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Churches


St Helens Church at Abingdon
The tall, slim spire dominates the town of Abingdon. The 14th Century painted wooden ceiling in the Lady Chapel is a medieval masterpiece of national importance. Recently restored, it has 52 panels on the subject of the Tree of Jesse. It is also the site of John Roysse’s tomb. The church is dedicated to Saint Helen the mother of the Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great. Stones from the Saxon church that originally occupied this site were used in the building of the church. The 150-foot tower was added in the late 15th or early 16th century and rebuilt about 1662 and again in 1886. The unusual proportion of the church, being wider than it is long, is due to additional aisles being built over time and produces the effect of a panorama of stained glass that is unique.

The Abbey Church of St Nicolas at Abingdon
Built in the 12th Century by the Abbey for their lay servants, tenants and passing pilgrims, this was known as "the little church by the gate". The church consists of a single nave and chancel with a small western tower projecting into the nave. The medieval glass was destroyed by the parliamentary forces in 1644 during the Civil War. The church is unusual in that the nave crosses the course of the River Stert. This river, which now flows in a culvert under Stert Street, marked the western boundary of the Parish of St. Nicolas, and so the tower and part of the nave were outside the parish. An arch over the river can be seen in the north wall from outside, and the water can be heard through a grating in the road on the south side.
 
St Mary The Virgin Parish Church at Ashbury
St Mary The Virgin Parish Church has 13th and 14th century features and the North Chancel is dedicated to St Hubert, the patron saint of hunting. A group of sarsen stones on the west side of the churchyard is believed to be the remains of a stone circle surrounding the village.

 

St. Swithun at Compton Beauchamp 
A pretty, well-kept church in an attractive rural location. The interior was gracefully transformed with much gilding and white walls in the 1930’s. There is a rare 14th Century windows with original glass.

St Helen's Church, Benson
St Helen's dates from the 12th Century, although the interior was re-built on the 1970s. One of Benson's claims to fame is the air raid on 'an airfield near the village whose clock has two elevens', promised by the Nazi broadcaster Lord Haw Haw. The clock has the Roman numeral nine (IX) painted upside down as XI - hence the clock has two elevens. RAF Benson was duly bombed.

St. Michael’s Church at Blewbury
A spacious church with a late Norman vaulted chancel and tower crossing, with south and north aisles and west tower added in the 13th and 15th Centuries.

St. Mary’s at Buscot
The church has a chancel dating from around 1200, a perpendicular-style tower, doorway and window. It also has an exceptional se of stained glass windows designed by the Pre Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones.

St Mary's Church at Charlgrove
St Mary's Church is a Grade 1 listed building dating from the 12th century. It has a famous and almost complete set of medieval wall paintings covering the chancel walls. Set in a churchyard in which a number of old gravestones face south instead of eastwards as customary, St.Mary's Chalgrove reflects a long village life both interesting and different.

St Mary's at Childrey
The Norman church of St Mary's in Childrey has a magnificent window of restored 14th Century medieval glass. St Mary's Church has numerous monumental brasses, including one to William Fynderne and his wide which is 1.3 meters long and reputed to be the longest in the county.
 
Dorchester Abbey at Dorchester-on-Thames
Dorchester Abbey is so much more than just a historic monument – it is a holy place. Christians have worshipped on this site for nearly 1400 years. It is a popular tourist destination, educational resource and, as the largest public building in South Oxfordshire, a much-sought after venue for concerts and other major events. A visit to this beautiful and historic Abbey will leave you feeling uplifted by its peaceful and inspiring atmosphere.
 
The Church of St Mary's the Virgin at Ewelme
The Church of St Mary the Virgin has been a focal point of this historic village for over 600 years, and much within predates the Reformation. The poet Geoffrey Chaucer and author of Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome, are both buried in St Mary's churchyard
 
All Saints Church at Faringdon
A grand cruciform town church, mostly 12th and 13th Century, which lost its spire in the Civil War. It had some exceptional stonework and some fine monuments, particularly those to the Unton and Pye families.
 
St. Thomas of Canterbury Church at Goring
The Church of St Thomas of Canterbury has one of the oldest bells in the country which was cast about 1290. The Church building has been lovingly repaired, extended and refurbished in 2009 by local architects and furniture makers.
 
St Swithuns at Kennington
Its date of construction is unknown but it could possibly have been a 15th or 16th Century building administered by monks from Abingdon Abbey. The church deteriorated, through lack of maintenance and by the middle of the 18th Century it was probably nearing its end as the Rector reported that no trace of it remained. In1828 a new church was built on the old site.
 
St. Bartholomews at Nettlebed
There has been a church in Nettlebed for a thousand years. The present church, St. Bartholomews, replaced the second church and was completed in 1846 following a major re-build. Parts of the tower date back to Norman times and are all that remains of the previous church. Of particular intest are the stained glass windows by John Piper.

St James’ at Radley
Radley Church dedicated to the apostle St. James the Great, stands on the site of an earlier Norman building which was burnt down in 1290. It contains a fine Norman pillared font, dating from the 13th Century. This was retrieved for the church in 1840 from a farmyard, where it had been buried to escape Civil War damage. The church itself was damaged in the Civil War in1643 when royalist soldiers sheltering here were attacked by parliamentarian soldiers and as a result the nave is now lopsided.

Holy Cross at Sparsholt
The stately church in the pretty village on the edge of the Vale. Of special interest are three rare oak effigies of about 1300 depicting a knight and two ladies. They are in the south transept behind an elegant 14th Century screen.

All Saints Church at Sutton Courtenay
A church with work of many different periods, from the Norman tower to a 20th Century trompe-l’oeil portrait. There is a charming two storied Tudor south porch, made of red brick. The Liberal Prime Minster H.H. Asquith and the writer George Orwell are buried here under his real name of Eric Blair.

St Marys Church at Uffington
An imposing, little-altered cruciform church of 13th Century just below the White Horse. It has a central octagonal tower, which lost its spire in a storm in 1740. It has many interesting features and monumental inscriptions.
 
St Peter and St Paul’s Church at Wantage
An imposing and ancient building just off the market place in Wantage. The structure is mainly 14th and 15th Century church with Victorian additions. 15th Century hammer beam roof. Sir John Betjeman worshipped here.
 
St Leonards at Watlington
Dating from the 12th century, the holy site at St Leonards has seen people worshipping at it since 1100. This church is dedicated to St. Leonard, a sixth century French monk, the patron saint of prisoners. Visitors will find his statue, sculpted by Watlington resident, Faith Tolkein, on the wall of the South Aisle, and he is also portrayed in the West window in the Tower.


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