Church of England Diocese of Oxford Hornton

About Us

The Church is Grade I listed. 

Both church and village are built from the same golden Hornton stone - ironstone - which was once quarried locally.The village has Saxon origins and the present church building dates from the late 12C. The nave and north aisle, the Norman pillars and the cylindrical font have survived from this period. In the 13C the chancel seems to have been re-constructed and the north aisle lengthened to the west. In the early 14C the chancel was rebuilt, an anchorhold or chapel added on the north side, the south arcade of two bays was built and a clerestory added. A flat timbered roof replaced the steeply pitched one and the doorways and the windows were re-modelled. The Tower dates from 14C. During the 15C a four light east window was added. The remains of a painted reredos of this period can be seen next to the pulpit

The church is fortunate to have several intriguing examples of medieval wall painting, giving a glimpse of how rich and colourful the interior once looked. There is a fine 14C pieta on the left of the chancel and on the right a  painting depicting the Black Prince as St.George. Together with a French fleur-de-lys, there is a Prince's coronet and single ostrich feathers - the Black Prince's emblem - can be seen in the background.

The famous painting over the chancel arch is known as a "Doom". These strange, pale figures represent part of a painting of The Last Judgement. From recent research it appears to date from 13C or 14C. It was much overpainted in succeeding centuries, including a coat of limewash during Cromwell's time. Originally it must have extended over the entire chancel arch and down both sides underneath the Pieta and the Black Prince.

In the floor of the South aisle there are two brass figures purported to be of a yeoman, Thomas Sharman (died 1586) and his son. There is also a small fragment of medieval glass remaining, depicting the arms of the Verdun family who were the Norman owners of the lay manor of Horley and Hornton.

In 2018 the Church underwent a major refurbishment making it much more community friendly. A fully accessible toilet and a new vestry were built, a new Servery fitted and a modern audio-visual sound system installed. The Church is now able to host major events for the neighboring Village Primary School, for Charity Fundraising, for Village Concerts and for the Village History Society.