Lewknor is a Saxon Spring-Line-Settlement near the Foot of the Chilterns Chalk Escarpment.
It seems that there was no Church at Lewknor in 1146, when Pope Eugenius III confirmed Abingdon Abbey in the possession of Lewknor without mentioning a Church there. The 1st Documentary evidence for the Church is the confirmation by Innocent III in 1200 of some Tithes Granted by Geoffrey de Abbefeld and a Pension from Lewknor Church to the Abbey. But the Foundation of the Church cannot be much later than 1146 for it contains late Norman work. A clue as to how it came to be built may be found in a Statement in the Abingdon Chronicle that a certain Clerk of Lewknor named Ansger held the Vill for a long period from Abbot Ingulf (1130–58), who also Granted him Ackhampstead, an outlying Member of the Manor, to hold in Fee & Inheritance. It seems likely that Ansger of Lewknor Founded & Endowed the Church, of which a later Roger de Lewknor was Rector. The Manorial origin of the Parish thus accounts for the inclusion of Ackhampstead within the Parish Boundaries.
The Abbot & Convent of Abingdon, as Lords of the Manor, were Patrons of the Church, but it seems they were not at first its Rectors. Until the death of Roger of Lewknor at some date in the mid-13thC they seem to have allowed the Rectorship to be hereditary in the Lewknor Family. At the end of the 13thC the Abbey is found presenting the Rectors. Among their Nominees were Master Simon de St John (1298–1314) & John de Aldebourne, a former Fellow of Merton College, who was Rector from about 1335 until 1390, and whose Brass is in the Chancel. A later Rector, Robert Savage (1399–1403), was the son of a Priest by an unmarried woman, who had obtained a Papal dispensation to take Holy Orders and hold 2-Benefices. The Abbey continued to present Rectors until the 15thC, although it had sought and obtained permission to appropriate the Rectory in the previous Century. The Royal Licence had been Granted in 1330 and later in the same year John XXII, having received from the Abbey a Petition for the Church’s appropriation, issued a Commission of Inquiry. It was not until 1343, however, that Papal Approval was at last obtained from Clement VI, subject to the consent of the Diocesan. The Bishop gave his consent in 1344 and the Chapter of Lincoln in 1346, but Abingdon, for reasons unknown, never appropriated the Church. The last Rector, Walter Eston, resigned in 1440, the year in which the Advowson passed from Abingdon to Archbishop Chichele’s (d.1443) newly Founded College of All Souls in Oxford. Abingdon received compensation from the Archbishop, and the College obtained a Living to which it might present its own Members. The College was given permission to appropriate and the Great Tithes & Rectorial Glebe were transferred to it. It remained as Patron until 1921, when it surrendered its Patronage to the Bishop of Oxford.
In 1241, when Roger of Lewknor was Rector, a Vicarage was established with Roger’s consent by Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, according to which the Income from the Parish was divided between Abingdon Abbey, the Rector, & the Vicar. The Abbey, described as ‘patronus‘, was given the Right of Presentation to the Vicarage, a Right which was specifically confirmed in 1248. Since at least 1200 it had had a Pension of 10s from the Church and the Tithes of Geoffrey de Abbefeld’s Demesne, and these no doubt represented the annual sum of £2 which the Abbey was receiving from the Church in 1254 & 1291. The Rector was entitled to the Ggreat Tithes (except for those of Ackhampstead) and to the Glebe which was valued in 1341 at £5 a year. In 1254 the Rectory was valued at £13-6s-8d. and in 1291 at £22, less the £2 due to the Abbey. The Rector’s Endowment must have passed to All Souls College in 1440, and in 1535 was valued at £16-16s-11¼d. In 1815, when Lewknor & Postcombe were Inclosed, the College received about 431-acres in Commutation of the Tithes & 68-acres in exchange for the Glebe. By the Lewknor Uphill Tithe Award of 1844, it also received a Rent charge of £21.
According to the Ordination of the Vicarage in 1241, the Vicar was to receive his Altarage & Oblations and was to have the small Tithes. These last are enumerated in detail in a Terrier (Book of Land) drawn up in 1686. They included Tithes of the Wool that was shorn off the Sheep in summertime, and ½d on every Sheep sold out of the Parish after Candlemas. Whenever any family killed a Calf, the Vicar had its left shoulder. He had the Tithes of Calves, Lambs, Pigs, Colts, Geese & Fish, as well as of Hemp, Flax, Honey & Fruit. Amongst other payments he had 3d in lieu of the Milk of every Cow, and 3s-4d. a year for every Dovecot or Pigeon-house.
No mention is made of any Vicarial Glebe, and the Terrier of 1686 names none save that which went with Ackhampstead Chapel. The Vicar was assigned the House in the Churchyard where the Priests before him used to live, and was given a portion of the Croft by the Rector’s Barn for making a Curtilage or Garden. He was also to have the Herbage of the Churchyard; the right, that is to say, to let his Beasts graze among its Graves. This custom shocked a later Generation, and in 1832 the Churchwardens presented their Vicar for turning out his Horse & Cow into the Churchyard, where they Trod upon the Graves, injured the Gravestones, and destroyed the Churchyard Mounds.
The Vicar was awarded the Hay Tithes of Shillingford Mead and the Great as well as the Lesser Tithes of Ackhampstead. But these last were claimed by the Rector Roger de Lewknor, as pertaining to the Rectory, and an appeal to the Papal Curia was referred for Settlement in 1248 to Bishop Grosseteste, who decided in the Vicar’s favour.
Rectory, now 2-Dwellings. c.1730, extended in later 18thC & c.1830/40. Colourwashed Brick Front, sides of English Bond Brick. Gabled old tile Roof; Brick end Stacks include truncated right Stack. Double-depth Plan. Early Georgian style. 2-Storeys & Attic; symmetrical 5-window Range with central Gable. Fine rusticated Doorway: 6-panelled (2 glazed) Door. Keyed segmental Arches over Sashes and 2-light window in Central Gable. Mid 19thC Roof Dormers. Similar Sashes with surrounds in left side wall. Later 18thC 2-Storey Extensions to rear left, with 2-light leaded cross window to left. Mid 19thC 2-Storey Bay to rear right.
Interior: 6-panelled Doors & Shutters. Dog-leg Stairs with turned balusters. Panelled room to right: mid-19thC Fireplaces & Gothick Iron Grates. Panelled Room to left: 1st-Floor left Room has panelled dado, early 18thC Fireplace and 18thC window seats. Collar-truss Toof.
(Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, p.684).
The Old Coach House (Formerly listed as No. 164 High Street (part of The Old Vicarage & Stables)
Coach House, now House. Early 18thC Flint rubble with Brick Dressings; Gabled old Tile Roof; Brick Ridge & 20thC Internal Stacks. L-plan with front right Wing. Single Storey & Attic; 2-Bay Range. Elliptical-arched left Carriageway has inserted 20thC window. Segmental Brick Arch over 20thC 1st-Floor Casement in Gable wall of right Wing, which has 20thC Door & Porch to left side. Dentilled Brick Eaves. Early 19thC outshut of Flint rubble to right. 20thC Extensions to rear.
No change was made in the Vicarage’s original Ordination, which was confirmed by the Bishop in 1412. All things considered, it was reasonably well endowed. In Pope Nicholas IV’s Taxation of 1291 it was assessed at £4-6s-8d; so it exceeded the minimum Income of a Perpetual Vicar which the Council of Oxford had fixed in 1222 at 5-Marks. By 1535 the value of the Vicarage had risen to £11-17s. Later Lewknor became a Poor Vicarage, valued in the early 18thC at £46-7s. It was augmented in 1773 to the extent of £12 a year, out of a Legacy left by Stephen Niblet, Warden of All Souls. When Lewknor & Postcombe were Inclosed in 1815, the Vicar received an Allotment of just on 100-acres in lieu of his Vicarial Tithes, and in 1844 his Tithes for Lewknor Uphill were commuted for a yearly payment of £190-10s.
Down to 1241 the Church was probably served by Stipendiary Priests paid by the Rector. The 1st known Rector, Roger de Lewknor, whose name occurs in Documents from 1218 to the 1240s, was a Benefactor of Oseney Abbey and probably Lord of one of the Lewknor Manors. After Bishop Grosseteste had Ordained the Vicarage in 1241, it was the Vicars who served the Church. Under the terms of the Ordination the Vicar was bound to have a Chaplain living with him who should celebrate the Lady-Mass immediately after the 1st Mass had been said in the Church; and one or other of them was required to celebrate on every Sunday and on the Feasts of the Apostles in the Chapel that had already been Built at Ackhampstead. In 1293 Bishop Oliver Sutton Granted permission to John de Chysebech & Geoffrey, his kinsman, both Priests, to have a Private Chapel in their House at Chisbidge (Chisbridge), on account of its distance from the Parish Church of Lewknor, but they were forbidden to Administer to the Parishioners.
As far as is known only one of the Vicars presented by the Abbey was a University Graduate: this was Master Richard de Wanenting (Instituted 1274). Only one Vicar, Henry of Lewknor (presented by the King in 1361), was a native of the place.
Towards the end of the 14thC Exchanges of Ecclesiastical Benefices became common and at Lewknor between 1379 & 1410 the Vicarage was Exchanged 9-times. After All Souls College obtained the Advowson in 1440 there was a change, for its 1st 5 nominees were all Fellows of the College. One of them, Robert Knody, held the Living for 47-yrs (1465–1512) and for the latter part of the time combined it with the Vicarage of Hagbourne in Berkshire. Richard Bedowe (Vicar in 1523–26) was non-resident and put in a Curate-in-charge to whom he paid half his Stipend of £12.
The Churchwardens were responsible for the provision of Lights in the Church. They were receiving in 1548 24s a year out of Land in the Parish that had been given for finding a Light, and 12-lbs of Wax that had been given for the same purpose. Such regular payments were supplemented by the occasional Testamentary Bequests of Parishioners. But the main burden of providing Lights fell upon the Impropriators, who passed on to the Rectory Tenant the obligation to ‘Fynde suche tapurs unto the hye awtar as custumably theroff a long season have bene usyd‘. With the Edwardian reformation such Lights became uncanonical, and the College was doubtless glad to impose upon its Tenant instead the Duty of supplying its High Table with a ‘bore of Brawne‘ at Christmastide. Besides Administering other Church Property, the Churchwardens had the charge of the Churchhouse which the Warden and Fellows of All Souls Quit-claimed to them in 1518. This stood in the Churchyard and is not to be confounded with the nearby Vicarage. Here the Church Ales would be held, and in it was kept a Stock of Utensils for Village Feasts. In 1596 the loss was reported of 24-Church Dishes, ‘commonly used to be lent forth to the Parishioners at Weddings and such like times‘.
Lewknor’s 2 Elizabethan Vicars, Christopher Aldridge (1560–74) & Richard Wright (1576–1622), were neither Fellows of All Souls nor University Graduates. The former was deprived of his Benefice; the latter was returned as ‘unlearned‘, and was otherwise unsatisfactory. His Servants misbehaved themselves, and he declined to repair the Chancel of Ackhampstead Chapel, which had fallen into Ruin, or to provide a Minister to serve there, until one of his Parishioners made complaint to the Archbishop of Canterbury and obtained a process in the Court of Audience. He did, however, acquire the present Silver Chalice with Paten cover, made in 1576. All Souls was beginning to take a keener interest in its Parish, and from 1590 onwards its Rectory Leases provide that the 4-Statutory Sermons shall be Preached yearly, namely on the 1st Sunday of each Quarter. The Sermon was to be Preached by the Vicar unless a Fellow of the College wished to deliver it, and the Preacher received 10s for each Sermon.
There is no record of any disturbance or ejection of Ministers in the Civil War or under the Commonwealth, Henry Wentworth, a Balliol Graduate, remaining Vicar from 1646 to 1663. John Bushell, a former Servitor of All Souls, who was appointed Vicar after the Restoration, served the Church, as 2 of his predecessors had done, for nearly 50-yrs (1666–1715). Bushell was active in eliminating from his Parish the Nonconformity that had crept into it under Puritan Rule. In 1682 he informed his Bishop that most of the Sectaries had left the Parish, ‘declaring this to be the (most) Persecuted Shire of England, and this place hereabouts to be the warmest corner in it‘. He had appointed a Churchwarden, he wrote, ‘who proves as Impartial and Inexorable as Death, dealing alike with the Atheists and Sectaries‘. He had a care too for the improvement & beautification of the Interior of his Church.
His successor, Thomas Skeeler, Vicar of Lewknor (1715–63) as well as of Enstone, had been College Chaplain at All Souls, and appears to have resided at Lewknor until 1744. When he died, All Souls revived the Practice, which it had dropped at the beginning of Elizabeth’s Reign, of presenting one of its Fellows to the Living when it fell vacant. Skeeler’s immediate successor, Dr Daniel Slater, was non-Resident throughout his incumbency (1764–93), living 1st at Risborough and then on another small Living in Herefordshire. For 60-yrs Lewknor was served by a succession of Curates-in-charge, who were paid a Stipend of £30 a year by the Vicar. Some of these, like the Vicars they replaced, were Absentees. John Holland (1782–97), for instance, was Parson at Long Crendon and lived at Thame.
Church Life, therefore, flagged in the 2nd half of the 18thC: the Fabric itself was neglected, the Sacrament was administered 4-times a year, but whereas in 1738 there were usually 60 or more Communicants, by 1768 the number had fallen to about 20, and in 1784 there were seldom more than 10 or 12; this too at a time when the Population was doubling itself. The Visitation Return of 1771 reports that too many of the lower rank were absent from Sunday service from idleness. The 2-Services on Sunday, which had been regularly held earlier in the Century, had been reduced, some years before 1790, to one.
With the 19thC Church Revival Bishops brought pressure upon their Clergy to Reside. So Charles Botterell Hawkins, appointed Vicar in 1794, came to Live at Lewknor in 1805, and All Souls handed the Parsonage over for use as a Vicarage House, the old Vicarage having presumably become untenantable. Mr Hawkins’s successor, the Rev Thomas Garnier (1835–40), who subsequently became Dean of Lincoln, spent over £900 in improving the new Vicarage and making it ‘very commodious‘.
Since 1884 the Living has ceased to be held by Fellows of All Souls, and since 1927 it has been held in Plurality with the adjoining Parishes of Adwell & South Weston, where the Vicar lives. He also holds occasional Services in the Mission Room (the former School) at Postcombe. When it was Licensed for Divine Service by the Bishop of Oxford in 1936 Communion was administered there about once a month at a portable Altar. The Building could seat about 30 persons. The Vicar allowed 2 nonconformist young women to hold a Sunday School for a few children on Sunday afternoons.
In the mid-19thC the Parish was considerably reduced in size. First Ackhampstead Chapelry was detached. The Chapel, which lay several miles from the Parish Church, had been in existence since at least 1241. It was dedicated to St Mary de More (Moor) and was known as ‘Morechapel‘ (Moor Chapel). Although Dependent on Lewknor Church, it had some Independence, having its own Churchwardens (or Chapelwardens) by at least 1686 and being Licensed for all Sacraments. In the 13thC Mass was said there every Sunday, but in the 18thC only afternoon Services were held: once a month in Winter and once a fortnight (at the end of the Century once a month) in Summer. In 1849 the Chapel was taken down and the District united to the Parish of Cadesden (Bucks). In 1851 the District Church of St Mary-le-Moor, 2 miles from the old Chapel, was built in Cadmore End (Inset above), and the next year Lewknor Uphill, with part of Fingest (Bucks) & Stokenchurch was formed into a consolidated Chapelry. In 1853 this area was made into a new Ecclesiastical Parish, which in 1896 was transferred to Buckinghamshire. The Living is a perpetual Curacy (although called a Vicarage) in the Gift of the Bishop of Oxford.
Church. Late 12thC; early-14thC Chancel, South Aisle & Porch (probably Built for Sir John de Lewknor); 15thC Vestry & Tower; Chancel restored 1845 by James Johnson, and Nave in 1863 by Arthur Blomfield. Flint rubble with limestone Ashlar dressings; gabled mid-19thC Tile Roof. Chancel with Vestry, Nave with North Chapel and South Aisle with Porch; West Tower. Early 14thC 5-light East window; mid-19thC light above; flanked by offset Buttresses. Similar buttresses and 2-light windows in 3-bay side walls. 15thC Vestry with square-headed one-light windows & Parapet adjoins North Chapel, which has blocked late 12thC pointed-arched openings, blocked 17thC round-headed Doorway and blocked 15thC 2-light window: mid-19thC 3-light windows in side walls & mid-19thC Parapet. North wall of 3-Bay Nave has 2-light Plate Tracery windows by Blomfield, late 12thC Lancet to West Bay and mid-19thC Corbel Table. South wall of Nave has similar late 12thC Lancet & 12thC Corbel Table in West Bay. Early-14thC South Aisle has 2-light windows & 3-light East window. South Porch has mid-19thC Carving of the Lamb of God over pointed double-chamfered Doorway: early-14thC pointed moulded South Doorway to 19thC plank Door. Two-stage West Tower has offset corner Buttresses, one- and 2-light windows, North-east stair Turret & embattled Parapet; 3-light west window with restored mullions above 15thC Doorway with face-masks to label stops and 19thC double-leaf Door with 12thC Crescent Hinges.
Interior: Chancel has early 14thC Piscina, 3 Sedilia, Tomb Recess with recumbent Effigy of a Lady, and Doorway, all with very elaborate Flowing-Tracery and Crocketed Canopies & Finials; early-17thC Alabaster Effigies of William Deane, d.1621 and wife, and Sir Thomas Fleetwood, d.1629 and wife, were reset at West end of Chancel in 1845; fine Wall Monument of John Scrope, d.1752, has Marble bust set in Aedicule with open Pediment; Brass to John Aldebourne, Priest, c.1380. 3-Bay arch-braced Roof of 1845. Early 12thC Chancel Arch has zig-zag mouldings & engaged shafts with crocketed capitals; impost moulding continued as string course along North and part of South walls of Nave, and an early 12thC Arch to North Transept. Nave has Pulpit by Blomfield, mid-19thC Pews & Roof and Medieval Iron-bound Parish Chest: early-14thC 3-Bay Arcade of double-chamfered Arches on Octagonal Piers to South Aisle, which has Cinquefoil-headed Piscina, moulded string course, fine 12thC Font with linked roundel decoration and 18thC wall tablets.
North Chapel: large Marble Monument to Sir Paul Jodrell, d.1728 and Family; Monument to Richard Paul Jodrell, d.1831, has marble sarcophagus and fine carvings of angels with wreaths by P Bazzanti of Florence, 1833; Recumbent Effigy of Rev Sir Edward Repps Jodrell, d.1882, by Sir J E Boehm, has revealed panels with relief panels of Angels & Evangelists; 16thC dado panelling and wrought-iron gate in North Archway. 15thC Archway to West Tower, which has 15thC Doorway & 15thC studded Door with decorative Iron hinges. Stained glass: East window by Hardman; Chancel windows to North-east (1873) & South-east (1876) by William Morris, were 1st used at Llandaff in 1869.
(Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, pp.683-4; VCH.: Oxfordshire, Vol.VIII, p.109-117).
The Dedication of the Church of St Margaret was originally St Mary, and, down to the Inclosure, part of Lewknor Town Field was still known as St Mary Furlong. The adoption of St Margaret as Patronal Saint no doubt derives from the holding of the Village Wake upon St Margaret’s Day. The Church is built of local Flint with Stone Dressings, and comprises a Chancel, Nave, South Aisle, & Porch, a North Transeptal Chapel, and a Western Tower. Until the beginning of the 14thC it appears to have consisted of Chancel, Nave, and Transeptal Chapels all dating from the end of the 12thC. Of this late Romanesque Church there remain the Chancel Arch, portions of the Nave, the Northern Transeptal Chapel, and the Eastern respond of the Arch to the Southern Transeptal Chapel, now incorporated in the Arcade of the 14thC South Aisle. The Nave was lighted by Lancets, of which 2 survive at the West end. Externally a portion of the original Corbel-table can be seen on the South side of the Nave towards the West end. The cylindrical Font carved with a pattern of linked Roundels also dates from the 12thC, and the Iron hinges of the later West door appear to be of the same Period.
The Chancel was rebuilt on a larger scale early in the 14thC. It is a fine example of ‘Decorated‘ Architecture, with a 5-light east window and three 3-light windows on either side. The Priest’s Doorway, Sedilia & Easter Sepulchre are all framed by elaborately crocketed canopies, and the pointing hand carved on the Arch of the Easter Sepulchre is an unusual feature. The Effigy now placed in the Sepulchre is not in its original position. There is also a Stone Credence Table projecting from the North wall. The South Aisle & Porch were also added during the 1st half of the 14thC. The former is separated from the Nave by an Arcade of 3-Arches. The Battlemented West Tower was built in the 15thC.
Apart from the Font and a Medieval Parish Chest the Church now contains no Ancient fittings, but Rawlinson saw a painting of Christ and the 12 Apostles on the door that formerly opened into the North Transeptal Chapel. It bore an inscription commemorating its Donor, John Spynell (who is known to have been living in 1458) and his wife Margaret.
John Bushell (Vicar 1666–1715) let more light into the interior of the Church by removing the Door into the North chapel with its 15thC Painting and replacing it by a Window. This done, the Pulpit & Reading-desk were moved into that Corner of the Building. An inscription formerly on the Chancel Screen recorded that the Church was ‘beautified‘ in 1694.
The North Transeptal Chapel had evidently been appropriated to the use of the Lords of the Manor, for the Rolles Family are said to have used it as a Burial place from time immemorial. In 1721 the Parish at a Vestry meeting formally accorded its use to the new Lord, Paul Jodrell, and Granted him permission to use it as a place of Interment and to set up Monuments within it. He on his part agreed to keep the Chapel in repair for the future and to provide the Church with a Singers’ Gallery. The fabric was apparently neglected in the mid-18thC. In 1759 the Archdeacon had to order weeds, nettles, roots & rubbish to be removed from the Church Walls & Ivy to be pulled out of the Walls of the Chancel. The Pavement was to be made even in many places.
At some time before 1822 a new Roof was constructed. A drawing by John Chessell Buckler of that date shows that the Roof of the Medieval Church was once high pitched and had been lowered. The Marks of the old Roof were then visible on the Tower.
In the 19thC, during the incumbency of the Rev E B Dean (1842–55), the Chancel was completely restored at the charge of All Souls College. The Restoration was carried out with considerable care in 1845 by an Oxford Architect, Johnson. His removal of the Caroline Tombs from the East end set free the Sedilia and revealed the Credence Table. On the other hand the Tombs themselves are now seen to less advantage in their present position at the West end of the Chancel, and they have lost the Marble Canopies that once surmounted them. The Victorian Altar Rails may have been substituted at this time for the twisted baluster rails of 1699.
The old Pews had been taken out of the Nave in 1836 and it had been reseated to accommodate a growing Congregation. Still it was reported in 1854 to be in very bad repair. The Singers’ Gallery which Paul Jodrell had erected was now taken down, and in 1863 a complete restoration of the Nave & Aisle was taken in hand. The work was entrusted to Arthur Blomfield. He removed the flat lead Roof which had previously covered the Nave and replaced it by a Tiled Roof of the original pitch. The Church was refloored in 1883. The Jodrell Chapel was restored in 1914 by Sir Alfred Jodrell. Electric light was installed in 1936. The Organ was removed in 1949 from the South Aisle to the West end of the Church, so allowing the Aisle to be refurbished as a Chapel as a thanks offering for the Preservation of the Church & Parish in WW2.
A few small fragments of Medieval Stained Glass have been worked into the heads of the Chancel windows, and the old Floor-tiles which were once scattered in various parts of the Church have been brought together and laid down at the entry to the Vestry. One Medieval Monument remains the Stone Effigy of a Lady in Wimple & Long Gown, now lying in the Chancel. Her Arms, a Shield Semée of Crosses Patée, 2-Trumpets in bend, if correctly blazoned, point to Trumpington and perhaps show her to be a wife of the John Trompeton, who was one of the Jurors of the Parish in 1341. On the Chancel Pavement there once lay the Brass of the last Rector, John de Aldebourne, who was still living in 1352, a half figure with Amice, Alb, and an undated Inscription. The Figure is now affixed to the South wall of the Chancel, and a fragment of the Inscription is on the North-wall. At least 2-Brasses have disappeared; that which bore the Effigies of John Rowsse, Husbandman (d.1485), and his wife, and a Brass plate to William Brooke, Yeoman (bur. 1587). A fragment of a Brass Inscription which once marked the grave of Robert Knody (1465–1512) is now fixed to the North wall of the Chancel, and there is also a Brass Inscription to Robert Whitton (d.1611/12) and his wife Mary. If a wall-painting of the Final Doom once occupied the usual position over the Chancel Arch, it disappeared in 1759 when the Walls at the entry to the Chancel were ordered to be scraped clean.
Early in the Reign of Charles I the appearance of the east end of the Church was altered through the erection of 2 large Tombs, one on either side of the Altar. They have recumbent painted Effigies and were originally surmounted by Canopies on red Marble Pillars. One that has 2 children kneeling beneath commemorates William Deane of Nethercote (d.1620) and his wife Isabel (d.1624); the other is the Tomb of Mrs Deane’s sister, Lady Dorothy Fleetwood (d.1629), and of her husband Sir Thomas Fleetwood of Missenden (d.1625).
In the Jodrell Chapel an immense Wall Monument (unsigned) commemorates the death of Paul Jodrell in 1728. The inscription gives details of his life and enumerates all the members of the Rolles Family buried in the Church since 1536. Another Inscription records that the Chapel was repaired by his son Paul Jodrell in 1734. A Marble Monument by P Bazzanti of Florence was erected in 1833 to Richard Paul Jodrell (d.1831). Inscriptions to Sir Richard Paul Jodrell, 2nd Bt. (d.1861), to the Rev Sir Edward Repps Jodrell, 3rd Bt. (d.1882), and to others of the Family have been added. There are wall Tablets to Elizabeth Jodrell (d.1794), to Henry Jodrell (d.1814), and to Lucinda Lady Jodrell (d.1888) by Gaffin of Regent Street, London. There is also a life-sized Marble Effigy of the Rev Sir Edward Repps Jodrell (d.1882) by Sir J E Boehm, Bt.
The following Memorials are also in the Church: a Marble Wall Monument (unsigned) with Bust of John Scrope, Secretary of the Treasury (d.1752); Marble Tablets to Frances Samwell (d.1730), daughter & coheiress of Arthur Samwell; Prudence Lenten (d.1731), Widow of Heritage Lenten of Nethercote; Francis Fane (d.1757), nephew of John Scrope; Mrs Charlotte Fane (d.1758), wife of Henry Fane; the Rev Thomas Skeeler (d.1763), Vicar, and his wife Jane and son Francis; and to Charles Botterell Hawkins, Vicar for 40-yrs (d.1835). There are Brass Inscriptions to Members of the Fane Family of Wormsley: to Maj John Augustus Fane (d.1908), Col John William Fane (d.1875), John H Scrope Fane (d.1928), and to Francis Luther Fane (d.1954). There were once Memorial inscriptions that have been removed in the course of the various restorations: to John Bushell, Vicar (d.1715); to Heritage Lenten, Esq, of Nethercote (d. 1715); to Francis Bernard (d.1715), Rector of Brightwell (Berks), and a number of other inscriptions to children of the Rolles, Croke & Winlow families. Stained Glass was placed in the West window of the Tower in 1883–87 as a Memorial to the Rev Sir Edward Repps Jodrell, Bt. Two of the Chancel windows contain glass in the pre-Raphaelite style dated 1863 & 1868. In 1936 a Stained glass window designed by J C Powell & Sons, London, was erected in the Nave to the Memory of the Rev M B Thurburn (Vicar 1920–34) and his wife.
The Chantry Commissioners of 1552 found 2-Chalices without Covers. The Church now owns an Engraved Silver Chalice & Paten Cover, both of 1576, and a plain Silver Paten of 1658. In 1553 there was a Ring of 4 Bells and a Sanctus Bell. Before 1950, when a new Treble Bell was added, there were 5 Bells, all of them with inscriptions, such as ‘Feare God’, ‘Hope in God’, and ‘Prayes God’. Two were dated 1636, and the whole Ring was by Ellis Knight I. The Ancient Bells now stand at the West end of the Church. There is also a Sanctus Bell of 1744. The Registers date from 1666.
The Recusant Returns of the early-17thC give the names of Robert Bethom & William Chawford, both Gentlemen, and of 2 others, one a Yeoman. At the beginning of the 18thC a Labourer & a Brickmaker are listed. In 1717 2-Roman Catholics owned land in the Parish, John Brinkhurst of Great Marlow (Bucks), & Maurice Belson of Brill. The Scoles, a prominent Roman Catholic Family of Shirburn, may have descended from the Scoles of Lewknor, but they are not known to have been Recusants in Lewknor. Protestant nonconformity evidently developed during the Interregnum. In 1652 the Berkshire Baptist Association was founded at Wormsley House, the home of the Regicide Adrian Scrope. In 1669 there were reported to be Meetings in the Houses of Thomas Stevens, William North, Christopher North & a Mr Huish, and especially at Wormsley House. The Congregation of about 30 were Anabaptists and were taught by a Mr Collins. The Compton Census in 1676, however, gives only 8-Nonconformists, probably as a result of the activities of the Vicar, John Bushell, who was active in suppressing them. In about 1685 the numbers had fallen to 4.
Except for one Anabaptist, a Farmer’s wife, recorded in 1738, there was apparently no 18thC Dissent, but during the 1st half of the 19thC Dissent made some progress. In 1818, 1825, 1832, 1834, 1840 & 1849 Meeting-houses for unspecified denominations were Licensed in Lewknor & Postcombe and in the Census of 1851 a Wesleyan Meeting-Place with an average attendance of 25 was returned. In the same year a Cottage was Licensed by the Independents, but by 1857 there was only one meeting and the Vicar said there were very few professed Dissenters. In 1884 the Congregationalists reported that Postcombe had no ‘place of Worship whatsoever‘ and that it was suitable for ‘aggressive work‘. Cottage services were begun. In 1885 the Minister from Chinnor was holding regular Services and later the Hamlet was treated as an Outstation of Tetsworth. In 1906 a Meeting-place called New Hall was opened.