Church of St Mary the Virgin


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Church Green


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Statutory Address:
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Church Green

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Oxfordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 35621 09248


SP3509S 11/40

WITNEY CHURCH GREEN (south side) Church of St. Mary the Virgin


GV I Church. C12, rebuilt mid C13; early C14 chapels added to north transept and west end of north aisle; south transept enlarged C15; restored 1865-69 by G.E Street. Coursed and uncoursed limestone rubble with ashlar dressings; gabled stone slate roof. Cruciform plan, with tower over crossing and aisled nave and transepts.

Hood moulds linked to string course above mid C13 east window of graduated triple lancets; north side of chancel has three mid C13 lancets and a C15 three-light Perpendicular window; south side has two similar lancets above C13 pointed chamfered doorway, and south chapel with similar door and lancet and C15 restored three-light Perpendicular window.

North transept: east side has mid C13 lancet and C15 offset buttress, early C14 three-light curvilinear window, and a Perpendicular three-light window, now mainly C20; north end has early C14 corner buttresses with cusped and ogee-headed statue niches and a fine seven-light curvilinear north window; west side has three-light curvilinear window, and a similar three-light window and C15 square-headed two-light window to the aisle; entire transept has early C14 corbel table with carved heads of beasts and humans and a C15 clerestory with two two-light windows to east and gargoyles beneath parapet.

South transept: east side has two mid C13 lancets, a blocked C12 round-arched chamfered doorway and a blocked C13 double-chamfered archway to former chapel; offset buttresses; fine C15 Perpendicular five-light transomed south window; west aisle has C15 three-light window with panel tracery to south, sundial in south west cornice, and similar windows to north bay and to west chapel window; C15 parapet with gargoyles to aisle and transept; C15 clerestory with quatrefoil lights. In south east corner are steps to C13 doorway of stair-turret to tower over crossing. Bell-stage with triplets of roll-moulded lancets; corner pinnacles to octagonal ribbed spire which has gabled lucarnes, with louvred two-light plate-tracery windows, surmounted by crouching figures.

Late C12 north porch has chamfered round arch of four orders and jamb shafts with stiff-leaf capitals; gabled C15 room above has trefoiled lights flanking canopied statue niche; round-arched doorway east of porch blocked by C15 chapel; gargoyles beneath parapet. Interior: canopied reredos with marble figures by Clayton and Bell, 1884, piscina and sedilia by G.E Street, 1865-67. Chamfered mid C13 tower arches of three orders. North transept: two C13 rere-arches with bell capitals to shafts and blocked chamfered doorway with red and blue colouring to east; one east window rebuilt in C15, with reredos beneath which has three cusped ogee recesses above quatrefoil band; C16/C17 parish chest; rebated aumbry to west, next to C13 two-bay arcade of double-chamfered arches; west chapel of transept has C15 doorway, plank door to chamber over porch and reredos of three ogee recesses, one with C20 statue of St. George; C13 scalloped corbels and C15 corbels of crouching figures to mid C19 tie-beam roof.

South transept: shafted rere-arches of two mid C13 east windows; also, rebated aumbry, blocked early C13 pointed-chamfered doorway and mid C13 roll-moulded piscina; three-bay arcade to west aisle has C13 double-chamfered archways to north and C15 archway to south; C15 four-centred archway to west chapel. South transept and aisle have five bay tie-beam roofs with quartered and moulded beams.

Nave: pulpit, lectern, pews and font by G.E Street, 1865-67; C13 four-bay arcades of double-chamfered archways; C15 restored five bay tie-beam roof, with quartered and moulded tie beams. North aisle; and C19 roof an early C14 head and shield corbels. Early C14 two bay double-chamfered arcade to north chapel; fine early C15 screen with open and blind traceried panels divided by openwork band of quatrefoils. South transept has restored C15 roof with moulded beams and ashlar plate on C14 and C15 head and shield corbels.

Monuments: crossing has mid C19 wall tablet and marble memorial by Grimsley to Edward Augustine Batt, d.1853, which depicts the Good Samaritan. South chapel: C18 and C19 wall tablets; tomb chest, with quatrefoils enclosed in lozenges around the sides, and Purbeck marble slab with brasses of Richard Wennan (d.1501) and his two wives. Brass to Richard Ashcombe, d.1606, in chancel. C14 effigies of man and woman in north transept. North west chapel has C14 effigy of an ecclesiastic, and wall monument to Sir Francis Wenman (d.1680) in rustic Baroque style: oval panel, set in open pedimented aedicule surmounted by crest, carved with swags, strapwork, cherubs etc.

Stained glass: mid C19 memorial glass in most windows, east window by Clayton and Bell (1879) and west window by Wailes (1867).

Listing NGR: SP3562209244


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Cooper, TJ , The Restoration of St Marys Parish Church Witney, (1982), 4-9
Pevsner, N, Sherwood, J, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, (1974), 843-845


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Reference: IOE01/12396/22
Rights: Copyright IoE Miss Kate Brady. Source Historic England Archive
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