ePrivacy and GPDR Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent
Skip to content
Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Ambrosden

Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Ambrosden

Photo: Steve Daniels, via Wikimedia Commons

The Devil at Ambrosden Church

11 May 2021 (Updated 7 September 2021)

St. Mary's Church, tucked away down a lane in the old part of Ambrosden, is a hidden gem with an unusual legend surrounding its construction.

The mystery of the moving stones

According to the story, the church was originally planned to be built at a different location. The masons began work at the selected site, but every morning would find that all the stones had been moved to a different location, the place where the church now stands.

They would laboriously move all the stone back to where they started, only to find that the same thing happened again the following day and every day after that.

The suspected culprit was none other than the Devil himself! Eventually, the people of Ambrosden gave up and accepted that the church would have to be built at its current position.

A devilish prank?

It's unclear what the Devil's motivation was for moving the stones. He may have just been attempting to frustrate the people of Ambrosden in their church-building attempts.

However, if on the other hand, the Devil had a specific reason for wanting the church to be built in this location, he must have presumably been very pleased with the outcome!


  1. St. Mary's Church, Ambrosden (mysteriousbritain.co.uk)
  2. 'Oxfordshire Folk Tales' by Kevan Manwaring (The History Press, 2012, ISBN: 9780752464145)