread to 13 recipients and £1 4s 8d in money to 7 Widows