St Michael

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General view of the exterior of the church from the south.  The tower is 14th Century, unbuttressed and embattled.   

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Looking towards the east end from the west, the latter being the view from the gallery.  The chancel arch dates from either the Norman or earlier Saxon period, expert opinion being divided.  [It looks more Saxon to me]

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The west gallery, showing (4) the platform upon which, presumably, used to stand an earlier organ (?) details if which are unrecorded. Note the lanterns, of the same pattern as those in the nave.  Divided centrally north-south, each section contains simple bench-type pews.

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7, 8  Two pictures showing the panelled oak pews under the gallery; those against the south wall (7) date back to the seventeenth century. A bench-type pew is also recessed into the old 13th/14th Century north doorway.

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9   Detail of the timber braces in the ceiling of the church.

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10   The west gallery as viewed from the east end.  This, according to the church guide, was probably added in 1902, and bears the coat of arms of Edward 7th, shown in detail (11). Access is by a narrow staircase next to the vestry door.

History of the church

There was probably an earlier Saxon church on the same site, because the Domesday Book records that there was a priest  there in 1086. The south porch is 14th Century, the nave being of earlier date, around the 13th-14th century

The chancel is nearly as long as the nave, and is 12th Century with Early English lancet windows in the south wall. It was lengthened in the 13th Century, when it also received the three stepped eastern lancet windows. 

Pulpit (not shown) is of Jacobean construction: late perpendicular with Jacobean addition, and has tracery and linen fold panelling. 

There is a horse-drawn funeral bier in the vestry.

This is now a united benefice, together with Bromfield, Culmington and Stanton Lacy.

[Notes courtesy of the Church Guide]


The gallery at the west end was probably added during the 1902 renovation work, when the walls of the tower had to be strengthened following the discovery of cracks, and the fact that the tower had become detached from the nave of the church.

Dove's Guide to the bells

Onibury, Salop, S Michael, 4, 5cwt. Unringable. 

The bell frame is triangular, and is dated 1626.  There are four bells.  The second and third are probably 14th Century, inscribed 'Ave Maria gracia pkena [plena] Dominus plecum [tecum]'. Tenor inscribed ' John Wellings, churchwarden 1676 HC'.  [Henry Clibury of the old Wellington bell foundry] Treble also 1676, but recast by Abraham Rudhall in 1842. Bells virtually silent due to the condition of the bell frame and tower walls.


Map reference  :  SO456791

Church usually open during daylight hours.

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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 -