Saturday 30 October 2021

St Michael Cumnor


 I used to pass by St Michaels church back in the 1980's on my way to work in Eynsham from Wantage where I lived for a time in Wantage . I remember seeing it sat up on a rise above the village thinking it did look old. Move on many years to the present and I remembered Cumnor church would be worth a visit for the Church Explorer so I put it on my list of churches to get along to visit. I decided to combine it with a return to Appleton church a few miles away so came along to St Michaels to get my photos. The history on the church seems somewhat sparse and I could find little. There are pats of the church that date back to the 11th century though. The most in-depth history I could find was on Historic England

St Michaels church seen from the footpath beside the road

Coming up the main path form the entrance

Bell tower with the clock

Looking at the west end and south side of the tower

The south side of the church with chapel

Along to the south side from the east end

Another view zooming in from the far side of the churchyard

The east end

Back around to the north side

The door leading into the church from the west end in the tower

Some of the older graves on the north of the church

looking south across the east end of the churchyard

I could not tell you if the cross has been added to the base but it does look a lot newer than the base it is on

The west end of the churchyard on the north side

At the west end of the church you can find the extension of the churchyard

Private C Brogden Royal Army Service Corps

The south side of the churchyard looking east

This recess in the boundary wall looks like a private plot

Looking back to the tower across the churchyard

Nearer the east end of the churchyard

Couple of the newer headstones, I think John Payne the far one is the John Payne who owned the engineering works in Eyensham

Another section of the new part of the churchyard

Looking along the churchyard path to the west of the church

Part of the extension churchyard

The opposite side

A little further over the churchyard has been extended again and has the more recent headstones in it

A raised are for cremation memorials

One of the chest tombs along with older heastones

A table tomb

An older chest tomb at the east end of the church

 After some consideration I have decided to split the blog over two weeks. Some of the ones I have done of late are really long and with the other blogs I do I find it hard work to get this one finished as it takes  quire a few house to sort it all out and sometimes I am working on them for over three nights plus some time in the day. I will feature the inside of St Michael next week as there is a lot of detail.
Till next time I wish you all a peaceful weekend

Saturday 23 October 2021

St Mary the Virgin Kidlington


I only became aware of  of St Mary the Virgin Kiddlington a couple of years ago. It was a church I decided was worth a visit when I had a chance, when I would visit it along with another nearby. As it was I could only visit St Marys church that day but found there was another church a few miles away I had not know about. Getting to St Mary's was another matter as it was on the edge of the village through a torturous road system, you certainly will need your GPS for this one.

 "The Church of England parish church of St Mary the Virgin dates from 1220, but there is evidence of a church on the site since 1073. St Mary's has fine medieval stained glass and a 165-foot (50 m) spire known as "Our Lady's Needle". It is a Grade I listed building. The tower has a ring of eight bells. Richard III Chandler of Drayton Parslow, Buckinghamshire, cast the seventh bell in 1700. Abraham I Rudhall of Gloucester cast the tenor bell in 1708 and the fifth bell in 1715. Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the treble, second, third, fourth and sixth bells in 1897, the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. "

Before you start reading this is a long blog with a fair amount of detail in it so I advise Coffee & Cake 


St Mary the Virgin, I can see why the spire is called "Our Lady's Needle"

Coming in through east side gate 

Going around to the west end

Then to the north side

Turning north west and the church rooms on the right

This is the chapel over to the south side of the church looking from the east end

Looking along the path from the churchyard extension towards the west end

Looking over from the south west side

Towards the porch form the main entry path

South side view of St Mary the Virgin

On the chapel is this sundial

along with this personal entry doorway

The headstop on one side of the window frame is a Wivern

 The other side a man's face

The porch leading to the church

 The niche above occupied by a modern sculpture of a woman with her hair raised to heaven and a hand pointing down
Inside the church looking down the nave

The chancel arch and crossover with the new altar in the foreground

The altar is quite an unusual design and not unpleasing to look at

The crossover section with rood screen in the arch

Inside the chancel

Here we look at the altar rails and altar

The altar with cross and candle holders

Turning around and looking back though the cancel and choir stalls to the rood screen

Back into the crossover

and into the nave. By the time I had took this photo I was getting ready to depart because there was funeral going to happen in about 15min hence the order of service on the seats

The pulpit

Where you can look down on the nave and south aisle, this was before anyone came in

The south aisle

leading to the lady chapel

The altar I preferred to the main one in the chancel

The church banner

Just before you get to the Lady chapel you pass the transept from the crossover

This is mostly for the royal British legion and where you find the Rolls of Honour

On the east wall you find this cabinet

Which had a vase of poppies on it and a crucifix the picture fames are poems

Above you find the roll of honour for the First World War

On the south wall you can find the Roll for the Second World War

This small statue is in a niche nearby

This stained glass window is at the west  end of the nave

This beautiful window is painted and supposed to be a copy of one in the Oxford Collages, under are brass memorial plaques

Also on the north wall you find these funerary hatchments 

which are in really good condition

still with vibrant colours

There are also a number of memorials to see

some not that easy to read

there is also this huge bequest board

Smith memorial

another Smith memorial

May family memorial

One looking like a parchment to the smith family

Floor tomb this one is Martin May

There are a few more close together as you look around

also running along the aisle

Jones family

A modern sculpture of Mary praying

Holy ware stoup

One of the sets of  choir stalls

With beautifully carved individual seats

There are some really nice candelabras

The font with the baptismal jug

The organ which is quite modern at the back of the nave

The font as you can see is on a small platform with step leading to it

Different shaped candelabra

Looking our of one of the arches in the transept towards the nave, on the upper left you can see part of an old window that was filled in as part of the the restoration

Time to leave the church and go outside

Took this as Walked in the churchyard from the east side

This is further on near the west end of the churchyard

The war grave of Private W Dorrell

You would be looking along the north side of the church and churchyard but they have built some church rooms which are used by various groups

There is a new extension to the churchyard where the first thing I saw was this commonwealth war grave cemetery, I have taken photos of all the headstones  but have only shown a few

One I spotted was this one with a photo. He was in the Canadian Air Force and some one had added the photo and little flag on the top right, there may have been another photo on the left but that has come off. The gave belongs to Sargent De Section L.A.Boire Pilot who I presume was a French Canadian

The photo shows him sat in the cockpit of a plane he flew

Corporal W Rodgers with a cross and poppy on his grave

Plt Z Slomkowsei of the Polish Forces

This is the rest of the new churchyard

with the more recent burials in it.

Major-General Norman Charles RogersThe link takes you to his obituary in the Telegraph

Rifleman H.W.Clarke

I took this photos while walking back around the rod to my car of the churchyard to the south of the church. There are quite a few chest tombs in evidence

All quite old and forgotten about now

One you see over to the right the brickwork has partly collapsed

Shrub growing between two of them

Just as I was going I noticed this group of crosses lit up bu the sun

Just shining there amongst the shaded tombs

Remember in your thoughts Tina Humprey who recently passed away. The video shows her talent and how I remember seeing her when I went to Healwork to Music events with my wife. RIP

Till next time do take care and Have a wonderful weekend