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Description: Church of St Mary
Date Listed: 27 August 1956
English Heritage Building ID: 251759
OS Grid Reference: SP2796617980
OS Grid Coordinates: 427966, 217980
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8597, -1.5953
Explore more of the area around Shipton-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire at Explore Britain.
SHIPTON-UNDER-WYCHWOOD CHURCH STREET
7/46 Church of St Mary
Parish Church. Early C13, extended C14, altered C15, restored 1859 by Diocesan
Architect G E Street who virtually rebuilt the chancel. Rubble with freestone
dressings, leaded roofs to nave and aisles, stone slate to chancel. 3-bay clere-
storied nave with aisles extended as north and south chapels, south porch and west
tower; vestry to north-east. Irregular plinths. Parapeted aisles and nave walls,
high ptiched chancel roof. Principal feature is the 3-stage west tower with angle
buttresses weathered to each stage and thus forming virtually clasping buttresses to
upper stage; the tower is early-mid C13 and carried a heavy stone spire which has
crude ball-capped pinnacles on shallow broaching, gabled lucarnes to cardinal faces
capped by grotesques carrying crosses and which is finished off by a copper ball
below the weathervane. The west doorway has developed C13 mouldings and ornament
including the floral caps of nook shafts but retains chevron, here heavily undercut.
The tower is flanked by lean-tos thought to represent C12 clasping aisles, the north
one has a cusped arch doorway and is archaeologically more convincing than the south
one which has been heavily bricked up. Slate tracery to bell chamber, bar tracery
to lucarnes. North aisle has transitional Decorated - Perpendicular style tracery
of late C14, more straight forwardly rectilinear tracery to clerestory and south
side, east window large and with geometrical tracery (by Street), C14 moulded
doorways to south porch and to south (Reade) chapel. The 2-storey south porch has
niches flanking the chamber window containing quite good (if defaced) sculpture of
mid C14 date: left-hand a single figure, thought to be St John, right-hand crocket-
ted canopy over an elegant Annunication; vaulted ground floor.
Interior plastered, see Pevsner for arcades, font, mediaeval stone pulpit and major
monuments; the ogee cusped recess in north wall contains an earlier and overlarge
effigy whose head is stuffed in on top of the body with ludicrous effect. Pews and
choir stalls by Street; west window by Morris and Company some painted scenes of
circa 1859 survive behind the organ.
The interior is well described by Pevsner apart from the tower arches which are
unusual and interesting: chamfered orders, moulded impost strips broken round,
water-hold in bases, main arch to east, lower arches to north and south. A good
parish church, the spire a bucolic version of Witney's.
N Pevsner & J Sherwood: Oxfordshire (Building of England Series, 1974).
Listing NGR: SP2796617985
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.