Buckland is a parish and village in Oxfordshire, about 8 km east of Faringdon. The earliest known written record of it is from AD 957 when the parish is mentioned in a Charter, where King Eadwig granted the manor to Duke Aelfheah.
The history of Buckland is inextricably linked with that of the manor and its various owners. Until the late 20th century nearly all the houses and land in Buckland were in single ownership and up to the Second World War, most people who lived in the village worked on the estate.
The church of St Mary the Virgin was built in the 12th century, with the chancel, tower and transepts being added in the 13th century. It is a Grade I listed building and is part of the Benefice of Cherbury with Gainfield.
Buckland House is a Grade II* listed building which was built in 1757 and has recently been the subject of an award-winning restoration for private residential use. The Old Manor House has been retained and remodelled and is also in private residential use.
The future of St Mary the Virgin church
The people of Buckland are committed to securing the future of St Mary’s for worship and for wider community use; and to preserving what is special about the church for present and future generations to enjoy. To those ends, in 2014, implementation of a long-term strategy for repairs, renovation and improvement of the church commenced.
To inform the decisions that needed to be made and to help identify priorities, Worlledge Associates was commissioned to produce a Heritage Report, published in July 2016. The report gathers evidence from documentary resources and on-site analysis; it reveals the history of the church, and its associations with important people and events; and it sets out how that history is exhibited in the fabric of the church, and in its siting and context. The Heritage Report supplements the repair, restoration and management recommendations of the Quinquennial Review 2012, which was subsequently updated in the Quinquennial Review 2017 both undertaken by the church’s lead professional advisor Andrew Townsend Architects.
Thankfully the local community embraced the necessary fundraising with great generosity. Sufficient local funds were available to restore the South Transept roof in 2016. Local funds were augmented by significant grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund (in 2016), the National Churches Trust and the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust (in 2017), and other local and national trusts and foundations. This has enabled work on the Nave, and North Transept roofs to be undertaken in 2018. They have also enabled a Management Plan for continuing restoration works and for future improvements to the amenities of the church to be prepared by Andrew Townsend Architects in consultation with the local community; and for the creation of this website which allows people much greater insight into the special heritage interest of the church.
The material available in this website draws on the Heritage Report and on-site analysis and additional research carried out by the Oxford Heritage Partnership who also created the visitor trails with illustrations by Nick Claiden. The trails supplement the information available in the existing church guide published in 2012 and available to purchase in the church (£2). We are grateful to local residents Michael St Maur Shiel, who contributed material relating to villagers who fell in the First World War, Tony Hadland who contributed material on the recusant families the Yates and the Throckmortons, and David Bailey, who built this web site.
We hope that this website will encourage more people to visit and enjoy St Mary’s, and when they do, to have a good appreciation of its history and significance.
- Thomas photos 1978 ORO D220504a