Ronald K. Brind

C.S. Lewis in Oxford

A Guide for Visitors

Holy Trinity Church and Churchyard

The Lewis brothers Clive Staples (Jack) and Warren Hamilton (Warnie) attended Holy Trinity Church for nearly 31 years. The walk from the Kilns was about a quarter of a mile in all weathers down the muddy lane from the house, Kiln Lane and then across what was in their day fields, before they reached the Church. Today a dual carriageway has been built on those fields.

You will find the Lewis brothers final resting place in the Churchyard at the end of the narrow path, to the left of the War Memorial under towering Pine trees. The brothers are buried side by side in the sixth grave along on the left hand side, in a single plot.

If you wish to see inside Holy Trinity Church you will need to make prior arrangements, or hope that it is open on the day so to speak, but don’t hold your breath.

The referred to Lewis Pew in Holy Trinity Church is in the north aisle, as is the Narnia window. It’s worth considering that Lewis was sat in that Pew after an 8 am Communion and came up with the idea for the ‘The Screwtape Letters’. I’ve wondered many times what on earth was the Sermon about that day, what was it that was said to flick a switch in Jacks brain that said ‘go write about the Devil’

The Narnia Window was installed in 1991 and engraved by a lady named Sally Scott. It was paid for by way of a bequest from the parents of two children who died at the ages of 2 and 16 years, they also attended Holy Trinity Church. A crest above the Narnia window is that of Lord Williams School in Thame, Oxfordshire who also shared in the bequest.

My ebook “C S Lewis in Oxford: A Guide for Visitors” provides contact details for all of the ‘Lewis related’ places in Oxford that you will want to see and visit. You can purchase it from Amazon at  Kindle Price $6.47

If you don’t have a Kindle you can download it from the Amazon website.

Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry, Oxford is often referred to locally as Holy Trinity (as it was built on Trinity Road) or Quarry Church (because it’s situated in Headington Quarry) and is built in the fifteenth century decorated style with a nave, north aisle, south porch and a gable bell-cote with two bells at the west end. It was intentionally designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott to look medieval, he also designed the Martyrs’ Memorial and Exeter College Chapel in Oxford City. The foundation stone of Holy Trinity Church was laid during 1848 by Samuel Wilberforce, then Bishop of Oxford who consecrated the building in 1849. The Bishop had been instrumental in getting the Church built in the Quarry, which seems to have been regarded at the time as a heathen outpost in Headington.

The ‘Quarry’ is in fact a reference to a working stone Quarry that was just 75 yards away from the Church and from where the stone was dug out to build it.

The Public house known as the Mason Arms was built on the site of the old stone Quarry after it was exhausted, and it was the Mason Arms pub that Jack and Warnie left Church early for to be at the head of the ‘queue’ as we say here in England. For our American Visitors it means the head of the line!

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