Saturday, 17 August 2013

St Botoph Swyncome

 Walk along the Ridgeway path through Oxfordshire and you will pass through a small place called Swyncome and pass by a small 11th century church called St Botoph

The church is set back off a country road beside Swyncome House.

I came here to find a war grave I had heard about but was taken back by the setting the church was in.

The churchyard did have a lot of headstones in it which looked old. People had just come out of the church after the Sunday service so I took the opportunity to go inside for some photos.

On entering the church you will be greeted with this view 

Going through the rood screen you will see the Chancel

Looking back from the rood screen along the nave.

Here you can see the curved wall and ceiling which are painted.

You can see some stunning stained glass widows and memorials to past rectors of the church.

A superb carving on one of the choir stalls in the chancel

and if you look by the window nearby you can see a photo of the church before the rood screen was built.

Back in the nave I was shown this window which was in memory of  Alfred Taylor and his wife Lizzie

If you look at the back wall of the nave, high up you can see a window with some very old stained glass in.

You can see the stone font at the back and displays of flowers as well

In the porch you can see this bequeath and plaque.

Outside the churchyard is well kept

With the odd headstone slowly sinking out of site 

Some headstones are being snagged by ivy

some getting covered in lichen

You can even find some old ones in very good condition

Some others lost in ivy

But it's worth a wander round looking a the inscriptions.

The headstone I came to visit is to Sergeant J.H.Barnett buried at St Botolph Swyncome. The plane he was gunner in crashed nearby and the pilot escaped to give the alarm. The gunner was trapped unconscious in the turret and the plane was on fire. A local laborer tried in earnest to free him but to no avail. He lies at the east end of the church. After looking on the Commonwealth War Graves website I found out he was the Son of Frank Henry and Alice Louise Barnett, of Swyncombe.  I suspect their grave is behind his.
It seems a strange twist of fate he died just outside the village.  RIP.


  1. What a horrific turn of events for his parents to endure, not only his death but to have those memories of the crash on their doorstep.

  2. Such a fascinating post. Poor Mr Barnett, only 19 years of age.

    Thank you for linking up with Cemetery Sunday

    Beneath Thy Feet

  3. The places you visit are all very photogenic Bill. Again a great job!

    Greetings from the Netherlands,
    Gert Jan

  4. What a sad story but an enjoyable post. Very interesting.

  5. So many gorgeous details in your photos!
    I like stalking cemetery for flower shots :-)

  6. What a beautiful place! Thanks for showing it so perfectly.