St Michael and All Angels Church, Hughenden

St Michael and All Angels, Hughenden

St Michael and All Angels seen from the north east with the tower

St Michael and All Angels Parish Church
St Michael and All Angels, Hughenden
Location of St Michael and All Angels in Buckinghamshire
51°39′6.45″N 0°45′9.36″W / 51.6517917°N 0.7526000°W / 51.6517917; -0.7526000Coordinates: 51°39′6.45″N 0°45′9.36″W / 51.6517917°N 0.7526000°W / 51.6517917; -0.7526000
Location Hughenden Valley, Buckinghamshire
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
Founded c. 1100–1135
Founder(s) Geoffrey de Clinton
Associated people Benjamin Disraeli, member 1848–1881
Church restored 1874 and 1890 by Sir Arthur William Blomfield
Status Parish church
Heritage designation Listed Grade: II*
Style Early English, extended Victorian Gothic
Deanery Wycombe
Archdeaconry Buckingham
Diocese Oxford
Province Canterbury

St Michael and All Angels Church is a Grade: II* listed[1][2] Anglican church in the Hughenden Valley, Buckinghamshire, England, near to High Wycombe. It is closely associated with the nearby Hughenden Manor and the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Benjamin Disraeli who is buried in the churchyard.

The church stands in land owned by the National Trust but the church and churchyard belong to the Church of England.


Disraeli's tomb

According to early records, a church existed on this site in the 12th century, built by Geoffrey de Clinton between 1100 and 1135. Monks established a small priory here in the building which is today used as a parish hall, Church House.[3] The church itself is mediaeval in origin and this original building now forms the chancel and north chapel of the present building.

In 1848 Benjamin Disraeli purchased Hughenden Manor.[4] The church was restored and extended between 1874 and 1890. Disraeli was British Prime Minister twice, in 1868 and 1874–80, and was made Earl of Beaconsfield in 1876. He died in 1881 and was buried in the family vault along with his wife Lady Beaconsfield (died 1872) which is located at the west wall of the church.[5] Royal protocol did not permit Queen Victoria to attend the private funeral, but she visited the tomb a few days later to pay her respects.[6][7]


The exterior walls of St Michael and All Angels are of flint with stone dressings and the roofs are tiled.

The rich Victorian decoration in the chancel

The oldest part of the church is the chancel, which was formed from the original mediaeval body of the church. When the church extension work was carried out, the floor was covered with ceramic tiles designed by Edward William Godwin and the walls decorated with 1881 wall paintings in the Aesthetic Movement style by Heaton, Butler and Bayne that depict the Nativity, the Four Evangelists and the Prophets.[8]

A memorial to Disraeli was erected by Queen Victoria on the north side of the chancel following his death. It was the only memorial to be erected by a reigning monarch to one of her subjects in an English parish church. The inscription reads:

To the dear and honoured memory of Benjamin Earl of Beaconsfield.
This memorial is placed by his grateful sovereign and friend Victoria R.I. "Kings loveth him that speaketh right"
Inscription on Disraeli memorial, 27 February 1882

The Banner and Insignia of the Order of the Garter hanging beside the memorial originate from St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Among the stained-glass windows are works by Thomas Willement and Clayton and Bell, including their 1881 East Window depicting Christ in Majesty which was installed as another memorial to Disraeli. The ornately carved marble and alabaster pulpit (c. 1891) is the work of Thomas Earp in the High Victorian style and features effigies of angels in Gothic arches.[8]

The memorials in the church include three recumbent effigies of knights, one lying cross-legged; although apparently in the style of the 13th century, the effigies have been ascertained to date from the 16th century and are thought to have been sculpted as fabricated evidence of the pedigree of the Wellesbourne family as descendants of Simon de Montfort.[8]

Use in film and television

St. Michael and All Angels Church featured in the title sequence of Gerry Anderson`s 1969 Supermarionation/Live Action television series The Secret Service.

It also featured briefly in Johnny English, in the funeral scene where a bomb kills all of Britain's secret agents.


  1. Historic England. "Church of St Michael and All Angels (1125743)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  2. "Church of St Michael and All Angels, Hughenden". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  3. "Church House". St Michael & All Angels parish website. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  4. Prince, Darwin Porter & Danforth (2005). Frommer's England (2006 ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. p. 243. ISBN 0764595407.
  5. "Memorials". St Michael and All Angels parish website. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  6. Rappaport, Helen (2003). Queen Victoria : a biographical companion. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. p. 131. ISBN 9781851093557.
  7. Aldous, Richard (2007). "Prologue: the funeral". The lion and the unicorn : Gladstone vs Disraeli. London: Pimlico. p. 4. ISBN 9781844133123.
  8. 1 2 3 Pevsner, Nikolaus; Brandwood, Elizabeth Williamson; Geoffrey, K. (2003). Buckinghamshire (2nd ed.). New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. pp. 404–5. ISBN 9780300095845.
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