Dunton is a small village on a hill in the Vale of Aylesbury, in the Domesday hundred of Mursley, situated 6 miles N of Aylesbury in the heart of the county. The village consists of a few houses along a minor road in rolling mixed farmland. The church is in the village centre, with Dunton Manor, a timber-framed brick-faced house parts of which date from the 16thc, immediately to the N.
St Martin’s consists of nave, chancel and W tower. The chancel is 12thc in origin, but was rebuilt in the 13thc (see the plain pointed S lancet and similar low side windows on both sides). The triple lancet E window is a 19thc replacement. The chancel walls are rendered and painted yellow. The nave has a 12thc N doorway, now blocked, and the remains of a later medieval N window arch, but the S wall was rebuilt and the N windows replaced c.1790 with standard wide, round-headed brick windows. The N wall is of rubble painted yellow, and the NE angle of the nave has been rebuilt in brick. The S nave wall was rebuilt in large, roughly squared blocks, incorporating some Romanesque carved stones. It is not painted, and has a simple 18thc porch that is rendered and painted yellow. The plain 15thc tower is of large blocks like the S wall of the nave, with unusual thin clasping buttresses at the angles. It was given a brick parapet in the 18thc. Inside the nave has plain 18thc box pews and an 18thc W gallery. The chancel arch has 12thc responds but was given a new arch after 1300. The wall piscina in the S chancel wall is 12thc, as is the old font now relegated to the vestry under the W tower.
Dunton was held by Turstin de Gironde from the Bishop of Bayeux in 1086. It was then assessed at 10 hides with meadow for 8 ploughs. Before the Conquest it was held by Earl Leofwine. The manor passed to Turstin’s assumed descendant, Hamo de Gerunde and his son Hugh, who held it in 1194 and 1197. Hamo’s son Philip was recorded as the landholder in 1198, but forfeited Dunton in 1216 when he was imprisoned for rebellion. The Gerundes were back in possession by 1221, and Dunton remained in the family until it passed by marriage of a female heir to the descendants of Henry de Chalfont in the early 14thc. In 1425 it was held by Edmund Hampden and it was in the Hampden family the 18thc, when Richard Hampden lost everything in the South Sea Bubble. The advowson of the church appertained to the manor, at least from the reign of Edward I.
|E relief max. height||0.20m|
|E relief max. length||0.40m|
|Height of lintel||0.20m|
|Height of opening||1.90m|
|Length of lintel||1.74m|
|Width of opening (estimated)||0.95m|
|W relief max. height||0.20m|
|W relief max. length||0.39m|
|Width at extrados||0.20m|
|Width at intrados||0.17m|
|Length of voussoir||0.28m|
|Width at extrados||0.23m|
|Width at intrados||0.20m|
|Height of block (approx.)||0.18m|
Plain square jambs with chamfered imposts. The arch is narrower and deeply chamfered on both the E and the W face. When the new arch was fitted, the imposts and jambs were cut back to match the new arch profile, and the impost shaved under the arch. On the W side of the S jamb, however, the impost is not cut back, and part of the original profile remains. This shows a chamfered impost with a low roll at the foot of the face. The face above it is carved in relief with plian leaf foliage and a stem decorated with nailhead. Nothing of the original decoration survices on tne N jamb.
The arch is plain and dies into the wall on either side.
Again the arch is deeply chamfered and represents a later modification that does not fit the jamb well. The jambs have fat, cylindrical detached nook-shafts carrying block capitals whose decoration is largely erased. The S capital and nook-shaft bear traces of red paint added after the modification of thar arch. The capital shows traces of a fat necking but the decoration of the faces is erased. The N capital has traces of single cable necking surviving, and above it, on the W face, what may be the body of an animal carved in relief.
|Height of bowl||0.340 m|
|Height of font||0.975 m|
|Internal diameter of basin||0.55 m|
|Width of bowl at rim (E-W)||0.69 m|
|Width of bowl at rim (N-S)||0.64 m|
|Depth of opening||0.285 m|
|Height of opening||0.46 m|
|Width of opening||0.51 m|
N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, The Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, London1960, 2nd ed. 1994, 291.
RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Buckingham, Volume 2 (north). London1913, 101-02.
Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. III (1925), 348-50.