Gloucestershire Places of Worship

St John the Baptist's Church, Oxenton (1) (86k) St John the Baptist's Church, Oxenton (2) (63k) St John the Baptist's Church, Oxenton (3) (58k) St John the Baptist's Church, Oxenton (4) (62k) St John the Baptist's Church, Oxenton (5) (60k) St John the Baptist's Church, Oxenton (6) (91k) St John the Baptist's Church, Oxenton (7) (58k) St John the Baptist's Church, Oxenton (8) (120k) St John the Baptist's Church, Oxenton (9) (125k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
St John the Baptist's Church, Oxenton
St John the Baptist's Church,
Oxenton Village,
Oxenton, Gloucestershire.

Cemeteries

This Church has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in the 13th century, and we understand it is still open.

Oxenton is a gem of a church - described in the guide leaflet as "an almost unspoilt medieval church of the 13th century tastefully restored in 1905".

The church can be found almost at the end of a no-through road, and has a neat little car park. Entering through the gateway, on the left was a sign saying "Watch Out for Rabbit Holes", featuring two rabbits dancing up and down gleefully, with toothy grins on their faces! The sign can be seen on the last photograph of this set.

Inside the porch were fresh flowers, and an unusual sampler, with a tasteful dedication to St John the Baptist.

Inside the church are almost all the usual fittings, including an aumbry on the north wall of the Chancel, with exquisitely carved wooden grille, and two piscinas - one in the chancel, dating from the 13th century, and a trefoil-headed one in the nave, next to the pulpit. The latter, according to the guide leaflet indicates there may have been an altar nearby, which to me suggests the church may be older than the 13th century. There is evidence of this too, in the rounded Romanesque-style arch at the chancel end of the arcade, if it is original.

The Hatchment on the archway supporting the tower is of the Earl of Ellenborough, a resident of Southam, but also Governor General of India, and a large landowner in the village. His also is the wall monument to the right of the North doorway.

Lozenge-shaped floor tiles in the Chancel are Elizabethan. Pulpit and choir-stalls are of "linen-fold Elizabethan oak panelling"; whilst two carvings of wood hang on the Chancel walls. These are replicas made in 1980 of originals, dating from the 15th century, which were stolen.

There is a 1st World War Memorial mounted beneath the capital at the chancel end of the arcade. Its Inscription reads:
To the Glory of God
In Gratitude for a Great Deliverance
and in Memory of
Henry William HOPKINS, Pte. 13th. Glos. Regt.
Who fell in the Great War 1914-1919.

The real treasure inside the church - in my opinion - is however its Wall Paintings. There are two "Catherine Wheels", one on the north wall, and one on the west wall - the latter can be seen on the 4th photograph, to the left of the west window, inside the tower arch.

Another fragment of painting can be seen on the 3rd photograph, high on the wall at the north east end of the nave. This looks to me as if it might have been a shield, or coat of arms.

The largest area is however above, and around the south doorway. The guide leaflet says 3 paintings have been superimposed; the oldest shows a figure holding a pilgrim's cross, and a further layer has an Elizabethan Royal Coat of Arms. The top layer represents the Ten Commandments on a hinged book, said by the guide leaflet to be unusual. [Source: Rosemary Lockie]

Denomination

Now or formerly Church of England.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.

Maps

This Church is located at OS grid reference SO9584231468. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Reference

  • Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (2010) is available as a "Freedom of Information" document from the website What Do They Know.
Last updated on 20 Aug 2011 at 13:51.

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This Report was created 13 Nov 2017 - 15:17:50 GMT from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 30 Aug 2017 at 16:10.

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