St. Britius' parish church and parish war memorial
Brize Norton shown within Oxfordshire
|Population||1,793 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Brize Norton|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|Website||Brize Norton Parish Council Website|
Around the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 the village's toponym was Norton, being the north tun (Old English for village) of Bampton. In 1235 the form Suthnorton ("South Norton") was recorded, evidently to distinguish it from other Nortons further north in Oxfordshire such as Chipping Norton. By the 1260s the form Norton Brun was in use, referring to the Brun or Brown family who were the parish's manorial lords. Further variants included Brunesnorton in 1297, Brimes Norton in 1303 and Brynes Norton in 1376, but the Norton Brun form outlived them and was still in use early in the 17th century. The form Brysenorton had appeared by 1523, and by the middle of the 17th century it had become the usual form of the name. However, Norton Brun had evolved into Norton Broyne and remained in use in church records until early in the 19th century.
Church and chapel
The Church of England parish church of Saint Britius is Norman. The south doorway with its decorative tympanum, a doorway in the south wall of the chancel and the font date from this time. The porch is in the Transitional style from Norman to Early English Gothic, which suggests that it was added slightly later. Early in the 13th century the north aisle was added, with a four-bay Early English Gothic arcade linking it with the nave. In the second half of the 13th century the bell tower was added at the west end of the north aisle and the present east window of three lancets was inserted in the chancel. A chapel forms an eastward continuation of the north aisle. Two of its windows are original 13th century lancets; two square-headed windows were added in the 14th century and the east window of the chapel is modern. The Gothic Revival architect G.E. Street restored the building in 1868.
The tower has a ring of six bells but they are currently unringable. The tenor bell was cast by Edward Neale of Burford in 1679. Three more were cast by Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1873. The two youngest bells were cast by John Warner and Sons of Cripplegate in London: one in 1881 and the present treble bell in 1884. St. Britius has also a service bell cast by Naylor, Vickers and Company of Sheffield in 1860.
In 1861, the East Gloucestershire Railway was built through the parish from Witney to Fairford. The company provided a railway station 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the village on the road to Bampton, and called it Bampton station despite it being much nearer Brize Norton than Bampton. RAF Brize Norton was established in 1937. In 1944, the Great Western Railway renamed the station Brize Norton and Bampton to reflect the increasing importance of the RAF station. British Railways closed the line and station in 1962. The site of the station is now a small industrial estate.
- "Area selected: West Oxfordshire (Non-Metropolitan District)". Neighbourhood Statistics: Full Dataset View. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
- Townley 2006, pp. 205–218.
- Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 487.
- Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 488.
- Davies, Peter (12 December 2006). "Brize Norton S Britius". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- Dovemaster (25 June 2010). "Bell Founders". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- Oxfordshire Churches & Chapels: Brize Norton
- Brize Norton Ladies Football Club
- Oxfordshire Federation of Women's Institutes
- Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). Oxfordshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 487–488. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
- Townley, Simon C. (ed.); Colvin, Christina; Cragoe, Carol; Ortenberg, Veronica; Peberdy, R.B.; Selwyn, Nesta; Williamson, Elizabeth (2006). A History of the County of Oxford, Volume 15: Bampton Hundred (Part Three). Victoria County History. pp. 205–246.
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