This large church stands near the river Cherwell, looking over open flat countryside on the NE edge of the original village of Kidlington before it became an outer suburb of Oxford. It is cruciform, largely built in the 13thc., replacing an older church on the site. It comprises an aisled chancel, a central tower with a high spire, transepts and clerestoried nave, with a S aisle and porch. It has a relatively plain font, attributed to the 12thc. by VCH and Sherwood and Pevsner (1974).
In 1086 Robert d'Oilly held Kidlington in demesne, and the manor descended with his barony of Hook Norton to his brother and his descendants into the 13thc. There was a church existing on this site by the early 12thc. and it was granted by Robert d'Oilly to Oseney Abbey at its foundation. The abbey appropriated it by 1226. The present church was largely built in the 13thc. and externally remodelled in the early 14thc., possibly under the orders of Thomas of Kidlington, abbot of Oseney 1330-73 (VCH).
The limestone font is located opposite the S doorway, on the W side of a column of the S aisle. It is not completely plain for it has a gentle curve towards the base, as well as two slightly projecting bands at top and bottom. The upper band is chamfered below, and the lower one is double chamfered. There is a lead lining. The font is set on a later, probably 14thc., rather complex octagonal base.
|height of bowl||0.52 m|
|inner diameter of bowl||0.64 m|
|outer diameter of bowl||0.75 m|
J. Amor, Kidlington Parish Church: a brief guide to St Mary's Church, n.p., 1981, revised 2013.
F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England's Patron Saints, vol. 3, 1899, 168.
J. Sherwood and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth, 1974, 670-71.
Victoria County History: Oxfordshire, 12 (1990), 206-9.