Our History

Why, in a town as old as Buckingham, is the Parish Church only 200 years old?

There has been a church in Buckingham, since Saxon Times. The old church used to stand further down the hill, at the bottom of what is now called Church Street, in Prebend End- you can still see the site of the church in the old church yard.

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In 1776 the spire on the old church, for the second time, fell down and caused so much damage that it was decided to build a new church on the vacant site of Castle Hill. This new church, in the 'Debased Gothic' style, was consecrated by the Bishop of Lincoln on 6th December 1780 and dedicated to the Apostles Peter and Paul.

Due to the foundations being insufficient and several cracks appearing, in 1866 extensive restoration was carried out including adding butresses (to prop up the building). A new chancel was also added and a decoration scheme in the Gothic style completed by the local architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. The tower and spire remain unchanged since 1780, and the windows slightly altered. The buttresses and porch are the work of Scott.

Remnants of the original Church include finely carved Pew Heads and a magnificent early 18th century brass chandelier. The greatest treasure is a rare Latin manuscript Bible originally presented in 1471.

The ancient town of Buckingham or "Bucken Hame" (home of the buck) as it was known prior to the Roman invasion stands by the River Ouse in the centre of England. Sadly most of the town centre was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1725.

The "Charter Fairs" are held on two consecutive Saturdays in October every year to celebrate Mary Tudor's 1554 and Charles II 1684 granting of charters to the Borough.  You can read a succinct history of the Town here which includes a good amount about the Parish Church.

Further Reading

The Church has published a number of interesting booklets and guides on the history of the Church and its many features. The latest History Guide was published in 2008 and is available to purchase in the Church and the Buckingham Tourist Information Office. There is also a guide to the stain glass windows that can be obtained from the Parish Office. Both guides are deposited at the local library.

Other interesting publications relate to the legend of St Rumbold, and the story of the historic Rectory - both available in Church.