We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Peter, Wolvercote, Oxfordshire

(51°47′8″N, 1°16′51″W)
SP 497 099
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Oxfordshire
now Oxfordshire
medieval St Peter
now St Peter
  • Janet Newson
07 September 2014

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=4558.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

Wolversote is a village 3 iles NW of the centre of Oxford. There is evidence of a C12th church on this site, originally a chapel of ease subject to St Peter-in-the-East in Oxford, comprising a nave and chancel. It was later enlarged, and in the C14th the nave was extended and the W tower built. In 1859, the whole church, except the tower, was pulled down and rebuilt in a neo-Decorated style. Although the late C12th chancel arch survived until 1859, the sole survivor from that time is now the font, decorated with a pleasing pattern of incised bands with diaper pattern.


Roger d'Ivri held Wolvercote in 1086, and Godfrey held of him. There is no further record of the under-tenancy, and the manor descended with the rest of Roger d'Ivri's lands in the county, and in the early C12th was held by Reynold of St Valery and John of St John. About 1180 Roger's son, Bernard of St Valery, granted Wolvercote to Henry II who gave it to Godstow Abbey, and the latter held the manor until the Dissolution (VCH).

A chapel of ease at Wolvercote was subject to the church of St Peter-in-the-East, Oxford. Although it was first recorded in 1236, architectural evidence indicates it existed by the late C12th. Its dependent status was confirmed in 1294. The existence of the C12th font implies that the chapel acquired early baptismal rights, but it had no burial rights until 1414.





The survival of the late C12th chancel arch until 1859 further confirms the evidence of a surviving font for a C12th church comprising chancel and nave. The massive solidity and detailed decoration of the font provides a good illustration of the importance this church attached to baptism in the Romanesque period.


J. Sherwood, and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire (Harmondsworth, 1974), 851.

Victoria County History: Oxfordshire, 12 (London, 1990), 313-14, 320-21.