BuckinghamshireCASTLETHORPEStSimonStJude(judileonPERMISSIONBYEMAIL)1.JPG JudiLeon

St Simon & St Jude

Delightful church standing in an elevated position in the heart of the village, within the earthworks remaining from a motte and bailey castle built by Winemar the Fleming who was gifted the land by William I.

Castlethorpe, Buckinghamshire

Opening times

Open during daylight hours on request (please contact Jan Bance at janjohnandtrixie@gmail.com).


North Street
MK19 7EW

A small but attractive village church, St Simon & St Jude sits on the site of an Anglo Saxon church. It stands within the impressive earthwork remains of a motte and bailey castle built by Winemar the Fleming after the Norman Conquest. Originally serving both Castlethorpe and the neighbouring village of Hanslope, the church became a chapel for the Earls of Warwick in 1160. It has also been dedicated to Our Lady.

You can still see stonework in the north aisle which dates to the Norman period although most of the Grade I listed building is late medieval. Children are baptised in the original 14th century octagonal font with carved heads of a man and woman on one side. Several of the windows date from the 15th century; the most recent is a window given to the church in 1970 in memory of John James Cannon. Visitors can see stained glass images of a horse ploughing a field and a steam train. Many residents of the village were employed in agriculture or at the Railway Works in nearby Wolverton.

The tower was rebuilt in 1729 when the previous one fell down after rain got into the timbered roof. A lack of funds meant it is shorter than its predecessor, and two of the three bells were sold to help pay for the new tower. The present bell dates from 1440. If you look carefully, you can see two Mass Dials on the south wall.

Inside, next to the altar, is a significant marble monument with effigies of Sir Thomas Tyrrill (died 1671) and his wife Bridget. Sir Thomas was a Lord of the Manor, fought as a colonel for the Parliamentarians in the Civil War, and decided on legal cases arising from the Great Fire of London. The monument is being extensively renovated in 2023.

The many gravestones on the floor of the church include one for Francis Drake’s grandson. Outside, you can see the grave for Castlethorpe’s oldest inhabitant, Sarah Harris, who died in 1887 aged 107 years. There is also a Commonwealth War Grave, which received new signage in 2022.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Famous connections

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Accessible toilets in church

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Dog friendly

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Parking within 250m

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Social coffee mornings on the second Saturday of the month 10am to 12noon.

  • Little Lambs play scheme for children up to year 2 and their carers, every Friday in term time 2pm to 4pm.

  • Church of England

  • Grant, £10,000, 2021

  • To help fund urgent work to the church and keep it at the heart of the local community.

Contact information

BuckinghamshireCASTLETHORPEStSimonStJude(judileonPERMISSIONBYEMAIL)1.JPG JudiLeon

Make a donation

Donate to this church

Other nearby churches

St Bartholomew

Furtho, Northamptonshire

This remote church at the most southern point of the county is beguilingly set at the end of a long tree lined lane which is well indicated by a brown sign off the main road.

St Mary & St Giles

Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire

Sitting alongside the Roman Watling Street, there has been a church at the heart of Stony Stratford since 1451.

Community Baptist Church

Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire

Nearly four centuries ago, the founding members of Stony Stratford Baptist Church committed to raising a building to glorify God and announce His Kingdom to the community of Stony Stratford.