Deddington Church, Oxfordshire

Not unusually Deddington Church began life in the Norman period – presumably at a similar time to the nearby Castle.

Again, not unusually, nothing survives from any earlier than the 13th Century, parts of the chancel and south wall of the nave date from 1254. Much of the rest of the church was completed by 1327 and by-and-large would have looked similar to what stands today. The roof was raised in the 15th Century and some chapels were added.

A massive spire had been added to the west tower but this fell down in 1634 and landed on the nave causing massive damage. Rebuilding work was briefly started but the Civil War then happened and halted work. Charles I had the bells and lead melted down for artillery and promised to replace them. Even after the Restoration no new bells were forthcoming and would not be until 1791.

The spire was never rebuilt but two phases of renovations were undertaken, one around 1791 when the new bells were finally hung and the second under G.E. Street from 1858.

The Victorian work is quite restrained for a Home Counties church and today it sits overlooking Deddington’s village green with a semblance of perpetuity.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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