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Two Churches with the same name, Hinksey

Journal by Dave Calladine

Let me explain about the two sets of records for the church of St Lawrence in Hinksey, there are two Churchs dedicated to St Lawrences, Why anybody would dedicate two churches less then a mile apart with the same name is beyond common sense. It is estimated that more than three hundred different saints are commemorated in English parish churches, they surely were not short of a name or two to use.. In earlier times, the feast day of the parish's patron saint would be celebrated with masses, fairs, markets, church ales, feasting, and other sorts of junketing. Two nearby churches were normally given different names, as it helped to distinguish between places with names which might otherwise be confused.

St Lawrence (North Hinksey) or Laurence (South Hinksey), was Archdeacon of Rome in the third century, who was tortured and finally grilled to death by the pagan emperor Decius. He is portrayed, with his grid-iron, in stained glass in Balliol College library, and the churches of both North and South Hinksey are named after him. The mystery of the naming of two nearly touching churches after the same saint becomes obvious when you consider that St Laurence is the patron saint of students - and cooks!

North Hinksey has a St. Lawrence's Church, - in the same benefice as St Peter & Paul at Botley, and All Saints at Wytham. Until the 18th century, was a mere chapel under the control of Cumnor Parish Church. The building is mostly of 12th century date, with a triagluar roofed western tower added a hundred years later. It features windows of various periods and a fine mid-12th century south door with chevron ornamentation and animal head stops. The church was partly restored in Victorian times.

The stonework of the tower incorporates parts of the old font as well as the head of the 13th century preaching cross, the steps and shaft of which can be seen in situ in the churchyard. It is gabled and displays one hand of the figure of a Calvary. Internal features include a number of tablets with cherubim to the 17th century Fynmore family. Other than the manor, they owned the only estate of any importance in the parish, as well as the lucrative ferry across the Thames to Oxford.

St. Laurence's Church South Hinksey, is a different church to North Hinksey, It is smaller with a square tower, incorporating a flat roof. Still part of the diocese of Oxford, in the beniface of Hinksey South. Deatails of the churchs history are less publicised, and so will have to wait until I have unearthed them.

Surnames: FYNMORE
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by Dave Calladine Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2006-01-12 14:22:35

Dave Calladine , from Yeovil, Somerset, UK, has been a Family Tree Circles member since Jan 2006. is researching the following names: CALLADINE, LAUNCHBURY, FULLER and 22 other(s).

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