Duntisbourne Abbots is seemingly the poor relation of Duntisbourne Rouse just a mile and a half down the road. Whereas Simon Jenkins accords Rouse 2 stars, Abbots is omitted. Both churches have enviable positions but Duntisbourne Abbots lacks the appealing rusticity and Anglo-Saxon remnants that give its neighbour so much appeal. Nerverthless, Duntisbourne Abbots has a charm of its own and I can’t believe that anybody visiting one would miss the opportunity to see the other.
The village is so named to differentiate it from the Duntisbourne lands owned by Sir Roger de Rous. Nearby Duntisbourne Leer was so named after the the Abbey of Notre Dame de Lyre in Normandy.
The present church is probably built over an Anglo-Saxon wooden structure. The church information boards reckon the earliest part of the present structure to be the lower part of the tower. This, they say, is early Norman with the rest coming later. Certainly the north aisle came later as evidenced by its Transitional arcade. If the nave and chancel were later than the tower base, however, these boards offer no view on what was there before. I’m afraid I am very sceptical. Are they implying there were two Norman structures here? Surely it is more plausible that the tower base, nave and chancel were all late Norman with the north arcade reflecting the changing architectural styles during the period of construction?