About Us


The Church of St. Lawrence was famously built by Augustus Pugin. 

Pugin is principally remembered for his pioneering role in the Gothic Revival style of architecture which, in C19, gradually replaced ‘Classical’ styles in popularity, influencing and inspiring the likes of George Gilbert Scott. Pugin’s work culminated in designing the interior of the Palace of Westminster. Pugin designed many churches in England, Ireland and Australia. A convert to Cartholicism in 1834, Pugin's conversion acquainted him with new patrons and employers and his work flourished, hence most of Pugin’s ecclesiastical commissions were for the Roman Catholic faith.

A need for a church was perceived in 1839, for 190 inhabitants of Tubney village who having no church, found it difficult to travel to neighbouring Fyfield or Appleton. Magdalene College therefore decided that £200 be subscribed towards its construction.

St. Lawrence's Church in Tubney, was Pugin’s ONLY ever Protestant church building therefore making it somewhat unique .

Pugin’s touch is seen not only in design & construction but uniquely in the interior fittings which delightfully remain unchanged and include a font given by Queen Adelaide (d.1849). The interior contains an encaustic tile floor, a trussed rafter roof with embattled wall plate has fine stencilled painting, (probably by Pugin) and the pulpit in the Nave, lectern and some benches have carved ends executed by Pugin. Reputedly, Pugin was also responsible for all brass candelabra & many of the fixtures and fittings right down to the chalice & plate communition ware.

The church at Tubney, was sadly visited by tragedy. In 1951, the roof collapsed, and the building was left in disrepair due to lack of funds. Luckily, in 1952, the centenary of Pugin's death, the Poet Laureate John Betjeman, a lover of Victoriana, presented a radio program about the architect and his life; in it he lamented the fate of Tubney church and launched an appeal for its restoration. Money poured in, and the church was rebuilt.

This generosity attests both to the love for Betjeman and to the esteem in which Pugin was held, (even a century after his death). The Church of St. Lawrence and the long since demolished Magdalen Gateway (another Pugin commission) were two small contributions to the architectural face of Oxford and its environs. The gateway and church also stood as examples, however modest, of what Pugin could have done for Oxford were he to have been given the chance. (Pugin had earlier been denied the opportunity to renovate Balliol College because of his somewhat singular views). The correspondence relating to the building of the church is still held in the archives of Magdalen College, Oxford.

Practically the only difference to the design penned by Pugin are  two stained glass windows at the west end which were installed in memory of Richard Blackwell of Blackwell's Publishers and Bookshop Oxford.   

If you would like to visit the church then please contact the churchwarden so arrangements can be made. Outside of services, the church is normally locked.