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Little
Wittenham

St. Peter's Church

Little Wittenham has a very pretty church. It is surprising to find that it is not terribly ancient, for it was almost entirely rebuilt in 1862. The original building was built for the monks of Abingdon Abbey who held a monastic grange next door.

The 14th century tower is original, as is its 'Ace of Spades' window - a reminder that this playing card paid for its erection when it brought a huge win to a local merchant! This may be a variant on the old story which suggests that the last of the Dunch family at the manor gambled away his home to King James II. The Dunches once had a family chapel on the south side of the chancel. Their fine monuments are now squeezed into the space under the tower. The great treasure of the church is the large monument to Sir William Dunch (1612) and his wife, Mary, the aunt of Oliver Cromwell. The Tudor brasses surrounding it include the first William Dunch (1597). There is a good collection of earlier brasses in the chancel: Geoffrey Kidwelly (1483) has an altar-style monument. His wife (1472) is on the floor with other members of this Lancastrian family from Wales who entered into the service of King Henry VI.

   

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