St Stephen the Martyr

The south front

The north arcade

History of the village and early church

In 1631 the church was 'in decay'.[94] The nave seems to have been roughly repaired either then or later, and in the early 19th century had a single pointed window (without tracery) east of the porch, a large rectangular window to its west, and a roofline lower than the chancel.[95] The chancel was repaired in 1677.[96] A church clock mentioned in 1814 survived, in need of repair, in 1897, but was not mentioned later.[97] General repairs were noted in 1847,[98] but by 1867 parishioners were seeking to demolish the church and rebuild it. Those plans were vetoed by the diocesan architect in favour of a restoration to designs by John Luker of Faringdon (then Berks.), who between 1868 and 1870 entirely rebuilt the south wall of the nave (including the south porch), the north wall of the aisle, and the arch into the north chapel, some original carved features being incorporated in new walling. Luker also enlarged the chancel arch and reroofed the chancel, cleaning and scraping its remaining medieval masonry, replaced the east window of the north chapel by one matching the chancel east window, and unblocked the squint, probably also building the surviving fireplace into the north chapel south wall. The church was repaved and repewed, a gallery was removed, and a stone pulpit was installed.[99] The total cost was met by subscription and a twenty-year loan secured on parish rates, together with a small grant from the Diocesan Church Building Society.[100] Heating was installed about 1883.[101]

94 O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 26, f. 220v.

95 Bodl. MSS. Top. Oxon. a 66, no. 172; b 90, f. 28.

96 Par. Colln. i. 97.

97 O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. d 574, f. 83; Pocock, Hist. Clanfield, 159, perhaps referring only to the mechanism.

98 O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. c 37, f. 311 and v.; P.O. Dir. Oxon. (1847).

99 Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. c 103, ff. 255--9; O.R.O., MSS. Oxf. Dioc. c 1773, faculty pps. etc. 1867--8; c 335, ff. 89v.--90; ibid. PAR 67/2/A 1/1, pp. 65 sqq. and cuttings at end; Witney Express, 2 Dec. 1869, 12 May 1870.

100 Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. c 103, ff. 255v.--256; O.R.O., PAR 67/2/A 1/1, p. 66; ibid. MS. Oxf. Dioc. d 797, ff. 146v.--147, 170v.--171.

101 Ch. Ch. Mun., MS. Estates 67, f. 323 and v.


The above information has been copied from the Victoria County History for Clanfield in Oxfordshire, at

Dove's reference for the bells:

[18/01/01] Clanfield, Oxon, S Stephen (GF), 8, 12-3-16 in F#. Wednesday


Map reference  :  SP283022

Information kindly supplied by Victoria County History 

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Edwin and Sheila Macadam,

Shelwin, 30, Eynsham Road, Botley,
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