Thursday 25 March 2021

St Leonard Eynsham


Eynsham Church is one I had my eye on visiting for a while though it was not on my map list. After wondering a bout which church was easy to visit in these times I remembered I used to work in Eynsham and had seen the church on the occasion I went to the Village. In fact I past it everyday I went to work as you could see it from the road to where I used to work. Some history from Wikipedia :-          "The Church of England parish church, St Leonard's, was built the 13th century. In the 15th century, the nave was rebuilt, a clerestory and north aisle were added and the west tower was built. There are Mass dials on the south wall. The building has been restored three times: by William Wilkinson in 1856, Harry Drinkwater in 1892 and over a period of eight years in the 1980s.

The west tower has a ring of six bells. James Keene of Woodstock cast the third bell in 1653. Richard Keene cast the fifth bell in 1673. John Taylor & Co of Loughborough cast or recast the treble, second, fourth and tenor bells in 1895. The church has also a Sanctus bell that Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast in 1924." St Leonard's is a Grade II* listed building.

 St Leonard's church from the south side

 Getting a photo of the church from the square in front of the church was taxing with the sun behind so I have edited the photo to show it

It was a little better when the sun went in later

The porch looked as though it had a room over the top though the door was firmly closed

Nearby in a garden is the village war memorial

The names of the fallen surrounding the base
You cannot get a view of the west and and tower because of the ally you take to get to the back of the church. The east end (right) looked no better
On the left you can see the alley you take . The South door in the church
This is the churchyard as you come out from the alley
You also get an idea as to the size of the churchyard which extends way in the distance. Over to the right you can see St Peter's Catholic church
The churchyard extends east towards a boundary wall
One thing I did notice was Chest Tombs
More headstones looking east
Fenced in family vaults
A lone chest tomb among the headstones
The Commonwealth Ware Grave belonging to Driver C.A.Cattell
Further south towards the churchyard extension where the recent burials are
The Commonwealth War Grave of Leading Stoker Albert John Holloway
The churchyard path leading to the churchyard extension which was through the gate. The wall to the left has been remove
Along the path you can find theses signs part of the information on the Eynsham Abbey trail. The Abbey church was over towards the building in the distance The churchyard is in the Abbey cloisters
Beehives in the churchyard
The path leading towards the church
A cast iron grave cross
All this part of the churchyard is around where the Abbey church used to be
One of the more interesting chest tombs
Coffin shaped tomb slabs
Really old headstones
Last look across the churchyard
As our lockdown starts to ease off I look forward to when I can return to get photos inside the church.
Till Next time Have a wonderful weekend
Tomorrow is Psalm Sunday visit the link to see my post

Saturday 20 March 2021

St Peter's Catholic Eynsham


Visiting Eynsham  was a last minute decision with me. I felt I needed to visit a church for some photos and was wondering which was the easiest place to go on my list then Remembered Eynsham had a church I knew of. I grabbed by gear and set off. After going to a couple of places I wanted to see I parked along the road from the first church in the square and got on with taking my photos. Looking across the churchyard I noticed another church nearby and found an entrance in the churchyard. The church I noticed from the Churchyard Was St Peters Catholic Church so I walked around for a few photos. Some history off Wikipedia :- 

" In 1895 Herbert May founded a Roman Catholic mission at his home, Newland Lodge. The lodge burnt down in 1897, after which Mass was said at the Railway Inn until May had a new house built for him. The mission closed when May moved to Oxford. In 1928 the Roman Catholic parish of Witney leased the upper storey of the Bartholomew Room, making it St. Peter's Chapel. Building of a new Roman Catholic church was begun in the 1930s but was delayed by the Second World War and not completed until 1967."

St Peter's church which is new compared to the surrounding buildings nearby. This part is the west end. The main entrance being along the side ahead. You can rad some more history on the church on St Peter's website  Fr. Lopes who's dream the church was is buried in the churchyard

Looking slightly north with the rectory over on the left
This view shows the Church Entrance and Churchyard beside it
Further around North with the
Tolkien Room on the left which you can read about in the link

 Looking from over near the gate
This one and the next were taken from over in the Churchyard next door. this shows the east end with the apse on and right the Tolkien Room

Looking south west showing the Tolkien room right
Found these quite interesting while walking around the churchyard as couple of Church Finals where they are from I have no information on other than they are from the time of Fr Lopes
I hope to return to St Peter for a look inside when the time comes
Till next time have a great weekend


Saturday 13 March 2021

Builth Churches


I think it is time I wrote about this Web Site called Builth Churches  which was made buy a guy called Phil Jones. I came across Phil after posting photos of Builth Wells on the Geograph website, he messaged me giving me more detail on where I had taken the photo. After that I was emailing the guy quite often. In 2011 I had a email from a lady telling me he had passed away and where the funeral would be. Sad thing is I could not go. A year or so later I started the Church Explorer and after posting photos of some Welsh Churches was looking for information on them and came across Phil's website. I noticed that I had been to a lot of the churches he featured so decided to see if I could visit them all in Memory of Phil. I am only sad I never got to meet the guy and the nearest I did was when I spotted his car parked up near an old Railway where he took his dog for a walk. My wife was in the car and we were off to the shop for food so I did not have time. I have copied the list of Phil's churches and have a round ten left to visit. The following photos are some of the ones I have visited on my quest in Phil's Memory. I might add a few years ago one of the churches near Built I visited was just closing up and I asked if I could get a few photos for my blog. The lady asked what was the name of the site and then said that she had a fried who had a website and visited churches. Soon as she said that I said Phil's name and see looked at me and said your Bill Nicholls, seems Phil had told her about me. I still use his site and when I visit a church remember him.

This is St Michael Llanfihangel-Nant-Melan it is not the first on Phil's list but the first one I visited back in 2009 and then again 2015 to update the blog

The first church on Phil's list is not one I have visited yet as it is a distance from where I stay but the second is quit near at Aberedw and right beside the Pub. St Cewydd is quite an old church with quite a history to it

The next church St Mauritius Alltmawr is third on the list and interesting in that it is the third smallest in Wales at 35 foot long. It was not open at the time of my visit and I may well see if I can revisit at some time 

This church St Cewydds at Disserth I noticed when I went off the man road to check out a caravan site nearby. After retuning to the caravan I picked up my camera and went back for some photos. Going through the doorway was like walking back in time 

I hate to think how many times I had driven past St Bridgets Llansantffraed. till I noticed it out of the window. It was just over the valley from our caravan site but a very nice church to visit

 There are a couple of odd ones out as car as Churches near Builth are concerned as they are in England rather than Wales. St Mary Pembridge is about half an hour away it is quite odd in that it does not have a bell tower which is separate from the church out of sight here on the left behind the tree.


One church Phill did not get around to visiting even though it is listed is  St Mary Bryngwyn which I thought odd as be had visited other not far away

St Mary Newchurch being another which is nearby.

I will finish with St David Maesmynis one church that brought me a little nearer to Phil because as I walked up the path I met the churchwarden who it turned out knew who I was through Phil, I had never met him but conversed with via email on many occasions. Seems they were good friends and had visited all the churches in the area like I am doing placing them on a website. Unfortunately I had an email one day telling me that Phil had died. I dedicated the Blog to Phil who I always remember now when I visit a church in Wales. If you have time church out Phil's link

Till Next time Take Care everyone

Saturday 6 March 2021

St Giles Horspath


As I happened to be near this place on Wednesday I thought I might as well stop off and get a few photos of the church  not really caring if it was against our lockdown rules at the end of the day I was exercising by walking around the church. St Giles was not on my list though I had been looking at a few in the vicinity to visit. There is quite a bit of history to the church and after seeing the photos taken inside the church it will be high on my revisit list Wikipedia history below :- 

"The Church of England parish church of Saint Giles seems to have been built late in the 12th century. The Early English Gothic south aisle, including the south door and three and a half bay south arcade date from this period. From this time the east wall of the chancel had a trio of three stepped lancet windows. The early Decorated Gothic south transept was added late in the 13th or early in the 14th century as a chantry chapel. The south porch was added late in the 14th century.

Around 1400 the present west tower and tower arch were built. The tower arch features two unusual almost life-size sculptures of human figures: one playing the bagpipes and the other showing an expression of amazement. Also in the 15th century the pitch of the nave roof was greatly reduced in typical Perpendicular Gothic style. Late in the 15th century, Perpendicular Gothic windows were inserted in both sides of the chancel and the north wall of the nave. The Perpendicular Gothic piscinae in the chancel and south transept are also 15th century.

In the 18th century Magdalen College, Oxford and the Earl of Abingdon contributed to the building of a west gallery in the nave. By 1840 the east wall of the chancel was out of alignment so the chancel was demolished and rebuilt to designs by the architect HJ Underwood, who retained the Perpendicular Gothic side windows with their mediaeval stained glass but dispensed with the mediaeval roof and replaced the Early English east windows with a neo-Perpendicular one. A contemporary condemned this work as "wanton destruction".

By 1849 the nave was dilapidated so in 1852 the clerestory and west gallery were removed, the north wall was rebuilt and the north transept was added. Once again Underwood was the architect. The work cost £800, of which Baker Morrell of the local Morrell brewing family and Magdalen College each paid £200. The church is a Grade II* listed building.

By 1554 St. Giles' had three bells and by the 18th century it had five. It now has a ring of six bells plus a Sanctus bell. Of the current ring, the oldest is the fourth bell, which Joseph Carter of Reading, Berkshire cast in 1602. William Yare, also of Reading, cast the tenor bell in 1611. Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester cast the second and third bells in 1718. W&J Taylor of Loughborough, who from 1821 to 1854 had a bell-foundry in Oxford, cast the fifth bell in 1838. Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the treble bell in 1866. James Wells of Aldbourne, Wiltshire cast the Sanctus bell in 1811.

St Giles' has a disused turret clock without a dial, the frame of which appears to be late 17th century.

St Giles' has an Elizabethan silver chalice made in about 1569, a carved late Jacobean pulpit, and a number of monumental plaques. One of these, to James Salisbury of Bullingdon Green (who died in 1770), is elaborately decorated. Another is to the five children of Thomas and Esther Herbert, who died from a recurrence of the bubonic plague between 1686 and 1688. Esther, whose family founded New College, also died in 1688 aged 33. A ceramic statuette of Saint Giles made by a local potter in 1988 is in the south chapel.

In 1451 the Crown granted the advowson to the Hospital of St John the Baptist outside the East Gate, Oxford. In 1456 the hospital was suppressed, and all its property granted to Magdalen College, Oxford, newly founded by William Waynflete. From then until 1950 the vicar of St Giles was always a member of the college. George Wilkynson, who was incumbent from 1483, was Dean of Divinity of the University of Oxford.

Many vicars of St Giles were distinguished fellows of the College, but some of the post-Reformation ones neglected the parish. Richard Byfield, who was incumbent from 1666, was a scholar of Hebrew. Baptist Levinz, who was incumbent 1680–82, became Bishop of Sodor and Man in 1685. George Horne, who was incumbent 1760–64, became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1776 and Bishop of Norwich in 1790. Edward Ellerton, who was incumbent from 1814, founded Horspath parish school and left land in the parish to fund scholarships to Magdalen College, Oxford. Frederick Bulley, who was incumbent 1843–49, became President of Magdalen College in 1855. Henry Bramley, who was incumbent 1861–69, was a hymnologist who worked with the composer Sir John Stainer."


St Giles church from over the wall near where I parked

Walk through the south gate the path takes you to the porch
Look west and the belltower dominates your view 

 To the east you will find a small transept

 Walking around the tower you find a door in the base the stonework around it very eroded apart from some restored stone

On a nearby buttress I spotted this circle that looks suspiciously like it may have been a mass dial  

 Going further along the path will bring you a view of the north side and an larger transept 

Walk along further towards the east and you will get look at the east end of the church

A little further and you can make out both transepts 

 Further around and you come to the path from the east 

From the south path the churchyard shows some of the old graves

 With a few more over on the other side

 There are more around the north side

 Follow the path further brings you to the more recent part of the churchyard

 Some look old but I think just weather beaten

From a corner you get this view looking towards the south

Going back to the south passing the east end you pass more older graves 

  A priest door in the chancel is gated with a sturdy steel gate 

In the corner of the transept and east end older headstones are packed in

A last look of the church before I get in the car and go home. The visit has make me put St Giles high on my list for a revisit when  the importunity arises 
Till next time take care and have a wonderful weekend