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St Mary, Thame, Oxfordshire

(51°45′3″N, 0°58′53″W)
SP 704 063
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Oxfordshire
now Oxfordshire
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • Jane Cunningham
  • Janet Newson
27 Aug 2013

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Feature Sets

Thame is a market town 15 miles NE of Oxford. The earliest parts of the present church date from the early C13th, with a chancel of c. 1220. The only claimed Romanesque material is that claimed by Sherwood and Pevsner, who suggest that fragments of Romanesque cable moulding were re-used on the base of the octagonal C13th-14th font, although the fieldworkers contest this (see Comments).


Thame was an ancient manor of the Bishop of Dorchester, passing to the bishopric of Lincoln in the C11th. In 1146 the church was given to Lincoln Cathedral and formed into a prebend, probably by Bishop Alexander. As it belonged to a prebend, it was an 'ecclesiastical peculiar' from the 12th to 19th centuries.





The font was examined because of Sherwood & Pevsner’s suggestion that possible fragments of Romanesque cable moulding were re-used on its base. The fieldworkers do not believe there is a case to be made for any decoration present being of Romanesque origin. In the VCH, the only mention of the font is to record its change of location in the church.


J. Sherwood and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire (Harmondsworth, 1974), 806-8.

Victoria County History: Oxfordshire, 7 (London, 1962), 199-219.