St Andrew’s Church, Oddington

Repairs to the church tower
OHCT grant: £9000

The planned repairs to the church have been undertaken in three phases, starting in 2012 covering internal and external works, bell rehanging, rewiring and redecoration, restoration of the preaching cross and rebuilding the churchyard walls. The generous grant from the Trust has enabled the completion of these works.

Despite the various delays and the impact of the COVID lockdowns, a lucky break in October 2020 provided a window of opportunity to undertake work on the church tower.
Work on the south and west faces of the tower was evidently necessary through slippage and deterioration of stonework around the south window. It also seemed likely that the rubble infill of the tower walls had subsided.

The remedy was stabilisation and insertion of a variety of steel ties and rods at critical points in the two walls, and replacement of rubble infill. What looked like a simple job required establishment of a massive site.

But the work was completed to time and budget, and we have the satisfaction that the tower is visually no different from what it was before – but it should tackle the challenges of many centuries to come.

The church dates from the end of the C13. Some features of the chancel were C14 but these were removed when the chancel was demolished and rebuilt in 1821. Between 1884 and 1886 the whole was heavily restored under the direction of the architect E.G. Bruton (1826-1899) who favoured the Gothic Revival style. The bell tower and the north wall of the chancel were rebuilt, the vestry and the north aisle were added and several windows inserted. The church contains two unusual monuments – a C16 monumental brass in memory of the parish priest Ralph Hamsterley (d.1518). It is a cadaver monument, showing his corpse in its burial shroud, which is a style unusual for monumental brasses in England; and a large pieta in memory of Māori servicemen killed in World War I.

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