Chadlington, St Nicholas Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Unusual Green man carving
The church we see today retains Norman stonework, with later Early English rebuilding. The most interesting external feature is an array of gargoyles and grotesque carved heads adorning the chancel and roofline. Not all the carved heads are grotesque; indeed, not all are ancient. The large east window has carved heads depicting Queen Victoria to the south and the Bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce to the north. This is typical Victorian symbolism, with the representatives of church and state balancing each other.
The original Norman church consisted of a chancel and nave. In the 13th century aisles were added in Early English style - look for the pointed arches in the nave arcades. The bell tower was added in the 14th century, in a more elaborate Decorated Gothic style. The tower is unusual in that the east wall extends into the nave itself, creating an odd projection inside the west end of the building.
In 1870 Charles Buckeridge was called in to rebuild the ageing church in Victorian Gothic. The chancel is almost entirely Buckeridge's work, and features beautiful floor tiles. At the same time a coal-fired boiler was built in a crypt under the south aisle. Since the church had no direct water-supply, a header tank was installed in the tower clock-chamber. The tank had to be filled with water carried in buckets up the spiral stair that winds up inside the tower. Pity the poor water-carriers!
The most obvious remnant of an earlier church on the site is a round-headed arch set into the north nave arcade near the pulpit. Nearby is a small hole piercing the chancel arch. This allowed a Gospel reader in the rood loft to see the high altar during services.
There are very few memorials of note in the church. Two in the chancel stand out; one is to Joseph Rollinson (d. 1699), while opposite is a marble monument to Sir William Osbaldeston (d. 1740) and his wife, Lady Catherine Osbaldeston (d. 1737).
To the best of our knowledge St Nicholas is open daily.. I've visited Chadlington church on two occasions so far, and enjoyed the experience enormously. You can sit in the churchyard on a sunny afternoon and feel like you're a million miles from anywhere; a sense of peace and timelessness clings to the village and the church.
About Chadlington, St Nicholas Church
Address: Church Road, Chadlington, Oxfordshire, England, OX7 3LX
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Beside Chadlington manor house in the centre of the village. Parking along Church Road. Usually open daylight hours.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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Little Tew, St John the Evangelist Church - 5.1 miles (Historic Church)
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Nearest Accommodation to Chadlington, St Nicholas Church: