The Friends of St Laurence

A Brief History

The present church dates from the early 13th century as represented by the walls and some of the windows of the chancel although updating and alteration occurred in the 14th century. The doorway in the south wall is 13th century and although the door has been renewed the iron fittings are original.

The nave and south transept are 14th century and the tower was rebuilt in 1666 with the date appearing in large numbers in flint within the flint and stone chequer pattern.

The bells were rehung in 1675 and two of these still remain. In 1871, at the same time as the church clock was installed, the old third bell which had broken in 1860 was recast by Mears & Stainbank and was rehung by Frederick White of Appleton.  The funds were raised by public subscription and the names of the committee and churchwardens are inscribed on the bell. The six bells were augmented to eight in 1955 when Mears and Stainbank cast two new bells and recast the old Fourth to become the new Sixth.  They were rehung clockwise in a new steel frame by Frank White.

The church has been restored a number of times over the centuries and most of the fittings date from one such occasion in 1912-14.

The font is the oldest feature of the church and dates from c1200 and was probably retained from an earlier church in the parish.

The pulpit dates from 1638 and the lectern was presented by Corpus Christi at the time of the 1912-14 restoration. It shows a pelican feeding its young which is the emblem of the college.

The majority of the stained glass is late19th or 20th century although there are some small areas of mediaeval glass.

In the churchyard stands the restored village cross which retains its mediaeval shaft with iron hooks for holding wreaths.

There is a group of three late C18 limestone chest tombs 10 metres to the south of the church. All tombs have flat tops with moulded edges, and the sides have fielded panels. Inscriptions on the panels are now illegible but the largest tomb (approximately 2m. by 3m.) has an inscription on the cover commemorating Thomas Blackall who lived at Court Farmhouse and is said to have weighed 32 ½ stone when he died in 1779.

Taken from a brief history and guide by Robin Harcourt Williams.

Stained Glass Window

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Support Our Vital Work

If you would like to become a Friend of the St. Laurence Church and support this vital work, you can either download a membership application form or contact Nigel Conie, Honorary Treasurer, Violets Farm, Hammer Lane, Warborough, Oxon, OX10 7DJ.

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