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St Lawrence, North Hinksey, Berkshire

(51°44′45″N, 1°17′3″W)
North Hinksey
SP 495 055
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now Oxfordshire
medieval Salisbury
now Oxford
  • Ron Baxter
17 August 1998, 30 October 2013

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Feature Sets

North Hinksey is a village on the W outskirts of Oxford, alongside the A34, but despite this it stil retains a village character. The church, in the centre, is an attractive building of limestone rubble with ashlar dressings. It has an unaisled nave with the E part roofed lower than W, and a square-ended chancel roofed still lower. The low W tower has a pyramidal roof. The nave has opposed N and S doorways; the blocked N doorway has no remaining sculpture, while the elaborate S doorway, protected by a porch of 1786, is described below. Two Norman windows survive in the nave N wall, and another is low down in the chancel S wall. The Norman-looking chancel arch is 19thc. work by John MacDuff Derick.


A 955 charter of King Edwy gave 20 hides in Seacourt, Wytham and Hinksey to the Abbey of Abingdon (the two Hinkseys were not distinguished at this time). Subsequently Hinksey appears to have been included in Cumnor (qv).


Exterior Features




The S doorway has a rich chevron arch and, in its inner order, a row of the so-called beaker clasp, best seen perhaps as a simplified version of beakhead ornament. It was perhaps a precursor of that ornamental form, for which Reading Abbey was an important source, but not here, since this doorway postdates the earliest appearance of the developed beakhead (seen at Reading and Avington) by at least 20 years.


Victoria County History: Berkshire IV (1924), 405-08.

P. Rye and C. King, Church guide (repr. 1997).

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth 1966, 186.

G. Tyack, S. Bradley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. New Haven and London 2010, 408.