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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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Rushy Common and Tar Lakes

Rushy Common Nature Reserve

Rushy Common and neighbouring Tar Lakes is a 30 hectare site with three lakes, left after gravel extraction in the Lower Windrush Valley, that are…

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Number of items: 51

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  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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,…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  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 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…

  13. 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…

  14. St Peter's Church in Cassington

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    Cassington - St Peter's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Cassington

    St Peter's is a fine Norman church with lovely woodwork and glass. It was built in the early years of the 12th century by Geoffrey de Clinton, treasurer to Henry I. The church was altered and added to in the 14th century - these changes included the spire and porches and the insertion of new…

  15. St Mary's Church in Swinbrook

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    Swinbrook - St Mary's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Swinbrook

    Set in the Windrush Valley, St Mary's church is 12th century with early enlargements and a tower tacked on in 1822 – a recent ‘afterthought’. It is full of interest and light, the clear glass windows illuminating both the architecture and some amazing monuments to the Fettiplace family – six…

  16. St Bartholomew's Church Ducklington

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    Ducklington - St Bartholomew's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Ducklington

    St Bartholomew's Church dates from the 11th century with the north aisle the most interesting architectural feature of the church. In front of the font is the original Tudor period alms chest. The tower is late 15th century and houses a clock which is 300 years old but still works efficiently.

  17. St Kenelm's Church in Enstone (photo courtesy of oxfordshirechurches.info)

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    Enstone - St Kenelm's Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Enstone

    The earliest church here dates from around 850 AD and the present church has thirteen centuries of history with nine phases of building, rebuilding and change. There is a beautiful 14th century stone porch with the ceiling divided into eight sections, supported and decorated with carved stone…

  18. St Mary the Virgin Chipping Norton

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    Chipping Norton - St Mary the Virgin Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Chipping Norton

    A wool church and Grade I listed building, St Mary the Virgin is tucked away near the bottom of the hill on which the town sits. The setting seems incongruous, however it is here in the shadow of the church, and what was once the castle, that the settlement was originally concentrated. In the early…

  19. 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…

  20. St John The Evangelist Church in Hailey (photo courtesy www.oxfordshirechurches.info)

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    Hailey - St John the Evangelist Church

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Hailey

    St John the Evangelist is Victorian, built in 1868/9 to replace an 18th century church close by. The church was designed by the incumbent vicar's 21 year old son, CC Rolfe, but altered slightly on the diocesan architect's orders as he felt the design 'unnecessarily eccentric'. It is built in the…