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St Andrew’s

Still today a place of beauty for quiet contemplation of God’s creation and His many blessings to us.

There has been a church on the site for at least 900 years. The font is 13th century; the tower is 15th century. The nave roof, dated 1774, has carved and gilded wooden bosses. The rest of the church was remodelled in 1851-3 in Decorated style, but is fortunate in having the lightness of Georgian gothic rather than heavy Victorian.

The furnishings, apart from the font, are of the 1850s. The church’s most remarked on feature is in its pews. Pevsner ‘Oxfordshire Churches’ says “These have unusual traceried bench-ends of locally carved pale composition stone with spikey poppy heads.” Poppy heads or fleurs de lys? You decide.

The altar table has painted panels of saints with angels carrying the instruments of Christ’s passion above.
Outside in the north wall of the chancel there is a 14th century canopied tomb recess enclosing a slab with a foliated cross. This is thought to be the tomb of Ralph de Chasteleyn said to be the founder of the church. He died in 1336 as a result of wounds received in a dispute between his family of Kingham and the de Nowers family of Churchill. It was General de Chastelain, a possible descendant of Ralph’s, who oversaw the decommissioning of the IRA’s weapons in Northern Ireland in the early 21st century.

Drawing used by kind permission of Elaine Holloway

 

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