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St Denys, Stanford-in-the-Vale, Berkshire

(51°38′24″N, 1°30′25″W)
SU 342 936
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now Oxfordshire
medieval Salisbury
now Oxford
medieval St Denys
now St Denys
  • Ron Baxter
06 May 1990, 02 December 2013

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Feature Sets

Stanford in the Vale is a large village in the Vale of the White Horse, 5 miles NW of Wantage. It has two village greens, Upper Green and Church Green, of which the latter is dominated by the low and broad mass of St Denys church. The only Romanesque sculpture surviving from the original aisleless church decorates the S doorway. The N doorway is of c.1300.


Stanford in the Vale was held by Siward under Edward the Confessor and by Henry de Ferrers in 1086. It was assessed at 40 hides before the Conquest although Edward is said to have allowed it as 30. In 1086 it was only valued at 6 hides.


Exterior Features



Stylistically the S doorway is earlier than the N: c.1180 as opposed to c.1200. The horse-shoe cusping on the former may indicate some connection with St Nicolas, Abingdon and West Hanney, although the sculpture at Stanford-in-the-Vale is not so rich. Copying seems likelier than a direct workshop link.


C.E. Keyser, 'Notes on the Churches of Stanford-in-the-Vale, Hatford and Sheelingford, and the Chapels of Goosey and Baulking', Berks, Bucks and Oxon Archaeological Journal 20 (1914), 1-9, 33-37, 65-72, 97-102.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth, 1966, 226-27.

G. Tyack, S. Bradley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. New Haven and London 2010, 529-30.

Victoria County History: Berkshire IV (1924), 478-85.