St John the Baptist’s Church

The Cotswolds

Burford's splendid church, near the river, took over three centuries to build, from 1175 onwards. Its fan-vaulted ceiling, Norman west doorway and 15th-century spire remain intact. The star attraction is the macabre 1625 Tanfield tomb, depicting local nobleman Sir Lawrence Tanfield and his wife lying in finery above a pair of carved skeletons, one leg bone of which is said to be real.

During the English Civil War, 340 Levellers – mutinous Roundhead soldiers who believed all men should be equal before the law – were imprisoned here, and one carved his name on the font. A plaque outside commemorates the three ringleaders, who were executed in the churchyard.

Burford’s well-preserved 15th-century almshouses stand immediately south.

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