Saturday 28 October 2023

St Mary Chesterton

This week the Church Explorer visits St Mary Chesterton on one of my Wednesday visits outside Oxford. The village is near Bicester north of Oxford. The church has some interesting history surrounding it. Some of the photos have some flaring on them due to being a bright day

"The oldest part of the Church of England parish church of St Mary is a 12th-century three-bay arcade between the nave and the north aisle. The arcade is in the Transitional style between Norman and Early English Gothic. The church was rebuilt in the 13th century and reconsecrated in 1238. The chancel arch and arcade of the south aisle, both of which are Early English Gothic, date from this period. The Decorated Gothic bell tower was added early in the 14th century. The present Perpendicular Gothic windows in the south aisle were added in the 14th or 15th century. In the 15th century a clerestory was added to the nave and a five-light east window was inserted in the chancel.In 1852 the east window was replaced with a Gothic Revival Decorated Gothic four-light one, and in 1854 the chancel arch was restored. In 1866 the architect F.C. Penrose restored much of the building, including the windows in the south aisle and some of those in the north aisle. He also added a turret staircase to the tower. St Mary's is a Grade II* listed building. By 1552 St. Mary's had three bells and a Sanctus bell. William Watts of Bedford cast the present tenor bell in about 1590. Henry Farmer of Evesham in Worcestershire and James Keene of Woodstock jointly cast the present treble and second bells in 1623. Richard III Chandler of Drayton Parslow in Buckinghamshire cast the present Sanctus bell in 1715. The clock was added in 1884.The priest and historian Gerald of Wales held the living of St. Mary's from about 1193 until his death in about 1223. St. Mary's parish is now a member of the Church of England Benefice of Akeman, which includes the parishes of Bletchingdon, Hampton Gay, Kirtlington, Middleton Stoney, Wendlebury and Weston-on-the-Green."

The churchyard is entered through this Lychgate

 St Mary's looking towards the tower over the west end of the churchyard

North east view along the church

East end

Porch and tower

The south side of the church from the path going to the porch

West end showing the tower

 North west view

 South west view over the churchyard

Looking east from the path showing the churchyard

Turning west and the trunk of what is probably an old yew tree

The churchyard from near the Lychgate

Over the north east side it gets overgrown

The new part of the churchyard with more recent burials

West side and older headstones

Collage of tombs and headstones

South of the church old headstone forgotten and with ivy encroaching over them

Right over in the north east side are a couple of old storage sheds which looks forgotten about and been rediscovered

Looking west towards the road

Another view towards the road with the path to the left

The two graves I liked under a yew tree west of the church

In the porch looking at the door

Walking in the door looking across the back of the church

Looking right down the nave

From the back taking in the nave and both aisles

Chancel arch and candelabra

Chancel with choir stalls

The altar with east window

Turning around and looking back down the church

Blocked priest door

Sedilia over on the south wall of the chancel

Damaged reredo panel behind the altar

Seat in front of a large squint

Wineglass pulpit

Looking down the church from the pulpit

Part of a tomb slab in the chancel floor

Collage of a  brass also in the chancel

The east window

Stained glass windows

The three Kings with baby Jesus

Window with stained glass inlay

More of the partially stained glass windows

The organ in the arch leading to the tower

Seat in front of the organ

One of the memorials in the church

Keene Family Memorial makes very sad reading

Roll of honour in another blocked doorway

Ist World War Roll

Second World War

The cross piece belonged to Lieutenant Jan De Zanger did not dies in battle he was a prisoner of war for four years with the Germans being moved around various camps. He returned to the Netherlands in 1945 he had lost a lot of weight and was a cardiac patient doe to his treatment as a prisoner and suffered a heart attack. A few weeks later he was set to England work in the rebuilding of Europe living in Chesterton. He suffered another heart attack and while recuperating died after catching pneumonia. He was buried in the churchyard but later disinterred and moved to a Dutch cemetery at Hendon.

Madonna and child painting

The pew in front of the organ probably one of the original ones from the church

Looking up at one of the steel candelabras

Panel by the door at the end of the south aisle

Collage showing the font

I will leave you with this view showing a floral display looking down the nave
Till Next time I wish you all a peaceful weekend