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Shirburn, Oxfordshire | by Martin Beek
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Shirburn, Oxfordshire

Shirburn, All Saints

The long history of this church is partly obscured under its drastic and unsympathetic restoration by Wyatt. The north transept was built in C19 for the Macclesfield family and is surrounded by blind stone panels, the north chapel (which now contains the Victorian organ) is probably Georgian and became the family mausoleum, however the whole building has a rather neglected air about it. There are dotted about one or two monuments of note; however the bleak stucco and the Georgian top to the tower

make this church something of a curiosity, and each succeeding age of church architecture seems to jar uncomfortably against each other; unlike at the nearby church of Wheatfield where the Georgian and the medieval happily co-exist.


Shirburn All Saints is now a redundant (though still a consecrated church) situated behind Shirburn Castle. It is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, however as many church visitors have found, access during these past three years has been problematic to say the least, the gate into the churchyard has often been locked at reasonable daylight hours for no apparent reason. There is no signpost to the church unlike at Nuneham Murren to attract passers by. It is hoped that this situation will be addressed for the benefit of all who love historic buildings and enjoy visiting churches. Please do contact CCT if you feel concerned central@tcct.orguk These buildings should , by law, remain open to all , and the trust needs to be alerted to any problems of access. Happily John Ward (Oxfordshire Churches) had made a prior arrangement and our band of photographers went forward and probably took more photos, on this St George’s day, collectively of this church’s dusty interior than it may well have had in its entire history.


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Taken on April 23, 2007