Monday, 26 August 2013

All Saints, Ockham

Ockham is chiefly famous for William of Ockham (c. 1287-1347), the philosopher whose maxim that hypotheses must be reduced to their constituent parts, is known as "Ockham's Razor". The other razor is the church's magnificent 13th century 7-stepped lancet window, one of only two in England.

The church sits away from the main road, and dates back to the around 1220. In fact the famous window (dated to around 1250) is framed by the remains of a slightly earlier 3-light window and a later Tudor one, giving rise to the theory that the present window was rescued from nearby Newark Priory at the Dissolution and inserted here in the 16th century. Either way, the window, with its internal array of shafts with stiff-leaf capitals, is a magnificent composition. The nave and chancel windows were renewed around 1350, and the tower erected around 1400. The ceiling was renewed in Tudor times.

As well as the famous window, the church has some notable monuments, including a small collection of brasses, the best of which commemorates John (d. 1483) and Margaret (d. 1475) Weston. In the King Chapel is the vast and magnificent monument by the celebrated sculptor Rysbrach to Peter King, 1st Baron King of Ockham, who was Lord Chancellor 1725-33.

The church has an extensive collection of mediaeval glass, some of it original, from the 14th century onwards, and some 18th century Flemish armorial brass.

All Saints Church: Ockham Road North, Ockham, GU23 6NL

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