British Listed Buildings

History in Structure

If you log in, you can comment on buildings, submit new photos or update photos that you've already submitted.

We need to upgrade the server that this website runs on. Can you spare a quid to help?.

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Witney

Description: Church of St Mary the Virgin

Grade: I
Date Listed: 14 May 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 252600

OS Grid Reference: SP3562109248
OS Grid Coordinates: 435621, 209248
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7808, -1.4850

Location: Station Lane, Witney, Oxfordshire OX8 6AW

Locality: Witney
Local Authority: West Oxfordshire District Council
County: Oxfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: OX8 6AW

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument, Bishop of Winchester's Palace, 90m East of St Mary's Church, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

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

Listing Text

SP3509S (South side)
11/40 Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Church. C12, rebuilt mid C13; early C14 chapels added to north transept and west
end of north aisle; south transept enlarged C15; restored 1865-9 by G.E. Street.
Coursed and uncoursed limestone rubble with ashlar dressings; gabled stone slate
roof. Cruciform plan, with tower over crossing and ailed nave and transepts.
Hood moulds linked to string course above mid C13 east window of graduated
triple lancets; north side of chancel has 3 mid C13 lancets and a C15
three-light Perpendicular window; south side has 2 similar lancets above C13
pointed chamfered doorway, and south chapel with similar door and lancet and C15
restored 3-light Perpendicular window. North transpept: east side has mid C13
lancet and C15 offset buttress, early C14 three-light curvilinear window, and a
Perpendicular 3-light window, now mainly C20; north end has early C14 corner
buttresses with cusped and ogee-headed statue niches and a fine 7-light
curvilinear north window; west side has 3-light curvilinear window, and a
similar 3-light window and C15 square-headed 2-light window to the aisle; entire
transept has early C14 corbel table with carved heads of beasts and humans and a
C15 clerestory with two 2-light windows to east and gargoyles beneath parapet.
South transept: east side has 2 mid C13 lancets, a blocked C12 round-arched
chamfered doorway and a blocked C13 double-chamfered archway to former chapel;
offset buttresses; fine C15 Perpendicular 5-light transomed south window; west
aisle has C15 3-light window with panel tracery to south, sundial in south-west
cornice, and similar windows to north bay and to west chapel window; C15 parapet
with gargoyles to aisle and transept; C15 clerestory with quatrefoil lights. In
south-east corner are steps to C13 doorway of stair-turret to tower over
crossing, Bell-stage with triplets of roll-moulded lancets; corner pinnacles to
octagonal ribbed spire which has gabled lucarnes, with louvred 2-light
plate-tracery windows, surmounted by crouching figures. Late C12 north porch has
chamfered round arch of 4 orders and jamb shafts with stiff-leaf capitals;
gabled C15 room above has trefoiled lights flanking canopied statue niche;
round-arched doorway east of porch blocked by C15 chapel; gargoyles beneath
parapet. Interior: canopied reredos with marble figures by Clayton and Bell,
1884, piscina and sedilia by G.E. Street, 1865-7. Chamfered mid Cl3 tower arches
of 3 orders. North transept: two C13 rere-arches with bell capitals to shafts
and blocked chamfered doorway with red and blue colouring to east; one east
window rebuilt in C15, with reredos beneath which has 3 cusped ogee recesses
above quatrefoil band; C16/C17 parish chest; rebated aumbry to west, next to C13
two-bay arcade of double-chamfered arches; west chapel of transept has C15
doorway, plank door to chamber over porch and reredos of 3 ogee recesses, one
with C20 statue of St. George; C13 scalloped corbels and C15 corbels of
crouching figures to mid C19 tie-beam roof. South transept: shafted rere-arches
of 2 mid C13 east windows; also, rebated aumbry, blocked early C13
pointed-chamfered doorway and mid C13 roll-moulded piscina; 3-bay arcade to west
aisle has C13 double-chamfered archways to north and C15 archway to south; C15
four-centred archway to west chapel. South transept and aisle have 5-bay
tie-beam roofs with quartered and moulded beams. Nave: pulpit, lectern, pews and
font by G.E. Street, 1965-7; C13 four-bay arcades of double-chamfered archways;
C15 restored 5-bay tie-beam roof, with quartered and moulded tie beams. North
aisle; aid C19 roof an early C14 head and shield corbels. Early C14 two-bay
double-chamfered arcade to north chapel; fine early C15 screen with open and
blind traceried panels divided by openwork band of quatrefoils. South transept
has restored C15 roof with moulded beams and ashlar plate on C14 and C15 head
and shield corbels. Monuments: crossing has mid C19 wall tablet and marble
memorial by Grimsley to Edward Augustine Batt, d.1853, which depicts the Good
Samaritan. South chapel: C18 and C19 wall tablets; tomb chest, with quatrefoils
enclosed in lozenges around the sides, and Purbeck marble slab with brasses of
Richard Wennan (d.1501) and his 2 wives. Brass to Richard Ashcombe, d.1606, in
chancel. C14 effigies of man and woman in north transept. North-west chapel has
C14 effigy of an ecclesiastic, and wall monument to Sir Francis Wenman (d.1680)
in rustic Baroque style: oval panel, set in open pedimented aedicule surmounted
by crest, carved with swags, strapwork, cherubs etc. Stained glass: mid C19
memorial glass in most windows, east window by Clayton and Bell (1879) and west
window by Wailes (1867).
(Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, pp. 843-845; National Monuments Record; T,J.
Cooper, "The Restoration of St. Mary's Parish Church", Record of Witney, No.13
(1982), pp. 4-9).

Listing NGR: SP3562209244

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.