St Swithun


  • Church Close
  • Merton
  • OX25 2NF


  • Toilets: church

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  • Main Description

    The Church of England parish church of Saint Swithun is Decorated Gothic, built early in the 14th century. It has a south aisle, linked with the nave by an arcade of four bays. Late in the 15th century the Perpendicular Gothic clerestory was added to the nave. The chancel windows and one window in the south aisle are also Perpendicular Gothic. The font is much older than the church, dating from late in the 12th century.

    St. Swithun's had a north aisle but it was demolished in the 15th or 16th century. Its arcade of three bays was blocked up and remains in the north wall of the nave.[3] The tower had a spire but it became unsafe and in 1796 it was removed.

    St. Swithun's most notable monuments are wall-mounted ones in the chancel commemorating John Doyley (died 1593) and his wife, Elizabeth Poole (died 1621) and Richard Harrington (died 1712). The Poole monument has strapwork and Tuscan columns but is significantly mutilated and in want of restoration.

    A turret clock for St. Swithun's was made late in the 17th century. Its original dial had only an hour hand. In 1867 this was replaced with a new dial that has both hour and minute hands. Some time after 1989 a new turret clock was installed; the 17th century original is now displayed in the nave.

    The Gothic Revival architect Charles Buckeridge restored St. Swithun's from 1865[5] until 1872. St. Swithun's had been decorated with mediaeval wall paintings, once brightly coloured but by 1823 described as "dim with age". During the restoration work it was found impossible to remove the layers of whitewash covering them.

Church Grants

roof repairs

2014/2015 | £12000