White Hart Crest of the Royal County of Berkshire David Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History

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All Saints' Church, Wytham - © Nash Ford PublishingWytham
All Saints' Church 

Hidden away, near the entrance to Wytham ‘Abbey’, Wytham Church has an initial appealing northern vista, but disappointment soon sets in; for views from the west and east  are only possible from the high walled private garden of the ‘Abbey’. Thus, the building’s most interesting features, three Edward III windows  (not the glass), removed from the infamous Cumnor Place upon its demolition, can only be seen from the interior. The east window is also from Cumnor, but this has been severely cut down. There is also a Latin inscription over the churchyard gate. Internally, the church betrays itself as an early 19th century structure, despite the medieval looking exterior. The whole is a bit of a mish-mash. The western gallery is edging towards Strawberry Hill Gothic while the main eastern glass very baroque. The place was completely rebuilt for the 5th Earl of Abingdon, who lived at the ‘Abbey,’ in 1810, although it is remarkable how many fittings from the previous building survive. There is the 17th century porch, as well as some medieval roof corbels. One is carved as a bagpiper, but they are high up and difficult to see properly. The other glass in the chancel includes some interesting European Tudor pieces and slightly later heraldry from the ‘Abbey’. The finest glass is one of Anning Bell’s last works in the nave, a beautiful arts-and-crafts-cum-art-nouveau depiction of St. George & the Virgin. Small pieces of late 14th century glass above may feature King Richard II. The other great treasure of All Saints’ is the Wytham Brass. A magnificent portrayal of early 15th century dress, commemorating a past  lord of the manor, Robert de Wytham, and his wife, one of the last of the Golafres from Fyfield. Robert’s armour is a particularly interesting example, half-way between earlier and later styles. Although, unfortunately, he has lost his legs. The family arms can be seen on the brass, but better still on the roof above. It features the River Thames, with Oxford and Wytham pinpointed by two stars.

This is not the official Wytham Church website. Please do NOT mail me about use of the church. Visit the C of E's Church Near You website instead.

    © Nash Ford Publishing 2010. All Rights Reserved. The location of this church is now administered by Oxfordshire County Council.