St Mary, Adwell, Oxfordshire

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Feature Sets (2)


The small stone church at Adwell, near Lewknor in SE Oxfordshire, comprises nave, chancel, transeptal chapels and a slender bell-cote at the W end. The original church, built in the late 12thc., had been a two-cell structure, probably enlarged in the 13thc. By the mid-19thc. it was beyond repair and was rebuilt in 19thc. Gothic style by A.W. Blomfield in 1865. The S doorway, reset from the earlier church, is the only Romanesque survival.


Before the Conquest Adwell was held by the Saxon Wulfstan, probably the same man that held neighbouring Aston (Rowant) and Britwell Salome. By 1086 the manor had passed into the hands of Miles Crispin and so became part of the honor of Wallingford. Miles' tenant at Adwell, William de Sulham, gave tithes to Abingdon Abbey in 1104.  

Adwell is in the benefice of Thame with Crowell, Lewknor and Sydenham.


Exterior Features


S nave doorway

A round-headed doorway of two orders is located at the W end of the S nave wall.

h. of opening 2.06 m
w. of opening 1.00 m
First order

Plain chamfered jambs, with a triangular stop-chamfer on the lowest course of stone. The impost takes up the chamfer and bears an arris with a hollow chamfer above. The vertical face is rounded with a groove.

Arch with plain chamfered voussoirs.

Second order

Bases almost waterholding, with two convex elements on a rounded plinth. Nookshafts set en delit, plain and cylindrical. Necking plain. A bell capital with a double roll above. Impost continuous with the first order.

Arch. A large angle roll and a quirk between this and the soffit. A smaller outer roll, followed by a hoodmould with a hollow chamfer.



  • J. Sherwood and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth 1974, 419.

  • Victoria County History: Oxfordshire, 8 (1964), 7-16.

Exterior from SW


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SU 696 996 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Oxfordshire
now: Oxfordshire
now: Oxford
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: St Mary
medieval: St Mary (pre-Reformation)
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Jane Cunningham, Janet Newson 
Visit Date
09 Aug 2013