Monday, 26 June 2017

Churches (3) : St Mary's, Princes Risborough

Nave : the main body of a church, where the laity sit during worship.
A church has been on the site of St Mary's in Princes Risborough since the 12th century at least or even earlier though much of the current church dates from the 13th century. The original church is thought to have been pretty simple with just a chancel and an aisle-less nave [1]. Nave aisles and arcades were added in the mid-1200s and the chancel rebuilt in 1290.

The church received major rebuilds in more modern times with a major restoration in 1868 when the roof was made higher, the windows changed. The interior was also modified to add space for an organ and to remove the wall which separated the nave from the chancel.

Chancel : the space around the altar, usually where the priest and choir are located during worship.
The current tower of the church is not the original, the first tower was built in the 15th century but collapsed in 1803. A replacement spire was built in the 19th century though in in turn was replaced by the current tower in 1907 when the church received further restoration.

The church has continued to have improvements in recent times with a new floor, improved heating and larger parish offices to better suit a mediaeval church for its role in the current times [2].

[1] "Parishes: Princes Risborough." A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 2. Ed. William Page. London: Victoria County History, 1908. 260-267. British History Online. Web. 26 June 2017. <>
[2] "A Short History of St Mary's Princes Risborough" <>