The parish church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is built of stone quarried in the neighbourhood, thus fulfilling the law decreeing that fabric should be native to the soil. History of its origin is proclaimed by the name of 'church pits', which quarries were in a field off Paper Mill Lane. There was talk lately of reopening them, but the idea was abandoned. There are still, however, to be seen huge blocks of this very hard ironstone—less golden that that used generally in Deddington, which is akin to sandstone—lying about the old workings. Here and there, in houses near the church, some of this hard-wearing building material may be discerned, notably in the walls of Tucker's Stores, late the Post Office, long ago an inn, kept it is rumoured by one Kempster, whose family name is closely identified with the parish church in the reign of Charles I and during the first fifteen years of the Restoration.

So obeying the rule of harmony the tower while serving as a landmark blends truly with the countryside, over which its bells peal, the curfew sounding each night at eight. But neither this tower nor those bells are the originals. For the first church tower fell in the year 1635 (O.S.1634) bringing the bells down with it, this mighty crash doing great damage. The story of how all was made good again being told later, it suffices here to remark that the old materials were used in reconstruction, so the very stones consecrated for that early church are those sacred now.

What the first parish church was like can only be surmised from the foundations and earliest parts yet existing. These date from the 13th century, perhaps before. From documentary evidence it is known that Ethelmar de Valence was instituted rector in 1247. He was half brother to Henry III, and his career is a flagant instance of royal favour elevating the undeserving. After obtaining much valuable preferment in the church, he was by King Henry's desire claimant to the bishopric of Winchester, but a petition against his election was presented to the Pope. Ultimately, however, Ethelmar visiting Rome gained the Papal consent to his consecration, despite the fact that a new Bishop had been already elected. Journeying with much pomp to claim his bishopric, Ethelmar only reached Paris to die on December 5th, 1260. His body was buried in the church of Genevieve there, but his heart was brought to Winchester at his own request and placed in the Cathedral, where against the wall, by the side of the Chapel of the Guardian Angels, there is a much disfigured effigy appearing to represent a bishop holding a heart-shaped stone with the words (in Latin) : "To Thee my heart, O Lord."

Before the name of Ethelmar de Valence, one other—Ranulph Brito or Le Bret, Rector, died in 1247—is given in the Rev. E. Marshall's list. These first clergy are indeed names only to us except where a contemporary record makes a man step out of the shadows. Such is the William de Neuport (instituted 1328, died 1332) referred to in the previous chapter, who, we know, must have been rich for he was owed the very large sum in those days of one hundred and sixty pounds. And Mr. Manchip in his Notes quotes from the Autographs in the Office of Arms (Beesley's, Banbury) a Quit Claim of Baldwin Piggot (Lord) to the Prior and Canons of Wroxton respecting the advowson of the Church of Onnesby, which is dated 1306. Among the witnesses is 'Sir Hugh, Rector of Dadyngton', this being evidently Hugh de Neuton, rector, who died in 1345. So, if the dates be correct, his rectorship was very long. It is interesting to note the prefix 'Sir' being already customary for the clergy. It did not disappear even at the Reformation, for Shakespeare's parsons are 'Sir'—as, for example, Sir Oliver Max-text in 'As you Like it' ; Sir Nathaniel (a curate) in 'Love's Labour Lost', and Sir Hugh Evans, the Welsh parson of 'The Merry Wives of Windsor.'

There is an interval in Deddington's list of clergy between 1345 and 1523, which Mr. Marshall explains is due to the cessation of Rectors on the appropriation of the church by the Dean and Canons of Windsor. From 1523 thenceforward they were Vicars. This gap roughly marks also a period of transition in the building. Exactly when it is impossible to tell, but somewhere in the century left blank between, the roof's elevation was increased and the clerestory, or clear story, with its six windows a side, added in the wise taste of the 15th century which approved more height and more light.

We must learn what we can of the way of the first architects and masons from the hard stone, beginning with the outside. In the main it is reckoned that the original church including the tower that fell, was 'Decorated', that is in the style which prevailed in the 14th century, which included the latter part of Edward the first's reign and the reign of Henry the fourth. Walking round the chancel exterior the great east window is seen by the pointedness of its high arches to approximate to the 13th century 'Early English' form, though it must be in the main classed as 'Decorated'. Low down on the chancel's south side a small square-topped, blocked-up window calls for attention. This appears to have been used to communicate between the outside and inside of the building and that has led to its being sometimes described as a leper's window. Two recessed arches of the early period are interesting, and where the old south porch formerly opened (the present south porch is a modern addition by Street, the Victorian architect who carried out various restorations) there are traces remaining of the parvise, or priest's chamber, in the thickness of its wall.

One writer after noting that the chancel is comparatively narrow in a building remarkable otherwise for breadth, observes that the church 'follows the usual plan.' This is somewhat vague for there are several well-known plans about which much has been written. But without recourse to expert learning it is obvious that the simplest and oldest of designs has been followed here—that of the ship, dear to all. of seafaring habit. Not churches only, but other buildings of importance and permanence were first made like ships turned upside down. The derivation of the word 'nave' is from the Latin 'navis' (a ship) while the German for nave of a church is simply 'Schiff', (ship).

Entering five or six hundred years back, before the clerestory was added, it would have been hard at first to discern much besides the radiance of the sanctuary and other oil-fed lamps, and the scintillation of candles and tapers (all of the best beeswax !) beside which the daylight from those fewer windows would seem blurred. Then, as the vision cleared, details would show ; colouring on the plastered walls (vestiges of carmine remain at the end of the north aisle), and the rood-lofts or screens. Two flights of steps in the north and south aisles, now to be seen each approaching a window, evidently led up to the rood-screens or lofts, which were like elongated platforms, traversing part of the church and furnished with chapels or chantries at one or both ends. These have been surmised by an authority on ecclesiastical architecture to have extended from each side at right angles, almost forming squares, but leaving the nave free. Only the rood screen, specially designed to display the Holy Rood, or Cross, erect or suspended, stretched in front of the chancel, right across from north to south.

Allusion has been made to the recessed arches in the outer wall. One of these in the south aisle contains a stone figure, recumbent in an attitude of prayer. For long there was no clue to its identity, but research seems to establish the fact that it is the effigy of a judge. In the Deddington Deanery Magazine for July, 1931, Mr. F. E. Howard ascribes the effigy to Ralph de Beresford who owned land at Barford St. John in 1315, and was appointed Judge 'itinerant' in 1329. Enquiries made of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society resulted in their recording that John de Stonore, Chief Baron of the Exchequer (1329) buried in Dorchester Abbey (Oxon) is represented in the same coif, tippet, sleeveless gown and long undergarment, thus giving further evidence that the robes are those of a judge, not of a woman or priest as some have declared.  The last information is in the September 1931 number of the Deddington Deanery Magazine. The deep crack or cut traversing the robe has been attributed by one antiquarian to the sharpening of 'Round Head' swords therein !

Last, not least, our most ancient and best preserved feature of the 13th century is the Lancet opening, now walled up, which is an Early English doorway and led to the parvise (priest's room) above the original south porch. The hinges of the door remain and two of the flight of steps by which the parson reached his quaint retreat.

Before passing to more spacious days of history—and the church—note should be taken of a brass half-effigy, now affixed to the right-hand side of the Lady Chapel, but as shown in a water-colour drawing of J. Wilkins (a local artist of last century), formerly on the paving midway down the centre aisle. This is labelled "a civilian, circ. 1370." It was noticed in the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. LXV., in the year 1795, when a sketch of it was published. In the following number another communication stated "that the figure was not remarkable, representing some burgess, or member of the staple, (wool staple) in the fifteenth century." But in the Manual of Monumental Brasses by Herbert Haines, the earlier date of about 1370 is given. Perhaps it is the lack of 'remarkableness' of this plain representation of a bearded man of his day, with the hood for warmth or shelter (still preserved for us in academic garb), the long, close-fitting sleeves garnished with many buttons, even the characteristic hair-cut—that makes it not too difficult to imagine him and his fellows, worshippers here in the parish church.

The medieval church was probably at its most gorgeous and the enthusiasm of its congregation at its height when various bequests were made by wills between 1523 and 1543 for the maintenance of the altars and chantries and their lights. Those enumerated were "All Hallows Chapel", "Our Lady's Altar", "St. Catherine's Altar" and "St. Margaret's Altar". There is mention too of bequests to St. Thomas's light, the four principal lights and the Rood light. The Rev. E. Marshall who collected these particulars also quotes from the will of William Pope, proved May nth, 1523, (father of Sir Thomas, the celebrated founder of Trinity College, Oxford) :—"Item, I bequeathe to the torchis, the belles, our Ladie beame, St. Thomas beame, to everyche one of them iijs iiiijd," (3s. and 4d.).

We can only now locate two of these Altars, that to the Blessed Virgin would, of course be in the north aisle where there remains a shelf and a niche, the last apparently to hold her statue.

The south aisle is still dedicated to St. Thomas—St. Thomas a Becket doubtless, the people's hero. Both aisles at the east ends have each on their south side the piscinas used for washing the sacred vessels of the Mass.

Contemporary with these bequests is the altar tomb in the Lady Chapel sacred to the memory of William Bylling, wool merchant of the Staple of Calais, and his wife Elizabeth. The original brass inlay of a crucifix and two kneeling figures has been mutilated but the brass inscription beneath is only partially broken, and reads in 'Old English' lettering :—

"Of youre charity praye for the soule of Willm Bylling, m'chnt of the Staple, at Calays, which decessyd the 28th daye of Auguste, ano 1533. And for the soule of Elizabeth, hys wyfe, which decessyd the ......daye of......ber ano 1522."

Close on a century prior to this, the Fraternity or Guild of the Holy Trinity was instituted. As it was a very representative body, holding land in Deddington and Clifton, and having an important place in the Church with additional clergy for its services, the full particulars from Marshall's notes are of interest.

'In 1445, according to the enrolment in the Record Office, letters patent were granted on the petition of John Somerton, John Collis, William Horncastell, William Tommes, Clement Draper, John Collyns and Richard Maynard, of Deddington, by which it was granted to them to found or establish a guild, as aforesaid, for that is the name (of the Holy Trinity) which it is commonly found to have. The Guild was to consist of a Warden, or Master, to be elected annually by the members on the Vigil or Feast of the Holy Trinity, and the brethren or sisters, being of Deddington, together with any others admitted by them ; it was to be a corporation with a common seal and perpetual succession. The Warden and his successors were to sue or be sued, in the name of the Warden or Master of the Fraternity or Guild of the Holy Trinity of Deddington ; and further, the Guild was empowered after its institution to found a chantry for two chaplains to celebrate at the altars of the Holy Trinity and of the Blessed Virgin in the church, as well for the healthful state of the members of the Guild while living, and of their souls when they shall have deceased, as for King Henry VI and Queen Margaret, and their predecessors and successors, in like manner ; according to the usual form of such letters patent......The chantry was to have the right to hold lands and other property of the yearly value of £12, the statute of Mortmain nothwithstanding.'

For the first Warden, John Andrew, and his wife Lucy, the chaplains were specially to pray. John Sparks, by his Will, dated 1543, and William Payne, by his Will, dated 1544, both bequeathed 3s. and 4d. respectively, 'to be brothers of the Guild, and their souls to be prayed for.'

On the dissolution of the chantries, this one became part of the Duchy of Lancaster. The old Deed whereby the Guild was dissolved, dated December 1635, is in the possession of Mr. Henry E. Stilgoe, and by his courtesy a copy transcribed from it is in the appendix.

Among the many beauties and features of interest in the church, which remain practically uninjured and unaltered by the catastrophic fall of tower and bells, are the north porch of 15th century work with dome-shaped roof and 'fan' tracery ; the piscina and sedilia (seats for three clergy) in the chancel, and a strikingly beautiful perpendicular window cut in the south wall, almost above the stone effigy in St. Thomas's chapel. Behind this altar there are some unglazed red tiles of an early date, hidden by the drapery and framework.


The first entry in volume one of the Deddington registers is March 25th, 1631, it having been transcribed with others from registers presumably destroyed or damaged in the fall of the church tower. It opens with flourishes of the pen and the dramatic sentence :—

"This book was bought the yere whch the tower fell 1634."

The names of the churchwardens heading it are Wm. Brudnell and James Apletree. In 1654 Edward Kempster, registrar (1654), Parish clerk (1658), Schoolmaster (1672) makes his appearance therein. He died in 1676, leaving behind him the reputation of an honest, painstaking official, and many valuable notes on the events of his time. His appointment as registrar is thus given near the end of book I.

"Thomas Apletree.

"Whereas it appears unto me by a certificate dated the 14th of August, instant (1653) made by the hand of the Maior [Bailiff ?] and of the Inhabitants of Daddington (and the parish) in the county of Oxon whoe are chargeable towards the releife of the Poore of the said Parish that Edward Kempster of Daddington aforesd. is by them the said Inhabitants Chosen register of the Parish aforesd., I therefore (by virtue of the late Act of Parliament made touching Marriages and Registring thereof dated the 24th August 1653) have sworne the said Edward Kempster to execute the said Registers office for the Towne and Parish of daddington aforesd. as by the Act is directed and required, And doe also Authorise the said Edward Kempster to receive such flees in the execution of his said office, as by the said act is Allowed.

Given under my hand and Seale the fifteenth day of August 1654.

Signed    Tho Apletree."

(It is curious to note that every entry of the Apletree or Kempster families is encircled with red ink !)

Kempster's next preferment is briefly stated "Edward Kempster began to be clerk this fifth September 1658."

The Commonwealth extended from 1649 to 1660, and Kempster's strong Royalist sympathies which are evidenced by a note in his hand, presently to be quoted, must have been severely affronted by historical and other events, notably the innovation of 'crying banns' in the very market place of his town.

Here is his note on the Restoration :—"His Majestie Charles ye second Came into London ye 29th of May 1660 wch was ye 12th yeare of his reign wch was Brought in wthout Blood shedd and his ffather was put to Death ye 30th of January 1648—by the tyran-nicall powers of Oliver Cromwell who dyed September ye 3, 1658 and was taken up after he had bin buried 2 yeare and above and was hanged at tiborne and his head was sett up at Westminster and his body was buried underneath Tyburne 1661 wch Oliver did governe heare some years in England."

The events that must have been upsetting to a conservative and orthodox Registrar were the marriages, of which the validity was authorised under the very act of 1653 quoted in Kempster's appointment. One is recorded in the Parish registers of Woodstock. "1657. Alexander Hautinge, husbandman, and Marie Prentice, Sprinstresse, both of the Parish of Badington (sic), in the county of Oxon., were married upon the 29 of December, by Mr. Thomas Rayer, Justice of the Peace for this in-corporation."

It is entered in the Deddington register as follows :—"Alexander Hawtin and Mary Prentice were married ye 29 day of December 1657, by Thomas Rayer, Justice of ye Peace for ye burrow of New Woodstock, and by Mr. Jones, minister of Woodstock aforesd., and weare published by me three markett dayes in ye markett place in Dadington, yt is to say on ye 12th and on ye 19th and on ye 26th days, being all in December aforesd."

The practice of a civil ceremony and its subsequent solemnization by a minister is one, of course, customary in some continental countries, and perfectly valid here now.

Edward Kempster's historical sense, to which we are indebted, is further instanced by a note he makes on the occasion of a burial : "Hannah Wyer, daughter of Mr. James Wyer, wch was minister of this towne when Charles ye Scd came home in to England, was buried June ye 13th, 1670."

Kempster, himself, died during the vicariate of Jeremiah Wheate, whose 'amiable spouse', as recorded on her gravestone in the chancel, bore him fifteen sons and six daughters. She died in 1685 at the incredibly (considering the circumstances !) early age of thirty-two.   Hannah Wheate is buried with one of her twins.

Another of the seven vicars, or ministers, under whom Edward Kempster served was James Wyer, 1660-1664. Ten years later there is this entry in the register :—"Hannah Wyer, daughter of Mr. James Wyer......" etc., as quoted above.

"Kempster was Registrar, Parish clerk and Schoolmaster—"on February 15th, 1672, the school-house was made in the church for Edward Kempster to teach there," (entry in register of that date). He had a hand in most parish affairs, but the absorbing concerns for him must always have been the fortunes of the Stuarts, the restoration of the church tower, and the reparation of the damage done to the building and the bells in its fall.

Mr. Marshall refers to the disaster in these words :—'In March, 1635, that is 1634 O.S. (i.e. Old Style, before the reformation of the calendar), the tower of the church fell, and injured at the same time a portion of the fabric. The injury done amounted to the estimated sum of £8,250, and letters patent were granted in the following year, which authorized a collection in all churches and chapels for raising this amount "for repairing the tower and parish church of Deddington." Some years later a question arose upon the expenditure and a petition was presented to the council by (? Edward) Kempster of Deddington ; when it was ordered that it should be referred to the Bishop of Oxford to call the petitioner and the collector before him, and examine whether the letters patent warrant the giving any part of the money for the relief of the petitioner......The repairs, however, remained for a long time incomplete, and in consequence of this, on January 21st, 1643, the king sent an order from Oxford, to the parson, churchwardens, and others, in these terms :—

"Whereas information is given to us that by the fall of your steeple......the bells are made unserviceable for you, till the same be rebuilt and they are new founded ; ......we hereby require you to send the same to our magazine here in New College......the just weight and nature of them be the end we may restore the same in materials or monies to your church, when you shall have occasion to use the same." And so they became munitions of war.

According to the insription on the smallest bell which reads "Antony Basely. Richard Large. C.W.1649", Deddington did not wait long for the ting-tang, which can only be chimed, not rung, as it is on a half-wheel. The six large bells constituting the peal seem to have been all cast at the same time ; the inscription on them is : "Thos. Mears, late Lester, Pack and Chapman of London, fecit, 1791." The foundry was at Whitechapel. The firm of Mears still casts bells.  The curfew is sounded on the fourth bell.

The collection authorised in other churches for the restoration of our St. Peter's and St. Paul's, follows a custom prevalent in the 17th century, and till the middle of the 19th. In the Oxford Diocesan Magazine for November 1928, the Rev. Maurice Frost, Vicar of Deddington, has collected a number of 'briefs'—letters patent authorising a collection—among which is one 'colected at Dadington for Tosceter 0-10-0 (Sept. ye 15, 1672).' Other instances of Deddington's generosity occur in the Registers. As, for instance, these two, in which also history is mirrored :—"Collected for the Poore visited by pestilence (the plague) March, 1665. 10/8 - 3/11."

"October ye 10th 1666. Collected for the sad fire, which happened the 2nd day of September at London. £1.16.8."

Another is very eloquent. "1670. November 21st. Collected towards the redeeming of our English from slavery (? the galleys)

On March 26th 1671, is the entry of a sum collected for 'two Hungarians', which is puzzling, though again generous.

The present font is new (1841) but the registers commemorate the previous one in this wise :—"John West the sonne of Samuel and Sarah was baptized March the 6th being the first that was baptized in the Vante 1663."

The keeping of registers by all parishes was made compulsory in 1538, and in 1597 it was decreed that they must be copied on parchment. Our early registers are of vellum bound in soft undressed leather. The ink is surprisingly little faded and the script —particularly Kempster's—clear. Naturally they deal with all manner of people, but invariably entries of burials between the years 1667 and 1814 are followed by the declaration on oath that such and such a person 'according to Act of Parliament on affidavit' was buried in woollen—this being a law for the encouragement of the industry.

Misery and poverty are reflected in this entry : "Richard a base childe sonne of (left blank) Ason borne within ye parish of Barford St Johns ye woman being delivered on ye other side of ye brooke whin ye field of the said Barford St Johns neere unto a mill commonly knowne and called by the name of Barford Mill and being brought into the said mill did here abide untill ye said chylde was baptized within this pish (parish) and that by direction of the ordinary ye XXVIth day of July anno dmi 1640."

The burial of John Cary, gentleman, member of a well-known local family, several of whose gravestones help to pave the vestry, brings a certain melancholy of fashion into the register for he was killed in a duel in Hyde Park.   The entry reads :—

"John Cary, gentleman, 1695 : burial : ye son of Mr. ffrancis Henry Cary, was buried July ye 4th and John Cawson of Great St. Bartholomews London made oath yt he was buried in Wollen according to ye Act of Parliament, which said John was basely killed in a duel in Hyd. Park June ye 23rd. His Mother was ye daughter of Tho. Apletree Esq. of this town."

The great change in the attitude of church-goers, from the medieval to the Georgian and early Victorian eras, was a literal one. Members of the first period sought to view the altars. From Queen Anne's day and for many generations, they wished to face the pulpit, which developed into a three-decker, and hear well. On that account there was considerable competition for seats in the east end of the north aisle, which then altarless, was a sort of cosy corner much in request. Mr. H. E. Stilgoe contributes some interesting instances of 'Faculties' which testify to this :—

"A faculty was granted 17th December 1728, to John Appletree of Deddington, Apothecary, for appropriating the seat in the north east corner of the north isle of the said parish church adjoining on the south to the seat there in the possession of Job Coles and on the west to a seat in the possession of several of the parish, which seat stands upon the burying place of the family of the Belchers, to the sole use of the said John Appletree and his family during their continuance in the said parish, who upon his leaving the said parish gave up the said seat to the said Nathaniel Stilgoe to which he and his family have ever since resorted without interruption, etc."

"A faculty was granted the 24th December 1784 in respect of this same pew to Susannah Bissell, Widow, the occupier of a mansion house, belonging to Nathaniel Stilgoe on the east side of New Street." It adjoins Ilbury House and is now occupied by Mr. Wood Page.

"It is interesting to note," remarks Mr. Stilgoe, "that John Appletree, Apothecary, had his seat over the burying place of Samuel Belcher, Apothecary."

These were, of course, the old 'horse-box' pews which Joseph Wilkin's drawings, hung under the tower, depict. In them the parish notables dozed when inclined, though the parish beadle rapped soundly the lesser sort caught napping.

Mr. Stilgoe has noted that the living apthecary's seat was above the deceased apothecary's final resting place. This was the Samuel Belcher who, in 1668, issued his trading token adorned with the Apothecaries' Arms. A mural tablet in the north aisle records his death on December 9th, 1688 and his motto : "Loyall au Mort." An inscription to the memory of Elizabeth the wife of Thomas Belcher (the name is sometimes spelt Belchier) is dated December 22nd, 1718. William, son of Samuel Belchier, was also buried here in 1682, their family vault, initialled 'S.B.', taking up considerable space in the flooring.

In fact it might be called a chapel almost sacred to the medical faculty, for the beautiful stained glass window by H. J. Davies, executed by the Bromsgrove Guild, Worcestershire, depicting the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, with on the lower panels the Annunciation and the figures of Hannah, mother of Samuel, and of St. George either side, unveiled in June 1924, was to the memory of the first wife of Dr. George Horatio Jones and of her mother and brother.

This chapel contains the graves of the Nutt family (Job Nutt issued a trading token). On the wall is a marble tablet erected by the 'afflicted parents' of George Brodrick, of Macclesfield, who at the age of 19, when journeying to take up his residence at Brase-nose College, 'was killed by the overturning of the coach at the entrance to the town of Deddington'—crossroads which were a danger spot then as now.

Before passing on to the restored church in its latest phase it will be well to remember once more the importance it had conferred on it by being made head of a deanery. Mr. Manchip in his 'Notes on Deddington' draws attention to the fact that the "Decanatus de Dadynton" occurs in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas IV, A.D.1291, one of the earlier publications of the Commissioners of Public Records. Deddington, as head of a deanery which includes 28 parishes, Banbury being one, possessed a real claim to be helped to build itself up and refurnish the belfry. By virtue of decanal authority courts to try offenders were held, described in the

previous chapter, within the church precincts. Probably it last figured in relation to justice in the case related in the Windsor Court Rolls, given as follows :—

"Appointment by the Dean and Canons (of Windsor) of William Wilson, Charles Sonnibank, Edmund Nuthall, doctors in divinity, their attorneys to demand the payment on the last day of the six weeks of the wheat according to lease 18 August 1567. Endorsed. A demand was made by Dr. Sonnebank and Dr. Nuthall at the south doore on Thursday being 6th May 1613 about half an hour before sunsetting, and continued demanding the said wheat till the sun was set, but no wheat was tendered."

They built the new tower very stout and strong. Some find fault with its high, sturdy buttresses as tending to clumsiness. But parishioners with experience of raising money towards expensive repairs will sympathise and say, "No wonder !" The stone figures of the patron saints on the tower are of the date of the rebuilding.

Much of the restoration work inside is good, the tall arch at the west end leading from, or under, the tower particularly so : but later, taste deteriorated culminating about the middle of the 19th century, when the editor of the Gazateer for Oxfordshire, year 1852, is led to protest in a manner rare in his epoch.    After remarking on the 'striking interior' and 'beautiful arches', he says, 'the view is however disfigured by an unsightly gallery of unpainted deal in the west corner of the south aisle,  erected to supply a temporary necessity caused by the residence of a popular preacher (the Rev. R. Greaves, also his curate Hughes,  see Part II of Chapter "Deddington Folk")......The walls are covered by thick coats of whitewash and until lately the beautiful tracery...was hid beneath an accumulation of rubbish......"    A contempory also reported ivy as thrusting itself through interstices in the wall of the south aisle. But rescue from most of these ills was soon to come through the Rev. William Cotton Risley, Vicar from 1836 to 1848, when he resigned. The Rev. Thomas Boniface (1878, resigned 1924) also made the good state of the church his care, and the present organ, built by Binns of Leeds, and considered a remarkably fine instrument for its size, remains a monument to the taste and enthusiasm of Mr. Boniface and his congregation who raised upwards of £600 for the purpose. It was dedicated by Bishop Richardson (formerly Bishop of Zanzibar) on August 20th, 1912. The Rev. Maurice Frost, now Vicar, has been responsible for big efforts to renew a great part of the roof, and to re-hang the bells— the last being accomplished in 1929. The church's last achievement, under him, has been the substitution of blue Hornton stone in the sanctuary for extremely ugly tiling, and removal of the latter from an interesting series of gravestone, also in the chancel, many of them inscribed with names of the important family of Apletree.

The ivy which was described as invading the south aisle was evidently part of that which, mantling the tower, became a danger to the integrity of its mortar. Mr. Duffell Faulkner, whose interest in antiquities very properly extended to the church, is reported to have said that any renovations or improvements would have no support from him till the ivy was taken down. Accordingly this was done, and since then the tower has stood safe and bare.

The vicarage house opposite the south porch is a plain stone building about 100 years old. The Castle House, which sometimes goes by the name of the 'Old Parsonage' is generally agreed to be the resting place of Charles I, referred to as The Parsonage House' where he lay for one night during a royal progress through Oxon and Bucks in 1644. That there was a vicarage prior to the present one, and subsequent to the 'Old Parsonage' of royal fame, is amply proved by these extracts from the Windsor Manor Court Rolls :— "They will pay the Vicar £36.6.8 and spend £141.9.4. on the Vicarage house and they will hold the ground on which the old Vicarage stood and pay the Vicar therefor £3.13.4. 18 March 1680."

And in the same Rolls, this is signed by Francis Henry Cary and William Draper on Dec. 17, 1701 :—"To the Vicar £36.6.8. (£141.9.4 was laid out for rebuilding Vicarage) that land now held by present lessees at will of Vicar for £3.13.4......"   Virtually a repetition of the first statement, except that it is plain that after an interval of 21 years the deed of rebuilding had been done."

A statement in the list of Quit Rents, dated June 14, 1710 (payable yearly), gives among the leaseholders, Z. Stilgoe as paying £10.0.0 for 'The Parsonage House and Vicarage garden', which may be taken as proof that the Parsonage House was the Great House of the Award Map, and the Vicarage quite a separate dwelling, with more extensive grounds than required which the Vicar leased at the rental of £3.13.4.