Freeland : St Mary the Virgin

This unaltered Victorian Gothic church of 1870 was designed by J. L. Pearson, an important Gothic Revival architect. The glass and wall-paintings – which have recently been restored to their former glory – by his favourite craftsmen, Clayton and Bell. The adjoining parsonage and the school form part of the scheme.

About this church

The church of St.Mary-the Virgin, Freeland was formed out of part of the parish of Eynsham. The funds to build the church were almost entirely provided by the Taunton family who engaged one of the most gifted Victorian Gothic Revival architects, John Loughborough Pearson (who built the last “great” English Cathedral at Truro).

The buildings comprised church, parsonage and school, and the church was consecrated on 3 July, 1869 by Bishop Wiberforce. The architecture of the new church, its fittings and its liturgy emphatically proclaimed the high-church or Tractarian churchmanship espoused by the Tauntons. Although a great deal has changed/evolved over the years, much of the original tradition and vision remains.

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