Brightwell Baldwin
St Bartholomew
exterior of church


church tower

1 & 2  -  The entrance to the church is through the south door, the porch having been added in 1905. Under the mat is a stone commemorating Stephen Rumbold who died in 1687. The nave has four bay arcades in the Decorated style with small stone heads above each column.

Jacobean pilpit and tester Jacobean pulpit and tester

3  &  4  -  The pulpit and tester are Jacobean.  This stands to the right of the chancel arch, which is in the same style as the nave arcades. The chancel itself is slightly out of line with the nave, representing Christ upon the Cross.

The second view of the pulpit is taken from the corner of an enclosure occupied by the present day choir. (See below)


5 -  General view looking east.

Brightwell_Baldwin09.JPG (54652 bytes)
the singing seat harmonium in chancel

6  &  7 - show the "singing seats" currently used by the choir, and which may well have been used by generations before them. In the centre there is a rectangular book stand for music books, and possibly of more use to musicians than singers. Its more modern equivalent, a rather more normal rest for books when not in use, has ingenious flaps which open out at either end to give more room.

All stages of the church's musical development are represented in the church, from the old quire seats, to a barrel organ, thence via a harmonium (8)  to the present organ at the west end of the church.

From the Vestry Minutes [undated], the church guide states:

There are several entries for the replacement of bass viol strings which must have been for the band which accompanied the singing. R E Moreau, in his book on Berrick Salome, records that the old Sexton at Brightwell Baldwin told him that when as a boy he was helping to clean out the tower, he came across an old bassoon.

8  -  The right hand picture shows the American organ, or harmonium, which is to be found in the chancel in the centre of the northern choir stalls. Possibly this dates from 1860, when the chancel was extensively "restored" (which in fact seems to have included extensive rebuilding, including the removal old the old Decorated east window. This restoration also swept away its 14th-Century glass.).

The church guide quotes the 1895 restoration and says of the old pews ' [they] were restored and oak seats took the place of the deal seats at the west end, and a new oak seat set under the south wall replaced the 'shelf' previously occupied by 'the lads'

Barrel organ, 1843

9  -  In the north west corner of the church stands a small barrel organ which is in working order, having been restored in 1963.

It was built by Walker in in 1843, and has six stops. There are three barrels, each of which has ten "hymns or chants" - (quote from church guide).

If the harmonium replaced it in the 1860s, the barrel organ was only in use for some 20 years

10  Monuments in the Stone family chapel
10  -  The Stone Chapel to the north of the chancel was created by John Stone in the 17th century after he had married Catherine Carleton, heiress to the manor of Brightwell Baldwin. Here he erected memorials to his father and grandfather who had died in London in 1660 and 1640.

"The Trobels following the Fathers & ye fire of London succeeding the sons death; this memorial to their graves (not to be found after that dismall conflagration) is transmitted to this place"

The east wall of the chapel is filled with Baroque memorials (picture above), on the cornice of which are a skull and crests against a background of smoke and flames.

Dove's reference for the bells:

Brightwell Baldwin, Oxon, S Bartholomew (GF), 6, 9-0-7 in Bflat. 


Map reference : SU653950

The church stands at the north western edge of the village, and appears to be open to visitors at all reasonable times (March 2002)

Photographs: © Edwin Macadam

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This site has been constructed by, and remains the copyright of, its authors,
Edwin and Sheila Macadam,

Shelwin, 30, Eynsham Road, Botley,
Oxford OX2 9BP
July 2001 -