St Peter

  • Charney Bassett
  • OX12 0EJ


  • Toilets: church

This Church is part of the Ride & Stride Event!
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Brief Description

Some time in the first part of the 12th century that earlier church was replaced by a Norman building of stone, probably on the same site. That first Norman church was much smaller than the current building, and only parts of it survive in the south wall of the nave.

  • Main Description

    The Norman south doorway is of particular interest. This is decorated with a band of carved beast heads, each one unique, arranged around the rounded arch. Each of these beasts has leaves, or foliage flowing from its mouth; a traditional style asociated with depictions of the Green Man, or wild man of the woods. The date usually ascribed to this doorway arch is 1120-1140.

    Above the chancel doorway is a carved tympanum, wonderfully incised with vivid figures. The tympanum is traditionally described as 12th century work, but is it, or is it a remnant of centuries earlier Saxon work? The carving shows two winged beasts like dragons facing each other and flanking a figure of Christ. Around the central semi-circle is a band of what look like acanthus leaves. In the centre of the arch is a boss, protruding from the surface of the stone like a halo above Christ's head.

    The roof is proabably 15th century, of tie-beam construction. The simple stone font is probably 13th or 14th century. The panelled pulpit is nicely carved, as is the later wqooden chancel screen. The bellocote over the west gable is possibly Jacobean, of a rather curious design