South Bucks District
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Parts of St. Giles’ Church date from Saxon times whilst much of the chancel and tower are Norman. The building has been added to and developed over the years. There is a Tudor side chapel which was integrated with the rest of the church by the Victorians.
A church consisting of a chancel and nave was probably built shortly before it was given to St. Mary Overy early in the 12th century; the tower and south aisle were built about 1225, when the chancel was lengthened, and the north aisle was added in the last half of the same century. In the early part of the 14th century the timber south porch was built, and in the 15th century a vestry, since destroyed, was added north of the chancel, while the Hastings chapel was built about 1560. The church has been extensively restored, and the vestry was added in 1907.
The church consists of a chancel 32 ft. by 16 ft. 6 in., vestry, south or Hastings chapel 36 ft. 6 in. by 20 ft., nave 45 ft. by 22 ft., north tower 15 ft. 6 in. square, north aisle 25 ft. by 10 ft. 6 in., south aisle 45 ft. 6 in. by 10 ft., and a south porch. All these dimensions are internal. With the exception of the south chapel, which is of brick, the walling generally is of flint and stone and the roofs are tiled.
In the chancel are brass figures of Sir William de Moleyns (d. 1425), in plate armour, and Margery his wife wearing a veil and loose dress, with an inscription and two shields; of Edward Hampden (d. 1577) and his wife, daughter of Richard Curzon, with an incomplete marginal inscription, and shields of Hampden and Hampden impaling Curzon; and a slab with a brass inscription and arms and a matrix for the figure, to Eleanor de Moleyns, who married first Sir Robert Hungerford, and secondly Oliver Maningham, kt.
The church has historic links with the poet Thomas Gray (1716–1771), who wrote his “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” whilst visiting his aunt who lived in the village. He is buried in the churchyard.