South Leigh

Situated in a quiet lane the tiny village of South Leigh is a must-visit place because of its two unexpected attractions.

Location map:

The first of these is the 12th century Church of St. James the Great which is at the end of a short lane at an attractive part of the village known as Church End. Additions and alterations were made to the church in the 14th and 15th century. However when renovations were carried out in the 19th century extensive wall paintings were discovered. They include a Doom painting over the chancel arch, the seven deadly sins, St. Michael weighing souls, the Virgin Mary (originally part of an Annunciation scene) and a rare painting of St. Clement. At that time the paintings were heavily restored and the weighing of souls was redrawn at twice its original size.

The second is Gerry Stonhill's The Masons Arms pub, a privately owned and personally run 15th Century thatched inn. It looks like an ordinary village pub until you read the signs that proudly announce that it has been voted the tackiest pub in Great Britain by Michael Winner and that children and vegetarians aren't welcome. Inside there is dim lighting and candles and the walls are covered with the owner's personal pictures of horses, cars, women, etc and there are piles of cigar boxes and other knickknacks. There is always a hearty fire in the grate. You can arrive by helicopter if you chose, but however you travel bring a large well-stocked wallet, if the reviews are to be believed.

South Leigh is half way between Witney and Stanton Harcourt.

Images of South Leigh:
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