Art, Architecture and Tourism

 – a symbiosis described — Ron Cosford with William Beaver

An 1897 view of the West Front
An 1897 view of the West Front

The Church of St Mary, Iffley, with its beautiful early Norman architecture situated relatively dramatically on a hill overlooking the river Thames and its important lock, has been an attraction for visitors to the Oxford area for centuries. There are a number of reasons for this, its architecture, obviously and its rather bucolic remote setting hard by the Thames. It is also easy to reach by water and by land. But most of all there is the brooding bulk of St Mary’s itself, its brooding  ‘ancientness’ so readily on display and so unspoiled. Perhaps it is this, which over the centuries, fired the wanderers’imagination. Who built this? What does it mean? Why is its atmosphere so special?

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