Christopher Kempster

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Kempster's County Hall in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, built 1678–82, now a museum.

Christopher Kempster (1627 – 1715) was an English master stonemason and architect who trained with Sir Christopher Wren, working on St Paul's Cathedral.[1]


Kempster was from Burford in Oxfordshire, England. He sold Cotswold stone from his quarry at Upton, near Burford, to rebuild London after the Great Fire of London in 1666.[2] He was also Christopher Wren's master mason during the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral in London. His County Hall, built 1678–82 in Abingdon, is now the Abingdon County Hall Museum.[3]

The Kempster family quarry supplied stone for Blenheim Palace, Oxford colleges, and Windsor Castle.

His buildings, many with Sir Christopher Wren, include:

John Perrott, Lord of the Manor, engaged Kempster to refit St Mary's Church, North Leigh, and to build a burial chapel for the Perrott family to the north of the north aisle.[5] Kempster linked the Perrott chapel and the north aisle by an arcade of Tuscan columns.[7]

St John the Baptist's Church in Burford has a memorial to Christopher Kempster.[2][8]


  1. ^ P.D. Mundy, Chistopher Kempster, Wren's Master-Mason. Notes and Queries, CCII, page 297. Oxford University Press, July 1957. doi:10.1093/nq/CCII.jul.297
  2. ^ a b My Family Tree: Jordan, Elizabeth, Rick Bull, 14 November 2007.
  3. ^ David Nash Ford, Abingdon: Ancient Abbey shaped a Town, Royal Berkshire History.
  4. ^ Abingdon County Hall: Information for Teachers, English Heritage. Palladian Press, 2004.
  5. ^ a b P. Baggs; W.J. Blair; Eleanor Chance; Christina Colvin; Janet Cooper; C.J. Day; Nesta Selwyn; S.C. Townley (1990). Crossley, Alan; Elrington, C.R. (eds.). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12: Wootton Hundred (South) including Woodstock. Victoria County History of the Counties of England. pp. 231–235. ISBN 0-19-722774-0.
  6. ^ Seven letters of Wren to John Fell, Bishop of Oxford, and other documents. Published in Wren Society 5 (1928).
  7. ^ Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 719–720. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
  8. ^ Burford, The Cotswold Gateway.