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Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire

Historical Description

Ivinghoe, a small town and a parish in Buckinghamshire. The town stands on the E border of the county, on Icknield Street, under the Chiltern Hills, near the L. & N.W.R. and the Grand Junction Canal, 2 miles SSE of Cheddington Junction station, and 3½ NNE from Tring; consists chiefly of two streets in the form of the letter T, and has a post and money order office under Tring; telegraph office, Cheddington; an ancient town-hall, which is used for monthly petty sessions, a church, Baptist and Wesleyan chapels, and charities worth £35 a year. The church dates from the time of Henry III., is a fine cruciform structure, with central tower and low spire, and contains a modern font in the 14th-century style enclosed in a beautiful baptistery, enriched with an oak parquet floor and a magnificent triptych representing the Incarnation. A handsome oak-carved' screen in the 14th-century style, with figures in carved oak of our Lord. and the Archangels, was added in 1894. There is a richly-carved oak pulpit, several monuments of the Duncombes, and an altar-tomb with recumbent effigies, long supposed to be for Bishop Henry de Blois, brother of King Stephen, but now believed to be for Peter de Chaceport, rector of Ivinghoe in the 13th century. A weekly market is held on Saturday; fairs are held on 6 May and 17 Oct., and the plaiting of straw is carried on. The parish contains also the hamlets of Aston, St Margaret's, and Ringshall, and parts of the hamlets Seabrook and Horton. Acreage, 5606; population, 1277. The view from the hills above the town is picturesque. A small Benedictine nunnery at St Margaret's, now traceable by only some inequalities in the ground, is commonly said to have been founded in 1160 by Bishop Henry de Blois, but appears really to have been founded by his successor, Bishop Giffard of Winchester. An old rhyming tradition says, respecting one of the Hampdens and the Black Prince "Tring, "Wing, and Ivinghoe Hampden of Hampden did forego, For striking of ye Prince a blow, And glad he might escapen so."

But neither the manor of Ivinghoe, nor that of Wing, nor that of Tring ever belonged to the Hampdens, so that the tradition is a mistake. Yet it has become memorable for furnishing to Sir Walter Scott the name " Ivanhoe " to one of the best of his novels. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Oxford; gross value, £340 with residence. Patron, Earl Brownlow. There are Wesleyan chapels in Aston and Horton.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyBuckinghamshire 
Ecclesiastical parishIvinghoe St. Mary 
Poor Law unionLeighton-Buzzard 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The Phillimore transcript of Marriages at Ivinghoe 1559-1812, Buckinghamshire is available to browse online.

The parish register dates from the year 1559.


Church of England

St. Mary (parish church)

The parish church of St. Mary is a fine cruciform building mainly of the 13th century, but with windows and doorways of the 14th century, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave and transepts; aisles, north, south and west porches and a central embattled tower with spire, containing a clock and 6 bells, 5 being recast in 1875, and a sixth bell added, in memory of the Rev. William Jennings Hamilton, vicar 1845-74: the tenor bell, dated 1628, was inscribed "Sacra manet Christi plebisque religio vana": the north and south porches have ball-flower mouldings: the carved oak roof is of the Late Decorated period, with figures of angels, monks and carved corbels: the present clerestory is Perpendicular, but traces of the original circular sexfoil windows of the old clerestory may still be seen in the nave, whilst those in both transepts are copies of the original windows: some of the benches have tall poppy heads: in the church are several monuments to the family of Duncombe, formerly of Barley End House in this parish, including a brass, with effigy, to William Duncombe, 1576, the figures of his wives and children being lost: and others to Thomas Duncombe, 1531, and John Duncombe, 1594, the effigies of their wives being missing: here also is a brass with effigies to Richard Blackhed, 1517, and Maude, his wife: there is also in the chancel a table tomb, with recumbent effigy, vested as a priest and supposed to be Peter de Chaseport rector here 1241-54, probable founder of the church: the pulpit, a richly carved and ancient piece of cinque-cento workmanship, is of oak and retains its hour-glass and stand: a stained east window was erected in 1868 to the memory of John William, second Earl Brownlow, who died at Mentone, 20th Feb. 1867: the chancel screen is of carved oak in the style of the 14th century, and has on the pediment figures of Our Saviour, St. Michael and St. Gabriel: the baptistery has oak parquet floor and a triptych, representing the "Incarnation," fianked by two cherubim, after Fra Angelico: there is a complete list of incumbents from the year 1221 to the present time: there are approximately 400 sittings.

Civil Registration

Ivinghoe was in Leighton Buzzard Registration District from 1837 to 1935 and Aylesbury Registration District from 1935 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Ivinghoe from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Buckinghamshire is available to browse.


Online maps of Ivinghoe are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Buckinghamshire papers online:

Villages, Hamlets, &c

St Margaret

Visitations Heraldic

A full transcript of the Visitation of Buckinghamshire, 1634 is online

DistrictAylesbury Vale
RegionSouth East
Postal districtLU7
Post TownLeighton Buzzard