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

St Laurence, Warborough, Oxfordshire

St Laurence's Church, The Green N, Warborough, Wallingford OX10 7DP, United Kingdom (51°38′18″N, 1°8′8″W)
SU 599 936
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Oxfordshire
now Oxfordshire
  • Ron Baxter
  • Ron Baxter
17 November 2023

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=119649.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

Warborough is a village in the district of South Oxfordshire, 2.5 miles N of Wallingford and 9 miles S of Oxford. The church stands in the centre of the villageand has a long nave and chancel in one with a S porch to the nave and a transeptal chapel alongside it that also contains a small organ. There is another organ room and a vestry on the N side of the chancel, The chancel has no chancel arch, only a screen. At the W end is a tower. Construction is of clunch rubble and flint with limestone dressings and flushwork on the tower. Nave and chancel are 13thc in origin. The transept is 14thc and the tower dates from 1666. The chancel was restored by Bodley and Garner in 1881. The only Romanesque feature is the lead font.


Warborough is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey, because it formed part of the large royal manor of Benson. The Crown held most of Warborough until the 17thc, but granted and rented llands to theres at various times. The earliest of these was a gift of land in Shillingford, to the S of Warborough to the nuns of Godstow by separate grants of Stephen and Matilda between 1136 and 1141. In Warborough itself the first grant was one of rents in Warborough and Shillingford made to the Chapel of St Nicholas in Wallingford Castle by Edmund, Earl of Cornwall in 1278.

As for the church, it is presumed to have been subject to the church at Benson from the beginning, but in 1140-42, Benson church was granted to Dorchester Abbey along with its dependencies, including Warborough. There appears to be no evidence of a chapel here beyond that provided by the church itself. Nothing here is earlier than the font, from the later 12thc., while none of the fabric can be dated before the 13thc. The dedication to St Laurence is not recorded before the 18thc.





The decoration of the font is similar to that at Long Wittenham (Berkshire), less than 4 miles away as the crow flies, and Pevsner thought that the same moulds were used. Dorchester, which also has a lead font, is between the two suggesting a centre of production in this area.


G. C. Druce, 'Lead Fonts in England, with some reference to French Examples', Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 39, 2 (1934), 289-309, esp. 302-03 and fig. 17.

  1. J. Sherwood and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, Harmondsworth 1974, 821.

Victoria County History: Oxfordshire 18 (2016), 393-421.

G. Zarnecki, English Romanesque Lead Sculpture: lead fonts of the twelfth century, London 1957, 16.