GREAT TEW, OXFORDSHIRE

Grid Ref: SP 398 291
27 April 2005

Falkland Arms spacer Pub sign
The Falkland Arms       Pub Sign
St. Michael & All Angels   Post Office
St. Michael and All Angels   The village Post Office

 

Great Tew, is one of those picture post-card villages where you can take a photograph that does not include telephone wires and power lines. In our walk from Middle Barton, we had passed through Ledwell, which is not so fortunate in this respect although is has some beautiful houses. Great Tew has a shop, post office, pub and a school. It has escaped so far the fate of many villages which have become little more than dormitories. St. Michael and All Angels is on the outskirts of the village. It is approached from a gate opposite the vicarage down a path that was formerly for the manor house. Aelfric the Archbishop of Canterbury from 995-1005 is the earliest known holder of Great Tew and it is suggested in the pamphlet on the church that this is evidence for an early place of worship in the village. The present church has some Norman masonry and below I show some of its interesting features.

 

South Door Font Pew
   Norman south door 15th century Font 15th century pew
Falkland Memorial Pulpit Wall painting
Memorial to Lord Falkland 18th century three decker pulpit 13th Century wall paintings

 

The picture of the memorial to Lord Falkland has subject to digital perspective correction. It reads as follows:

 

This tablet is erected to record the fact that LUCIUS CAREY, VISCOUNT FALKLAND
distinguished in the time of Charles the First is buried in this Church. The
exact spot where his remains lie is not known, nor was there, so far as is
known, any memorial to him in this Church until the erection of the present
one in 1885, but his burial at Tew is certified by the parish register
He fell fighting on the side of the King in the battle of Newbury, on the
20th September 1643, in the 34th year of his age.
He was lord of the manor of Great Tew, and resided at Tew, attracting
round him there a society of learned friends from Oxford, as is mentioned
by Clarendon, who has celebrated his worth with an eloquent pen and with
the warmth of friendship. The praises of Clarendon are confirmed by
Sir Philip Warwick, Waller and Cowley, who all extol the eminence of his
natural gifts and the variety and extent of his learning. But that which
has yet more contributed to keep his memory and shed lustre upon
it, is the admiration which he won by his fine and blameless character.

 

Digital photography allows many forms of manipulation and it is interesting to see below how part of the medieval wall painting can be revealed by using contrast and colour balance enhancement. The original photograph was taken hand-held at 1/30th of a second exposure at an aperture of 2.8.

Wall painting spacer Image enhancement
Painting on the south wall   Colour and contrast enhanced
North arcade   South Arcade
North arcade   Nave and south arcade
Sedilia   Boulton memorial
Piscina and triple sedilia   Memorial to Mary Anne Boulton

 

It is interesting to find in the church an connection with the engineer and entrepreneur, Matthew Boulton (1728-1809) of the Soho factory in South Staffordshire. Boulton was a leading figure in the history of the industrial revolution and went into partnership with James Watt (1736-1819) to produce steam engines. There is a corroded plaque which I could read with difficulty with the inscription below. The fine monument to Mary Anne Boulton in the chancel is by Francis Chantry.

In Memory of

Matthew Robinson Boulton of Soho Staffordshire and New Park Oxfordshire, son of Matthew Boulton of Soho, born Aug 8th 1770 died May 16 AD 1842, buried in Handsworth Church.
Also of Anne Boulton of Thornhill, Handsworth, Staffordshire, sister of the above M. R. Boulton, died Nov 1829, buried in Handsworth Church
Also of Mary Anne Boulton,wife of the above M. R. Boulton, born Nov 27th 1795, died Jun 7 1829, buried in Handsworth Ch:
Also of Lionel Boulton, fourth son of the above M. R. Boulton, born Nov 5th 1826, died Dec 19th 1830, buried in Handsworth Ch:
Also of Hugh William Boulton, second son of the above M. R. Boulton, Captain 1st Life Guards
born Nov 30 1821, died July 18th 1847, buried in Tew church-yard
Also of Montagu Boulton, third son of the above M. R. Boulton, born Apr 9 1823
killed at the seige of Mooltan, India, Jan 2nd 1849.
Also of Frances Eliza Carter, first wife of M P. W. Boulton, eldest son of the above M. R. Boulton, and daughter of
Ralph Cartwright, MP of Ayaho (?) Northamptonshire, born Sep 26th 1816, died Jan 19 1864, buried in Tew church-yard

Sources:

The Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Great Tew, Oxfordshire, by Anastasia Johnston with colour photographs by Rosa Denniston, Robin Vipond and Graham Wilton, printed by the Great Tew Estate Office, a pamphlet available in the church for £2.50.
Concise Dictionary of National Biography to 1921
, Oxford University Press, 1930.

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