||The Lee Churches
of The Lee
The site prior to 1220 AD
Long before the Old Church was built, the site was occupied by a prehistoric fort covering approximately seven acres, shaped like a pear and surrounded by a rampart. There are traces of a ditch between the church and the present vicarage.
Later, according to the Domesday Book (1086) ‘The Lee’ - "a clearing in woodland" - was a wooded swine pasture belonging to Weston Turville Manor. In 1146 Geoffrey de Turville, owner of the Manor and mother church, passed the chapel on the site to the Cistercian Monks at Missenden Abbey. It is thought that a timber structure existed at this time, but no traces remain.
The building’s earlier foundation and its transfer are referred to in the Latin records of Missenden Abbey.
1. An agreement was made of old between the Rector of the Church of Weston (Turville) and Ralf de Halton concerning the Chapel of The Lee (de la leia) whereby Ralf should pay 5 shillings each year on the altar of Weston at the feast of St Thomas for all tithes on the land of the Lee, which agreement I Geoffrey de Turville have confirmed in favour of the Canons of St Mary of Missenden, to whom I have given the same land as I gave to the Rector of Weston (Date about 1146).In the 12th Century, the Cistercian Monks had laid eight foundations in the South and West of England and in Wales. They ran self supporting communities with much lay labour and the monks wore white. Pope Innocent III ruled at the Vatican and the monastic Orders begun by Benedict 800 years before, were omnipresent in Europe.
Against this background, in around 1220 AD the Old Church was built.
This information is based on a talk given to The Lee Old Church Trust by John Glanfield and on a leaflet produced by the Trust.
Photographs appear by permission of The Lee Newsletter and The Chiltern Society Photgraphic Group.
|Your comments and feedback are