Little Faringdon, St Margaret's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 13th century stained glass in the nave
Unusually, St Margaret's porch was built at at the same time as the nave and chancel (12th century), rather than added later. As you enter the porch look for the holy water stoup by the door, and three incised crosses on the left external door pillar. The church guide calls these 'Crusader crosses', though quite how they draw that conclusion is unclear. There are more 'Crusader crosses' on the exterior of the chancel wall.
The wonderful nave arcade dates from around 1200, with rounded columns and intricately carved foliated capitals. The arcade is decorated with wonderfully expressive carved heads in the spandrels and at the apex of the arches. A carved head behind the pulpit shows traces of wall painting.
The font is 12th century, in a tub shape, though oddly perched atop a moulded central column with carved niches. There would have been a chancel screen, but marks at the top of the chancel arch suggests that the screen was roughly hacked out with axes by Cromwell's soldiers.
Many of the church furnishings date to a Victorian restoration carried out by the 2nd Baron de Mauley in Gothic Revival style. Though the Victorians reroofed the nave, they rused the original stone corbels which bear armorial shields.
Here's one of the best reasons to come to Little Faringdon! The south nave window has a wonderful collection of 13th century glass. These roundels are supposed to have come from Salisbury Cathedral, though how they ended up here is anyone's guess! There are further fragments of 17th century Dutch glass; the differences between the medieval and 17th century glass is striking. The west window has glass by the famous Victorian maker CE Kemp; look for his trademark wheatsheaf symbol in the right-hand light.
If you have a moment walk around the outside of the church to find the blocked north door into the aisle. The arch above the doorway has a Maltese consecration cross carved upon the moulding. There's no indication of how old the carving is, but it certainly looks medieval, and the aisle itself dates to 1200. Walk around to the east end of the church for a good view of the late Perpendicular window, with a Tudor hood moulding over it. One feature to look for in the graveyard is a 19th century cast-iron gravestone. These are very unusual; another can be found locally in Burford, and a third in Broughton Poggs.
About Little Faringdon
Address: Little Faringdon, Oxfordshire, England, GL7 3QW
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: On the minor road towards Kelmscott off the A361, just north of Lechlade-on-Thames. Usually open daylight hours.
Website: Little Faringdon
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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Nearest Accommodation to Little Faringdon:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Tourist Information Point
Tel: 01394 383789