Oakham is the county town of Rutland: a small county town for Britain’s smallest county! Its church is Gothic throughout and was restored by the ubiquitous George Gilbert Scott in Victorian times. That should set anyone’s alarm bells ringing; but in fact Oakham is one of the most visually satisfying of town churches.
The church was constructed almost entirely in late c13 and early c14 but is on the site of an earlier church of around 1200. Its principal glory is the capitals in the Decorated period nave that recall the riotous imagery of the Romanesque period.. On the north arcade we see more worldly images : the fall of Adam & Eve, a Green Man, and groteque heads. On the south side are angels, saints and Reynard the Fox! Worthy as the images are on the south side, I think that as in so many things the Devil has the best Capitals....Each arch respond (that is, where the arches join) has a carved face.
The font is late Norman, dating from about 1180. The entrance porch on the south wall is Early English dating from around 1200. The aisles are from the late c13 but their walls were raised in around 1400, thus making room for the large Perpendicular-period windows that we see today. The west window of the south aisle is, however, Decorated.
Architecturally, Oakham is not of major interest apart from those capitals. it is, however, a very satisfying church visually. The style is reasonably consistent and symmetrical, avoiding the architectural “bugger’s muddle”