Wallingford St Leonard

St Leonard's is certainly an old church, but whether its provenance stretches back to the sixth century as is often claimed is another matter.  Before 1135 King Henry I had granted the church to St Frideswide of Oxford.  Surviving of the old church is a solid rebuilt 'Norman' tower, Saxon nave and a chancel with a rebuilt apse apprently on the original foundations.  Unfortunately the church was heavily damaged in the 1646 siege of Wallingford and was over restored in 1849-50.

The nave shows most antiquity due to the rebuildings.  This consists of an uneven
flint and stone
rubble build.  Above this and the replaced Romanesque fenestration are several courses of herringbone masonry on the north side.  Obviously this should post date the lower rubble work which contains a blocked triangular headed doorway in the south wall.  There is also a blocked Romanesque window, those still open all appear much altered.  Internally are 2 fine, but much rebuilt, chancel arches and a nineteenth century Romanesque arcade.


Copyright©2021 Paul Martin Remfry

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