Arguably the finest parish church in Oxfordshire, St Mary's, Adderbury, dates to the 13th century. The main interest here is the superb series of carvings both inside and outside the church. Look out for the sculptures. There are grotesques and figures in the cornices of the side aisles and tower. These include a long tailed, growling dragon and a group of medieval musicians.
Held by the Bishops of Winchester from an early date, the C13 cruciform church was enlarged during C14 when the aisles were widened, a clerestory added to the nave and a tower and spire to the west end. The chancel, which is one of the masterworks of Perpendicular architecture in Oxfordshire was built by Richard Winchcombe between 1408 and 1419.
It features stepped buttresses with crocketed pinnacles which are not only decorative but also reduce the load bearing requirements of the walls thus making possible the insertion of huge windows which are particular to this phase of English Gothic architecture. The vestry was also added in C15.
Of particular note are the sculptures. There are grotesques and figures in the cornices of the side aisles and tower. These include a long tailed, growling dragon and a group of medieval musicians.
The nave has a fine C14 king post roof. The rood screen and rood loft are an amalgam of C15 and 19 parts. The interior of the chancel is a wonderful example of Perpendicular surface decoration with brittle stone craving including reredos, gated corbels, sedila, piscine and canopied and pinnacled niches.
The church was restored during the C19 by John Chessel Buckler in 1831-1843 and George Gilbert Scott in 1866 -70.