St Dunstan’s


Monks Risborough, Buckinghamshire, England

St Dunstan's

The Parish of Monks Risborough

Parish Boundary

The Parish of Monks Risborough is the oldest recorded Parish in England.


The Parish Boundary is shown on the right.

St Dunstan’s Church is the main Parish Church. Our sister church is St Peter’s Chapel at Owlswick.

It is not known from which direction the English colonists came when they arrived in the area of the Chiltern hills to create their settlements, but St Dunstan’s is a well-established site by the Icknield Way. The parish is clearly identifiable with landmarks mentioned in a charter dated 903 AD, the earliest certified boundary in the Kingdom.

By 1346 the village was known as Monks Risborough - not because of the presence of a monastery, as the name would initially suggest, but because even earlier than 903, it had belonged to the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury. The name “Risborough” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon phrase meaning ‘the scrub-covered hills’.