Newnham Murren, St Mary's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The chancel roof is 16th century, again with king-posts and tie-beams. The rear arch and shafts of the double lancet east window are 13th century but the window was considerably rebuilt in the Victorian period. On the south wall are a 13th century sedilia and piscina, and on tyhe north side an double aumbry of the same date. The east window has colourful Victorian glass by the Powell company.
The font is Norman, though its clean and crisp lines suggest it was heavily recut, probably during the Victorian restoration of 1849. The bowl is set on a slender stem, and you can see evidence of the lock that once held a wooden cover in place.
In the south aisle is an Elizabethan brass to Letitia Barnard (d. 1593). In typical Elizabethan style, this monument shows Barnard kneeling at prayer, her 4 children behind her. But there is more to this appealling memorial than meets the eye; if you look by her hands you will see a hole. This is probably the result of a musket ball fired by a soldier during the Civil war siege of Wallingford in 1646.
The Ridgeway long distance path leads nearby, and can be used to stroll to another redundant Thames-side church at Mongewell, a mile to the south, and if you continue further south you come to North Stoke, where the church has wonderful 14th century wall paintings..
The oldest remaining parts of St Mary's are the Norman door and the chancel arch. The medieval roof is still in place, despite a Victorian restoration.
The church is no longer in use and is preserved by the Churches Conservation Trust. It is open during daylight hours (at least it was when we visited!). The hardest part of visiting is simply finding the church. There is no signposting from nearby roads that we could see, and it is not until you are practically on top of the church that you can see it is hidden amid the trees beside Newnham Farm. We parked in a layby on the Old Reading Road and followed the farm drive towards the river. The church is immediately south of the farm, in a copse of trees.
- HISTORIC HIGHLIGHTS
- 14th century nave roof
- Barnard brass, 1591
- Recut Norman font
- 13th century chancel
About Newnham Murren, St Mary's Church
Address: Newnham Murren, Oxfordshire, England
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Located up a farm track off the A4074 at Portway, south of Crowmarsh Gifford
Website: Newnham Murren, St Mary's Church
Churches Conservation Trust
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Wallingford, St Leonard's Church - 0.4 miles (Historic Church)
Wallingford, St Mary le More Church - 0.5 miles (Historic Church)
Wallingford, St Peter's Church - 0.5 miles (Historic Church)
Mongewell, St John's Church - 0.6 miles (Historic Church)
Wallingford Castle - 0.6 miles (Castle)
North Stoke, St Mary's Church - 1.5 miles (Historic Church)
South Stoke, St Andrew's Church - 3.2 miles (Historic Church)
Dorchester Abbey - 4 miles (Historic Church)
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