Church of St James the Great

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The guide books describe Fulbrook as a Norman church, showing traces of earlier Saxon work and avoiding the worst of the Victorian make-overs. It sounded worth a visit. It is surrounded by a churchyard with yew trees with cyclamen growing round the bases.

It has a simple Norman tower with louvred bell windows and a sundial on the south wall. The low flat nave has a row of small clerestory windows on the south side. Beyond is the small chancel.

Remains of Saxon work can be seen at the base of the south wall.

Entry is through the south porch. Two rows of small round pillars frame the door and support pointed arches. There is beak head carving round the inner arch.

Inside, round Norman pillars with carved capitals and pointed arches, separate north aisle and nave. At the east end of the north aisle is a pointed arch into what would once have been a chapel, but now contains the organ and vestry.

There is a lovely round Norman chancel arch. This has the remains of wall paintings at the top SE corner, but it is impossible to make out any details. On the north arcade is a small painting of a foot. There are traces of other paintings on the north wall of the vestry.

The chancel is simply furnished with altar, altar rail and a priest’s chair. The east window contains 19thC stained glass. The other windows are plain glass.

At the back of the nave is a Norman tub font.

On the south wall is the Royal Coat of Arms. A board gives details of the restoration of the church in 1827 at a cost of £891. It lists people and organisations who contributed. Friends of the Rector gave the princely sum of £17.

This is a very simple church, fitting with the Norman architecture. There is nothing special about it, it is just a nice church and a complete contrast to the splendour of nearby Burford church

The church is open daily. Fulbrook is to the north east of Burford and the church is set back off the A 361, the main road through Fulbrook and it is easy to miss the turn to the church. There is some parking space by the church but turning is difficult.

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