St Blaise Parish Church, Milton, Abingdon.
About Our Church
A brief history. There has been a church on the site of St blaise since saxon times, however nothing remains from that era. Milton is an abbreviation of 'Middletune' which was the original name meaning 'Middle Tun' or 'Middle Village' The earliest recorded reference to the village states that 'In 956 King Edwy gave fifteen hides of land to his thane Alfwin, who then gave them to Abingdon Abbey'.
The present church dates from the early part of the 14th century, though it was largely re-built in the mid 19th century by the architect Henry Woodyer, and is considered to be one of the finest examples of his work. St Blaise, which is now a Grade II listed building, and is dedicated to St Blaise who was the patron saint of wool combers, Milton having once been a centre of the wool industry.
The Clock. The original clock was made by a neighbouring blacksmith and had only a single diamond shaped face. It was purchased by monies paid in fines by pheasant poachers, and when the clock struck the hour villages were heard to say 'Hark the old pheasant crowing'. The present clock is an exceptional example of its kind, and was made by Gillett & Johnson in 1923. It was a gift from Sir Mortimer & lady Singer of Milton Hill House (and sewing machine fame).
The Bells. The 1552 inventory shows there were 4 bells in the tower. Richard Keene of Woodstock recast these into 5 bells in 1682. One of these was damaged and was recast by Robert Wells of Aldbourne in 1747. These 5 bells were hung on a wooden framework which dated from around 1640. A sixth bell was added in 1906. In the summer of 1999 it was decided to replace the bells with a new and lighter peel of 8 bells, hung in a new steel framework. One of the old bells remains on display in the church; the other 5 being sold to hackthorn church in Lincolnshire. The 8 new bells were cast by the Whitechapel Foundry in London, and were hung in 2002 by Whites of Appleton.