Little Barrington, St Peter's church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Norman tympanum set into the north wall
- Norman doorway
- Georgian wall paintings
- 12th century stone head carving
- 18th century Tayler memorial
A small Cotswold church with many Norman features, including a wonderfully carved south door, 12th century tower, and Georgian wall paintings.
Beside the chancel arch is a medieval squint, which was once blocked up but was uncovered in the 20th century. On a window ledge beside the organ is a carved head, believed to be 12th century. No one knows what purpose the head was carved to fulfill, but it may at one time have been a corbel head.
The Tayler MonumentOne feature of St Peter's is easy to miss - in fact I was about to leave the churchyard when my eagle-eyed wife pointed it out. Built into the exterior east wall of the south porch is a canopied memorial to the Tayler family. This is an unusual, though certainly not unique, place to find a memorial. What is unusual are the four carved stone figures that flank a central inscribed tablet.
The tablet commemorates William Tayler snr (d. 1699), his son William jnr (d. 1702), his wife Elizabeth (d. 1726) and their daughter Elizabeth (d. 1733). Yet, though the Taylers died in the first half of the 18th century the carved figures appear to be much older, almost medieval in style. Certainly the carvings would seem to have been taken from an older tomb, though where or what that tomb was we do not know.
The Norman TympanumAnother historic treasure is even harder to spot. If you walk around the church exterior to the north side will find a worn 12th century tympanum set into the wall, protected by a shingled awning from the worst of the weather. The tympanum carving shows Christ flanked by ministering angels. Though the figures are worn by 8 centuries exposure to the elements, you can clearly make out fine details of the angel's wings and draperies surrounding the central figures.
Entry is free, though donations are certainly welcome, and there is a very good information pamphlet available for a small fee. There is parking along the verge in front of the church. If you are up to a gentle stroll it is easy to combine a visit to St Peter's church with a walk across the Windrush valley to St Mary's, Great Barrington. Little Barrington is a quiet village, with some lovely Cotswold stone cottages around the wide green.
About Little Barrington
Address: Little Barrington, Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England, OX18
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: On a minor road off the A40, 3 miles west of Burford
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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