Saturday, 19 March 2016

St Andrew's South Stoke

 I visited this church many years ago and the church was locked at the time , the other week managed to revisit for my blog. I might add  the first time I came here 30 odd years ago was for a friends wedding and since then  he has died so the return gives mixed feelings.

The Church of England parish church of Saint Andrew was built in the 13th century and still has Early English Gothic features including the three-bay arcade between the nave and the north aisles, windows in the north wall of the chancel and the east and west ends of the south and north aisle. The east window of the south aisle has late 13th century stained glass of the Virgin and Child.
In the 14th century the present font was carved, a new chancel arch was built and new windows were inserted in the east and south walls of the chancel and the north and south walls of the nave.The west tower is a Perpendicular Gothic addition. In 1857 the church was restored, the south arcade was rebuilt and south aisle was widened. The architect for these works was J.B. Clacy of Reading.
  (Information from Wickipedia)
I might add this is a long post so you might want to get a tea or coffee and read on

The view you get of St Andrews when you walk past

 The Lych gate which is let into the churchyard wall

Just inside the churchyard looking up towards the churches West End

Going round to the north side, where you can see quite a few graves  here as well

The East End, I noticed no cross on the top and was told it fell of a few years ago 

Walking round to the South side

where you find the porch leading into the church

 Back round the West end showing the South Side as well

Walking in the porch you cannot help but notice the windows, I think they are quite impressive

 The nave looking from the back of the church, note the organ is at the back of the church along with the font

The organ has been fitted in at the back of the North Aisle while opposite is the font

Looking through the chancel arch to the chancel & Altar. Now I confess I did not take one of the Altar because I was so taken with the memorials in this church. (I might have to pop back)

Though I did take one of the Chancel Window

This is why it all went out the window for me that day, this superb memorial to Griffith Higgs. I think he died around 1660

Rather than you try and decipher what the tablet says this was nearby so if you enlarge the photo you should be able to read what it tells you.

Griffith Higgs

Mind you it was not the only memorial to the Higgs family these two were nearby

 This was quite a beautiful one

These were another couple of wonderful looking
memorials either side of the chancel  window

Along with this one nearby

The windows in the church do not have a lot of stained glass like many others I have visited

Bit there was some, the one on the left may be older than the others in the church

This was one of the things I noticed when I came in. It looks like part of a medieval wall painting in that there are some works written in there if very faded now

 The North Aisle

At  the back are these memorials

along with these nearer along the wall. Reading through the Tozer family names I can't help feeling they were unlucky

Lieutenant David Gordon Dill took part in Operation Loyton where he was killed  he also went to Radley College 

 Some of the Poppy's left in his memory on Remembrance day

Bit supprised to come accross this memorial To Walter Marshall

At the end of the aisle is this bible

The South Aisle

with some more interesting  memorials Vice Admiral Victor Gallafent Gurner 
who I could only find what was in the link out about him

Some memorial plaques to the Fox Family

Thomas George Pither died a prisoner of war on is 26th Birthday a few months before the place was liberated

The East end wall of the Aisle

 In the Nave aisle you can see these memorials in the floor

The Book of remembrance looks quite new not sure about the lectern

A few of the kneelers you can see in the church

Forgot to get a photo of the pulpit but this is what it looks like from it

The nave from near the pulpit

This area at the back of the church has been cleared and a kitchen & seating are put in

Heading outside again to the churchyard you can see round the back it is quite large

and almost backs up to the railway embankment

The tree here has been cut down, last time I saw it branches on

the far end of the churchyard where you can see the railway embankment in the background

Couple of the older headstone in the churchyard

This tomb has collapsed in and will take some serious lifting to get out
if you look at photo in the Link
you can see what it looked like in 2009

 I did like the angle on this child's grave who died aged 13 months RIP

Going nearer the church shows some older headstones
and a moss covered tomb

A couple of old headstones with tomb chest behind 

Noticed this one near the porch

There was on war grave in the churchyard to Private B.N Palmer. Not far away is the village war memorial

There were primroses growing near this tomb on the south side of the church

That's it for this week, hope you enjoyed the tour
 I'll leave you with a stitch view of the church.
Have a peaceful weekend


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour thank you. I can see why you didn't get photos of the altar, lots of memorials to keep you interested, and nice to see they are reasonably up to date as well. This is a interesting, historic church.


    1. I'll pop back one afternoon an take a few more

  2. Bill, everything about this church is lovely, beginning with the gate and ending with the sweet angel.

    1. The angel belongs to a a poor little lad who was 13 months old

  3. i enjoy the front walk and wall. the stain glass. nice one friend. have a great weekend. take care. ( :

    1. It is nice church anf there is school next door

  4. That sure is a beautiful old Church. I really like how the tower at the front looks like a Castle. The interior really is a delight to look at. Modern churches just don't have the same feel to them. The old style churches just seem to have a special feel of holiness if that way of describing it makes sense when you walk into them. It's not always easy to put feelings into words. I guess the pipe organ, stained glass windows, old wooden pews & the architectural style add to that feeling they give me.

    1. Castleation is quit ecommon on the towers of English Churches

  5. It's a beautiful church. I love the gate and the stained glass windows.

  6. I loved the tour. thanks. Is your friend buried there?

    1. No somewhere else, he moved away many years ago

  7. I really did enjoy the tour. You are so thorough with your visits, photos and documentation. Love the front photo with the dark skies behind. Very nice...
    Thanks for your visit.

  8. Thank you Bill for the tour. As well as all the interesting architectural details, moving memorials and inscriptions one gets the feeling when looking at your photos that the church as a place of worship has been and is still well used and cared for by the village community which gives it a lovely atmosphere. Thank you.

  9. Lovely series Bill, what a great looking church.