It is likely that there was an Anglo-Saxon church here, possibly a wooden one. The earliest parts of the building now visible are the late 12th-century chancel arch and columns and arches at the east end of the nave. The tower is 15th century. The church was extensively rebuilt in the 1830’s by Ignatius Bonomi. Statues (1864) of St Oswald, 7th-century Northumbrian warrior king, and St Cuthbert adorn buttresses at the east end.
Notable interior features: 14th/15th-century roof carvings (angels and grotesque masks). 15th-century choir stalls and parish chest with 3 locks. Brightly coloured royal arms, made in 1660 for £6. Sculpted stone grave covers, 12th-15th century, displayed at the back of the church. Window by William Morris & Co., 1864-6, with panels designed by Ford Madox Brown telling the story of the life of St Oswald. Other windows by Clayton & Bell (1860’s, 1912), Kempe & Co. (1919) and Wippell Mowbray (1976, a colourful depiction of the account of the creation of the world in the Book of Genesis). Two windows and a photograph commemorate John Bacchus Dykes, well-known hymn tune composer, vicar here in the 19th-century, whose grave is in the park across the road. Fine organ by Peter Collins, 1988. The tower’s 8 bells were cast in 1977; two of the previous bells, cast in 1694 by Christopher Hodson, are displayed at the back of the church. The large, leafy churchyard, with paths leading to the river, has interesting 17th-19th century gravestones.
|Open all year except January-March.|
|Open from 1st April, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (dusk if earlier).|
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