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St Lawrence, Besselsleigh, Berkshire

(51°42′24″N, 1°20′29″W)
SP 456 011
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now Oxfordshire
medieval Salisbury
now Oxford
  • Ron Baxter
20 August 1998, 30 October 2013

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=13621.

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Feature Sets

Aisleless nave and chancel in one, with bellcote at W end and plain, continuous 12thc. S nave doorway (not described or photographed). The only 12thc. sculpture is the pillar piscina.


Besselsleigh was held by the Abbey of Abingdon before and after the Conquest. In 1066 Northmann held it from the abbot, and in 1086 William held in from the abbot. It was assessed at 1 hide. Subsequently the tenant took his name from the Lordship. hence in 1166 and 1180 it was William de Leigh. The church was apparently treated as a chapel of Appleton in the 12thc, but by 1291 it was a parish church in its own right.



Piscinae/Pillar Piscinae


The pillar piscina at Sonning shares features with this including a multi-scallop head and beaded decoration on the shaft.


N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth, 1966, 86.

G. Tyack, S. Bradley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. New Haven and London 2010, 162-63.

Victoria County History: Berkshire IV (1924), 393-98.