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St. Margaret’s church & well, Binsey, Oxfordshire

St. Margaret’s church & well, Binsey, Oxfordshire

Midnight, and monks by candlelight

Although less than 2 miles from Oxford’s city centre St. Margaret’s is hidden behind trees and shrubbery at the end of a long and winding country lane. The church is a strange, isolated and moody little building sometimes welcoming and warm while at other times slightly sinister. It is lighted only by oil lamps and candles as it has no electricity supply.

St. Margaret’s was once the living for a priest called Nicholas Breakspear, who became England’s only Pope, Adrian lV, in 1154.

The church is also famous for its holy well and its legendary connection to St. Frideswide, the patron saint of Oxford. I strongly suspect that Frideswide is really the ancient Briton’s goddess and saint, Ffraed.

This was the ‘Treacle Well’ of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

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