Saturday 24 February 2018

All Saint's Church, Nuneham Courtenay

I originally visited New Saints Church Nuneham Courtenay a number of years ago then returned to update the photos for this blog. When I first visited I noticed a sign telling you the direction of a Historic church, My thoughts were that some one had been messing about and the church I was at was the correct one. How wrong I was because soon after I discovered there was another church further along in the grounds of Nuneham House which was now the Global Retreat Centre
Some history on  All Saints which is taken from Wikipedia but if you want to read more then click on the link as the church has it's own wiki page.
"This church is the second of three parish churches serving Nuneham Courtenay, each of which was dedicated to All Saints. The original church dated from the medieval period but was in a "ruinous state" by 1762. The medieval church was demolished by Simon Harcourt, 1st Earl Harcourt. The churchyard was destroyed and turned into a "pleasure ground" for the earl. This church was built in 1764. It was designed by the earl himself, with alterations to the design made by the architect James Stuart. Its estimated cost was over £800 (equivalent to £100,000 in 2016).
The church was sited conveniently for the earl and his family, but not for the parishioners living in the relocated village. In 1880 the third parish church was built, this one next to the new village, and this church (the subject of this article) was converted for use as a private chapel for the family and refurnished. It was declared redundant on 8 May 1980, and was vested in the Churches Conservation Trust on 28 October 1981. For visitor access, a key can be obtained from the Global Retreat Centre nearby."
You can read a more detailed History on the Britain Express Website

I walked through the grounds to reach the church

and had to walk around this wall to come to what looked like the front of the church with this magnificent Portico

But this bit is a folly
You need to go around the side to this smaller apse entrance

This is the sight that greets you. Quite impressive you have to admit
The beautiful carved altar

 All beautifully laid out

Off to the right is a separate chapel  with memorials in

One I noticed right away is this grave cross to Lieut R.G.Gale

Nearby is this beautiful Roll of Honour

That lists all the dead from the Village

You can see these Wreathes sent by the House of Commons for Kink Edward VII Lying in state at Westminster Hall in May 1917

Above the ribbons of the wreath sent to the funeral of King Edward VII

Bust of I presume one of the Lord Harcourts with self locking chest below.
 Right Memorial to Reverend D Bryon Eaton

Above a view back through the church to the entrance the carpet was used at Edward VII's coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey

Left verses from the bible

The I believe

and the Lords prayer

The church also holds some of the best Funerary Haychments I have seen

The condition is superb
They look as good now as they did when first painted

More verse from the Bilbe

This magnificent painting is on the wall over the entrance

Not sure what these types of seat are called
The carvings you see in the church are something else

Not seen any like it elsewhere 

This is some of the detail off  Memorial to Reverend D Bryon Eaton

Have to wonder if this is the Reverend himself

One of the cherubs on the top of the memorial

Memorial to Reverend D Bryon Eaton is looking a little tired now like the one to the right

Did not realise this was a folding chair

Memorial to Sir William George Granville Venables Vernon Harcourt

A modern Tom Effigy

Which is stunning in its detail.
I can only assume it is one of the Lord Harcourts

Bust with the visitors book in front beside the entrance to another small chapel

where you can see this simple stone font topped by an ornate 18th-century Italian cover plus even more memorials

to some very wealthy people

The one above was a little different to the rest
 and none easy to get a photo of
But the chapel was no doubt built for Julian Earnest


You could spend a long time looking at the memorials on the walls

Above the quite stunning Memorial to Therese Vernon Harcourt

Unusual commemorative plaque,  it was more a failed assassination by Margaret Nicholson,

benefactors of the church and the date it was built
The Rock Memorial

Above Julian Earnest Harcourt

Left  a Bible verse

which are all around the church
Coat of Arms

18th Century Lectern with a triangle base


Above the small organ which I never noticed till I was leaving


Above couple more busts

 Last view though the church

Outside around the back you can find the churchyard which may well have also been the one from the old church

You can see a lot of family graves here

Some headstones are now eroding

Others still very much readable

This tomb is covered in Moss

The Harcourt family Vault is not east to miss

and is not far from the family chapel

Old family vault

Moss covered Tomb

Not far from the church is this covered tomb effigy which is a 
Monument to Anthony and Philippa Pollard, saved from Abingdon Abbey

it looks very out of place where it is

Normally you would see tomb effigies like this in a church
The lord and his lady in repose and at the base I presume the two children

The faces have eroded away

and the plaques nearby covered in algae

Bit distorted but a stitch of the tomb

Another stitch view of the church

One near the altar 

I have to say this was one of the best redundant churches I have visited yet and I would recommend a visit if you are around Oxford 
 Till next time enjoy your weekend