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St Michael, Stanton Harcourt, mentioned in the Domesday Book, lies in a bend of the River Thames. St Michael’s church is thought to have been built in 1130 by Queen Adeliza, the second wife of Henry I, who owned the Manor. The church is famous for the shrine of the AngloSaxon female saint St Edburg, rescued in 1537 from Bicester Priory during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In the late 12th century Queen Adeliza granted

On the extreme right of the screen are two

the manor of Stantone to her kinswoman

panels which escaped the attentions of the

Millicent, wife of Richard de Camville. Their

Puritans and retain their original paintings.

daughter Isabel married Robert de Harcourt bringing the manor as her dowry. The Harcourt

You may like to reflect on all those hundreds

family have been associated with the village

of people who have prayed in this place over

ever since. The Manor House has its own chapel

the years. Pray for the continued witness of the

and the only conical roofed kitchen in England.

church within the community today.

These are no longer open to the public. The Harcourt Chapel (which is kept locked) St Michael’s church is cruciform in shape,

was added to the church c. 1470, probably

Norman, Early English and Perpendicular in

commissioned from William Orchard, master-

architecture. The church was extensively altered

mason by Sir Robert Harcourt, High Steward

in the 13th century. The chancel is divided from

of the University from 1446. It houses many

the nave by an Early English Rood Screen which

impressive Harcourt monuments including

is unique, for it is the oldest surviving wooden

Margaret who, unusually for a woman, wears

screen in England and dates from the 13th

the Garter, above her left elbow. On the outside

century. The hinges, bolt and lock are original.

south wall of the church is an epitaph written by

Alexander Pope who was sitting in the tower of the Harcourt Manor Chapel and witnessed two lovers struck dead by lightening. Give thanks for the craftsmanship that has gone into this building and its furnishings. Thank God for the gift of creativity which enriches our churches. is in the south transept). On top of it will have The Shrine of St Edburg

originally stood a chest containing the relics of

St Edburg was an Anglo-Saxon saint from the

the saint. The canopy has been identified from

7th century. A daughter of King Penda of Mercia,

the heraldry displayed, dated to 1294-1317. The

Edburg was a nun for most of her life. The upper

lower section visible is not the original base but

part of the monument is the exceptionally

part of a later medieval tomb.

fine Purbeck marble canopy of the shrine of St Edburg, which was rescued in 1537 from Bicester

Give thanks for those who have inspired your

Priory during the Dissolution of the Monasteries,

own faith. Pray that you may be a ‘light in the

probably by Sir Simon Harcourt (whose tomb

world’ by the way you live your life.


You might also like to visit other nearby churches in the Pilgrim Project:

Oxford Diocese Pilgrim Project: St Michael, Stanton Harcourt OX29 5RJ

Dorchester Abbey Ancient Abbey Church


St Peter Ad Vincula, South Newington Exceptional medieval wall paintings


St Margaret of Antioch, Binsey Alice in Wonderland’s treacle well

PILGRIMAGE PRAYER Pilgrim God, You are our origin and our destination. Travel with us, we pray, in every pilgrimage of faith, and every journey of the heart. Give us the courage to set off, the nourishment we need to travel well, and the welcome we long for at our journey’s end. So may we grow in grace and love for you and in the service of others. through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford

Illustrations by Brian Hall © Diocese of Oxford

STANTON HARCOURT : St Michael : Pilgrimage Guide  

St MICHAEL, StANtON COURt OXFORD DIOCESE PILGRIM PROJECT In the late 12th century Queen Adeliza granted the manor of Stantone to her kinswom...