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St Michael and All Angels, Finmere, Oxfordshire

(51°59′37″N, 1°4′30″W)
SP 636 332
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Oxfordshire
now Oxfordshire
  • Jane Cunningham
  • Janet Newson
13 May 2013

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Feature Sets

Finmere is 7 miles NE of Bicester in the extreme NE corner of Oxfordshire, bounded by Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire. The present church is largely 14thc., of limestone rubble, comprising a chancel, clerestoried nave, S porch, N aisle and W tower. Only the Romanesque font remains from an earlier church.


Before the Conquest and for 20 years after, the larger of two estates in Finmere was held by Wulfward the White, a thegn of Queen Edith. By 1086 it had been granted to Geoffrey, Bishop of Coutances. On Geoffrey's death in 1093 his lands passed to his nephew, Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland, who forfeited them by his rebellion in 1095. The smaller estate was held by Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, but was later joined to the larger estate when the whole of Finmere became part of the honor of Gloucester. The overlordship of Finmere followed the descent of the earldom of Gloucester. The tenant in both estates in 1086 was a certain Robert. By the mid-12thc. it was held by the De Turri family who were also tenants of the nearby manor of Tingewick, Bucks., and closely associated with the earls of Gloucester.

The first evidence for a church dates from the late 12thc. The advowson was granted before 1189 by William, son of Gregory, to the abbey of Augustinian canons at Bristol, where it was held until its dissolution in 1539. The church was largely or wholly replaced in the 14thc., and it was much restored again later due its decay during the 17thc.

St Michael and All Angels, Finmere, belongs to the Shelswell benefice, comprising Cottisford, Finmere, Fringford, Goddington, Hardwick, Hethe, Mixbury, Newton Purcell, Stoke Lyne and Stratton Audley.





F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or Englands's Patron Saints, 3 vols, London, 1899. Vol III, APP. II, 124

Historic England Listed Buliding number 243605

Oxfordshire Historic Environment Record number PRN 4850

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth, 1979, 604-5

Victoria County History: Oxfordshire, VI. London, 1959, 116-25