St James church, built of the local ironstone, serves a small hamlet hidden away in the Tew valley in N Oxfordshire. It is small, comprising a short chancel, nave and narrow N and S aisles, and a SW tower, of which the lower stage forms the entrance porch, and the W door opens into an adjoining schoolroom. The earliest evidence in the building is the scant remaining C12th work. The Romanesque bases of two of the S arcade piers show that it comprised a nave and aisle of three bays, presumably with a chancel. It was remodelled in the C14th and the tower was built into the W bay of the S aisle in the C17th, forming a porch and reusing the C13th S door.
Initially the church was a chapelry of Great Tew nearby, a situation that held until the C17th. The rectory of Great Tew, presumably including Nether Worton, was acquired by Godstow Abbey in 1309.
Pier 1. Square plinth, stepped with two vertical faces and chamfers, the upper chamfer being deeper. Above this, on a horizontal surface, four raised corner spurs that do not rise to the full height of the octagonal base that backs them. SE spur damaged. SW spur, a triangular shape with a central ridge running to the apex, point slightly damaged. NW and NE spurs, undamaged as SW.
Pier 2. Square plinth as pier 1, but with only one vertical face and chamfer. SE spur damaged. SW spur, as pier 1, SW. NW spur, triangular but with a notch at the base and no ridge. NE spur, as pier 1, SW. Octagonal pier base as pier 1.
J. Sherwood and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire (Harmondsworth, 1974).
Victoria County History: Oxfordshire, Vol. 11 (London, 1983).