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Listed Building
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Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST MARY
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Statutory Address:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cherwell (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 47089 35378


SP4735 ADDERBURY HIGH STREET (West side) Adderbury East 7/51 Church of St. Mary 08/12/55

GV I Church. Early C13 and early C14; chancel and vestry 1409-19 by Richard Winchcombe for New College Oxford; chancel restored c.1831 by J.C. Buckler; nave restored c.1866 by Sir G.G. Scott; further restoration 1886 by J.O, Scott. Marlstone rubble and ashlar with limestone-ashlar dressings; lead roofs. Cruciform plan with north and south aisles and porches, vestry and west tower. Winchcombe's sumptuous 3-bay ashlar chancel, with a high moulded plinth and elaborate stepped buttresses with crocketed pinnacles facing the upper stages, has 4-centre-arched windows in deep casement mouldings with restored Perpendicular tracery and crenellated transoms; to south is a Tudor-arched priest's door with ornamented spandrels, and to north, a contemporary 2-storey vestry in similar style projects from the middle bay and has a fine traceried bay window with a crenellated parapet. Plain chancel parapet has large winged gargoyles, and above the east window is a head of William of Wykeham and the arms of New College. Rubble transepts retain C13 clasping buttresses and moulded strings, but have large 4-light C13 windows with restored geometrical tracery; both have tall C15 paired clerestory windows, arched on the south transept and square-headed on the north. C14 aisles, with 3- and 4-light Decorated windows with restored geometrical and flowing tracery, have remarkable carved friezes below the parapets, depicting grotesque faces, animals and musicians. C14 porches have simpler friezes and wave-moulded entrance arches. South door is richly moulded with attached shafts and an elaborate hood mould ornamented with ballflower. The 3 main doors have very fine ironwork: the hinges and the handle on the north and west doors probably medieval, those on the south door C19. Nave clerestory has 3-light C15 windows with pointed-segmental arches. Early-C14 tower, of 4 unequal stages with diagonal buttresses, has a wave-moulded west door below a 3-light window with intersecting uncusped tracery, and has similar openings in the tall bell-chamber stage. The late-C14 pierced trefoil parapet rises from a further elaborate frieze and has winged corner gargoyles; large octagonal pinnacles with ball finials are set back behind the parapet and cluster round the octagonal limestone spire which has triangular-headed traceried lucarnes between the pinnacles. Interior: chancel retains fine carved corbels and head-stops of bishops and kings, and has a restored 3-seat sedilia, piscina and reredos of great elaboration and quality; the C19 figures flanking the east window stand in tall C15 niches with superb pinnacled and crocketed canopies. Chancel roof is Cl9 in C15 style. Tall chancel arch is C14, but 4-bay nave arcades are C13, though possibly altered in C14; they have octagonal columns with moulded circular capitals. Both transepts retain C13 blind arcading with detached shafts, plus the splays of several lancets built up in C14. South transept has a small cusped piscina and a later double piscina with a traceried triangular head; north transept has a C13 aumbry with a cusped head. 2-bay late-C14 arcades opening from transepts to aisles have slender moulded columns, set diagonally, and capitals with male and female heads, some linking arms as at Bloxham and Hanwell Churches (q.v.). Both aisles have a tomb recess, that to north probably a restoration. C15 roof of nave has 8 king-post trusses with cusped and moulded arched braces rising from wall posts, and with further cusped bracing extending in 4 directions from the kingposts; Cl9 aisle roofs repeat the design. Panelled font in Perpendicular style of 1831 by John Plowman. Oak fittings are C19 except for a fine traceried C15 rood screen, restored and given an elaborate roof loft by Gilbert Scott, and some C17 panelling in the transepts from former box pews; also 2 old chests and an early-C18 communion table. Chancel fittings include return stalls with misericord seats, and an organ case by Gilbert Scott. Monuments include a brass to Jane Smith (d.1508) and a painted wooden memorial to Thomas More (d,1586). Stained glass includes armorial glass of 1834 by Willement. 2 windows in the transepts by Ward and Hughes (1870 and 1888), a window of 1905 by Clayton and Bell, and the west window of 1912 by Powell and Sons. I+; -- ~ (Buildings of England: Oxfordshire: pp413-15); VCH: 0xfordshire: Vol IX, p12)

Listing NGR: SP4708635375


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), 413-15
Salzman, L F, The Victoria History of the County of Oxford, (1969), 12


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: 08 May 2001
Reference: IOE01/04024/26
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Nick Allen. Source Historic England Archive
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