All Saints - Mollington, Oxfordshire, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 07.438 W 001° 21.328
30U E 612582 N 5776101
Quick Description: Medieval church of All Saints, Mollington.
Location: South East England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/29/2020 12:25:16 AM
Waymark Code: WM12H7X
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 2

Long Description:
"The earliest parts of the Church of England parish church of All Saints date from the 14th century, but the font is 13th century so there may have been an earlier church building on the site. All Saints' has a north aisle which is linked to the nave by an arcade of four bays. The tower was built in the 16th century. There was a chapel on the north side of the chancel, but it was demolished in 1786. A blocked arch and doorway survive in the north wall of the chancel and a piscina can be seen from the outside.

The building was restored in 1856 under the direction of the Gothic Revival architect William White. All Saints' is a Grade II* listed building.

The tower has a ring of six bells. Henry I Bagley of Chacombe, Northamptonshire cast the fifth bell in 1631 and John Briant of Hertford cast the fourth bell in 1789. Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the third and tenor bells in 1875. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the treble and second bells in 1981, completing the present ring. All Saints has also a Sanctus bell, cast by John Conyers of Yorkshire in about 1630. Conyers had two bell-foundries: one in Kingston upon Hull and the other in New Malton.

All Saints' parish is now part of the Benefice of Shires' Edge along with the parishes of Claydon, Cropredy, Great Bourton and Wardington."

SOURCE - (visit link)

"Although Mollington was a dependent chapelry of Cropredy until 1851, it had two churchwardens by 1609, a burial ground by 1566, and curate's house by 1738, and probably much earlier. In 1851 the perpetual curacy of Claydon-withMollington was created; the living was in the gift of the Bishop of Oxford and was endowed with glebe. In 1863 the net value of the joint living excluding the new glebe-house was c. £234 of which £109 came from Mollington glebe and tithes. In that year Mollington was created a separate perpetual curacy, and the endowment of the joint living was divided. In 1877 Mollington benefice was valued at £178 gross, of which £172 came from glebe rents—a precarious situation, especially as a tenth of the glebe rent due on Lady Day 1879 had later to be remitted. Besides the glebe the vicars were entitled to tithe rent charges, ordained in 1843, from seven cottages, a public house, and one malt-house (3 a. in all) in Mollington. Small additional grants made between 1877 and 1926 brought the value of the living to £211 yearly, of which £92 came from glebe rent.

In 1928 the benefices, but not the parishes, of Mollington and Claydon were reunited; the living remained in the gift of the Bishop of Oxford and in 1931 its total endowment was £470. In 1965 the living retained most of its glebe of 60 a., of which 55 a. lay in Cropredy.

In 1526 the curate's stipend was £5 6s. 8d. During the Commonwealth period an attempt was made to augment it: in 1650 Captain George Raleigh of Farnborough (Warws.), the lay rector, as a precondition for the reduction of his fine for delinquency in 1646, assigned half the rectorial tithe in Mollington, valued at £100 a year, to trustees for maintenance of a minister. The improvement did not survive the Restoration. In 1739 the curate, who since the 1670s had served Claydon also, was receiving £30 a year. In 1808 the stipend for serving both cures was £32 10s. and in 1814 £35.

The names of only two medieval curates are known, Ralph Caton (1457) and Roger Norman (1526). In the post-Reformation period the provision of curates for Mollington was no more satisfactory than for other Cropredy chapelries. It is possible that in 1557 William Rowse was curate of Mollington only; but William Saunderson, who occurs between 1598 and 1604, was certainly curate of Mollington and Claydon, as were most subsequent curates. In 1678 the Vicar of Cropredy was ordered to serve Claydon and Mollington with one stipendiary curate and that arrangement seems to have held good in general until the 19th century. In 1813–14, however, the curate served Warmington (Warws.) as well as Mollington. It is not known when the curates ceased to reside, but the 'vicarage house' was sold in 1814, and was not replaced for forty years. Mollington's church attendance was similar to that in other parts of the undivided parish of Cropredy: in 1808 there was one service each Sunday, and the average attendance at the three annual celebrations of Holy Communion was 20. By 1814 there had been some improvement: there were four celebrations with an attendance of 50.

After the creation of the perpetual curacy in 1851 the new incumbent, Thomas Henry Tait, first resided at Wardington, but in 1852 the Holbeches gave a two-acre site for a parsonage, which was finished in 1854. In Bishop Wilberforce's view it was 'ugly outside, but comfortable in and very well situated'. By 1854 there were two services each Sunday, and a third service every other Sunday; the average afternoon attendance was 100; Communion was held monthly instead of quarterly and the average number of communicants at the more frequent celebrations was twelve, or seventeen on great festivals. Tait was responsible for the restoration of the church in the 1850s.

In 1875 A. M. Sugden, incumbent since the separation of Mollington and Claydon in 1863, complained that his parishioners resisted all attempts to induce them to become communicants, attributing his failure partly to the great influence of the Primitive Methodists and partly to neglect by former curates. He preached three sermons on Sundays and appears to have had an attendance of over 100 at either the morning or the evening service; he administered Holy Communion every Sunday and on two festivals, but 22 was the highest number of communicants. In 1872 he again deplored the poverty of the parish, the small attendance, and the difficulty of teaching the children. By 1878 a new vicar had reduced the Sunday services to two and the number of communion services had been cut to once a month in winter. Even so attendance was only slightly increased.

After the benefices of Mollington and Claydon were reunited in 1928 the vicar resided at Mollington, except between 1934 and 1958 when he resided at Claydon.

The church of ALL SAINTS consists of a chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch, and west tower. The chancel and nave were built in the 14th century, the only feature of an earlier date being the font, which is decorated with dog-tooth ornament of the 13th century. The west tower was built c. 1500. The north aisle was rebuilt in 1855 on the site of an aisle that existed by the early 14th century; it is separated from the nave by an arcade of four bays, above which is a clerestory of two two-light windows. On the north side of the chancel a blocked arch indicates the existence of a former north chapel, whose piscina survives in what is now the outside wall. An adjoining doorway, also blocked, presumably gave access to a vestry.

In 1715 the churchwardens reported that they had pulled down the porch and were rebuilding it: it was evidently reconstructed with the old materials, as its features are all characteristic of the 14th century. In 1786 the north aisle and chapel were 'taken down' or dismantled, the arcades were built up, and for seventy years the church consisted only of nave, chancel, and tower.

In 1855 the nave was restored and the north aisle rebuilt by G. E. Street. A gallery was removed, and the 15th-century chancel screen of crudely carved wood was placed beneath the tower arch. Though the repair of the chancel was considered in 1854, nothing was done until 1922, when its masonry was restored. The roofs of both nave and chancel were releaded in 1929, and extensive repairs to the timbers were carried out in 1965. Electric light was installed in 1953, and electric heaters in 1958.

There are tablets to the memory of Anthony Woodhull and his wife Mary (both d. 1669) and of Elizabeth Woodhull (d. 1657). In the chancel are brass inscriptions to the same Anthony and Mary Woodhull, Anthony Woodhull (d. 1675), and his wife Ann (d. 1678), and Francis Woodhull (d. 1700). There are memorials to various members of the Holbech family, namely Ambrose the elder (d. 1701) and the younger (d. 1737), Elizabeth (née Woodhull, d. 1732), wife of Hugh Holbech, Hugh's sister Finetta (d. 1758), another Hugh Holbech (d. 1763) and his wife Catherine (d. 1753). The glass in the east window (1877) commemorates Harriet Mavor.

The bells were reported as unsatisfactory in 1868; the ring of five dates from 1631, 1789, and 1875, when the treble and second were added and the tenor recast; there is, in addition, a sanctus. The bells hang in an 18th-century oak frame.

The church clock is a two-train striker, dating from the late 17th or early 18th century; its anchor escapement has been modified in the same way, and probably by the same smith as that of the original Cropredy clock, now at Horley. The organ is by T. C. Bates & Son, Ludgate Hill. The church plate, which is modern, includes a silver chalice and paten made by John Keith in 1852 and bought in 1855.

The Holbeches gave land for small additions to the churchyard in 1891 and 1908. The rent of an allotment of under 1 a., assigned at inclosure in 1796 to the repair of the church, was still creditied in 1966 to the church account. In 1909 Jeremiah French gave allotments, and Mrs. Hyems £20, for the repair of the church; the charities were amalgamated by 1927.

The registers begin in 1561; there are no entries for the period 1614–16 and few for the Civil War period."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Building Materials: Stone

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