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St Laurence, Appleton, Berkshire

(51°42′40″N, 1°21′31″W)
SP 444 016
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now Oxfordshire
medieval Salisbury
now Oxford
  • Ron Baxter
17 Sept 2001, 30 October 2013

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Appleton is an attractive village in the north of the traditional county, 3 miles NW of the centre of Abingdon. The church stands in the village centre, alongside Appleton Manor (qv). It consists of a nave with a four-bay N aisle of similar width, a chancel with N chapel and a 15thc. W tower. The nave arcade belongs to the end of the 12thc., but the chancel arch is 19thc. and the chancel itself was rebuilt in the 16thc. The nave aisle and the chancel and its chapel have barrel vaults, which might be wooden as is the 18thc. four-bay arcade separating chancel and chapel. There are doorways with porches to N and S. There was a restoration in 1883 when a W gallery was taken out. Only the N arcade and the font are 12thc.


The Domesday Survey recorded two holdings in Appleton. Miles Crispin held 2½ hides (assessed before the Conquest at 5 hides) and Richard held from him; and Berner, nephew of R de Peronne, held a similar sized holding from Bishop Odo of Bayeux. Nochurch was mentioned in either holding. Miles Crispin's holding passed to the Honour of Wallingford, and under that overlordship it was held by the family of Visdelou from the later 12thc until the early 14thc. Under them were subtenants - the Rycote family. The other manor was held by the early 13thc by a family that took its name from the place, Mabel de Appleton was the first of these, and the advowson of the church was held by them and their descendants until 1638.


Interior Features






The trumpet scallops, and flat- and stiff-leaf forms on the arcade place it at the very end of the 12thc, and the decoration of the font base must belong to the same period. There are some similarities with the S arcade of Blewbury church.


C. E. Keyser, 'Notes on the Churches of Fyfield, Besselsleigh, Appleton, Cumnor, Wootton and Sunningwell', Berks, Bucks and Oxon Archaeological Journal, 23 (1917-18), 70-88.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth, 1966, 65.

G. Tyack, S. Bradley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. New Haven and London 2010, 126-27.

Victoria County History: Berkshire IV (1924), 335-41.