Also Medieval is the Eyston Chapel, (including the wooden screen), dating from the 15th C. The chapel is actually a Roman Catholic chapel associated with the Eyston family who trace their ancestry back to Sir Thomas More. It is used for private prayer as well as occasional Roman Catholic Masses. The pulpit was added soon after The Restoration of Charles II in 1660 and features a carved head of Charles I.
The church has a ring of six bells, the oldest of which is pre-Reformation and dedicated to St Anne. The church has a couple of Medieval brasses and retains some fragments of Medieval glass in the windows although most of our glass is 19th C when significant restoration was undertaken in the church.
The earliest record of the faceless clock on St Augustine’s Church tower is punch-stamped on its iron frame – “JOHN SEYMOUR WANTAGE 1525” making it a contender for being the oldest working turret clock in the country. Who was John Seymour? A local or itinerant clockmaker? A local blacksmith? We don’t know nor who commissioned and paid for the clock.
Regardless of the obscurity surrounding his identity, John Seymour’s workmanship has stood the test of time and continues accurately to strike the hours and each quarter, as it has done for nearly 600 years. Every three hours, in addition to striking the hour, the clock plays “The Angels’ Hymn” by Orlando Gibbons. It is still wound by hand every day, just as it was in the 16th C.
“For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” Psalm 90:4
Our annual, atmospheric and family-friendly Christingle service marks the beginning of Advent and looking forward to Christmas. The service lasts a little over half an hour and includes the distribution of the traditional Christingle oranges with candles which we light during the service. A collection is held in aid of the Children’s Society. It is a lovely way to mark the start of the Christmas season and enjoyable for all ages – do come along and join us!