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St Nicholas, Asthall, Oxfordshire

(51°48′1″N, 1°35′6″W)
SP 287 114
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Oxfordshire
now Oxfordshire
  • John Blair
  • Sarah Blair

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Asthall is a village in the Windrush valley, 3.5 miles downstream of the important Taynton quarries. The church consists of chancel, nave, N aisle and 15thc. W tower. The nave is presumably Transitional or earlier since it retains a Transitional N arcade and elements of a Romanesque chancel arch. The N aisle retains in its E wall the crease of its original high-pitched roof, but was otherwise rebuilt in the late 13thc. and later. The chancel is 13thc., as is the N chapel, which was remodelled in the 14thc. The arches from the chancel and N aisle into the N chapel are (pace Pevsner) 13thc., though the latter re-uses two late Romanesque shafts. The whole church was savagely restored in the 19thc., partly in a Romanesque style which confuses analysis of its architectural development.


According to VCH, a church in Asthall existed by 1071 and certainly by c. 1160. It was probably given by Roger d'Ivri to St Mary's abbey at Ivry, Normandy, at the abbey's foundation in 1071 and remained with the abbey until the early 15th century.

Benefice of Burford with Fulbrook, Taynton, Asthall, Swinbrook and Widford.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches
Nave arches






The chancel arch can be compared with Bampton, Clanfield, and the tower arch at Broughton Poggs.

Victoria County History: Oxfordshire, vol. XV, unpublished draft text for Victoria History of Oxfordshire, forthcoming. Draft text by R.B. Peberdy is available online at http://www.oxfordshirepast.net/ (5 October 2005).
N. Pevsner and J.Sherwood, The Buildings of England, Oxfordshire, London, 1974, 424-426.