Saturday, 1 April 2017

St Katherine Chiselhampton

I have passed this church many time & have always want to visit. A couple of weeks ago I go the chance and stopped off, only camera I had was my iPhone so these are the photos I took
Some history form Wikipedia
"By 1146 Chiselhampton had a chapel dedicated to Saint Mary. It was a peculier of Dorchester Abbey and seems not to have been an independent parish. St Mary's had no graveyard: villagers buried their dead at Stadhampton, which was another of Dorchester Abbey's chapels and peculiers.
St Mary's chapel remained under Dorchester Abbey until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536, when Stadhampton became a parish separate from Dorchester. Chiselhampton seems then to have become a chapelry of Stadhampton. Despite this new status, until about 1835 clergy for both Chiselhampton and Stadhampton were licensed not by the Bishop of Oxford but by the peculier of Dorchester. After the English Reformation Chiselhampton and Stadhampton always shared the same parish clergy.
Until 1706 St Mary's chapel was reported to be in a good state of repair, but by 1717 the parish curate had taken the villagers to the peculier court in Dorchester for failing to pay the church rate for the building's upkeep. In 1763 Charles Peers told the court that St Mary's was in "so ruinous and decayed a condition that the inhabitants cannot assemble for worship without manifest hazard [to] their lives", and so he requested permission to demolish the chapel and build a new one.

In 1763 Charles Peers had the Mediaeval chapel demolished and the materials re-used to build a Georgian church on a new site beside the main Oxford - Stadhampton road. That same year it was completed and John Hume, Bishop of Oxford consecrated it. Peers provided the new church with a graveyard to spare villagers from having to bury their dead at Stadhampton. He dispensed with the Norman chapel's dedication to Saint Mary and had the new church dedicated to Saint Katherine. With the new church Chiselhampton was made a parish in its own right, but it continued to share the same parish clergy as Stadhampton.
St Katherine's is a neoclassical building whose architect is unknown. It has a bell-turret and clock over the west door. The interior is fitted with box pews, a west gallery on Tuscan columns, a carved altarpiece and a Jacobean pulpit which is presumed to have been re-used from St Mary's chapel.In 1952–54 the church was restored after an appeal for funds supported by the poet John Betjeman who wrote verses for it and the artist John Piper who repainted the clockface. Concealed electric lighting was installed in the pews in 1956 but St Katherine's is still largely lit by its candle-lit candelabras.The church is a Grade II* listed building.
The church has since been made redundant and the ecclesiastical parish reunited with Stadhampton. The civil parishes had already been reunited in 1932. St Katherine's church is vested in the Churches Conservation Trust. Services are still held in St Katherine's three or four times a year, including reenactments of historic Anglican liturgy and west gallery music."

Taken from across the road, take your life in your hand s crossing to get this it's a busy road

The church from the gates

Now I was a bit surprised to find it no longer in use but cared for by the Church Conservation Trust

Above the clock dated 1762 and I note a dove flying past as well.
The East end of the church

Going around the North side

and back to the South

Above a look at the clock on the South side, no hands. The Graves along on the North side of the church

Around on the South side

heading down to the East end

And the churchyard at the east end of the church which looks lik eit might be still used

Row of family Tombs

Over by the beech hedge are these headstones

This decorated one is sinking down

Moss cover tomb which has collapsed

The headstone of James William Turner which is leaning over

Ivy covers the tombs near the west end of the churchyard on the north side

A view up the churchyard to the West end of the church

Daffodils in abundance on this grave

A view along the North side of the Churchyard

I will leave you with this rendered view in Black & White, hopefully I will return and get some internal views. Until then

Have a Super Weekend


  1. Wonderfull litle church.
    Greetings from Poland.

  2. The tower with its bell, clock and weathervane is lovely on this small church. Thanks Bill, for finding this one!

  3. I like this part best:
    "Concealed electric lighting was installed in the pews in 1956 but St Katherine's is still largely lit by its candle-lit candelabras."

  4. An imposing clock tower for such a small building. I'll look forward to seeing the interior some time.