East Stoke St Oswald


Significant external features

Large, single blocked opening in the 2nd stage of the south wall of the west tower; purpose unclear.

Group of 4 chest tombs (grade II listed) – late C18. Ashlar. Row of 4 tombs each with now illegible panels on either side, and moulded corners in the form of pilasters, surmounted by flat tops with moulded rims.

Monument (grade II listed) – Monument to the Right Honourable Julian Baron Paunceforte. 1902. Ashlar, bronze and iron. Rectangular ashlar pedestal, placed upon a square ashlar base, with inscriptions to 3 sides. Single engaged vase baluster at each angle and moulded cornice. Surmounted by a large bronze figure of an angel holding an olive branch. A rectangle is formed in front of the monument by low decorative iron stakes linked by decorative iron chains. Baron Paunceforte was the first British Ambassador to the U.S.A.

Significant internal features

Mid/late C13th – piers of tower arch

C14/C15th – south chancel has an ogee arched piscina.

C15th – stained glass fragments to west window of south chancel.

Painted (stencil) nave roof, probably C19th, now obscured by 1980s overpaint

Painted (stencil) soffits to nave clerestory (not visible to the eye but apparent in the UV using remote sensing imagery); C18th or C19th.

Nave ceiling in
May 1985 before
it was overpainted
Detail of west
nave ceiling
in April 1985
Clerestory reveal
as it appears to
the naked eye
Clerestory reveal
as seen using

Timbers and roofs

  Nave Chancel Tower
Main Ridge and tie beams with plain beading, probably dates from when the nave was rebuilt in the C18th. Unique barber's pole painted stencil decoration, probably C19th, on this roof, now hidden below modern paint. Pitched roof with trussed rafters and deal boarding. All probably C19th. Large north-south cambered tie beam with plain central boss, possibly late medieval. Modern boarding above.
S.Aisle Shallow-pitch ties and rafters, plank lining, probably C19th. n/a Ground floor ceiling comprises ties with deal boarding below. Date unclear.
N.Aisle n/a n/a  
Other principal      
Other timbers      


The bellframe is a timber structure, of unusual form: Elphick type S (variant), Pickford Group 5.L but with secondary braces from cill to head. The felling date of the cill of the tenor pit has been tree-ring dated to 1585 to 1610; the frame is likely to have been modified in 1591 when the current ring of bells was installed.

Scheduled for preservation Grade 2.


  Nave Chancel Tower
Plaster covering & date Plastered and painted, probably C19th, but probably with earlier plaster below. Open stonework, not covered. Limewashed walls, no plaster.
Potential for wall paintings Unknown. Paint may survive below upper plaster layer. Stencil work apparent on other surfaces (roof and clerestory window soffits) None. None.

Excavations and potential for survival of below-ground archaeology

There have been no known archaeological excavations (other than ad hoc excavations in the churchyard around 1925 that apparently found Roman material)

The fabric dates from the C13th to the C19th, in three clear areas: tower, mainly C13th; nave and south aisle C18th and C19th; chancel C13/14th with a major restoration of 1873-6. It is expected that below-ground stratigraphy will be heavily disturbed in the area of the nave and to some extent also in the chancel; these areas may retain remnants of medieval deposits at depth. The tower floor may contain complex stratigraphy and probably contains medieval layers.

The standing fabric of the tower retains considerable medieval fabric, largely of C13th date and with a late medieval bell frame; the nave and south aisle were either very heavily restored or rebuilt in 1738, and then further altered in 1797. The chancel, whilst retaining medieval core fabric was heavily restored in 1873-6. The nave roof, probably of C18th date, has an interesting and apparently unique painted stencil decoration that has been covered by paint in the 1980s.

The churchyard is roughly rectangular, with the church positioned at its easten extremity, in the proximity of the Hall and farm buildings. Burials are concentrated on the west side. The surrounding brick walls on the west and south boundaries have lower courses of stone and appear early. This is an interesting example of an 'isolated with hall' church, positioned away from present village, and integral with the apparent domestic manorial complex; it may imply an early foundation.

The overall potential for the survival of below-ground archaeology in the churchyard, is considered to be HIGH, comprising mainly burials of all periods, and evidence of restoration and rebuilding in the C18th and C19th, but also with the possibility of a connection with the adjacent hall complex; Roman material is also a possibility as some was apparently discovered around 1925. Below the present interior floors of the nave and south aisle it is considered to be MODERATE; below the restored chancel MODERATE-HIGH; and below the medieval tower HIGH-VERY HIGH. The standing fabric of the church varies in date: the potential for surviving medieval archaeology in the standing fabric of the tower is considered to be VERY HIGH; the chancel is MODERATE-HIGH; and the nave and south aisle are LOW-MODERATE.

Exterior:Burial numbers expected to be average; possibility of Roman material.

Interior:Stratigraphy under the nave, south aisle, and chancel is likely to be mixed C18th and C19th layers but with some survival of medieval deposits beneath. The tower is likely to have complex medieval and later deposits. In the body of the church the stratigraphy may have some surviving medieval and post-medieval burials.