St Mary’s Church

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Adderbury is an attractive village of deep honey coloured ironstone houses. The church is set on high ground at the south of the village.

It is a large and attractive church, built around 1250. The side aisles and tower are 14thC. In the 15thC, the church was under the control of New College in Oxford. A magnificent new chancel was built between 1408-19, funded by William of Wykeham. His arms appear above the east window.

The tall west tower with an open carved balustrades with trefoils has corner turrets and a tall spire. The west door which is no longer used has huge iron hinges. There are multiple arches round the doorway with carved heads at their base. There is a very large chancel with huge perpendicular style windows. The transepts are a stall as the chancel and have a clerestory.

Entry is through the south porch.

Inside it is a large church with octagonal pillars and big pointed arches. The nave is wide with plain glass clerestorey windows making the church light. It is unusual as the north aisle has a second arcade of pillars and arches down the centre.

At the back of the church is an octagonal font and the tower arch is slightly offset to the nave.

The transept arches have fluted pillars with carved capitals with figures of knights in armour and ladies in whimples.

The north transept has panelling round the base and a simple altar and piscina. The south transept has a stone table altar with the remains of small consecration crosses carved on the top. Above is a wooden triptych with Christ crucified in the centre panel with the Virgin Mary and St John on the doors. Near it is a large carved chest dated 1725 with decorative iron work of lilies.

On a pillar set under a crocketted pinnacle, is a statue of St George killing the dragon with a Roll of honour from both world wars. To the left is a rather nice painted wood memorial.

The 15thC rood screen was heavily restored by Gilbert Scott. This has carved panels at the base, open tracery above and a fan vaulted roof. It still has the rood loft which is reached by stairs through a door in a pillar.

There is a very elegant chancel dominated by the stained glass east window. This has scenes of the Passion at the top and the Nativity below. On either side are pedestals with statues of the Virgin Mary and an angel holding a lily. Above are tall crocketted pinnacles set in arches under a carved top.

The stone reredos stretches the width of the east window and has fourteen figures set in ogee arches. These are the eleven apostles with St Barnabas, St Mathias, St Paul, Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary.

On the south wall is a three seater sedilia with quadrifoils carved under the seats and pinnaceled arches above.

The simple beam roof in the nave has gloriously carved stone corbels under the beams with heads of bishops.

The wooden choir stalls have attractively carved fronts and misericords.

This is a very attractive church and well worth visiting. It is open during the day. There is parking on the road outside. There are steps up into the churchyard.

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