Winslow

The Mercian King Offa had a palace and chapel in Winslow, and he conceived the idea of founding a monastery and endowing it to the Manor of Winslow. The Domesday Survey of 1086 notes Wineslai as part of the possession of St Albans Abbey, with the Abbot as Lord of the Manor. In 1235 King Henry III authorised a weekly market, and a fair on the feast day of St Lawrence on the 10th August, for which he granted a charter.
The church, c.1320, has been restored and enlarged by successive generations. Of interest are a collection of bibles, one of which is the 1611 authorised version, and Fox's Book of Martyrs, plus a selection of ancient parish registers. The faded wall murals are said to depict the patron saint of the diocese St Frideswide, and also of note, over the aisle, is a fine 20 candle chandelier dated 1670, and made in Buckingham. St Lawrence has a fine peal of bells. The Sanctus bell dates from 1611, and there is a three hourly carillon of Old St Davids.

Keach's Meeting House was built in 1625, and is the second oldest religious building in Winslow. Keach's was the headquarters of dissenting Baptists. Benjamin Keach introduced congregational singing in this chapel to the fury of the London Baptist Association who condemned it as a 'carnal formality'. For many years the meeting house was secreted away behind other buildings, but the atmosphere of Keach's remains very much as it was in the Puritan era.

Today Winslow is still growing steadily, with the addition of several hundred new houses, but manages to retain its links with the past, with its attractive old thatched houses, its market square and cattle markets and delightful surrounding countryside.

Article written by members of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes for the publication "The Buckinghamshire Village Book" (1987) and reproduced here with their permission