Church of St Oswald, Durham, County Durham

Church of St Oswald, Durham

St. Oswald’s church occupies an elevated position, at the top of Church Street. It is surrounded by a large burial ground, and commands a fine view of “the sunny gardens and houses of the Bailey on the opposite side, clustered at the feet of the reverend abbaye which rises proudly behind them.” A church was founded here before the Conquest, but the present structure cannot lay claim to so high an antiquity. The present church is principally of three dates, the earliest portion being the eastern part of the arcade formed by the pillars and arches of the nave, which were probably built about the year 1190, in the episcopate of Bishop Pudsey, a great patron of architecture. The alterations which were considered necessary, owing to the failure of its foundations by the workings of an old colliery, have destroyed many fine features, and deprived it of much of its ancient character. It consists of nave, aisles, chancel, and tower, the latter being in the Perpendicular style. There are sittings for 600, which were entirely new when the whole of the interior underwent restoration in 1883. The church was repewed at the time of the alterations, and the nave partially filled with seats.

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