St James Great


  • The Cross
  • Stonesfield
  • OX29 8PT

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Within 5 Miles

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Brief Description

St James the Great was built in the early 13th century and contains some fine Early English work. The west tower was heightened in the 15th century and contains a ring of six bells. It is still a prominent landmark. The church is roofed with Stonesfield slates, mined in the village.

  • Main Description

    The church was almost entirely built in the early 13th century and displays a list of rectors dating from 1223. It contains some fine Early English work, including beautifully carved stiff-leaf capitals on the chancel arch, a two-bay arcade to the south aisle and, in the north chapel, an east window consisting of a graduated triplet of lancets.

    There is also some good stained glass, including some heraldic shields dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. The glass is not original to the church but was put in by a former rector in the mid-19th century.

    In a restoration of 1825 the north aisle arcade was removed and the aisle heightened to the full height of the nave in order to accommodate a gallery. But the gallery soon fell into disuse and was removed in 1876, leaving the void that you see today. Many observers feel that the heightened aisle ruins the small scale of the church. Pevsner describes the restoration as ‘lunatic’, adding that ‘the architect, luckily for his reputation, is unknown.’