Stewkley is one of the best-preserved of all the Norman churches in England. It is believed to date from 1150 and its building to have been ordered by one Geoffrey de Clinton. Beyond that, there does not seem to be much information about the historical background of this church. Although this is known to have been an Anglo-Saxon settlement there are none of the usual claims for a previous church from that period nor any monastic connections.
Geoffrey’s father was a big cheese in the court of Henry I. The family, inevitably, hailed from Normandy but it was not one of the great Norman families. Geoffrey rose from relative obscurity to become first Henry’s treasurer, then Sheriff of Warwickshire. This latter position seems to have been partly due to Henry’s growing mistrust of one of his other advisors, Roger de Beaumont the Earl of Warwick. Geoffrey proceeded to initiate the building of the mighty Kenilworth Castle just two miles from Warwick itself! Warwick reasserted himself with Henry and it was possibly his hand that led to Geoffrey himself being tried - but acquitted - of treason in 1130 after which Geoffrey’s influence declined before his death between 1130 and 1133.
His son, also Geoffrey, inherited and also got involved with quarrels with the Earl of Warwick - this time in King Stephen’s reign - and almost ruined the family. They settled their differences, however, and Geoffrey married Warwick’s daughter, Agnes. It isn’t clear whether it was the elder or younger