History Facts: #5 Transepts, Tombs and Turret Clocks

The Church of St John the Baptist, Burford, is one of the largest in Oxfordshire, yet hidden away from the throngs of tourists swarming around this ancient Saxon-Medieval town. Here are the most interesting facts about it:

1. The church was built in the 12th Century and expanded during the 14th and 15th Centuries as the town’s wool trade grew

2. The North Transept contains the mechanism of a turret clock, dating from 1685, which was used to time the hourly chiming of the old bell of 1330

3. At its peak, the church had 9 separate altars and 6 priests

4. The Norman tub font has a name carved inside it “Anthony Sedley, 1649, Prisner”, one of 340 Levellers captured by Cromwell’s forces and imprisoned in the church before 3 were executed

5. TOP FACT: The St Catherine’s Chapel contains the Tanfield Tomb, surrounded by metal railings. Sir Lawrence was Chancellor of the Exchequer to James I, reviled locally for his greed and corruption. After his death local people gleefully burned his effigy annually!

The Tanfield Tomb

Categories: English History, Heritage

Tags: , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. I’m often surprised how empty it’s been when I’ve visited given the tourists in the main street!


  2. Lovely photos. A favourite haunt of mine- especially looking from the car park. Love the willows.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: