Buckland is a village of great natural beauty. The population is around 460 and there are many fine houses and cottages, some of considerable age. The largest is Buckland House, which has much history. The village has no shop but a fine pub – The Lamb Tavern.
There is a large, well-maintained Village Hall, named the Memorial Hall, which is available for Church functions, and includes an enclosed swimming pool open to the public in the summer months. The Buckland Community Bus (RWMT) provides transport to local towns and is available for private hire. Buckland is an active community with a Youth Club, Badminton Club and Women’s Institute. The Open Gardens day is popular and raises around £1,500 each year for village charities.
The Church of England School has about 90 pupils, many of whom live in the Parish. The Church of St Mary the Virgin has stood in Buckland for eight centuries. The church contains a wealth of historic items, some of which are briefly mentioned here. The unusually wide Nave was started in the 12th Century, followed by the Chancel and transepts in the 13th Century, while the vestry was added in Victorian times. The niche in the porch is 600 years old and now contains a statue of the Virgin Mary to whom the church is dedicated. A rare matching pair of Norman arches form the North and South doorways to the Nave. The Font is late 14th century, is octagonal and well preserved with a wooden lid. The ring of eight bells, some dating from 1636, are in the key of E major and are in regular use by the village team of bell-ringers and teams of visiting ringers.
The clock was made by EJ Dent, makers of the Big Ben clock and is listed in their 1877 catalogue. An ancient iron bound chest located in the North Transept dates from the 12th century and may have been used to hold donations for the Third Crusade in 1189 AD. The Barcote Chapel in the South Transept, illustrating the ‘Te Deum Laudamus’, is dedicated to Clara Jane, wife of the millionaire William West of Barcote and its highly decorated panels of mosaic were installed during 1890-92. The Chapel is used today for the saying of the Evening Office at 6pm on Wednesdays.
The organ is a fine three manual instrument by Holdich/Martin dating back to the end of the 19th Century and was restored in 2000. More information about the organ and music at St Mary’s can be found by following this link.
Two exterior sundials, dated 1707 and 1741, are mounted on the south facing walls. The church is supported by volunteer groups who help maintain the fabric of the church.
St. George’s Roman Catholic Church stands close to St. Mary’s. However, it is no longer used and services are now held in Faringdon.
The Churches in Littleworth, Pusey and Buckland were joined together as a single parish in 1999 under the auspices of Gainfield Parochial Church Council, which is part of the Benefice of Cherbury with Gainfield.