Saturday 9 December 2017

St Leonard Wallingford

This is the third of the churches in Wallingford that I wanted to visit. It is also the oldest one in the town. Even though the church is the oldest in the town there is little history on Wikipedia about it being just a mention. The history I found came from Britain Express a site I find very useful for facts I need.
 "St Leonards is the oldest church in Wallingford and stands on the Thames Path, just a few steps from the River Thames. There has been a church here since at least the late Saxon period, though it is possible that the first church on the riverside site dates back as early as the 6th century. Before the Norman Conquest it appears to have been known as Holy Trinity the Lesser.
You can easily make out the distinctive late Saxon stonework, with stones laid in a herringbone pattern. The Saxon stonework is most easily seen in the north wall and over the round-headed windows. The oldest part of the current structure is the tower, much of which is 11th century.

In the 13th century St Leonard was united with St Lucien's church (now demolished) and it formed one of 14 medieval churches in Wallingford. Henry I granted the church to the monastery of St Frideswide at Oxford, and after the Dissolution of the Monasteries it reverted to the crown.
The church was heavily damaged in the 1646 siege of Wallingford, when Parliamentary troops used the church as a barracks. It took repairs in 1656, 1695, and 1700 before the church could finally be reopened for worship. From 1849 the church was rebuilt in Gothic Revival style, under the direction of Henry Hakewill. Thankfully, Hakewill's restoration preserved sections of the original Saxon building. Hakewill's efforts were not universally appreciated; architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner bitingly declared that Hakewill had not restored St Leonard's, he had 'mistreated' it.
One highlight of the church interior are a series of 4 murals of angels painted in 1889 by artist George Leslie, who lived in St Leonard's Lane. Other highlights include a series of finely crafted 18th century monuments in the nave."
Up to now every time I visited I found the church locked but finding out where to get the key this time I returned to get my photos.

As you approach St Leonard's Lane you get a nice view of the church

The Bell tower

Above the South side of the church and Left part of the churchyard

More of the churchyard

This part seems to be fro cremations

Around the West end are a few more headstones

above one of the headstones and a couple of graves with head and foot stones with a slab between them

Around the North side of the church. The churchyard is no longer in use but is well maintained.

Above the entrance to the church with internal porch. If you look above you can see the original Saxon herringbone brickwork

Above the information board on the church

Inside the view of the nave showing the Saxon Arches to the chancel and apse

The South aisle

Above the chancel arch with the Saxon carving in it.
Left the altar

Six candles and crucifix

Above a reminder that Remembrance day has just gone

Left looking to the back of the church

This photos were taken with my DSLR on the tripod.
Above the nave and Right the North aisle


Couple more views of the chancel arch and apse

Above the apse with the altar

Panoramic view of the apse


The chance towards the Organ at the back

Unusual in that there is no Pulpit but a lectern.
Left a view to the South aisle

There are quite a few memorials in the church

If the church is locked then you are given a key to the south door which I did not realise was not that old

The church does have some nice stained glass

Which will show up in the sunlight

Above the central window in the apse with the ones to the left and right  here either side

Small memorial under the south window.
Right the murals by artist George Leslie

The all show angles

and are very revivalist in their looks

Found it quite hard to get a good shot of them.
The poppies near one of the murals

another view of the small window and memorial. Right a Madonna and Child 

Towards the South aisle again

The Lectern where the pulpit would normally go

Above one of the choir stalls
Right the altar in the South aisle

Above a tubed font with rather nice cover
The Chance arch showing the carving on it
Basket weave carving
a face carved in the corner of the arch support

 I will leave you with this floral display I took on my way out
Have a Great Weekend