History at Kirtlington


What you see of St Mary’s church is both modern and ancient, for it dates back over a thousand years. A meeting was held here by King Edward the Martyr in 977, and the Saxon priest is named in the Domesday Book, but almost nothing survives from this period. The tower arches are early Norman, the nave thirteenth century, though the south side was rebuilt in the fourteenth: clerestory and south porch were added a century later, as was the wall-painting of St. George and St. Christopher. The altar and pulpit are Jacobean. In the eighteenth century the Dashwood family turned the Lady Chapel into a family chapel and pulled down the tower (in response to the neurotic fears of the dowager Lady Dashwood): it was rebuilt in Norman style in 1853. The chancel, restored by the Dashwoods, is fine Victorian work by Sir Gilbert Scott: the mediaeval south window, priest’s door, double aumbry and double piscina were discovered during rebuilding. The stained glass is Victorian. Re-ordering begun in 2009 has replaced poor quality Victorian pews and tiles in the nave with handsome chairs and York paving (with underfloor heating); the Victorian font was moved, and modern plumbing, including a lavatory, introduced.

There is seating for 64 people in the green chairs, and there are 80 wooden chairs and 16 people can sit in the Choir stalls.