St Peter’s is a beautiful little church serving the small hamlet of Ilmer and is one of the oldest churches in the Oxford diocese. It was originally built in the Norman period, when the Lord of the Manor was Odo, Bishop of Bayeux and brother of William the Conqueror. Later, in the 14th century, it was rebuilt in the Perpendicular style but in 1349 the Black Death devastated the thriving town. By 1860 the church had become very dilapidated and the then vicar paid for its restoration. In 1979 the medieval timber framing of the tower was repaired, the spire re-shingled and the bells, which date back to the early 16th century, restored. In 1973 St Peter’s became part of the parish of St Mary’s Princes Risborough.
Inside, the church is very peaceful. Interesting features to note are: the font, which is possibly 14th century, or even earlier. The oak cover is probably late 16oo’s. The lectern is made of polished oak and is an exact copy of the one in Eton College Chapel. (Eton used to own land in Ilmer). Around the walls are angels carved in oak, dating from 18th century, dedicated to the memory of Robert H. Attenborough, (1880-1968) who lived at Ilmer House. The north window dates from about 1500. The stained glass, which vividly depicts the story of the Good Samaritan, was installed in 1933. It is the work of J.E. Nuttgens of High Wycombe. On the south side of the nave is a window formed from an earlier door. (You can see the remains of the door clearly from the outside.) The stained glass is the work of Joseph Nuttgen’s, son, also called Joseph. It illustrates the parable of the Sower and was installed in 1991. In the chancel, above the Rector’s stall is a tiny window, which includes the RAF insignia, dedicated to the memory of a local resident.
For details of services at St Peter’s, please see our main Services Page.