St Mary the Virgin


  • Church Walk
  • Ambrosden
  • OX25 2LY


  • Toilets: church

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Brief Description

A church has stood here from Saxon times for the Parish of Ambrosden was referred to as being already in existence as early as 1069 AD, but this Norman tower and a church which included part of the nave were built at the end of the 11th or the beginning of the 12th century. The actual year of its consecration is unknown but it is assumed to have been in the month of September close to the birthday of the Virgin Mary whose name it bears.

  • Main Description

    Returning to the interior of the church, the font is 14th century, or perhaps earlier, and until 1867 it stood midway between the south and north doors, but the cover is believed to be late 18th century. Behind it you will see a small, very attractive stained glass window (date unknown) which is even more striking in the afternoon sun.

    In the bell-tower is a ring of eight bells and a sanctus bell. The latter dates from 1336 and of the four heaviest, which were first hung in 1190, the tenor bell weighs over one and a quarter tons. Two more were added later, the first in 1552, the other in 1697, and the last two in 1928. It was at this time that the old oak beams carrying the bells were found to be unsafe and the bells were taken down, cleaned, tuned and re-hung on a steel girder frame, as they are today. There is a shortage of skilled bellringers in the parish but every effort is made to ring the bells before the service, even though it may be only the front four bells and hymn tunes are occasionally played on the bells by a carillon mechanism before services. Preserved in the church there is a nail from the old oak beams which is twelve inches long and weighs three quarters of a pound.

Church Grants

new WC, servery, meeting area

2014/2015 | £7500