Friday, 7 September 2012

St Ebbe's Church, Oxford-Æbbe of Oxford


St Ebbe's Church, Oxford

The church stands on the site of one dedicated to St Æbbe before 1005. Most sources suggest that this was the Northumbrian St Æbbe of Coldingham,[1] but it has been suggested that Æbbe of Oxford was a different saint. The name was first recorded in about 1005, when the church was granted to Eynsham Abbey.[2]
The present church was built in 1814–16. It was enlarged and improved in 1866 and 1904. A fine Norman doorway of the 12th century has been restored and placed at the west end.[3] The church is a parish church for the parish of St Ebbes, a portion of which was demolished to make way for the nearby Westgate shopping centre in the 1970s. The church has a ministry amongst the remaining part of the parish, although most of its members live outside the parish.
Former rectors include Thomas Valpy French, John Arkell, Maurice Wood, John Stansfeld, Basil Gough, Keith Weston and David Fletcher.

Æbbe of Oxford

Æbbe was a saint venerated in medieval OxfordshireSt Ebbe's church in the southern English city ofOxford had been verifiably dedicated to the saint by 1091.[1] It is believed that she represents a rare southern expression of the cult of the Northumbrian abbess and saint, Æbbe of Coldingham, to whom the church at Shelswell, also in Oxfordshire, was dedicated.[2][3]
It has also been argued by several historians that Æbbe of Oxford is the same Æbbe as the conjectured abbess-saint who gave her name to nearby Abingdon ("hill of Æbbe").[4]
  1. ^ Bartlett, Miracles, pp. xiv–xv
  2. ^ Victoria County History of Oxfordshire4, 1979, pp. 369–412
  3. ^ Bartlett, Miracles, p. xv, n. 15
  4. ^ Blair, "Handlist", pp. 502–03
  5. References
  • Bartlett, Robert, ed. (2003), The Miracles of Saint Æbbe of Coldingham and Saint Margaret of Scotland, Oxford Medieval Texts, Oxford: Clarendon Press, ISBN 0-19-925922-4
  • Blair, John (2002), "A Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Saints", in Thacker, Alan; Sharpe, RichardLocal Saints and Local Churches in the Early Medieval West, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 495–565, ISBN 0-19-820394-2

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