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
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
Above looking back towards the North side of the church
left another view of the South side of the churchyard