Saturday, 12 July 2014

St. Catherine's Drayton St Leonard

This small parish church in DraytonSt Leonard was at one time a chapel of Dorchester Abbey a few miles away. It dates back to Norman times. You can still see the Norman doorways in the north & south walls. I came to the village as it is not far from an old second world war airfield called Mount Farm and I wondered if there were any war graves here. The airfield was used by the US so I should have know better. The airfield became a village now called Berinsfield the farm is still there.

St Catherine's church from the roadside

The church is dominated by the timber tower an unusual feature in Oxfordshire. The tower was probably added around 1470 whenr the oldest bell there was cast

This view shows the chancel end of the church with the 13 century north chapel over to the right

Part of the north churchyard

The entrance porch to St Catherine

Inside we see this view down the nave. On either side you can see the old Norman doorways, the smaller one for the common folk the lager one for the gentry, least that is what I was told

On the left is the chancel and a view from it down the Nave

The stone font under the belltower which has the large wood supports to it

The font I can find no mention as to age

 The Chancel window, not my best photo

On the left is a Gothic window which is next to a blocked up 12th century window. The window in the right is mid 14th century and restored in 1859.
The Mid 14 century window depicting St Leonard of Noblac. I missed taking a photo of the animal window but maybe I'll go back one day with a tripod

The churchyard is not large but big enough for the size of the village

because as far as I can see it was still in use though the photos I took were of the older graves

Have a great Sunday


  1. One of these days, I would love to go all through your blog...I love seeing the churches and so glad to see the inside.

  2. Very nice post.....I, also, like to add some history to my photographs.

  3. what a cool shape. i enjoy all different materials. ( :
    have a great week.

  4. St. Catherine's is a delight Bill. it still blows me away when you mention dates like 1470 etc.. to think these bricks and stained glass windows have been around for so long and been witness to so much change is astounding. If I was a church going person :) this is exactly the kind of church I'd be happy in. Beautifully shown details as always, merci beaucoup!

  5. That's a lovely little church and the wooden tower is so unusual!