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St Leonard and St Catherine, Drayton St Leonard, Oxfordshire

(51°39′50″N, 1°8′17″W)
Drayton St Leonard
SU 597 965
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Oxfordshire
now Oxfordshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now Oxford
  • John Wand
6 July 2017

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The village of Drayton St Leonard lies about eight miles SE of Oxford on the right bank of the River Thames. The church, which was rededicated to St Leonard and St Catherine in 1988, consists of a chancel, a nave, and a N chapel, with a wooden S porch and a wooden belfry standing at the W end of the nave. The earliest part of the church is the nave featuring several 12thc features, including the S doorway and traces at the E end of the nave in both the N and S walls of windows that have been blocked. The church was restored by George Edmund Street in 1859 and a copy of his plan of the church is in Lambeth Palace Library.


Drayton St Leonard is not mentioned by name in Domesday Book but formed part of the Bishop of Lincoln's 90-hide estate of Dorchester, and in 1146 the church of Drayton St Leonard is one of the possessions of Dorchester Abbey. Throughout the Middle Ages the bishops treated their Drayton demesne as part of their Dorchester manor, and the church was part of the peculiar of Dorchester Abbey.


Exterior Features


Interior Features



Nikolaus Pevsner (1974, 587-8) and the VCH (1962, 71-81) refer to a N nave doorway. In 1846 the doorway is recorded as being blocked. By 2017 the external area of the N doorway had been covered in roughcast and the only evidence for the doorway is in the nave interior. Pevsner describes the doorway as having a chamfered arch and jambs with plain imposts.


J. H. Parker (ed.), A Guide to the Architectural Antiquities in the Neighbourhood of Oxford, Oxford 1846, 326-7.

A Short History of Drayton St Leonard’s Parish Church, Private Publication.

Historic England Building listing 1194604.

The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, Harmondsworth 1974, 587-8.

G. E. Street, 1859, Lambeth Palace Library, ICBS 5432.

F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications, London 1899, III, 109.

A History of the County of Oxford, vol. 7, Dorchester and Thame Hundreds, London 1962, 71-81.