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Church of St Margaret, Oxford

Description: Church of St Margaret

Grade: II
Date Listed: 28 June 1972
English Heritage Building ID: 245860

OS Grid Reference: SP5057607813
OS Grid Coordinates: 450576, 207813
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7667, -1.2685

Location: St Margaret's Road, Oxford OX2 6TR

Locality: Oxford
Local Authority: Oxford City Council
County: Oxfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: OX2 6TR

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Listing Text


Church, 1883-93 by H.G.W. Drinkwater with south-west porch added by G.F. Bodley

MATERIALS: Main church of rubble stone; ashlar porch.

PLAN: Small chancel, an aisled and clerestoried nave, south chapel, south-west porch, vestry and choir vestry to north-east.

EXTERIOR: The church, of 1883-93, was designed by H.G.W. Drinkwater in the style of c.1300-1330. Mainly in coursed rubble stone, it comprises a lofty chancel, an equally imposing aisled and clerestoried nave, south chapel, and vestry and choir vestry to north-east. In 1898-9 G.F. Bodley added an ashlar south-west porch, intended to be the lower storeys of a tower that in the event was never realised.

INTERIOR: The interior is conventional and, especially its east end, reflects St. Margaret's High Church tradition. The rood screen is by Bodley and his partner Cecil Hare (gates 1896, rood 1907, cresting 1915), as are the small pulpit and tester. Dramatic wooden reredos with statues and Nativity scene and aumbry with gothic doors and painted interior both Cecil Hare, 1908. Another less-accomplished wooden reredos in N aisle by F.C. Howard, c.1930. Baptistry screen 1913, and font with elaborate timber cover, again by Hare. There is a great deal of late C19 and early C20 stained glass, the earliest windows being in the clerestory, some of these by Burlison and Grylls. The only other recorded designer is F.C. Eden who was responsible for all the Lady Chapel windows, the east window in the chancel, and the three later windows in the north aisle. The interior has always had seats rather than benches.

HISTORY: St. Margaret's was built 1883-93 as a chapel of ease to Saints Philip and James to accommodate the inhabitants of this part of north Oxford which had expanded markedly from the early C19. It replaced a mission room in Hayfield Road. The main body of the church was built between 1883 and c.1893 to designs by a local architect H.G.W. Drinkwater. The tower, begun in 1899, was designed by the rather more distinguished G.F. Bodley but was abandoned after the completion of the entrance porch. The attached Vicarage of c.1884 by Drinkwater is separately listed at Grade II.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: St. Margaret's is a large urban church, built in 1883-93 to accommodate the inhabitants of this part of north Oxford which had expanded markedly from the early C19. The main body of the church, in rubble stone, was designed by H.G.W. Drinkwater in the style of c.1300-1330. G.F. Bodley was to add a south-west tower in ashlar, but in the event only its porch storey was completed. In contrast to the rather austere exterior and barn-like (yet imposing) nave, the east end of the interior, dominated by a reredos by Bodley's partner Cecil Hare, has a range of high-quality and richly adorned fixtures and fittings reflecting its High Church tradition.

SOURCES: J. Sherwood and N. Pevsner, Oxfordshire (1974), 293; V.C.H. Oxfordshire 4 (1979), 410; P.M. Hunneyball, 'Survey of Iconography and Inscriptions at St. Margaret's Church, Oxford' (TS., 2004; copy in church papers).

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.