English Churches - Oxfordshire

Church of St Mary Magdalene


An Anglo Catholic Church with a C14th Lady Chape


Sitting just outside the original city walls, this is probably the least well known of the Oxford city churches. The original wooden church was burnt down just after the Norman Conquest and was rebuilt in stone in the late C12th. The south aisle and the Lady Chapel are all that are left of this church. The relatively plain tower is C16th. In the mid C19th George Gilbert Scott who was still a young and relatively unknown architect rebuilt the chancel and north aisle. He was also responsible for the Martyrs Memorial close by.

Church of St Mary Magdalene, Oxford

Church of St Mary Magdalene, Oxford

Inside the north door is the C14th font. On the walls are memorials to the great and good.

Church of St Mary Magdalene,
                Oxford    Church of St Mary
                Magdalene, Oxford

An arcade of pointed arches separates the nave from the side aisles. Beyond the south aisle is the Lady Chapel. The roof is a simple wood framework of dark beams supported on stone corbels. 

Church of St Mary Magdalene,
                Oxford

The south aisle chapel is dedicated to St Thomas Becket and the stone and wood pulpit is here.

Church of St Mary Magdalene,
                Oxford

It is separated from the Lady Chapel by a wooden screen and this is the oldest part of the church. It still has its three seater sedilia on the south wall.

Church of St Mary Magdalene, Oxford

Church of St Mary Magdalene,
                Oxford

The North aisle chapel is dedicated to St Catherine. The arcading behind the altar was originally behind the high altar and moved here to  make space for Gilbert Scott’s reredos.

St Mary Magdalene, Oxford

The Church is Anglo-Catholic and open 10-1. The choir were practising for a memorial service later in the day which is why I was unable to take photographs of Gilbert Scott’s reredos. The post code is OX1 3AE and the grid reference is SP 512065.

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