St Kenelm


  • Church Street
  • Church Enstone
  • Enstone
  • OX7 4NL


  • Toilets: none
  • Local Amenities: pub

Street Parking


Train Station

Within 5 Miles

This Church is part of the Ride & Stride Event!
Find out More

Brief Description

A substantial well maintained and architecturally interesting Grade 2* medieval building on a saxon site partly restored by George Street in the 19th Century.

The first building must have existed before 830 AD and some small Saxon remains can still be seen. The main Norman building was the nave and South doorway; the North aisle is early English and the South aisle 14th Century; tower, chancel, clerestory and porch are all of the Perpendicular period i.e. 15th Century. The Lady Chapel on the South side of the church is Tudor. There is a 16th Century priest’s chamber over the South porch. There are six bells. In 1856 there was a complete restoration under the well-known architect, George Edmund Street.

  • Main Description

    Church. Late C12, late C13 and C15; tower and alterations early/mid C16; restored 1856 by G.E. Street. Limestone rubble with ashlar dressings and limestone ashlar; copper and lead roofs. Chancel, nave, north and south aisles (overlapping the chancel), south-west porch and west tower.

    Chancel is probably C13 but has a C19 triple-lancet east window, and 2- and 3-light C16 side windows with uncusped arched lights; the small arched doorway to north probably served a vanished sacristy. Broad south aisle has two C15/early C16 windows to east and 4 windows to south, 3 with elaborate Perpendicular drop tracery, 4-centred arches and deep casement mouldings; the aisle has numerous buttresses and incorporates earlier work, including the 2-storey porch at its west end, with a C13/C14 entrance arch of 2 chamfered orders and a small 2-light C15 first-floor window. Late-C12 south doorway has an elaborate arch of 3 orders, decorated with roll, spool and chevron ornament, and has small attached jamb shafts; octopartite porch vault has head corbels and a small central boss of 8 heads. A narrower section of the aisle, projecting to west of the porch, has a square-headed 3-light window with ogee tracery, and a single-light C16 window facing west. Narrow north aisle has a simple round-headed late-C12 doorway, and a C13 lancet west window which may have been reused when the tower was built; a 3-light C15 window and a 2-light C16 window both have square heads. Wider section of aisle adjoining chancel has further square-headed windows. Chancel and aisles have plain parapets. Nave clerestory has plain 2-light windows. 3-stage ashlar tower, with high moulded plinth, diagonal buttresses, and crenellated parapet with corner pinnacles, has a 3-light west window, with uncusped tracery, above a moulded 4-centre-arched doorway; 2-light bell-chamber openings with cusped lights may be earlier work re-used. Interior: chancel has, to north, a simple C13 arch and a C14/C15 doorway with continuous mouldings; to south is a wide splayed 4-centred arch with panelled soffit formerly serving a narrow chantry chapel, Chancel arch of 2 continuous chamfered orders in probably C13/C14 and to south of it is a small C12 capital. Easternmost bays of nave arcades have wide 4-centred arches, possibly replacing a former central tower. Remaining 4 bays of south arcade have late-C12 pointed arches with angle rolls, circular columns with square knob-volute and waterleaf capitals, and square bases with corner spurs; corresponding bays of late-C13 north arcade have alternating circular and fluted octagonal columns, with moulded capitals and bases, supporting arches of 2 hollow-chamfered orders. Tall early-C16 tower arch has splayed jambs and an arch of 2 chamfered orders. 2 adjoining C15 windows of south aisle are divided by a tall shaft and served a chapel of which the small piscina survives. A further chapel at the east end of the aisle retains 2 C15 brackets supported by carved heads (possibly re-set) and a small early piscina. The narrow chantry between it and the chancel has similar brackets supporting the springing of a former vaulted roof, and has a panelled reredos below the 3-light window, which also includes canopied image niches in the wide casement moulding. Roofs of nave, north aisle and chancel are plain and may be partly C17/C18. Moulded south aisle roof, with arched braces rising from tie beams to ridge, is C19. Stained glass includes 3 panels which may be C17/C18, three C19 windows and an early-C20 window, possibly by Morris and Co. Monuments include a medieval stone coffin; the memorial to Stevens Wisdom (d.1633) with a kneeling figure within an arched recess flanked by Ionic columns on an inscribed panelled base; a wall monument to Benjamin Marten (d.1716) of Baroque drapery and cherubs in white marble; and a series of black marble ledgers to members of the Cole and Walker families. Fittings are C19 except for the C15 panelled octagonal font, and an ancient chest with ornamental ironwork which may be C13/C14. (Buildings of England: Oxfordshire: pp593-4)

Church Grants

improvement to drainage; new WC and kitchen

2011/2012 | £8000

tower works

2016/2017 | £14500