Saturday, 14 May 2016

St Paul Culham

This is the last church I visited from the Bridge Group Benefice and the fourth of the day
The history I have found out about the church comes from Wikipedia.

Several records suggest that Culham may have had a chapel since the 9th century. A parish church dedicated to Saint Paul was built in the 12th century. It was cruciform, having a chancel, nave and north and south transepts, and had features from the Early English and Decorated periods. There was a tower, and this was demolished and replaced in 1710.
In 1852 the whole church except the 1710 tower was demolished and replaced with a new Gothic Revival building in 13th century style designed by Joseph Clarke. During the rebuilding, heraldic stained glass installed in the north transept in 1638 was transferred to a window in the north aisle of the new church. The tower has a ring of six bells, but currently for technical reasons it is not possible to ring them. Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast or re-cast five of the bells in 1921, and cast the present tenor bell in 1926. St Paul's has also a Sanctus bell cast in 1774 by Edne Witts of Aldbourne, Wiltshire

Getting a good shot of the south side is not on due to the conifer trees

but you do get a good view of the bell tower and the churchyard nearby

Walking round to the North West you can see the apse chancel

go further down and the churchyard is in view


Back to the porch

 Off to the right you can see this war memorial 

 In the porch I presume this is the  Sanctus bell cast in 1774

Going in the church you get a good view of the nave and North aisle, the banded chest you see on the right is one thing I never checked on but from the look I'd say older than the church

The stone font which I think has a nice caved cover

 Going on and stopping before the chancel arch

 then into the chancel

The altar which is in the apse of the chancel

It's also dressed very simply with wooden candle holders on top

The apse has three stained glass windows, the one above is the central one

On either side you can see these two windows

Sorry I forgot where this one was

Behind the altar on either side you see these wonderful painted panels

They have a bit of Gothic revivalist about them

Which I think is carried on with the walls being painted


You can see the patterns painted on the wall behind this memorial to John Phillips

There are quite a few memorials to various local people in the chancel

This memorial is to Rev Rupert Wistle

I don't think I noticed these
Funerary Hatchment's on my last visit which are on either side of the chancel ceiling

 These stained glass windows are in the curtained off area of the vestry

Some more stained glass you can see around the church
I think the one on the right was Incorporated in the rebuilding of the church and is quite old

A view from the pulpit looking down the church

And another looking round to the chancel

These area couple of old memorials you can see in the church also with some wonderful coats of arms on top

Ive see a few of these Roll of Service plaques in villages

The Roll of Honour for Culham can be see in the church. The plaque on the right is To commemorate the local villages adopting HMS Bengali in 1942 during warship week

 The memorial is dated 1635 older than most of the church

The church organ  which is at the back of the church and unusually a VR coat of Arms over the entrance door

Here we look across the church to the South side

Near the door is a memorial to John & Martha Welch from the early 1800's

View along the aisle shows the doors open on the pews


On the left you can see them closed forming the box type pew. On the North aisle they are open


Before I left I took a photo of this beautiful painting at the back of the church

Out in the churchyard looking west

Going round to the North side and you pass this fenced tomb

Going round to the east end brings you to this part old the churchyard

where nearby you find the new churchyard extension

which is now used for burials as  the old one if full

Walking down the west end of the churchyard you pass some fine old memorials

some with  small fences

others forgotten in the corner

The churchyard seems long

And looks even longer when you reach the end and look back up

That's it for this week, I'll leave you with the daffodils I found in the churchyard.
Have a great Weekend


  1. You visited and photographed four churches in one day? This church and you Bill, are amazing!

    1. It was actually six I visited, five I went inside & one I need to revisit.

  2. love your header. gorgeous stain glass. have a great day. ( :

  3. You are really a dedicated church visitor, Bill. I think the old churches look lonely and they must be glad to see you!

    To answer your comments, yes, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a dark and cavernous place. And true, the "flame" on the icon was just a reflection but even that was a bit miraculous and mysterious, coming exactly on Pentecost. :)

  4. Wonderful photos of such a fascinating place. I'd love to visit your country and see these ancient churches. We don't have anything even close to this old in my country. Thanks for leaving comments on my blog! :)