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Preston Bisset, Buckinghamshire

Historical Description

Preston Bisset, a village and a parish in Buckinghamshire. The village stands on an affluent of the river Ouse, 1½ mile from the boundary with Oxfordshire, and 3½ miles SSW of Buckingham station on the Banbury and Bletchley section of the L. & N.W.R., and has a post office under Buckingham; money order and telegraph office, Tingewick. The parish contains also the hamlet of Cowley, which is situated about 1 mile SE from the village, and comprises 1523 acres; population, 311. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford; gross value, 422 with residence. The church, which stands on rising ground at the entrance of the village, is an ancient and beautiful building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, S porch, and a western tower. It contains some ancient tombs and memorials, double sedilia, and three piscinae. There is a Primitive Methodist chapel.

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 parishPreston-Bissett St. John the Baptist 
Poor Law unionBuckingham 

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1662.


Church of England

St. John the Baptist (parish church)

The church of St. John the Baptist, standing on rising ground at the entrance to the village, is an object of considerable interest to the archaeologist, from the purity of its style and unique beauty of its windows, the tracery in each of which exhibits a different design; it is supposed to have been built about 1320; it consists of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, south porch and a low western tower of the 15th century containing 2 bells: all the details are of uniformly good Decorated work, the east window of three lights presenting features of of Flamboyant character, and all the remaining windows being examples of the same style, the east windows of the aisles in particular exhibiting elaborated tracery: on the south side of the chancel there are double canopied sedilia with crocketed pinnacles, and there are also three piscinae, one in the chancel and one in each aisle: the clerestory windows, three on either side, are unusual, consisting of circular feathered lights within square panels: on the western gable of the nave is a bell cote of stone: in the chancel is a slab once containing the brass effigy of a female, and an inscription to Ann, wife of Edmund Major the younger, gent. ob. 1613; there are modern brass inscriptions to Capt. L. Bolden, 68th Durham Light Infantry, and E. H. Sabin, son of the Rev. J. E. Sabin. a former rector, to whom there is a mural monument, and on the north wall is a brass tablet erected in 1941 in memory of those who fell in the Great War, 1914-18; in the chancel still remain inscribed slabs to Richard Bankes M.A.. rector 1674-79, Stephen Townshend M.A., rector 1706-24, and John Ford M.A. minister of Hillesden, ob. 1684; there is also an ancient slab with a cross, apparently of the time of Edward I.: in the churchyard is an altar tomb, commemorating Daniel Whitby, eleven years rector here. ob. 1674: Thomas Woodward, gent. by his will in 1528, appointed his burial in this church, before the image of St. John the Baptist: the church was repaired and improved in 1823 and again in 1853, and during the incumbency of the Rev. John Satterthwaite Bolden M.A. rector 1863-73, a thorough restoration of the church was undertaken, in the course of which a gallery was taken down, a new pulpit and other fittings provided, and the interior reseated: during the progress of the work many traces were met with of an Earlier Norman structure, including portions of semi-circular window heads, the bases and capitals of columns, and several fragments of stone in the zig-zag pattern; these have all been built into the wall of the north aisle: the restoration was completed in 1893: the late Rev. C. Bolden B.A. for 45 years rector of this parish, left the sum of approximately £2,000, which was invested for the church and school: there are 300 sittings.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Preston Bissett was in Buckingham Registration District from 1837 to 1935

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Preston Bisset from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Preston Bisset 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


Visitations Heraldic

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