May 24 – Rachael arrives in Burford

St John the Baptist, Burford

Hi from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

Rachael arrived up from Devon today to spend several days with us so that we can visit Oxford and Sta Albans together. We took her for a walk around Burford, as it is her first time here. We went to the church as we knew she would love it as well as for a walk down the main street to look a the shops. She especially liked the second-hand dealers as she is always on the lookout for good things to gild.

St John the Baptist Church in Burford has a lovely painted ceiling as well as some beautiful stained glass windows and stone corbels. There are some very impressive monuments.

One of the large Cotswold ‘wool churches’ built between 1160 and 1475.  Items of interest include: a memorial tablet to Henry VIII’s barber-surgeon, Edmund Harman, showing one of the earliest representations of South American Indians; the ornate, canopied tomb of Sir Lawrence and Lady Tanfield; a tablet commemorating the Burford mason, Christopher Kempster, who was employed by Christopher Wren on the rebuilding of St Paul’s Cathedral and a pre-Christian carving dated at 100 AD, possibly depicting the Celtic goddess Epona.

In 1649 mutineers in Cromwell’s army (Levellers) were imprisoned in the church – one of them carved his name on the font! – before being forced onto the roof to watch their ringleaders execution in the churchyard. Those executed are commemorated on a plaque close to the porch.