Three views of Kencot, Oxfordshire

In the summer I will sometimes go out and explore some of the countryside and churches of west Oxfordshire. It’s not quite the Cotswold’s but is generally quieter. Between Burford and Lechlade there are a string of small villages with some outstanding churches – usually some way off the main road and the better for it. One of these is St George’s parish church in Kencot. This is a favourite of mine partly because its a little hard to find, it’s quiet and it has a Norman church with a unique doorway carving depicting St George and the dragon – or as Wikipedia puts it ‘Sagittarius shooting a monster’. If you look closely you will find a couple of small carved crosses in the sides of this doorway – traditionally Knights Crusader carved one cross on their departure and another if and when they returned. Otherwise, the church is quite unprepossessing, with a lot of alterations over its long history. Outside the churchyard there is a pleasant little triangular green with a rather wonky sign depicting St George & the Dragon, a bench, a village cross and what clinches it for me is a large adjacent house and what was probably a barn, now gradually decaying and seemingly abandoned. It has just got a lot of character.

Here is a photograph of the church and house. My visit was on a Sunday afternoon and in this part of west Oxfordshire there was hardly anyone around – I think most people were still in one of the local pubs after Sunday lunch…

I did a quick sketch of this view ( below).

Kencot – a quick sketch

Later I turned this into a watercolour…

St George’s, Kencot – a watercolour

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