St Mary The Virgin


  • Church Street
  • Shipton-u-Wychwood
  • OX7 6BP


  • Toilets: church
  • Local Amenities: shop, pub

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Brief Description

Parish Church. Early C13, extended C14, altered C15, restored 1859 by Diocesan Architect G E Street who virtually rebuilt the chancel. Rubble with freestone dressings, leaded roofs to nave and aisles, stone slate to chancel. 3-bay clere- storied nave with aisles extended as north and south chapels, south porch and west tower; vestry to north-east. Irregular plinths. Parapeted aisles and nave walls, high ptiched chancel roof. Principal feature is the 3-stage west tower with angle buttresses weathered to each stage and thus forming virtually clasping buttresses to upper stage.

  • Main Description

    The tower is early-mid C13 and carried a heavy stone spire which has crude ball-capped pinnacles on shallow broaching, gabled lucarnes to cardinal faces capped by grotesques carrying crosses and which is finished off by a copper ball below the weathervane. Slate tracery to bell chamber, bar tracery to lucarnes

    The west doorway has developed C13 mouldings and ornament including the floral caps of nook shafts but retains chevron, here heavily undercut. The tower is flanked by lean-tos thought to represent C12 clasping aisles, the north one has a cusped arch doorway and is archaeologically more convincing than the south one which has been heavily bricked up. .

    North aisle has transitional Decorated - Perpendicular style tracery of late C14, more straight forwardly rectilinear tracery to clerestory and south side, east window large and with geometrical tracery (by Street),

    C14 moulded doorways to south porch and to south (Reade) chapel. The 2-storey south porch has niches flanking the chamber window containing quite good (if defaced) sculpture of mid C14 date: left-hand a single figure, thought to be St John, right-hand crocket- ted canopy over an elegant Annunication; vaulted ground floor.

    Interior plastered, see Pevsner for arcades, font, mediaeval stone pulpit and major monuments; the ogee cusped recess in north wall contains an earlier and overlarge effigy whose head is stuffed in on top of the body with ludicrous effect. Pews and choir stalls by Street; west window by Morris and Company some painted scenes of circa 1859 survive behind the organ. The interior is well described by Pevsner apart from the tower arches which are unusual and interesting: chamfered orders, moulded impost strips broken round, water-hold in bases, main arch to east, lower arches to north and south. A good parish church, the spire a bucolic version of Witney's. N Pevsner & J Sherwood: Oxfordshire (Building of England Series, 1974).

Church Grants

refurbishment of bells

2017/2018 | £6000