All Saints' Church
Parts of the present Didcot Church are 12th century in origin, although the building of that date is said to have been largely destroyed during the fighting between King Stephen and his cousin, the Empress Matilda. What we see today is almost entirely 14th century with Victorian alterations (including the tower and spire). However, a building on the site is mentioned in the Domesday Survey (1086) and the mound on which the present building stands is said to have been one of the places from which St. Birinus preached to the people of North Berkshire in the 7th century.
There are some notable internal features. Some 15th century stained glass figures stand feature a stellar background. The effigy of a mitred abbot is thought to be Ralph de Didcot, the Abbot of Dorchester-on-Thames who died in 1294. His family were stewards of Didcot Manor. He was probably cast out during the Civil War and was found broken in three and re-used in the church path in 1775. He has been restored under a trefoil canopy. The editors of the latest Pevsner suggest that it once had its own chantry chapel. Perhaps of most interest is the headstop with nose-ring on the north side of the chancel. It was for holding up the Lenten Veil. Before the Reformation, purple veils were used to cover crosses and other religious images between Passion Sunday and Easter. The practice continued in the Catholic Church until the 1960s.
This is NOT the official Didcot Church website. Please do NOT mail us about use of the church. Visit the C of E's Church Near You website instead.
|© Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved. The location of this church is now administered by Oxfordshire County Council.|