Friday, June 03, 2011

St Peter, Charney Bassett, Oxon (ex-Berks)

What a charming and most interesting little church to happen across, with a comical west tower / turret - you decide! The origins of the church are Norman and there is a fine doorway with arch decorated with faces each with two tongues(?) issuing from their mouths. It is missing its excellent tympanum but this is preserved inside over a passage squint from the later Perp north aisle. It shows a man and two gryphons biting his arms, a shame it is here as you keep trying to visualise the two parts put back together. There is no west window, and the tower is said to be Jacobean. Perp wooden pulpit. [open]
Immediately north of the church seems to be another C13 church, nave and chancel perhaps, attached to the former manor house, a grange once of Abingdon Abbey. On reading BoE it transpires this is a solar with a small chapel attached at the eastern end. The house was purchased in 1948 by the Society of Friends as a conference and retreat centre.

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