Summer churches

 

If you are visiting a church this summer, we'd love to hear about it! There are thousands of churches and chapels waiting to be discovered, packed with local history and often some of the most interesting examples of architecture in cities, towns and villages around the UK.

To tell us about your visit and what you saw simply email a couple of paragraphs and if you took any, some photographs of the visit to info@nationalchurchestrust.org . We'll do our best to add as many as possible to this webpage.  Please include your name and address.  You can also share your church visiting experience on social media, using the hash tag, #summerchurches

If you are looking for inspiration on where to go, visit our ExploreChurches website which lists over 3,000 of the best churches and chapels to visit and includes a handy map search facility and full details of opening times, allowing you to plan a visit in advance.

 

St Michael’s Church, Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire OX29 5RJ

St Michael's church, Stanton Harcourt

You'd be hard pressed to find a more beautiful Oxfordshire church to visit than St Michael's church in Stanton Harcourt. With Norman origins it contains a  Decorated Gothic late 13th- or early 14th-century shrine of St Edburg of Bicester. It was at the Augustinian priory at Bicester until 1536, when the priory was dissolved. Sir James Harcourt had the shrine salvaged and moved to St Michael's.  The Harcourt family have their own chapel with many stunning monuments. The chapel includes a sliver of a standard flown at the Battle of Bosworth.

The church stands in a beautiful churchyard and is about a twenty minute drive from Oxford. It was easy to find and a sign indicated that the church is open every day. Sadly, the village has no pub, nor a regular bus service. Car, or bike, seem the only options.

Next door to the church is Pope's Tower in the grounds of Harcourt House. The tower acquired its name after the poet Alexander Pope stayed here in 1717–18 and used its upper room to translate the fifth volume of Homer's Iliad.In the summer of 1718 he also wrote an epitaph to a young couple, John Hewett and Sarah Drew, who were struck by lightning and killed in the parish. The poem is carved on a stone monument on the outside of the south wall of the nave of the church and is a must see.

Eddie, London