Though this was my second church to visit it is one that had been on my list for a long time and I was looking forward to seeing the inside.
"The earliest known record of the Church of England parish church of Saint Michael dates from 1135, and the Norman nave and lower parts of the bell tower are certainly 12th century. In the 13th century the chancel, chancel arch and tower arches were rebuilt and the transepts and stair turret were added. In the 15th century the upper part of the belltower was completed, the Perpendicular Gothic west window of the nave and north and south windows of the transepts were inserted and the pitch of the roof was lowered. The Harcourt chapel was added on the south side of the chancel, possibly by William Orchard.
In the chancel is the Decorated Gothic late 13th- or early 14th-century shrine of St Edburg of Bicester. It was at the Augustinian priory at Bicester until 1536, when the priory was dissolved. Sir James Harcourt had the shrine salvaged and moved to St Michael's.
St Michael's is a Grade I listed building.
The central tower has a ring of six bells. Michael Darbie, an itinerant bellfounder, cast the second, third, fourth and fifth bells in 1656, which was during the Commonwealth of England. Richard Keene of Woodstock cast the tenor bell in 1686. Abraham II Rudhall of Gloucester cast the treble bell in 1722.
St Michael's parish is part of the Benefice of Lower Windrush, along with the parishes of Northmoor, Standlake and Yelford."
Over to the right you see the Popes Tower in the grounds of the Manor
Above the Pope tower built around 1470–71 and gained it's name after poet Alexander Pope stayed here in 1717–18 and used its upper room to translate the fifth volume of Homer's Iliad.
Left the North side of the church with blocked up door to East
Heading around to the
West end and Look along the South side to the Transept
The South side looking across the churchyard
The South Transept stands
out and has a blocked off chapel door on the West end
From here you get a good view of the Pope tower and Harcourt House
As you walk around the East end you see the Harcourt Chapel
it is attached to the side of the chancel.
Right the East end
As you walk in the church and look down the nave you see a plain looking nave
beyond a rood screen partitions off the chancel
Above a real treasure in the church, a pre 13th century rood screen dated 1260 the holes in are squints allowing people to see through
The altar is covered and had simple wooden cross and candel holders
On the North wall is an effigy is a niche of Maud de Grey, the paint on the wall is 14th century
Maud laying in repose
Below the tomb with paint on the coats of arms.
Right the shrine of St Edburg dateing back to the 13th century
The top part of the shrine id Perbeck marble, the limestone base is a later addition
Just in front of the effigy you can see this tomb with brass showing a lady and here tow children, not good on reading the inscription but I think it says pray for the soul of Glen Famby who was the wife of John
There is little stained glass in the church but you can see a little medieval glass in a few of the windows
There are also quite a few tombs around in the chancel some partly hidden by the pews
others on display prominently, some family paid handsomely of their place here
There are also some very nice memorials on the walls and a gate leading to the Harcourt Chapel
Near the tomb effigy is this small plaque and over on the South side is this remnant of arch from the former Church still painted in the Medieval colours
On the North side a couple of Church Chests
One looks older that the other and there was no date on them
In the crossing by the chancel arch is the pulpit and a statue of St Michael
from it you look through the crossing to the nave and the South transept
The South transept holds the most interest as this is where you will see the Harcourt Memorials. On ether left as you walk in a saute to
Field Marshall Earl Harcourt
One the right a statue to Sir Vernon Harcourt
You will also see this family tomb chest
The inscription shows 1688 and I cannot find much on the person, he is dressed in Armour from the time and his wife does like to show from the look, both hold skulls
Above them is the coats of arms and a couple of cherubs
Above the Harourt chapel, this is gated off and locked so all the photos were taken with the zoom. Looking down on the left you see a tomb effigy of Robert Harcourt who was standard bearer at the battle of Bosworth. The tattered remnants hang above
on the right is Sir Robert Harcourt with is wife Margret beside him
To the East end the alter
Left looking through the gate gives you a better view of the effigies nearby
I am really amazed at the colours that you can still see on them
At the back after putting mu I phone through the gate I managed to get a photo of
George Simon Harcourt
This I think is Edward Venables Vernon Harcourt
who was an archbishop
Looking across the tow tomb effigies at the east end. The near one Robert looks to have had a nose job, maybe this is why people are not allowed in the chapel because of it being broken, though I'm sure some one could have made better job of restoring it
Above the tombs of George Simon Harcourt and Edward Venables Vernon Harcourt
In the nave on the South wall you can see the Roll of Honour
and a plaque to the memory of Thomas Cox
There is a bequest on the wall you can read and at the back of the church what I take as a plaque of arms of sorts but what ever was on it has now gone leaving indents were they were pinned to the plaque
Last look down the church and it is outside passing this headstop looking out
The churchyard is full of headstones and the off cast marker
Above my favourite one, the inscription long gone but the headstone looks to be from the 1700's
Left more headstones slowly sinking
Looking further East
On the West end of the church you can see quite a few tomb chests
while going around the North side you find the area left to grow wild like in keeping with most Churches now
the whole North churchyard is covered in older headstones
all in various states of condition
I liked this one because of the name Nithanial, he died in 1865 aged 85 RIP
The churchyard looks like one you could spend time in
With it's tomb chests
and churchyard to explore
On the way out I pass this fenced off vault under a yew
Till next time have a happy Thanksgiving to my followers in the US