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Mapledurham, Oxfordshire | by Martin Beek
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Mapledurham, Oxfordshire

St Zita of Lucca, C15

St Margaret restored by William Butterfield 1863 (prior to Keble College) bold use of brick and chequer pattern on tower. He raised the height and built the pyramid roof. The old Roman Catholic south aisle (a unique feature) was left un-restored and is a real gem (although no public access).The aisle can be partially viewd from the top of the Blount monument or from the choir stalls in the chancel, however these views only whet the appetite for more. Monuments to Sir Richard and Lady Cecily Blount. The church is mainly C14-C15 Stained glass in lights of Chancel window from C15 St Zita of Lucca, Mary Magdalene and St Stephen also shield of the Earl of Ulster with an angel. The church maybe strangely familiar to those who saw the 1970's Michael Caine film "The Eagle Has Landed" the preposterous story about a German U boat that made it deep into the heart of England and to a typical English Village, the film features German soldiers shooting from the church tower whilst the people of the village are being taken hostage. I remember (I was at school at the time) how the film company descended on Mapledurham and constructed a fake tudor pub, in fact Mapledurham has no inn and part of its charm is that although so close to Reading there is no through road and it remains a world apart.

 

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Taken on January 21, 2007