Salford is 3 miles NW of Chipping Norton in rolling countryside near the Warwickshire border. The small church is situated on a slope to the W of the village. It was rebuilt by G.E. Street in 1854-5, retaining amongst other material the original Romanesque N and S nave doorways. The N doorway has a sculpturedtympanum. There is also a spectacular arcaded Romanesque font.
There may have been two ancient manors associated with Salford from 1086 onwards (Murrell, 1985), and their history seems a little confused. One of these estates formed part of a much larger holding that included not only the advowson of St Mary's church at Salford, but also manors in neighbouring Cornwell and Chastleton, Oxon. One manor seems to have been held by Roger de Lacy in 1086. Another entry refers to lands held by Archbishop Thomas of York, but this is intermingled with a Chastleton entry under the lands of Odo of Bayeux, who had seized 5 hides at Salford from Evesham abbey sometime after the Conquest. The monks in their turn laid claim on estates at Salford, Chastleton and Cornwell. (A Saxon land charter, of questionable origin, stated that king Offa of Mercia had granted an estate at Salford to the Evesham monks in 777).
|h. of opening||2.32 m|
|w. of opening||1.18 m|
|h. of doorway opening||1.55 m|
|h. of tympanum||0.72 m|
|max. w. of tympanum||1.41 m|
|thickness of tympanum||0.20 m|
|w. of doorway opening||0.98 m|
The tympanum has a slightly recessed central panel, dominated by a central Maltese cross within a circle formed by two incised lines, the arms of the cross being split and intersecting. To the L is a centaur whose bow or shield points behind him (Sagittarius), and to the R a lion (Leo) whose tail curves beneath him and up over his back ending in a fluted tassel.
|h. of bowl||0.65 m|
|inner diam. of bowl||0.59 m|
|outer diam. of bowl||0.74 m|
|total h. of font, incl. stem||1.03 m|
C.H.W. Hodges, 'Salford Parish Church - a Historical Sketch', in Salford, More History of a Cotswold Village, Salford History Group (Kidlington, 1985), pp. 9-17.
S. Murrell, 'The Descent of Salford Manor', in Salford, More History of a Cotswold Village, Salford History Group (Kidlington, 1985), pp. 5-8.
Oxford, Bodleian MSS Top. Oxon. A 68 Nos. 439-441; b 91 No. 317 (drawings by J.C. Buckler showing a general view from the SE, and the N and S doorways; the font).
J. Sherwood and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire (Harmondsworth, 1974), p. 749.