Saturday 27 July 2019

St Mary the Virgin Freeland

This week we visit Freeland which is only a few miles from Long Handborough and Witney, this is the last of the churches I visited in West Oxfordshire. The history comes courtesy of Wikipedia
"The Gothic Revival architect John Loughborough Pearson designed the Church of England parish church of Saint Mary the Virgin, parsonage and parish school. The Taunton family paid for the church and parsonage to be built in 1869 and the school in 1871.
The church is high Victorian Gothic Revival, with stained glass and decoration by Clayton and Bell and 13th-century-style paintings of Jesus' Passion and Transfiguration. Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast four bells for St. Mary's in 1896. The same foundry cast a new treble and second bells in 2010, completing the present ring of six. The church clock was made and installed by Smiths of Derby in May 1898 and was dedicated to a Sarah Percival. In May 1969 the clock was taken down, reset and regilted by Judge Brothers of Oxford, and reinstalled by the local Breakspear family.
The parish is now part of the Benefice of Hanborough and Freeland."

The entrance to St Mary's church is through this superb lychgate

The striking thing about the church is the belltower over on the North side of the church

The apse end of the church with the tower peeking over the top of the church

Near the West end looking to the porch

Going back to the East end

And a view of the East end of the church. There is no access around the North side as it boundaries on the old school

Looking along the South side to the Porch and a view of the porch which has a room over it

Inside you look along a nave with a high ceiling

From there you can see the chancel with an Arched ceiling

The altar is plane but behind is an elaborate carved screen with a depiction of the Crucifixion and twelve angels

It's a superb piece of art work

The stone pulpit has figures painted in what looks like a Greek stile

Above a view from the pulpit
Right a Sidilia also painted

You will find the organ in the chancel as well

Right along either side of the nave you can follow the Stations of the Cross

The Roll of honour in the church is had written and framed
beside it is this memorial to Basil Graham Thomas who was killed in the battle of the Somme

Just on from that in the corner is the British Legion flags with a carving of the Madonna and child in front

There is also another statue of the Madonna in the chancel arch

The font is square with paintings around it, the cover is a piece of art in itself

The West end of the church has a very nice Stained Glass Window

The chancel is covered in wall paintings, with run into the apse and the window recesses

It was easier to take photos of the Stained glass in the Apse individually

You could spend quite a while walking around the chancel looking at the wall paintings

They all show scenes from the life of Christ
It's all pure Gothic Revival

The windows in the Nave are all stained glass with round windows at the top

The sow more scenes from the life of Christ

On the way out I found the door that lead to the room over the porch

The churchyard is quite long but round from the East end behind the church
along the South side to the West end

There are quiet a few graves beside the church

Looking down the churchyard West

Behind the church on the East end

From over the wall on the roadside you get a nice view of the Church
I will leave you this week with a view of the Village War Memorial.
Till Next time I wish you a pleasant weekend

Saturday 20 July 2019

St Mary North Leigh

This is the second church on my West Oxfordshire visit and one I was looking forward to seeing
St Mary North Leigh is just outside the village and on first sight you can see it looks an old church.
You can read a more in depth history in the link but a condensed version is below both link and version below are from Wikipedia.
"The bell tower of the Church of England parish church of Saint Mary is late Saxon, probably built in the first half of the 11th century. The building underwent a complex series of alterations from the 12th to the 18th centuries, losing its Saxon nave to the west of the tower and gaining at various times a new nave, chancel, aisles and two chapels east of the tower. St Mary's is particularly notable for its fan vaulted early 15th century Perpendicular Gothic style Wilcote chantry chapel and its early 18th century Perrott burial chapel, both of which are of unusually high quality for a village parish church.
 The Gothic Revival architect GE Street restored St Mary's in 1864. The tower has a ring of six bells cast by Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1875
Shortly after 1726 the vicarage just south of the church was demolished a new one was built. In 1811 a vicar complained that it was too small, so somewhen thereafter it was extended at the back.  In 1981 the Diocese of Oxford decided the vicarage was too big and sold it"

After parking out the front you walk in the churchyard along a path to see the church
This blog has turned out longer than I thought it would be and I did considered making it two parts so warned. I recommend a Coffee and cake while you read though what I saw

The path leading to the church passes the village war memorial which looks newly refurbished foe the First World War centenary

The church looks old and if you look close you can see where the original roof of the chancel used to be

It has had various additions over the years from the look

The path runs past many old headstones
The west end of the bell tower and here you can clearly see where the roof of the old nave went

Left the North aisle and one of the north chapels

Above the South aisle and porch
Right a bell used to hang here

Above around the North side again and one of the chapels

The porch which at the time was having some work done on it. The entrance to the church inside the porch

The nave looking towards the Chancel
Left you look over towards the South aisle

 One of the most striking things you see when you walk in is this Doom which is one of the best I have seen

The chancel

Walking further through towards the Altar
I did like the altar cross, one of the more unusual ones I have come across

Looking back through the chancel towards the screen an the font at the back

The font stands just inside the nave by the Tower arch

The pulpit is Victorian made of stone and gives a Nice view of the South aisle

and another looking over the nave to the North aisle chapel

On the wall in the chancel you can see this superb wall memorial to Robert Perrot

He died in 1605 but not before his wife had four sons an d four daughters

Above the stone screen of the chancel you can see this  carving

The holy water stoup in the chancel

Right these gates lead to a private chapel they were locked when I visited

Above the door an inscription to Annette Mason who used to live at nearby Eynsham Park

The skull at the base of a memorial in the South aisle

You can also see the Roll of Honour along with another fine old memorial

Above the roll of Honour lists the lost from both wars, many names I recognise of people I have know from work, they may be related

Right memorial to Oliver Veltom and his wife Caroline

Above the memorial of John Joslin

At the back of the church again and the font

The lords prayer and I believe can be see in the Tower

along with Exodus ChapXX

Memorial to Henry Maurice Turner and his wife Alice

Next we head down the North aisle to the Wilcote chantry chapel
You can see the fan vaulting in the top of the photo

The chapel is laid out with an altar and six chairs

The screen at the back is one of the more modern items in the church

On the wall another superb memorial, this is typical Tudor

The couple had four daughters though they seem to lost their heads at some time

nearby is this tomb with the figures of Sir William Wilcote and his wife

He lays there in his armour  while she looks more stately

The tomb sits between the chapel and chancel

You can read the reason why the chapel was built on this desk near the tomb

Looking at the floor of the chapel and you can see many stones telling you who s buried there, this one is the oldest one I could see dated 1886

Above a wooden cross  stands on another holy water stoup

Left a church chest

nearby is another chapel this one belongs to the 18th century Perrott burial chapel

You can see some memorials on the wall dated to 1788
The chapel takes up quite a large area

Along the walls are more fine memorials

This one to Henry Perrot is quite detailed

With a couple of cherubs on the top

The inscription on other Memorial

There are a lot of memorials around the walls of the chapel

The metal they are made from have darkened over the years making the inscription hard to read

The lead on on the left is quite hard to read

Right memorial to Jacob Perrot

Above the inscription is in Latin, not something I can read

On the pews you can see some superb kneelers

which have been beautifully made

 by the local ladies


Above a vase of flowers beside a model of Calvary

Outside the churchyard is large and there are quite a few headstones you can look at

The head further on west towards a newer part with recent burials in

Beside the church you can see some great old Tomb Chests

This Cotswold one in particular with the skull on the end

Only other place I have see one of these was in a church I visited in Berkshire

This one is very old with a coffin shaped top to it and the headstone is devoid of inscription

Here we head off into the more recent part of the churchyard

Above the headstone of Private G.H.Hill

Left the more recent part of the churchyard

Parts of the churchyard where  the headstones are thin on the ground

Though there is one nice Tomb Chest

Near the church is this chest tomb with coffin shaped tomb slabs either side

Couple of memorials on the wall

More older headstones near the east end of the church

Just along near the war memorial is this seat

Looking towards the church
I will leave you with this photo of a floral display no  doubt from the funeral of the gentleman you see beside them.
I'm dedicating this weeks blog to my friends Bernard Jones who passed away in St Kitts aged 85 last weekend and Ron Mackay who also passed away and was too young to die. May They Rest In Peace 
Till Next Time have a wonderful weekend