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Churches

Churches

A carved angel in Standlake Church

Churches

The great wealth of local, medieval wool merchants paid for many of the churches in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds and many of their spires dominate the skyline for miles around. Burford’s church is particularly fine with a number of fascinating monuments, including some 1649 graffiti on its lead font.

There are a number of famous burials in Oxfordshire Cotswolds churches, including Sir Winston Churchill’s grave at Bladon, William Morris' at Kelmscott and four of the Mitford sisters at SwinbrookBampton’s St Mary’s Church has become famous as the church in Downton Abbey where the wedding of Mary Crawley took place. Other churches have ornate tombs, medieval brasses, wall paintings or, like the church at Widford, a stunning location as well.

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Undiscovered Cotswolds

Undiscovered Cotswolds

Combining the best tourist highlights with hidden villages in the Cotswolds that only the locals really get to see. Undiscovered Cotswolds is…

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Number of items: 51

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  1. St Mary the Virgin in Black Bourton (photo courtesy of www.oxfordshirechurches.info)

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    Black Bourton - St Mary the Virgin Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Black Bourton


    Considered a significant medieval church, St Mary the Virgin's earliest features are Norman including the chancel, font and carved stone pulpit - the priest’s door may be even earlier, possibly Saxon.

    However the real highlight of the church is its 13th century wall paintings. Covered at the…

  2. St Laurence Church Combe

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    Combe - St Laurence's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Combe

    St Laurence has been a place of worship for more than 600 years - the nave was completed in 1395. The wall paintings are mainly from the 15th century, and were uncovered in the 1890s by a former vicar, The Rev. S. Pearce, and were probably the work of the monks of Eynsham Abbey. The stone pulpit is…

  3. St Michael & All Angels Church, Great Tew

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    Great Tew - St Michael & All Angels Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Great Tew

    Approached through an unusual gateway, along a path flanked by ha-has, Great Tew's church is barely visible from the road. Despite some unsympathetic 19th century restoration, the church still has many interesting features: finely carved bench ends, a series of slightly faded 14th century wall…

  4. St Marys Church Cogges

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    Cogges - St Mary's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Witney

    The church has an unusual tower; positioned in the north west corner of the church it is square at ground stage, octagonal at upper stages with a pyramid roof, and is characteristic of Normandy churches. The nave was originally aisleless and may be pre-Conquest. The south aisle was added in the…

  5. Widford Church on a misty morning ©Helena Sylvester

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    Widford - St Oswald's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Widford

    A tiny church on its own in the Windrush Valley. In 1904 it was found to have been built on the base of a Roman house or temple. Mainly 13th century it has remnants of an 11th century Saxon or Norman building, e.g. the dividing wall, a chevroned corbel and the plain rough font. 

    There are two…

  6. St John The Baptist Church Burford

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    Burford - St John the Baptist Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Burford

    One of the large Cotswold 'wool churches' built between 1160 and 1475. Items of interest include: a memorial tablet to Henry VIII’s barber-surgeon, Edmund Harman, showing one of the earliest representations of South American Indians; the ornate, canopied tomb of Sir Lawrence and Lady Tanfield; a…

  7. St Martin's Church in Bladon

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    Bladon - St Martin's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Bladon

    The parish of Bladon includes Blenheim Palace and is therefore the burial place of many of the Spencer Churchills - only the Dukes and Duchesses are buried in the chapel at Blenheim Palace. The most famous grave is that of Sir Winston Churchill, who chose to be buried here. His wife Clementine was,…

  8. St George's Church in Kelmscott

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    Kelmscott - St George's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Kelmscott

    Originally a chapel of ease, St George's Church in Kelmscott is practically unaltered since the close of the 15th century, thanks to William Morris, who lived at nearby Kelmscott Manor. He was so appalled by some of the Victorian 'restoration' work being carried out on medieval churches that he…

  9. St Mary's Church, Bampton

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    Bampton - St Mary's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Bampton


    The parish of Bampton was the largest in Oxfordshire and incorporated some 11,238 acres as late as 1877. It seems there was a church here long before the Norman Conquest, although the only surviving element before that time is the Anglo-Saxon tower with its fine herringbone stonework. It is…

  10. St Michael's Church Stanton Harcourt

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    Stanton Harcourt - St Michael's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Stanton Harcourt

    St Michael’s church is cruciform in shape, Norman, Early English and Perpendicular in architecture. The church was extensively altered in the 13th century, when the transepts were added and the chancel rebuilt. The Harcourt Chapel (which is kept locked) was added to the church c. 1470, by Sir…

  11. The Church of the Holy Rood in Shilton (photo courtesy of Derek Cotterill)

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    Shilton - Holy Rood Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Shilton

    Humble and unadorned, Shilton's Church of the Holy Rood stands on a slope above the village. The church has a restored Norman nave with an arcade of three pillars supported on stout Norman columns, some with (probably 12th century) painted, red chevrons on them.

    There is a beautiful, square…

  12. St Mary's Church in Westwell (photo courtesy of Oxfordshire Churches)

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    Westwell - St Mary's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Westwell

    Westwell's church offers pleasures out of all proportion to its size - a picturesque setting overlooking the spring which gave the village its name, some delightful touchs and a refreshing simplicity overall.

    The church is small and simple, with Early English and Victorian additions to the…

  13. St Mary's Church in Shipton under Wychwood

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    Shipton-under-Wychwood - St Mary's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Shipton-under-Wychwood

    This handsome medieval church, mainly dating between the 13th and 15th centuries, has a wonderful setting: surrounded by trees (making it near impossible to photograph the exterior!) beyond the village green. It has a short tower with an attractive spire and a light, spacious interior with good…

  14. Leafield Church

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    Leafield - St Michael and All Angels Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Leafield

    Designed in 1859 by Sir George Gilbert Scott, St Michael and All Angels was consecrated in 1860, although the spire, a distinctive feature on the horizon for many miles around, was not completed until 1874.

  15. St Nicholas Church, Asthall

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    Asthall - St Nicholas Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Asthall

    A 12th century church in the Windrush Valley, with a 14th century transept converted into a chantry chapel. This has a very rare small 14th century altar with a built-in piscina, two reliquaries and a huge tomb recess housing a delicately carved effigy of the Lady Joan Cornwall in a wimple. Rare…

  16. St Kenelm's church in Minster Lovell near Witney

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    Minster Lovell - St Kenelm's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Minster Lovell

    St Kenelm's Church in Minster Lovell is mainly 15th century, built on the foundations of an earlier priory minster. This explains the unusual cruciform shape with a central tower. The whole church is “almost entirely unaltered and has handsome details” (Pevsner). It is situated next to the ruins of…

  17. St Mary's Church in Holwell (photo courtesy of Derek Cotterill)

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    Holwell - St Mary's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Holwell

    Built in 1895 to replace an earlier church and medieval chapel of ease. Although some brick and some stone from the earlier church was re-used, all the woodwork was sawn up and given to the poor as firewood or burnt on a bonfire. Thankfully some Flemish panels, which can be seen in the pulpit,…

  18. St James the Great Church in South Leigh

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    South Leigh - St James the Great Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    South Leigh

    There has been a church here since Norman times, although most of the existing church is late 15th century there is a Norman doorway in the south wall. The church is full of interest with several fine medieval wall paintings: the Virgin and St Michael (on the south wall), a lively Last Judgement…

  19. St James Church Fulbrook

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    Fulbrook - St James the Great Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Fulbrook

    St James the Great Church is a fine example of a Norman church that managed to escape overly enthusiastic Victorian restoration. The north aisle was added about 1200 and the porch in the late 13th century. This fine building containing memorials to several 17th century families (including a lovely…

  20. St Mary the Virgin Church in Charlbury

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    Charlbury - St Mary the Virgin Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Charlbury

    Parts of the present building date from the 12th century, though a Saxon church may have existed here. From 1094 until the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII, all appointments to the living of Charlbury were made by the Abbey of Eynsham. From 1296 the Abbey received the main tithes of…