Stokenchurch Church

StPeter&StPaulChurch

The Church of St Peter & St Paul consists of a Chancel 28ft x 15ft, Nave 64ft x 20ft., North Transept 20ft x 15ft, North Aisle 34ft x 11ft, South Porch and a Western Bell-Turret. These dimensions are all internal.

The Nave, which dates from the latter half of the 12thC, was probably lengthened in the 15th century, and the contemporary Chancel appears to have been rebuilt during the 1st half of the 14thC when the North Transept was 1st erected.  In the 16thC, the South Porch was added and the North Transept rebuilt. The Fabric was thoroughly restored in 1847, and the North Aisle was built in 1893.  The materials are Flint rubble with Limestone Dressings, much of the walling being coated with roughcast. The North Transept Roof is tiled and the Roofs of the Chancel & Nave are covered with Lead.

The Chancel is lighted from the East by a modern 3-light window with some original 14thC inner Jamb Stones, from the South by 2 14thC windows, each of 2-lights with Tracery under a pointed Head, and from the North by one window similar to the last and one of the 15thC of 2 trefoiled lights under a square head. Between the 2 South windows, the Eastern of which appears to have been raised in the 15thC, when the inner sill was carried down to form a Sedile, is a 14thC Doorway with a modern Head. In the North wall is a 14thC Locker, which was probably used as an Easter Sepulchre in the 15thC, when it was given its present trefoiled Ogee Head, and in the South Wall is a 14thC Piscina with a sexfoil Bowl and a cinquefoiled Head, above which is a crocketed & traceried Gablet flanked by pinnacles supported on Head Corbels. East of this is a small square recess, and on the North Wall is a carved Bracket, probably of the 14thC. The pointed Chancel Arch, dating from the late 12thC, is of 2 Orders, the inner plain and the outer Cheveron moulded; one order of the Responds is enriched on the side towards the Nave by keeled edge Rolls with foliated Capitals & moulded Bases. On the North side of the Chancel Arch there is a Hagioscope.

The Nave is comparatively narrow for its length and is lighted on the South by 4 windows. The Easternmost window is similar to that at the South-east of the Chancel; the next, about 30-yrs later in date, is of 2 trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil under a pointed Head; the 3rd is a 15thC window of 2 cinquefoiled lights with head Tracery, and the Westernmost a 13thC Lancet, probably reset. The South doorway, which dates from the late 12thC, has a moulded 2-centred Arch with dog-tooth enrichment; the Semi-circular inner order is modern and the Jambs have been considerably restored.  The North Wall is occupied by an Arcade of 4-Bays, the 3 Western of which are modern; the East Bay, opening into the Transept and dating from the 14thC, is of 2 chamfered Orders, the inner one of which was supported on both sides by Head Corbels, but the West Corbel has been removed to the West Respond of the Arcade. In the West Wall is a 15thC Doorway with a 2-centred Head and a 3-light Traceried window of the same period, above which is a reset round-headed window, now blocked, which probably dates from the late 12thC.  At the East of the Transept Arch is the upper doorway to a Rood-loft.  The North Transept is lighted on the North by a late 16thC window of 3-lights under a 4-centred Head and on the East by a window of 2 lights under a square Head, probably dating from the same period, while over the North window is a reset trefoiled light of the 15thC.  In the East wall is a 14thC Piscina with a cinquefoiled Head, a sexfoil Bowl and a Shelf at the back, and at the West is a modern Arch opening into the Aisle.  Reset in the North Wall of the Aisle are 2 15thC windows, each of 2 cinquefoiled lights under a square Head, and in the West wall is a reset 14thC window of 2-trefoiled lights with Tracery under a pointed Head which has been restored.  The South Porch retains its original 4-centred entrance Arch, but the Jambs are modern, and in each of the East & West Walls is a square-headed light, mostly of modern Stonework.

The Nave Roof dates from the late 15thC; its Trusses have Tie-beams with curved Braces, and they are supported on Stone Corbels carved generally with Angels holding Shields or with Heads, but those at the West, which are later insertions, are plain. The Transept has a 16thC Roof with a central moulded Tie-beam, over which is a foliated Board, which may be a re-used Barge-board.

The Font has an octagonal Limestone Bowl with a moulded lower Edge, a Bell-shaped Stem and a moulded Base; it is apparently of early 13thC date and was originally Circular, but was recut to its present shape in the 15th or 16thC.  The Cover is probably of 17thC date and has a central vertical Handle. In the North-west window of the Chancel and the West window of the Nave are some fragments of old painted Glass.  On the inner sill of the South-east window of the Nave are fragments of 2-13thC Shafts, one of which has a foliated Capital & the other a moulded Capital, with remains of colour decoration of a later date on the back.

On the North Jamb of the Chancel Arch is a mutilated Brass Figure in Plate and Mail Armour with a French Inscription to Roberd Morle, who died in 1410, and on the South Jamb is a Figure & Inscription of similar character to Robert Morle, who died in 1415. In the Chancel are 2 rectangular Brass Plates with Arms, Figures & Inscription, commemorating Bartholomew Tipping of Chequers, who died in 1632, and 2 similar Plates, one with her Figure, to commemorate his wife Martha, who died in the same year.  On the Northside of the Chancel is a Mediaeval Coffin Lid, on which was an incised Cross, but the Stem only can now be seen, and on the North Wall is a Monument with Arms to Bartholomew Tipping, who Founded the Free School in the Parish and died in 1680.  On the Chancel Floor is a Slab to the same person, one to Elizabeth Whistler, his sister, 1693–4, and 2 other Slabs probably of the same Period.

There are 3-Bells, of which the First, dated 1640, and the 3rd, 1618, are both by Henry Knight.
The Communion Plate includes a Cup & Cover Paten of 1574 and a Paten of 1684.
The Registers date from 1707.

Advowson
Stokenchurch
was a Chapelry of Aston Rowant with a Chapel & Cemetery of its own in the early 13thC.  The Advowson descended with that of Aston Rowant, and before 1220 belonged to Wallingford Priory, to which Foundation the Mother Church had already been appropriated.  It remained with the Priory,  which was dissolved in 1524, and was included in the Crown Grant of the Priory Estates to Cardinal Wolsey in 1528  for his College at Oxford.  Further Grants of the Advowson of Stokenchurch Chapel were made in 1531  & 1532  to St Albans Abbey, but since the Dissolution, it has been vested in the Crown.  The Chapelry of Stokenchurch was severed from Aston Rowant in 1844 and made a Perpetual Curacy.  It is now a Vicarage in the Gift of the Lord Chancellor.

Charities
The following Eleemosynary Charities are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 20th September 1904, under the title of the United Charities, namely, the Charity of Francis Deane, founded by Will, 1674, being an Annuity of 30s issuing out of Cooper’s Court Farm in this Parish; Thomas Mason, by Will 1711, consisting of an Annuity of £3 1s. issuing out of Mallard’s Court Estate, for providing Coats for 6 Poor men and 6 2-penny loaves of bread.
Newell, Gift about 1719, originally the interest of £100 for bread, in respect of which the yearly sum of £4 is now paid by the Owner of Pophley’s Farm.
Burrows, by Will, referred to in the Parliamentary Returns of 1786, being an Annuity of 14s issuing out of 2 Cottages in this Parish.
James Hitchcock, who died in 1817, by his Will gave £3 yearly for bread, which is received out of a House & Premises in this Parish.
Sarah Holmes, by will 1829, Trust Fund, £29-11s-9d consols, producing 14s-8d yearly for Poor Widows.
The Annuity of £3-1s in respect of Mason’s Charity is duly applied for the Benefit of 6 Poor men, and the other Annuities, amounting together to £9-4s, are applied in the distribution of bread, the Income of Charity being divided among 8 or 9 Poor Widows.
The sum of Stock belonging to Sarah Holmes’s Charity is held by the Official Trustees, who also hold a sum of £100 Consols under the Title of ‘Jodrell’s Charity,‘ derived under the Will of Sir Richard Paul Jodrell, Baronet, proved at London, 7th March 1861, the annual Dividends of which, amounting to £2-10s, are applicable in the distribution of clothing & blankets amongst necessitous Inhabitants most Regular in Attendance at Church, who have maintained the largest Families with the least Parochial Relief.

Tipping’s Educational Foundation
In 1675 Bartholomew Tipping by Deed charged certain Lands in Shabbington, Bucks., with a yearly rent-charge of £41-0s-6d to be disposed of for the Schooling & Clothing of 12 Poor children, for Apprenticing 2 of them, and for other purposes specified in the said Deed, including 13s-4d to the Curate for preaching a Sermon on St Bartholomew’s Day.  A sum of £275 Consols, representing accumulations of Income, was in 1858 transferred to the Official Trustees, of which £26-13s-4d Consols was in 1904 set aside as ‘Tipping’s Charity for Curate.‘ The income of the Foundation is applied for Educational purposes in the Parish.