St Peter and St Paul, Buckingham

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St Peter and St Paul, Buckingham
Buckingham Parish Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul
Buckingham PeterandPaulParishChurch08.JPG
St Peter and St Paul, Buckingham
51°59′53″N0°59′23″W / 51.9981°N 0.9896°W / 51.9981; -0.9896 Coordinates: 51°59′53″N0°59′23″W / 51.9981°N 0.9896°W / 51.9981; -0.9896
Location Buckingham, Buckinghamshire
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Evangelical
Status Parish church
Dedication Saint Peter
Saint Paul
Consecrated 6 December 1780
Functional statusActive
Heritage designation Grade I listed building
Architect(s) Sir George Gilbert Scott (extensions and alterations)
Style Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking 1777
Completed1780 (additions 1867)
Number of spires 1
Spire height180 ft 0 in (54.86 m)
Materials Stone
Province Province of Canterbury
Diocese Diocese of Oxford
Rector The Revd Will Pearson-Gee
Curate(s) The Revd Kate Pellereau
Minister(s) The Revd Gussie Walsh

St. Peter and St. Paul, known commonly as Buckingham Parish Church, is the Anglican parish church in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England. [1] The current rector is Revd Will Pearson-Gee who leads a range of services; traditional and modern in style, most of which are on Sunday. [2] The church is prominently located in the centre of the historic core of Buckingham on Castle Hill.



The previous church located in Prebend End dated from before 1445 but no records have been found before this date apart from a reference to it in the Domesday Book of 1086. [3] It had a history of the tower and spire collapsing several times and in 1776 it collapsed for the final time. Browne Willis had a great desire to restore the church to its former glory following the last repairs in 1698, but the new spire was too ambitious. [4]

A new site became available on Castle Hill and the decision was taken to move the church. [5] The foundation stone for the new church was laid by Robert Bartlett, bailiff of Buckingham, on 25 November 1777 at a grand ceremony, including the singing of a hymn specially composed for the occasion followed by the roasting of an ox with beer and bread supplied by Earl Temple. On 6 December 1780, the church was consecrated by Thomas Thurlow, Bishop of Lincoln following a detailed petition letter sent to the Bishop which described the reasons for the new church. The petition read as follows:

“That the Tower of the ancient fabric of the Parish Church of Buckingham having fallen down destroyed the Great parts of the Church, and that the inhabitants were unable to rebuild the same, that in consideration of such inability, the Right Hon Richard Earl Temple generously under took by Virtue of an act of Parliament to build a new Church... that the said Church is now completely finished for the celebration of divine worship, by the Right Hon George Earl Temple, Heir to the said Richard Earl Temple. That the ground on which the said Church is erected, together with commodious passages thereto and an area surrounding the same has been freely given and legally conveyed for the use of the said Parish by the Right Hon Ralph Earl Verney of the Kingdom of Ireland." [6]


The Church design originally had just two elements: the tower with octagonal plan spire, and the nave with a sanctuary formed within this main volume and was quite a simple Georgian building. The current Victorian Gothic Revival church seen today is the result of many 19th-century alterations by George Gilbert Scott including the significant structural repairs and new buttresses and internal alterations started in 1860, a chancel added in 1865 and a porch in 1867. The new chancel was funded by a £358 donation from the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos. [7]

The additions were consecrated by Bishop Wilberforce in 1867, [8] leaving little of the original 18th-century church left untouched.

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  1. Church of England website listing
  2. St Peter & St Paul website
  3. Hunt, Julian. Buckingham A Pictorial History. Phillimore & Co, 1994, page xviii
  4. Clarke, John. The Book of Buckingham. Barracuda Books, 1984, page 112
  5. Act of Parliament "An Act for building a new Church within the Town and Parish of Buckingham", 1777
  6. Whyte, Warren. The History and Architecture of the Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul Buckingham, 2008
  7. "The Parish Church - Munificence of the Duke of Buckingham" . Bucks Herald. 1 October 1864. Retrieved 20 August 2014 via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. Elliott, Douglas. "Buckingham The Loyal and Ancient Borough". Phillimore, 1975, page 131