Swerford : St Mary

Church. Late C13. and C15, restored and enlarged 1846 by H.J. Underwood. 3-bay nave and north aisle, chancel, west steeple, south porch and north-east vestry. Marlstone ashlar and some rubble; lead and Welsh-slate roofs. Slated chancel has a traceried east window of 1859 in a Perpendicular opening and has, to south, 2 blocked C15 windows, and a 2-light square-headed window with ogee tracery and a low transom, below which are 4 small ogee-treaded lights; rubble walls and low buttresses may be C13. Parapetted ashlar nave has a Decorated south doorway, with continuous moulding and ballflower ornament plus an old plank door, sheltered by a late C14 porch with parapet, large gargoyles and a sundial; south wall has 3 large square-headed 3-light windows of c.1400 with quatrefoils in the tracery, and above them single-light clerestory windows with ogee tracery.

About this church

North clerestory has 2 small C16 windows. C19 north aisle has trefoil-headed lancets and a 2-light east window with plate tracery.

Late C13 ashlar 3-stage tower, with shallow buttresses to the first stage, has cusped lancets to south and, in the top stage, has cusped 2-light bell-chamber openings with transoms; broach spire, rising from a cornice with gargoyles at the angles, is probably slightly later.

Contemporary lean-to extension to north has a trefoil-headed lancet above a small west door.

Interior: late C14 chancel arch; C19 north arcade with octagonal piers; twin arches to tower and its extension of 3 and 2 chamfered orders dying into chamfered responds. Roofs all C19, with traceried spandrels in nave and aisle. C15 panelled font. Chancel floor, of black and white marble, may be late C17 and includes many C18 ledgers. Wall monuments in chancel to Jones family (mid C18) in an architectural surround with triangular pediment, and to the Travell family (erected 1775) with a garlanded urn. Fittings all C19 and plain. Hatchnent in nave. Fragments of medieval stained glass in tracery lights of south windows; C19 patterned east window with central pictorial panel. (Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, p.798).

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