Saturday 27 August 2022

St James Bourton


Still in Oxfordshire the church Explorer visits St James Bourton  this church was not far away from Shrivenham and TBH I did not know it was in Oxfordshire till I looked at the map and noticed it was about 1Km from the county boundary. My first look at the church told me it was Victorian so I was not expecting any thing out of the ordinary with it.

"The Church of England parish church of St James was designed by J.W. Hugall and is another Gothic Revival building. Page and Ditchfield state that it was built in 1881, but Nikolaus Pevsner states that it was built in 1860. St James' parish is now part of the Church of England Benefice of Shrivenham and Ashbury, which also includes Compton Beauchamp, Fernham, Longcot and Watchfield. Low attendance and a parish deficit of £6,000 per year led the Diocese of Oxford to serve notice at the end of 2003 to make St. James' redundant. Increased attendance and a £2,000 increase in parish income from January 2004 onwards led the Diocese to rescind the notice by June of that year."

 Looking from the other side of the road 

 Due south of the church

West end

Looking up at the bell

Looking west from along the churchyard    

Same direction only towards the south a little

Looking south east

Empty space is where I think the churchyard extension runs

Looking back west

Over by the wall bounding the road a famly plot

With a list of those interned on the cross

Porch was open so I went inside

Down the nave aisle, it was quite light inside

Closer to the chancel

And a view of the chancel 

Wide view of the chancel 

Altar and east window

The altar and screen panel 

The nativity scene painted on the panel 

View back east from the chancel


Nave view from the pulpit

Looking around at the chancel

Roll of service for World War Two, the men who did not return are marked with a cross

The roll of service for World War One is top right, I have not come across the other two rolls before

Font and cover opposite the entrance to the church

Not really any stained glass as such but the windows are nice non the less

Electric organ and harmonium 

And the main organ in the chancel

I will leave you with this photo

Till next time have a peaceful weekend

Saturday 20 August 2022

St Andrew's Shrivenham


This week the Church Explorer  visits St Andrews Shrivenham which was a few miles along the road  across the border from Wiltshire in Oxfordshire .This is the history of the church on Wikipedia :-

"Shrivenham had a parish church by 1117, when Henry I granted its advowson to the Augustinian Cirencester Abbey upon the latter's foundation. Little survives from the church of that time save for part of the west wall of the nave, which is late 12th century, and the font which is carved from Purbeck Marble. By the 15th century the parish church was cruciform, with a central Perpendicular Gothic belltower that was built in about 1400. The present Church of England parish church of Saint Andrew is the result of a comprehensive and unusual rebuilding in 1638, funded largely by the Earl of Craven. The end walls of the nave, chancel and two transepts were extended to form a rectangle with a nave of three bays with round arches on Tuscan columns with excessive entasis; a chancel of two bays; and north and south aisles running the full length of the nave, tower and chancel. The nave, chancel and aisles share one continuous roof. The central bell tower was retained in what otherwise was an almost completely new early 17th century church. A Jacobean wooden pulpit and tester and almost continuous panelling around the walls completed the interior. The building remains largely as it was completed in 1638, apart from the addition of a neoclassical west porch in the middle of the 18th century.

Inside St. Andrew's are numerous monuments. The oldest is a stone recumbent effigy in the south aisle, apparently of a 14th-century woman. Many of the monuments from later centuries commemorate notable residents of Beckett Hall, including John Wildman (c. 1621–93), Rothesia Ann Barrington (died 1745; monument sculpted by Thomas Paty), John Barrington, 1st Viscount Barrington (1678–1734), William Barrington, 2nd Viscount Barrington (1717–93; monument designed by James Wyatt and sculpted by Richard Westmacott) and Rear Admiral Samuel Barrington (1729–1800; monument sculpted by John Flaxman). The tower has a ring of ten bells. Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the six largest bells, including the tenor, in 1908. Gillett & Johnston of cast the third and fourth bells in 1948. These were a gift from a US Army civil affairs unit that trained in Shrivenham before the Normandy invasion. The ring was increased from eight to ten bells in 2003 when the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the present treble and second bells."

Coffee and cake is recommended before you read on

St Andrews from inside the Lych Gate the war memorial in the foreground a reminder of those who did not return

You up along a tree lined path to reach the lych gate

Over to the right a silhouette of WWI soldier 

The porch is at the end of the path

The west end looks a little odd with no bell tower

Going around to look at the north side you see the bell tower situated in the middle of the church

Along to the north east end

Then over to the south side

Back along the south side looking at the tower

then standing back fro a look at the south of the church

The churchyard to the left as you come through the lychgate

The a look north across the west of the churchyard

There are plenty of older headstones to look at

Which can be seen all around the churchyard

The gate in the wall may have taken you to a private house once

There is lots to see walking around here the chest tomb just one the many you can see

 The owners of these three chest tombs I would imagine are related in some way
 The war memorial with the list of the fallen around the base

Further dawn the ones from WWII who did not return

The Commonwealth War Graves of L.Ebbsworth and G.W.Hicks the two headstone you can see

Graves of the more prominent people in the parish at the east end of the church 

This cross in almost hidden in in the shrubbery by the North wall of the churchyard

Going in the porch you are met by this door

Open it up are you are greeted by a vast church

Which looks like this with the three photos I stitched

Or the panoramic I took with my iphone

Going nearer your met with the first arch of the cross over where the belltower is, up on the right you can see what looks like the door to the rood loft that may have been here

In the centre of the tower the choir

On the other side of it I looked back through to the entrance I came in

Turning around in front of me the chancel

With chairs ether side for people to sit at

The altar which is decked with candle holders and altar cross and surrounded buy wood panelling

Altar and east window

Looking back though to the entrance 

The chandelier really stood out for me 

It was not alone in the chance either there is a third one over to the right of this one

The pulpit with sounding board above

In the pulpit the woodwork is carved with memorials to the lost

The nave from the pulpit

and a panoramic showing the north and sough aisles as well

The south aisle which is on the right of the church when you go in

A screen partitions the chapel off which has a more intimate feel to it

The altar with  beautiful carved panelling behind

The centre showing the crucifixion

Looking back up the aisle to the back

The north aisle is blocked off by a screen

Behind which is filled with the organ

You can see where it is played in the tower crossover

on the other side of the organ is a kitchen and meeting area. this was most likely a chapel at one time as there are tombs in the floor

There are also two tombs to be seen in the tower crossover the one on the left dated 1734 and on the right 1693

In front of the altar rails another three graves with coats of arms. There are others in the church but these were more legible ones

Quite a few memorials in the church some being easier to read than others

Though it was hard to see ant words on this one it really did stand out

A brass eagle lectern in the chancel

It does look quite stern though the microphone clamp does nothing for it

The only bist of stained glass I could see in the church was in the east window

The font is 12th century Purbeck Marble has survived well, I wonder how many christening it has seen

 Over in the south aisle in one window some relics can be seen from the bell tower, the wheel the rope went around to pull the bell along with the ropes along with other parts associated with it. Changed when the tower was restored with steel wheels and supports

 I will leave you this week with this view of a floral display in the church.
Till next time I wish you all a wonderful weekend