Northmoor, St Denys Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Around 1145 the Abbey of Reading and the Abbey of St Denis clashed over who should have parochial rights for Northmoor village, and the matter was settled in favour of the French abbey. As part of the settlement, a separate parish of Northmoor was created, and the church that we see today was built shortly after 1148.
In 1555 Sir Thomas White, Lord Mayor of London, and the man most responsible for the building of St John''s College, Oxford, purchased the right to revenues of St Denys from the crown. This he used to add to the endowment of the college.
The strong link between St John's and Northmoor is mainted to this day and commemorated in the pair of armourial shields on either side of the east window, which bear the college arms. Another reminder of the link between St John's College and Northmoor is the set of 17th century altar rails. These were originally donated by Archbishop Laud to St John's College, and they were installed in the college chapel until 1843.
The church is composed of a nave with north and south transepts, chancel, west tower, and south porch. Most of the church dates to the period 1260-1280. In addition, there is a strange structure built onto the exterior of the north wall of the nave that is thought to be a pigeon loft. The Benedictine rule prohibited monks from eating strong meat but could occasionally eat pigeon pie, hence any sensible monk, like those administering Northmoor church, would have been keen to keep a supply of pigeons on hand.
The original oriflamme, which translates loosely as 'golden flame', hung in the abbey of St Denis in Paris. It was thought to protect the monarch and his men from evil and defeat. During the early medieval period it was carried into battle by French kings with great ceremony, a custom that was discontinued after it was carried into the Battle of Agincourt, where the French suffered massive defeat.
Between the More tombs is the tomb chest memorial to Sir Edmund Warcupp (d. 1712), a speak of the House of Commons and captain the Parliamentary army in 1659, who later switched sides and helped restore Charles II to the throne.
There are a number of excellent carved corbel heads throughout the church.
About Northmoor, St Denys Church
Address: Church Road, Northmoor, Oxfordshire, England, OX29 5SX
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: On the minor road through the village. Lots of parking along the road.
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
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11th century (Time Period) - 13th century (Time Period) - 17th century (Time Period) - Charles II (Person) - Early English (Architecture) - Edward IV (Person) - Medieval (Time Period) - Parliamentary (Historical Reference) - wall paintings (Historical Reference) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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South Leigh, St James the Great - 4.1 miles (Historic Church)
North Hinksey Conduit House - 4.8 miles (Historic Building)
Buckland, St Mary - 5 miles (Historic Church)
Godstow Abbey - 5.5 miles (Abbey)
Cogges Manor Farm Museum - 5.6 miles (Museum)
Witney, St Mary's Church - 5.6 miles (Historic Church)
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