OxfordshireSPELSBURYAllSaints(peterwoodCC-BY-SA2.0)1 PeterWood

All Saints

All Saints is a beautiful village church on the edge of the Cotswolds with listed architecture and historically important monuments.

Spelsbury, Oxfordshire

Opening times

Covid19 : Sunday only 10am to 4pm.

[Normally : All day, normally 8am to 6pm.]

Address

Spelsbury
Oxfordshire
OX7 3JR

The Manor of Spelsbury features in the Domesday Book as part of the Royal Hunting Forest of Wychwood, which covered most of what is now west Oxfordshire. Spelsbury today is a small rural village lying at the edge of the Cotswolds between Chipping Norton and Charlbury, with just over 300 inhabitants, in a conservation area designated in 1991. The scattered nature of the surrounding farms and hamlets, and the undulating topography, contribute to the isolated and unspoilt rural character that is typified by the church and its surroundings.

All Saints' is listed Grade II* due to its particularly special architectural and historic interest. It was rebuilt on the site of an original Norman church. It has 13th century arcades, a west tower restored in 1706, nave, north, south aisles, chancel and transepts, almost all rebuilt in 18th century by the Earls of Litchfield. The chancel was extended again in 1851, and contains five monuments to the Earls of Litchfield and Viscounts Dillon, sequential owners of Ditchley Park in the parish. These monuments make a fine cross section of English funerary art, from Jacobean to Victorian (by Gaffin & GF Fuller) times, with especially good Georgian examples (by Henry Keene & William Tyler) of national importance.

The monument to the 1st Earl of Litchfield is particularly fine. He married the favourite (illegitimate) daughter of Charles II, and they are buried in the crypt. It was an arranged marriage, and the monument describes their happy and successful life together, their loyal service to King and country, and records that 'their conjugal affection was blessed by their numerous offspring, thirteen sons and five daughters'. The 1st Earl’s uncle, the notorious 2nd Earl of Rochester, is also buried in the crypt, and his coffin plate is on display in the church. He was a favourite at the court of Charles II and penned poetry to amuse the revellers there.

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Famous connections

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Church of England

  • Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant, £5,000, 2020

  • Wolfson Fabric Repair Grants are awarded for urgent repair projects, based on our recommendation, to help keep churches open.

  • Foundation Grant, £1,000, 2019

  • Our Foundation Grants fund urgent maintenance work and small repairs to help keep churches open.

  • Foundation Grant, £7,718, 2019

  • Our Foundation Grants fund urgent maintenance work and small repairs to help keep churches open.

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St Mary the Virgin

Charlbury, Oxfordshire

The interior of Charlbury church is something of a surprise.