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Parish of Great Missenden with Ballinger and Little Hampden

Verse of the Week

" For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

( Romans 4:6 )

Service times

4th Sunday of Lent

St Peter & St Paul

Sunday 26th March

0800 - Holy Communion

1000 - Parish Communion

1600 Faith in the world of Physics

(Details of the Music)

St Mary's Ballinger

No service

Little Hampden

1130 Matins

coffee in church from 1100

Little Hampden Church can be dated at least from the 12th century. Because of common ownership of land in Little Hampden and Hartwell, the church was linked with the church at Hartwell. Small daughter Churches like Little Hampden often had no dedication: this is still the case today. This association lasted until 1892 when Little Hampden church was joined with Great Hampden. Following the death of the Rev Percival Hill, the last Rector of Great and Little Hampden in 1985, Little Hampden was been joined to the parish of Great Missenden.

 

In this little church, built mostly of flint, the NAVE is barely larger than the chancel. It is entered by the north door, the south having been blocked up in the 18th century, when the two south windows were created. The two centre chancel arch was enlarged at about the same time using original stones, including one with a defaced 12 century moulding, the apex being completed in brick.

 

The most interesting features of the church are the WALL PAINTINGS in the nave, dating from the 13th to 15th centuries. On each side of the chancel arch are 13th century painted figures, which may possibly have represented a bishop and apostles before the chancel arch was cut out. On the south wall, an unusual position, the remains of a 14th century Weighing of the Souls (Doom) can be seen, with the Virgin Mary at one end of the scales and the Devil at the other. To the west of the north doorway is reputedly the oldest representation of St Christopher (13th century). To the east of the doorway, at eye-level, are two 13th century figures, probably St Peter holding a book and key and St Paul holding a sword. Above them, painted in the 15th century, is a large head of St Christopher with his right hand holding a staff.

 

The CHANCEL was almost completely rebuilt in the mid-19th century. At the east end of the south wall is a 13th century PISCINA with a band of running foliage, and in the same wall, a little to the west, is a much defaced 12th century figure of a bishop found during the Victorian restoration. At the west end of the north wall of the chancel is a small, low lancet window of the 12th century.  

The ancient ALTAR STONE with five consecration crosses, was buried in the floor, presumably during the Reformation, and was restored to its present position in 1942.

 

The unusually large porch is a 15th century timber framed structure on a brick base with plaster filling. It has two storeys, the upper one housing a bell cast in 1791.

A visit to the churchyard on the south side of the church will show, apart from a fine view of Little Hampden valley, how the old road ran east-west past where the old south door used to be. The west window on the south side shows the position of the door, now bricked in, and a look through the window shows how a visitor would have seen a large figure of St Christopher on entering the church. The road carried on downhill past where the old manor house used to be (The foundations are still visible) and now forms the modern bridleway across the valley.

 

Directions

 

The post code for the village of Little Hampden is HP16 9PS

 

From Amersham or South East of Great Missenden

 

Take the A413 to Great Missenden.

About 5 miles after Amersham, take left exit from second of a pair of roundabouts - A4128 Great Missenden. Right at first mini roundabout, ahead at second and fork left after about 300 yards - signposted Butlers Cross and Princes Risborough - into the Rignell Road.The turning for Little Hampden is 2 miles on the right immediately after a right turn signposted Cobblers Hill.

 

From High Wycombe

 

Take the A4128 to Great Missenden.

In Great Missenden just after the station at the bottom of the hill, turn left at a mini-roundabout. Fork left after about 300 yards - signposted Butlers Cross and Princes Risborough - into the Rignell Road. The turning for Little Hampden is 2 miles on the right immediately after a right turn signposted Cobblers Hill.

 

From Aylesbury

 

Take the A413 to Great Missenden.

About 5 miles after Wendover, take right exit from first of a pair of roundabouts - A4128 Great Missenden. Right at first mini roundabout, ahead at second and fork left after about 300 yards - signposted Butlers Cross and Princes Risborough - into the Rignell Road. The turning for Little Hampden is 2 miles on the right immediately after a right turn signposted Cobblers Hill.

 

In Little Hampden

 

Follow the road up the hill, through the double bend. The Church is on the left, opposite a letterbox.

Parking is available in the farmyard opposite (behind the letterbox) or further up the hill in another farmyard or on the common.