Friday, 13 September 2019

All Saints Faringdon

A visit to this church has long been on the cards, I have been passed it on numerous occasions and have always thought it looked old and interesting especially with the low bell tower. The headstones in the churchyard looked interesting to view. I have to admit when I walked up the path leading to the church I was a little disappointed and the first thing I noticed was scaffolding around the building, restoration was in progress. the big disappointment was to find the door locked and for a few moments I wondered if there was another entrance to the church but as I was about to look the vicar walked around the corner. After finding out the church was kept locked  because of the opportunist thieves that walk in. After asking where I came from he took me round to the church office and handed me over to a nice lady there who admitted me to the church.
Some history from Wikipedia
"The Church of England parish church of All Saints may date from the 12th century, and the clerestorey and possibly the west end of the nave survive from this period. A Norman doorway survives, although not in its original position, in the baptistery. The chancel and north transept are 13th century and the west chapel is 14th century. The north chapel is a late medieval Perpendicular Gothic addition with 15th century windows.
All Saints has a central bell tower, which was reduced in height in 1645 after it was damaged by a cannonball in the English Civil War. Faringdon was fought over because it commands the road to the Radcot Bridge over the River Thames. The tower now has a ring of eight bells. The three oldest bells were cast in 1708. James Wells of Aldbourne, Wiltshire cast the tenor bell in 1779 and another bell in 1803. The three youngest bells, including the treble, were cast in 1874 by Mears and Stainbank.
Local legendThe churchyard is reportedly haunted by the headless ghost of naval officer Hampden Pye. According to local legend, Pye was decapitated in a battlefield explosion while fighting in the War of the Spanish Succession after being convinced to enlist by his mother who sought to separate him from a local girl she considered an unsuitable match. An alternate local legend states that Pye was an unfaithful husband who was decapitated by his wife with a gun. The ghost was reportedly exorcised shortly after Pye's death."
As the interior of the church has so much detail and rather than subject you to really long blog I will show the inside in a blog next week.

The walk up the path leading to the church

This had to be the big disappointment for me, the church being clad in scaffold and corrugated sheeting hiding the church.

Above view of the short tower where you can just make out some scaffold
Left the path towards the entrance

This is around the North side where access only goes as far as the church office

The new church office built on part of the churchyard

Left the wonderful old North door and the West end of the church

The East end of the church with South side covered in scaffold and corrugated sheeting

Above the East end with some memorials

The South door with some amazing ironwork on it

Detail of the ironwork that covers the South door

The north side churchyard

You can also find this tomb chest there

This view is across the churchyard as you walk up the path

Looking left you see a few tombs and older headstones

Same side looking along the wall towards the entrance

The South side looking towards the town.

Right four headstones which look like they are one piece but are four separate headstone close together

Three tombs together

More of the churchyard South of the church towards the market place

Looking East over the churchyard

This part has an interesting oval tomb chest

Above the oval tomb chest along with more conventional ones

Left All Saints looking across the headstones

Looking North East

I found three war graves in the churchyard these two of Pilot Officer G.J .Habgood and Sargent H.R. Priestman are buried in their family plots

Private A.R.Platt

Above looking back towards the North side of the church
left another view of the South side of the churchyard
Till next time I will leave you with this little angle who watches over William Long and his daughter Nancy Jane, they were taken form this world so young.
Have a peaceful week

Saturday, 7 September 2019

St Giles Great Coxwell

This week we are back in Oxfordshire and will be visiting churches around Faringdon, normally I write my blogs in the order I visited the churches but I will start with the furthest one as I am working my way back towards Oxford along the A420. Some history courtesy of Wikipedia
"The Church of England parish church of Saint Giles is on a ridge in the southern part of the village. Parts of the church date from about 1200. The west tower was added in the 15th century.
The tower has a ring of five bells. Henry Bagley of Chacombe cast the treble, third and fourth bell in 1738. James Wells of Aldbourne, Wiltshire cast the second bell in 1824. Mears and Stainbank cast the tenor bell in 1911. There is also a Sanctus bell that John Taylor cast in 1839, presumably at his then foundry in Oxford. The bells are currently unringable.
The churchyard is now managed for wildlife. It has more than 100 species of wild flower, including wild clary, Salvia verbenaca."
Unfortunately me the rain that had held off up to now started to come down so rather than use my DSLR I used my Compact camera so the photos are not quite as sharp as I like


The gate to the church and path leading to the porch

The South side looking to the tower

 The North side with part of the churchyard
Above the bell tower

The oak framed porch and door leading in

Looking along the nave to the chancel arch which is quite small

Above the Chancel arch and the chancel behind.

Right the altar

Looking back to the arch and from the arch to the Nave
The recesses either side of the altar now hold flower vases rather than the Icons that would have been there

The pulpit along with the view you get from it, notice the doorway behind it

This was the entrance to the old Rood loft that would have been here

The steps still go up bu the loft entrance is now blocked up though you can see where is was on the wall above

Above tomb of Robert Russel who died in 1630

Not far way is another tomb
Normally church brasses are on the tomb slab in the floor but this one is laid on the North wall

Could not make out who was on the stones but they had three children, two boys and a girl

The lady who faces her husband

Quite a few memorials in the church, the main memorial is to Francis Spindler wife of the rector if St Martins

The rest of the memorial has other inscriptions on it as well

At the bottom you can see The Reverend Bond Spindler is remembered as well

Memorial to Mary Bristow

One to the Smith family

Above memorial to Ann Batho

Right one to the Spackman family

The Rev John Francis Cleaver is remembered here

There is some beautiful stained glass in the church, the one above is in  the nave
The good Samaritan

Above one of the Nave window with an etched pane commemorating the 50th anniversary of the ending of World War Two

The chancel window is another with many etched panes

The all have a different date on them and coats of arms

Some how I do not think this one dates to 1351

The kneelers have animals on them like these pet rabbits

and a nice one of a red squirrel eyeing up nuts

The church chest
The Village Roll of Honour

The door to from the porch and right the font

I only took a few of the churchyard and by the time I came out it was raining hard

So only a couple of photos of the headstones.  As I will be returning to visit Little Coxwell not far away  I will see if I can get a few more photos of the churchyard then

I will leave you this week with a photo of the beautifully carved font cover .
Till next time have a wonderful week