All Saints Church, Wootton Underwood

Nominated by: Cherie and Tony Blair

Images courtesy of John Salmon

All Saints Church, Wotton Underwood has always been at the heart of the community and is also in our hearts as the place where Euan and Suzanne got married in 2013.  The bells of Wotton church ringing for services and special occasions are so evocative of the beauty of the Buckinghamshire countryside.

Wotton Underwood is a village and civil parish in the Aylesbury Vale District of Buckinghamshire, about 7 miles (11 km) north of Thame in neighbouring Oxfordshire.  The name Wootton is derived from the Old English for “farm near a wood”.  The affix, Underwood, means “near the wood” and refers to the village’s nearness to the ancient Bernwood Forest.

The original village church was built sometime between 1070 and 1130 and would have consisted of a simple nave and chancel.  The current church was built on the same site and remains of the decorative work of this period can be seen in the 12th century diapered lintel over the west doorway. Built in the early 14th century but with traces of a 12th century building still in evidence.  The Church was altered in 15th and 19th centuries.  Of historical note is The Grenville Aisle, which features stone coffins arranged like a chest of drawers.  Buried here are three Dukes and three Prime Ministers.  The Tower has a particularly good ring of six bells, as well as a full set of hand bells.

Cherie and Tony Blair are household names due to Tony having served as UK Prime Minister from 1997-2007. Cherie is a barrister, lecturer and writer. Cherie and Tony are proud Buckinghamshire residents.