Church of England Diocese of Oxford Garsington

Our building

The following material is condensed from the historic leaflet written by the Garsington Local History Group for the church in 1996. Copies of the leaflet are available in the church.

St Mary’s church tower was part of the original late 12c church. Apart from the tower, there is little left of this early building, which would have had a chancel, nave and tower.

The North Aisle and present Chancel are from the late 13c. They are considered a fine example of the transition from the Early English to the Decorated style of architecture. The South Aisle was added in the early 14c. A wooden porch over the south door was provided in Tudor Times but replaced in the 19c by the present porch. In the 15c the nave roof was raised and the clerestory added, bringing more light into the church. The whole church was re-roofed and re-paved in the 19c restoration. The altar stone is original, having been rediscovered and restored to its present position during the 19c restoration. The stained glass of the East Window and of the armorial patterns in the chancel windows is Victorian.

The font is a Victorian copy of the 13c font at Weston, Lincolnshire, given in 1846 replacing an 18c font. The wainscot pulpit and reading desk date from the Victorian restoration. The carved oak reredos of 1912 was commissioned in memory of the Revd David Thomas.

There is a peal of six bells. The oldest, the Treble, was cast in 1696, and the most recent, the Tenor, in 1788. The bells were retuned and rehung in 2013. The clock in the tower is noteworthy. It was made by John Thwaites of Clerkenwell, London in 1796 at a cost of £172. The clock has two faces. Each face is marked in quarter hours and has a single hand. The clock chimes the hour on the tenor bell. In 1985 the clock was renovated and an automatic winder installed at a cost of £4000. The two-manual organ with pedals was installed in 1895 at a cost of £164, replacing a harmonium. It is a rebuilt organ by Martin and Coate of Cowley.

This page last updated August 27th 2014.