WING, in the hundred of Cotslow and deanery of Muresley, lies about eight miles north-east of Aylesbury, and about three miles and a half from Leighton-Busard, in Bedfordshire. The manor was given by the Empress Maud, to the abbot and convent of St. Nicholas at Angiers, who established a cell of Benedictine monks at Ascot, in this parish. This priory and the manor of Wing having been seized as the property of an alien monastery, were granted in 1416 to the nuns of St. Mary de Pré, near St. Albans. On the suppression of the smaller monasteries, the manor of Wing was given to Cardinal Wolsey: having been resumed by the king on his attainder, it was granted in 1532 to John Penn esq. and in 1544, (the king it is probable having repossessed it by an exchange) to Sir Robert Dormer, who entertained the Princess Elizabeth at Ascot-House, in 1554, when on her road to London as a prisoner, soon after her sister's accession to the throne: his Grandson, Sir Robert, was in 1615 created Baron Dormer of Wing. The eldest son of the first Lord Dormer, who was in 1628 created Viscount Ascot and Earl of Carnarvon, lost his life fighting bravely for his king at the battle of Newbury, in 1643. The titles of Earl of Carnarvon and Viscount Ascot became extinct on the death of Charles Earl of Carnarvon, without male issue, in 1709: the title of Baron Dormer of Wing devolved to the descendants of a younger son of the first Lord Dormer, who settled at Peterley, in this county. The manor of Wing, and most of the Buckinghamshire estates, passed in marriage with his elder daughter and coheir, to Philip Earl of Chesterfield, and were by him given to his second son, Sir William Stanhope, who leaving no male issue, they descended to the present Earl of Chesterfield. Ascot-house, the seat of the Dormers, which was situated in Wing Park, is described by Browne Willis as having a noble apartment built by Inigo Jones. He says that it was suffered to go to decay after the year 1720, and that Sir William Stanhope, about the year 1727, sold the deer out of the park, and cut down the timber, which was very fine. Mr. Willis mentions that he himself bought some of it at one shilling and sixpence a foot, for building the chapel at Fenny-Stratford: he adds, that in his remembrance the last Earl of Carnarvon kept up great hospitality at Ascot-house, and had a fine bowling green, which was constantly open for the amusement of the neighbouring gentry. Wing Park still remains inclosed, but the house has been many years pulled down.
King Edward II. in the year 1308, confirmd a manor in Wing, together with the advowson of the priory, to John Warren, Earl of Surrey. The earl gave it to his brother-in-law, Edmund Earl of Arundel, to whom it was confirmed by the king in 1315. From the Earl of Arundel it descended by female heirs to the Mowbrays and Berkeleys. The Marquis of Berkeley gave it with the other esatates to Sir Reginald Bray: it is probable that it was purchased of his representatives by the Dormer family.
The parish church is supposed to have been built soon after the manor was given to the nunnery of St. Mary de Pré. In the north aisle is the tomb of Sir Robert Dormer, grantee of the manor, who died in 1552: in the burial place of the Dormers are handsome monuments of Sir William Dormer, who died in 1575, (with his effigies in gilt armour) and Robert the first Lord Dormer, who died in 1617: there are some monuments also for the family of Fines.
The great tithes of this parish were appropriated to the abbey of St. Nicholas, at Angiers, and afterwards to the nunnery of St, Mary de Pré. The rectorial estate is now the property of the Earl of Chesterfield, who is patron of the vicarage. The parish has been inclosed by an act of parliament, passed in 1797, when allotments of land were given to the impropriator and the vicar, in lieu of tithes, and an allotment to the poor for fuel. Dorothy Lady Pelham, sometime wife of Sir William Dormer, founded an alms-house at Wing, in the year 1596, for eight poor persons, and endowed it with 30 l. per annum.
Ascot, Burcot, and Crofton, are hamlets in this parish; Cotslow, a depopulated hamlet, of which only one house remains, gives name to the hundred. The manor of Ascot was given by Richard Grenville esq. to Sir Robert Dormer, in exchange for an estate in Wotton, and since passed with Wing