St Michael and All Angels, Great Tew

Great Tew is often referred to as one of the prettiest villages inOxfordshire with its thatched ironstone cottages and air of rural history. Thechurch, St Michael and All Angels, is tucked away on the Great Tew Estate, downa long shrub-lined path on the south side of the village near the top of a hill.It is of Cotswold stone, the walls dating back to the 14th century orearlier with a 15th century clerestory. The South porch is Normanwith a scalloped archway and curved stone seats. Inside, the church is steepedin history with plenty for you to browse around when you’re not ringing! Thereare carved medieval bench ends and 19th century box pews, a threetier pulpit, 15th century font, wall paintings dated in the 1300s,various memorials including brasses dated 1410, and a sculpted marble tomb byChantry to the young Anne Boulton who died in 1829.

Great Tew are the oldest ring of eight bells in the county outside Oxfordcity. Bells Nos. 1,2,4,6,7 were given by Sir Anthony Keck in1709: cast by Abraham Rudhall. No.3 was cast in 1785 and No.5 in 1842. The Tenorweighs 22cwt and was cast by Williams in 1709. The inscriptions on two of thebells are ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘Prosperity to the Church of England.’The bells were originally rung from a first floor ringing chamber but have beena ground floor ring since they were re-hung and tuned in 1925.

If you come in early Spring the Churchyard is covered with snowdrops whichare then quickly followed by a mass of wild daffodils; well worth a visit!