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Gargoyle at St. Mary's Church, Bloxham

Gargoyle at St. Mary's Church, Bloxham

Photo: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Devil at Bloxham, Adderbury and King's Sutton

2 July 2021 (Updated 7 September 2021)

Just south of Banbury, the three villages of Bloxham, Adderbury and King's Sutton are all blessed with extremely fine churches, each with a notably towering spire.

The legend of the demon builder

According to local legend, these churches were all built by the same groups of masons led by three brothers. One member of the construction team was a little different though. He worked night and day without food or rest, never accepted payment, and according to some accounts, built the spire of the three churches singlehandedly in a single night!

When the work on the three churches was completed the mysterious construction worker disappeared, leaving only a smell of sulphur behind him. This was enough to convince the three brothers that the man was actually the devil in disguise!

What's in it for the devil?

Exactly what motivated the devil to work so tirelessly in the construction of such fine Christian churches is a mystery, perhaps he was turning over a new leaf?

This story is the reverse of the legend associated with St. Mary's church at Ambrosden. In that story the devil actively worked to prevent the construction of the church.