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Church of the Holy Trinity, Oxford

Description: Church of the Holy Trinity

Grade: II
Date Listed: 28 June 1972
English Heritage Building ID: 245915

OS Grid Reference: SP5545106867
OS Grid Coordinates: 455451, 206867
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7578, -1.1980

Location: 46 Trinity Road, Oxford OX3 8JT

Locality: Oxford
Local Authority: Oxford City Council
County: Oxfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: OX3 8JT

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Listing Text

612/25/854 TRINITY ROAD


Urban parish church. 1848-9 by George Gilbert Scott in the Decorated style. Nave, chancel, N aisle with Lady Chapel, large bellcote.

MATERIALS: Coursed rubble limestone with ashlar detailing (stone locally quarried from Quarry Farm Pit). Red tile roofs.

EXTERIOR: Nave with two-light and lancet windows and tall porch to S. W end with two windows, double bellcote and diagonal buttresses. Low N aisle with squat, square-headed windows in late medieval style. C20 vestry, single-storeyed with flat roof, extending N from E end of aisle. Chancel of same height as nave, with to S two two-light windows and low door, and to E diagonal buttresses and three-light window.

INTERIOR: Little altered, apart from addition of Lady Chapel at E end of N aisle in 1990s. Limestone arcade, chancel arch, and window surounds, otherwise plastered and limewashed. Stone pulpit and font. Stained glass in E window by Sir Ninian Comper. Plain benches in nave and aisle.

HISTORY: In 1847 Bishop Wilberforce preached a sermon which marked the start of fundraising efforts, intended to provide an Anglican place of worship for Headington Quarry, 'a hamlet, the peculiar circumstances of which demand the sympathy and assistance of Christian neighbours'. The church was built 1848-9. It was designed by George Gilbert Scott and the contractors were Wyatt's of Oxford.

Worshippers at Holy Trinity have included the novelist C.S. Lewis (for 30 years a member of the congregation) and his brother Warren ('Warnie'); a plaque marks where they sat, and a Narnia window was consecrated in 1991. Both are buried in the churchyard, as are William Merry Kimber, the father of the English Morris dance tradition, and Robert Doyne, eye surgeon.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: This is an early commission by George Gilbert Scott, a leading figure in the Victorian Gothic Revival. This is an assured design and a convincing evocation of a late medieval church. The association with C.S. Lewis is also of note. It has further historic interest as the fruits of a characteristically evangelical C19 church-building campaign.

SOURCES: J. Sherwood and N. Pevsner, Buildings of England: Oxfordshire (1974), 337; K. Clark, The Gothic Revival (1928, 1962); Gavin Stamp, 'Scott, Sir George Gilbert (1811-1878)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; Victoria County History of Oxfordshire 5 (1957), 167.

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.