THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST. LEONARD, WATLINGTON, OXFORDSHIRE
LYCHGATE - Its purpose is to provide protection from the weather for the Bearers while awaiting the mourners at funerals. Date 1901. Commemorates the reign of Queen Victoria 1837-1901.
PORCH - This is modern. Date 1874.
DATE OF THE CHURCH - The age of the Church is unknown. The first reliable date is 1100AD. (Reign of Henry I of England) It is believed that a Wattle and Daub Church with a thatched roof existed on this site in the time of Alfred the Great.
FONT - Commemorates Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Date 1898.
WEST WINDOW - (Behind the font) This is in memory of the Rev. B. Carter, one time vicar of Watlington. As you face the window the left light depicts St.. Leonard as a prisoner with an iron ball and chain. He is Patron saint of Prisoners. He is also Patron Saint of Watlington. The centre light represents St.. George, Patron Saint of England, with the dragon at his feet. The right hand light depicts St.. Frideswide, Patron Saint of the Diocese of Oxford. She is holding the Cathedral in her left arm and has an Ox at her feet. Date 1905.
TOWER - This was restored in the 15th century.
CLOCK - Within the Tower is a striking clock. It was made by Smith of Derby, and has Westminster chimes. Date 1914.
BELLS - Until 1909 there were only six bells in the Belfry dating from 1587 to 1783. The latter is the tenor bell which weighs twenty four hundred weight. In 1909 two more bells were added.
MARIA COOK MEMORIAL - This is a huge brass plate over the door leading up to the tower. Maria Cook left some property to the Church last century in the form of a Charity.
CENTRAL WINDOW IN THE NORTH AISLE - The window is in memory of the Rev. J. Kingdom, one time Curate of the Parish. The subject is Christ preaching to the multitudes, and is intended to be a reminder of the vocation of the Priesthood. Date 1887.
VESTRY - The stone over the far door is a Norman tympanum. (Tympanum is the space over the door between the lintel and the arch).
THREE STEPS LEADING INTO THE CHANCEL - The money needed to place these steps here was raised by the children of the Parish and is recorded on the left hand pillar.
HANGING ROOD - Standing on the first step, looking toward the roof, there is a Hanging Rood. This is a memorial to the Rev. C. Saunders, one time Vicar of the Parish, and is recorded as such on the pillar behind the Curate’s stall.
EAST WINDOW - (Behind the Altar) this is the work of the artist Kemp, and commemorates Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. Date 1887.
REREDOS - this is the panel behind the Alter and below the window. It is the work of Kemp. It contains four figures representing the four Evangelists. The theme of the reredos and the window is the Annunciation and the Incarnation (First Christmas). The gold on the Rederos is gold leaf and the work was done voluntarily by the Master of Ceremonies, Mr. L. Beech. It was completed in 1970.
ALTAR - this was designed by Kemp. Date 1889.
PISCENO - Date 1874.
ORGAN - This is a three manuel recital organ built by Hill in 1908 at a cost of £1,000. It was repaired and restored in 1969 at a cost of £1,800.
KNEELERS - (In the Sanctuary, Chancel, and the Lady Chapel) These were designed by Mrs. Truscott, the wife of the local doctor, and made by the ladies of the Parish in 1960.
DATE OF THE LADY CHAPEL - First authentic date is 1685. The panelling behind the Alterwas provided by William Wiggins in 1926.
EAST WINDOW - designed by Kemp. It is in memory of William Hulton. Dtae 1887. It depicts the Crucifixion, the Mother of Sorrows, and St. John. In the small lights above the main window are seen the instruments of the Crucifixion.
NORTH SCREEN - (Organ Side) Date 1870.
OLD OAK CHEST - This is on the floor below the screen. Date unknown. The clasp is modern, but observe the three key holes in the front. The chest was the repository of Parish documents. The three keys were held by the Vicar and two Church Wardeds respectively and so the chest could only be opened with all three present.
SOUTH WALL - The small window represents St. Mark and St. Luke, Evangelists. Date 1874. The date of the large window is 14th century, but nothing is known of the heraldry.
CHANDELIER - Date 1778. Original cost £13. The iron rod support cost 18 shillings.
BRASS ON THE NORTH WALL - Date 1501. There is another Brass at the west end of the Chapel. Date 1485.
BANNER - This represents our Lady crowned in glory holding the Christ Child. It is after a painting in the Parish Church of Castelfranco, Italy. Designed by Mrs. Truscott and worked in silk by the ladies of the Parish. On the left can be seen the Parish Church, and on the right, the Town Hall. Date 1957.
WEST SCREEN - Date 1913.
LECTURN - Given in memory of the Rev. C. Saunders, one time Vicar of Watlington.
BRASS ON THE WALL BEHIND THE LECTURN - In memory of Jerem Ewstes. Date 1588. He donated one of the bells. When the Church was restored in 1887 this Brass was stolen. Later a collector saw it in a junk shop in Reading, purchased it, and housed it in the local museum. Later identified and restored to the Church in 1914.
The Brass reads:
Here Lyeth buried the body of Jerem Ewstes **
The eldest sonne of Robert Ewstes late of this ****
Watlington who gave ye trebell Bell that hangeth
in this steppel. He departed the forth day of may.
And also lyeth buried John Ewstes brother
laid Jerem who departed ye last day of may.15
SOUTH AISLE - Ogee arch. Date unknown. Originally housed a figure of a saint which was probably destroyed at the time of the Reformation.
WINDOWS - Facing the wall, the left window depicts St. Peter and St. John, Apostles. Date 1901. It was purchased by money raised by the children of the Parish. The middle window represents st. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles. Date 1902. The right hand window depicts St. Philip and St. James, Apostles. Date 1902.