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Church of St Michael, Cumnor

Description: Church of St Michael

Grade: I
Date Listed: 9 February 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 249708

OS Grid Reference: SP4614704134
OS Grid Coordinates: 446147, 204134
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7340, -1.3332

Location: 3 Abingdon Road, Cumnor OX2 9PE

Locality: Cumnor
Local Authority: Vale of White Horse District Council
County: Oxfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: OX2 9PE

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Explore more of the area around Cumnor, Oxfordshire at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

SP4605 (South side)
13/33 Church of St. Michael
Church. Late Saxon origins: mainly late C12 tower, nave and chancel: c.1300
south transept and early C14 north aisle. Uncoursed limestone rubble with ashlar
dressings: squared masonry blocks to C12 tower and C15 clerestory. Gabled stone
slate roofs. Chancel, nave with north aisle, south transept and west tower.
Three-light reticulated east window. 2-bay chancel has 2-light windows of c.1300
to south, pointed chamfered priest's door and adjoining Transitional lancet to
north. South transept of c.1300 has reticulated 3-light south window, 2-light
curvilinear east window and unusual west window with triangular head and lozenge
tracery (see Church of St. Lawrence, North Hinksey (q.v.)). South wall of nave:
tall late C13 transomed 2-light window lies west of recessed section of wall
which has late C12 corbel table with anthropomorphic heads and stone lintel over
late Saxon doorway: clerestory has one C15 two-light cinquefoil-headed window
and late C14 two-light trefoil-headed window: parapet has corbel table with
fleuron frieze, and is swept round east gable of nave to north clerestory, which
has three C15 two-light ogee-headed windows and one early C16 two-light
round-headed window. Early C14 north aisle has two 2-light reticulated windows
flanking late C19 stone porch: pointed and hollow-chamfered doorway frames C14
door: door made of lapped planks to front and crossed battens dovetailed into
outer edge to rear, with scrolled hinges and iron-twist knocker. Late C12 tower
of 3 stages marked by string courses: pointed lancet over Transitional doorway
with roll-moulded arch set on one order of shafts with plain abaci: Transitional
belfry windows with stone-slate louvres and continuous linking hood moulds: late
C12 corbel table with gargoyles and parapet. Interior: chancel windows have
roll-moulded Transitional rere-arches. Early C18 communion rail with
barley-sugar and fluted balusters. C15 bench ends have poppyheads carved with
monsters, chameleons and the Emblems of Christ's Passion. Early C17 chancel rail
with turned balusters. C15 two-bay waggon roof has moulded cornice and tie beams
with angel corbels. Transitional (probably early C13) chancel arch with
ballflower-carved and scalloped corbels. Nave: fine Jacobean 2-decker pulpit and
Clerk's Stall-cum-Lectern with relief carving. Flamboyant style late C19 font at
west end. C15 five-bay cambered tie-beam roof supported by arch braces with
quatrefoil spandrels springing from reset late C12 head corbels. Late C13
four-bay north arcade: hood moulds with face-mask and leaf-paterae stops over
chamfered pointed arches set on circular and octagonal piers with octagonal
abaci. North aisle has C15 lean-to roof with moulded and quartered beams
supported by thin arch braces springing from reset late C12 head corbels: some
C18 panelling, late C17 communion table and early C14 piscina. Pointed moulded
arch to south transept which has blocked door to former rood loft, 2 face
corbels for statues and ogee-headed piscina; C17 parish chest and 2-bay
queen-post roof. South transept was chantry chapel of Abingdon Abbey: 2
Decorated tomb recesses have cinquefoiled arches with ballflower carving, and 2
coffin lids carved with floreated crosses. Late C12 Transitional arch to west
tower: triple roll-moulded pointed arch set on shafts of 3 orders with scalloped
capitals. West tower has very fine spiral staircase inscribed TB/GN/1685 which
rises to belfry: winders are tenoned into octagonal newel post and into closed
string with turned balusters: an excellent example of traditional joinery.
Monuments: Anthony Forster, d.1572 and wife Anne d.1599, of Purbeck marble:
Gothic-style tomb chest and Gothic carved canopy with Tudor-flower cresting
supported by unfluted Ionic columns: carved back-plate has brasses of Forster
and his wife set out over long Latin elegy to Forster, who was involved with the
death of Amy Robsart at Cumnor Place. C17 ledger stones set in nave floor. Wall
brass in nave to James Welsh, d.1612, and wife Margery, d.1615, has long
epitaph. Wall monument to Norris Hodson, d.1740 on Commodore Anson's
circumnavigation of the globe and "buried in the great South Sea": coloured
heraldic achievement with angels' heads and doggerel verse inscribed on the
tablet. Wall tablet to antiquary Dr. Benjamin Buckler, d.1780, and coloured
marble tomb chest to Sir William Hunter, historian and surveyor of British India
who died 1900. North aisle: memorial in floor to infant Frances Peacock, d.1685:
two C18 wall monuments to Peacock family; wall monument set in architectural
frame with palm sprays to Dudson Baker, d.1715, and wife. Fine late C16 statue
of Queen Elizabeth at west end of north aisle: was removed from Dean Court, and
has C19 head, dexter hand and sceptre. Stained glass: east window by kempe,
1901, in memory of Sir William Hunter. West window of St. George also by Kempe
1889. South transept window of 1858. West window of south transept has 3
roundels of armorial glass. North aisle window has part of C15 Flemish glass
reset at head. This church shared its ancient hill-top site with Cumnor Place
which was built for the abbots of Abingdon Abbey, achieved notoriety for the
supposed murder of Amy Robsart by the Earl of Leicester and Anthony Forster, and
was demolished in 1811: features from it were reused at and around the Church of
All Saints, Wytham (q.v.).
(Buildings of England: Berkshire, pp. 124-5; V.C.H.: Berkshire, Vol.IV,

Listing NGR: SP4614804132

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.