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Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST GEORGE
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Oxfordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 24919 99368


KELMSCOTT Church of St. George SU2499-2599 10/65 12.9.55 GV II*

Parish church. Late C12 with transepts of c.1260; C15 south porch; later additions and alterations. Rendered uncoursed limestone rubble with ashlar dressings; stone slate roofs with stepped coped verges. Cruciform plan comprising nave and chancel with bellcote at junction, north aisle and transepts with lean-to south porch in angle with nave. Nave south side: moulded eaves cornice has carving of crossed shield to centre with carved heads to corners. Two C15 square-headed cinquefoil-headed lights with 4 quatrefoils above; head-stops to label. Porch has 4-centred outer arch with hollow spandrels and square label. Outline of steep-pitched gabled roof above. Stone benches inside with blind paired chamfered rectangular openings to east wall. West end: stepped diagonal buttress to south-west corner and stepped buttress at right-angles to north-west corner. 3-light trefoil-headed window (c.1260) with hoodmould. North side: eaves cornice has crossed shield to centre like that on south and two C15 clerestory windows, also like those on south. Gabled bellcote at east end has restored C13 paired trefoil-headed openings with pierced oval above; outline of earlier chancel roof pitch visible on east face. Outline of gabled roof visible above south transept. This has 3-light trefoil-headed window (c.1260) in south wall; various scratch-dials to south-west corner. Lean-to north aisle is buttressed in 3 bays with infilled square-headed doorway to centre. North transept: north wall has similar window to that in south transept and weathered stone cross to gable. Small paired cusped lancets in east wall. C19 integral lateral stack to left with moulded circular shaft. Infilled semi-circular arch to east wall in angle with chancel and mirrored in north wall of latter may mark position of former squint between transept and chancel. Carved head of bishop or mitred abbot above arch in chancel. Chancel: infilled C13 lancet in north wall and square-headed C15 east window of 2 cinquefoil-headed lights with label. South side has 3-light trefoil-headed window to east similar to that in south transept but with open spandrels; square-headed C15 window with 2 cinquefoil-headed lights and label to west. Interior. Late C12 round-headed single-chamfered doorway with plain moulded imposts and roll-moulded hoodmould has carving of 2-headed face to apex and C17 nail-studded plank door with plain strap hinges; small consecration crosses incised in east jamb. North arcade in 4 bays has round-headed arches with hoodmoulds and recessed C13 quatrefoils to spandrels, left with carving of a man's head, centre a queen's head and right of a man's head with beasts to either side. Circular piers with moulded plinths on truncated square bases have mixture of stiff-leaf and other foliage carving to capitals, various scrath-dials to south-west corner. East respond has crocketed capital and west respond has foliage decoration between scalloped carving. Contemporary chancel arch is double-chamfered with inner order dying into jambs. Similar arch between nave and south transept except that inner order has corbelled responds with nail-head ornament to that on west. C19 tie beam roof in 4 bays to nave is probably based on late medieval form as rests on 10 carved stone corbels, including one depicting a green man to centre on north. Probably C17 roof of south transept retains 5 carved stone corbels from a late medieval roof and C19 roof in chancel sits above 2 tiers of carved stone corbels (13 in all) from successive medieval roofs. Cusped rere-arches to chancel south-east window, south transept window and nave west window; blocked window in north aisle has segmental head internally. C13 tub-shaped font with moulded plinth and circular base. Trefoil-headed piscina in south wall of south transept and a square-headed piscina with bowl formed from a C12 scalloped capital in south wall of chancel; sedile beneath south-east window. Infilled pointed doorway on north side cut by large Turner monument (see below). Nave benches and pulpit C19. Traces of medieval wall paintings to nave arcade including lozenge-shaped decoration to eastern respond and floral decoration to underside of eastern arch. Better preserved murals in north transept including early C14 figures under trefoil-headed arches on east and west walls representing scenes from the Massacre of the Innocents and the Presentation in the Temple and the Cain and Abel cycle respectively. Adam and Eve in west reveal of north window which has remnants of a Last Judgement scene above. Fragments of medieval stained glass in nave and late C15 equestrian figure of St. George in east window; more fragments in south-west window of chancel. Iron bars in all windows are probably C15. Monuments. Chancel, north side: large marble wall memorial to thomas Turner (d.1730); long inscription panels flanked by plain pilasters with Corinthian capitals and armorial device in roundel above to centre. To west James Turner (d.1799); plain memorial with open segmental pediment and urn to top. Small wall memorial to Hestera Turner (d.1683), chancel south side and to Anne Turner (d.1816) in same style as James Turner memorial. Late C17 grave slabs over Turner family vault in raised sanctuary. South transept, east wall: memorial to Edward Dore (d.1733); marble inscription panel flanked by pilasters with hanging garlands and surmounted by armorial device. Brass plate on floor to Penelope Goodenough (d.1671). 2 putti (presumably from a C18 monument) stand on window ledge. (Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, pp665-6; John Edwards: The Kelmscott Wall-Paintings: Oxoniensia L (1985), pp239-45) [2360]

Listing NGR: SU2491999368


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Sherwood, J , The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, (1974), 665-6
'Oxoniensia' in Oxoniensia, , Vol. 50, (1985), 239-45


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 19 Apr 2003
Reference: IOE01/10695/03
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ben White. Source Historic England Archive
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