St Nicholas Church
Reverend David Kaboleh
Mrs Claire Hennessy Tel 339564
Mrs Anita Tansley Tel 339952
If you would like to contribute for flowers in church, or help with arranging flowers,
please contact Mrs Ann Crees Tel 338956
4 (1927), pp. 56-61.
The church of ST. NICHOLAS consists of a chancel measuring internally 26 ft. 6 in. by 13 ft., nave 41 ft. by 13 ft., north aisle 6 ft. 6 in. wide, south aisle 5 ft. 6 in. wide, south porch, and west tower 10 ft. 6 in. square.
The present building dates in the main from about 1210, but the north and south aisles do not seem to have been added till some twenty years later. The width of the south aisle appears to have been governed by a south porch to the original nave, the outer wall of which is preserved in part on either side of the south doorway. The upper stage of the tower assumed its present form in the 14th century, and the east wall of the chancel was rebuilt about the same time, probably on account of some failure at the north-east angle. The south porch, though much altered about 1600, is probably of the 15th century. Restorations were undertaken in 1856 and 1875, and in 1907 the south side of the chancel was rebuilt and other repairs done. The walling generally is of limestone rubble and the principal roofs are tiled.
The chancel is lighted from the east by a threelight 14th-century window, with a traceried pointed head and image brackets on either side, and from the north by two original lancets, the western of which has been reset further west to give room for the large Tipping monument, removed from the north aisle in 1906. At the south-east is a square-headed window of two trefoiled lights of about 1350 said to have been brought from elsewhere. To the west of the central buttress of the south wall is an original lancet, and between this and the west end of the wall are a 13th-century doorway, and a cinquefoiled 15th-century light with a depressed head. The lower part of this last window apparently formed a low-side window and has two sills inside, much restored. Beneath the western lancet on the north side is a blocked lowside window, and east of this a recess which seems to indicate the former existence of a squint. In the south wall, in the usual position, is a 13th-century piscina with a credence shelf. The communion table is of the 17th century, but now supports a mediaeval altar slab found at the east end of the north aisle. The chancel arch is pointed and of two moulded orders towards the nave. It is of original early 13thcentury date, but appears to have been considerably altered at a later period; the south jamb has been cut away on the east side, apparently to make room for the aumbry between it and the south-east window of the chancel, and a moulded corbel inserted to carry the arch. The jambs have attached circular shafts with early 13th-century capitals, that on the north being scalloped. Externally there are stringcourses of original date on the north and south walls, which leap the heads of the lancets and form their labels; these have been cut for the later windows, and beneath the sills of the lancets in each wall is a second string-course, interrupted by the low-side windows.
Plan of Ickford Church
The nave arcades are each of three bays, and are contemporary with the aisles, with the exception of the eastern arch on the south, which appears to have been rebuilt. The arches are of two orders supported by circular columns and responds, all having plain capitals, except the western column of the south arcade, which has a foliated capital.
The north aisle is lighted from the north by a mid-14th-century square-headed window of three cinquefoiled lights, which has been altered at a later date, a narrow 13th-century lancet with 16th-century rear-arch, possibly re-used from the original nave, a round-headed lancet set high in the wall, also perhaps re-used, and a 13th-century coupled lancet repaired in the 16th century. In the east and west walls are coupled lancets, that on the east probably a 16thcentury insertion, while that on the west, though originally of the 13th century, has been much restored. Between the third and fourth windows is an original round-headed doorway with a continuous chamfer.
The south aisle is lighted from the south by a four-light square-headed window, probably of the 16th century, near the east end of the wall, the head of which has been much restored, and by a modern three-light window at the opposite end of the wall, above which in the roof is a modern dormer window. The east and west windows are single lancets; the west window is modern, but the head, which was found in the south wall during the restoration of 1906, is of original 13th-century date. Above it is a small 13th-century quatrefoil. Between the two windows in the south wall is the south doorway, which is probably contemporary with the building of the chancel and nave, and once formed the outer doorway of a south porch. The head has been rebuilt in the 15th century; the inner order is four-centred, and the outer order, which is pointed, rises above its apex. The original pointed head has apparently been re-used as the head of the outer doorway of the porch added in the 15th century. The jambs are of two orders with detached shafts having moulded bases and annulets and carved and moulded capitals. The portion of walling in which the doorway is set is probably the south wall of the first porch; two fragments of the weather-mould of its roof can still be seen over the doorway. At the south-east is a damaged piscina contemporary with the aisle, and to the east of the south doorway is a stoup, much renewed, but partly of the 14th century. A niche at the east end with a trefoiled head probably dates from the 15th century.
The tower, which is crowned by a saddleback roof, contains three stories, but is divided externally only by the string-course beneath the windows of the bellchamber. The tower arch is pointed and of two chamfered orders with small detached jamb shafts, having a scalloped capital on the north and a foliated capital on the south; the base of the southern jamb shaft has been patched with part of an octagonal column. In the west wall of the ground story is an original lancet. The story above was originally lighted by round-headed lights on the north, west, and south, but only that on the north now remains unblocked. In the east wall is a modern loop formed in a doorway which must have originally opened into the nave roof. The topmost stage is lighted on the west by a pair of tall lights with trefoil heads and jambs of two orders externally, the outer orders having acutely pointed heads inclosed by labels and rising considerably above the apices of the inner heads. In each of the remaining three sides are pointed 14th-century windows of two trefoiled ogee lights with traceried heads; on the south and east the original 13thcentury windows can be traced. Three fragments of worked stones preserved in the chancel probably belonged to these windows.
The chancel roof is of the 14th century and has trussed collar-beams and rafters. The nave roof, which is modern, has been lowered, but the weathering of the original roof is visible on the east side of the tower. The pitch of the roof and gable of the south porch has been raised in modern times. The timbers are mostly ancient; a boss on the southern tie-beam is carved with a Tudor rose, while reset on the modern northern tie-beam is another original boss carved as a lion's face.
The font has a plain round bowl and may be of the 13th century. The pulpit and sounding board, the latter enriched with a guilloche ornament, are of the 17th century. In the nave are some plain 16thcentury seats. The gallery at the west end has a front of 17th-century panelling. Some 14th-century glass with foliated patterns remains in the tracery of the east window of the chancel. There are some modern shields and one ancient shield bearing the following charge: barry or and azure over all a bend gules. Some quarries of the same date survive in a north aisle window.
There is a large monument on the north side of the chancel to Thomas Tipping (d. 1601) and Margaret his wife. It is of chalk or clunch with columns painted in imitation of black marble, and contains kneeling figures of their four sons and five daughters. At the south-west of the chancel is a floor slab to Edmund Lawrence (d. 1645), and at the west end of the nave is a slab to Ann wife of Thomas Coles (d. 1695). A mural tablet in the south aisle commemorates Thomas Phillips (d. 1704) and Mary his wife (d. 1681).
There are three bells and a sanctus. The treble has letters selected at random cast upon it by way of an inscription (fn. 93) ; the second is inscribed 'Chandler made me 1716'; and the tenor 'Let your hope be in the Lord 1623.' The sanctus bell is by W. Taylor, 1847.
The plate includes a cup of 1661 and a standing paten of the same date, the cup inscribed, 'Ex dono Gilberti (Sheldon) Episcopi Londini nup. Rectoris de Ickford in Com. Bucks'; and an 18th-century paten.
The registers begin in 1561.
Reference to Ickford Church occurs first in 1194–5, when Helias son of Goce, in the tithing of William son of Goce, was accused of robbing the 'priest of Ickford,' for which offence he was fined. (fn. 94) It appears to have been attached to Miles Crispin's land, as it was held by the Appletons in 1226. (fn. 95) In 1262 Thomas de Appleton granted the advowson to Thomas de Valognes and his heirs to be held of the Appleton heirs for 1d. rent and foreign service. (fn. 96) The advowson descended with the manor of Shabbington (q.v.) to Thomas de Valognes's daughter and heir Joan, wife of Robert de Grey, kt., and passed at her death, about 1313, to Joan, the daughter and heir of their dead son Thomas, upon whom a settlement had been made by Robert de Grey and confirmed by Joan his widow in 1297. (fn. 97) The younger Joan married Guy de Breton, (fn. 98) who presented to the church in 1318 and again in 1333. (fn. 99) In 1387 the advowson was held by Thomas Merington, William Wolfe and others, who had purchased it of John son and heir of William de Breton. (fn. 100)
Presentation was made by the king in 1405, (fn. 101) and in 1412 by John Clayrell, (fn. 102) who apparently left daughters as heirs, as in 1419 Thomas Wodelawe and Margaret his wife quitclaimed a moiety of the advowson, subject to a life interest to be retained by Margaret, to Richard Quartermain. (fn. 103) This Richard was the grandson of Thomas Quartermain, who died in 1342, by Katharine his wife, daughter and heir of Guy de Breton and Joan above mentioned. (fn. 104) Richard Quartermain presented to the church in 1458, (fn. 105) and after his death the advowson probably passed to his sister and co-heir Maud, wife of John Bruley, or her descendants. (fn. 106) Their daughter and heir Joan had married John Danvers, whose eldest son Thomas became his grandmother's heir, (fn. 107) and held property in Ickford in 1489. (fn. 108) His brother, Sir William Danvers, died seised of the advowson and the manor, (fn. 109) with which the advowson descended until the sale by the Tipping family in 1703. (fn. 110) After this date it was held separately from the manor by various persons, presentation being made by John Beauchamp in 1728, by Evans Pitt in 1737, and by Hester or Esther Newell, widow, in 1747 and 1775. (fn. 111) The patronage was obtained before the end of the 18th century by Richard Townsend, (fn. 112) in whose family it remained until after 1890, when it passed to the Turner family, who still present to the rectory. (fn. 113)
Thomas de Valognes received half a virgate of land with the advowson in 1262, (fn. 114) and five messuages, 3 virgates 19 acres of land and 5 acres of meadow were held with this property in 1313. (fn. 115) In 1316 Guy de Breton is recorded as holding Ickford (fn. 116) with John atte Water, lord of the manor, from which account it seems possible that a manor of the rectory at one time existed.
In 1430 William Hebbenge, the rector, received a papal dispensation to hold for five years another benefice with Ickford. (fn. 117)
Among other rectors of Ickford may be named Gilbert Sheldon, who later became Bishop of London in 1660 and Archbishop of Canterbury in 1663. (fn. 118) The incumbent in 1632 was Calibute Downing, author of several treatises and sermons, advocating amongst other things the taking up of arms against the king in defence of religion. (fn. 119)