Wootton, Oxfordshire

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Wootton StMary 31460.JPG
St Mary's parish church
Grid reference: SP4319
Location: 51°52’41"N, 1°21’50"W
Population: 569  (2011)
Post town: Woodstock
Postcode: OX20
Dialling code: 01993
Local Government
Council: West Oxfordshire
Website: Wootton by Woodstock

Wootton is a village and parish on the River Glyme in Oxfordshire, about two miles north of Woodstock. The 2011 census recorded the parish's population as 469.[1]

The parish is bounded to the west partly by the River Glyme, to the north partly by a stream that joins the River Dorn, to the south-east by the course of Akeman Street Roman road, to the south-west by the pale of Blenheim Great Park and on other sides by field boundaries. It includes two deserted mediæval villages: Dornford on the River Dorn, and Hordley on the River Glyme just downstream of the confluence of the Dorn and Glyme.[2]

Parish church

The earliest parts of the Church of England parish church of Saint Mary are the nave, north aisle and lower part of the tower, all of which date from the first half of the 13th century,[3] and the south porch, which is Early English.[4] In the 14th century the chancel and chancel arch were rebuilt and most of the windows in the building were replaced, all in a Decorated Gothic style.[3] The upper part of the bell tower was added in the 15th century and the clerestory was added to the nave in the 16th century, each in a Perpendicular Gothic style.[3]

The tower has a ring of six bells. Edward Hemins of Bicester[5] cast the third, fourth and fifth bells in 1732[6] and the tenor bell in 1739.[6] Abel Rudhall of Gloucester[5] cast the second bell in 1749[6] and Mears & Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry[5] cast the present treble bell in 1923.[6] St. Mary's has also a Sanctus bell that Thomas Rudhall cast in 1778.[6]

The parish is now part of the Benefice of Wootton with Glympton and Kiddington.[7]

Economic and social history

The Domesday Book of 1086 records Wootten as the court of the hundred of Wootten. At the time of the Hundred Rolls in 1279 Hordley was recorded as having 19 households and 150 acres of land.[8] By the early part of the 16th century this had declined to only five (adult) residents.[8] The Gregory family had converted most of the farmland from arable to pasture[8] which would have done much to reduce the village population. The house at Hordley Farm, about 700 yards south-east of Wootton, was built for the Gregory family[8] in about 1500.[9] It is arranged around three and a half sides of a quadrangle, possibly following the plan of an earlier mediæval house on the same site.[8] The kitchen fireplace and two of the doorways have four-centred arches that date from about 1500, and the north wing has two square-headed windows from the later 16th century.[9] The ground-floor rooms have some 17th-century panelling.[9] In 1750 the house was remodelled and a gazebo was built in the garden.[9]

In 1787 the Rev. Charles Parrott, sometime vicar of Saham Toney in Norfolk, died leaving a bequest for a school to be founded and run in Wootton.[3] Early in the 19th century further schools were added in Wootton, including one run by the rector.[3] In 1836 a new building was completed to merge all education in the village into one school.[3] The Rector, Rev. L.C. Lee, paid towards the cost of the site and gave capital and the income from several cottages to fund the new school.[3] In 1942 it was reorganised as a junior school.[3] It is now Wootton-by-Woodstock Church of England Primary School.[10]

Wootton had two public houses until 2008, when the King's Head closed.


The village has one public house, the Killingworth Castle Inn, which was built in 1637. It is now a gastropub that has won a Michelin Bib Gourmand and two AA rosettes.[11] Wootton has also a village store.[12]


  1. "Area: Wootton (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=7&b=11130942&c=Wootton&d=16&e=62&g=6460088&i=1001x1003x1032x1004&m=0&r=1&s=1438972715133&enc=1. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  2. Emery 1974, pp. 120–121.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Crossley 1983, pp. 259–285.
  4. Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 859.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Dovemaster (25 June 2010). "Bell Founders". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. http://dove.cccbr.org.uk/founders.php. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Davies, Peter (6 June 2008). "Wootton S Mary". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. http://dove.cccbr.org.uk/detail.php?searchString=Wootton&Submit=+Go+&DoveID=WOOTTON++O. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  7. Archbishops' Council (2010). "Wootton: St. Mary, Wootton". A Church Near You. Church of England. http://www.acny.org.uk/venue.php?V=501. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Emery 1974, p. 121.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 860.
  10. Wootton-by-Woodstock CE Aided Primary School
  11. "Meet the landlords and discover more about the history of The Killingworth Castle…". Killingworth Castle Inn. http://www.thekillingworthcastle.com/about-us/. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  12. Wootton Stores

Sources and further reading

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Wootton, Oxfordshire)