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Leafield StMichael WestFront.JPG
Leafield is located in Oxfordshire
 Leafield shown within Oxfordshire
Population 883 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SP3115
Civil parish Leafield
District West Oxfordshire
Shire county Oxfordshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Witney
Postcode district OX29
Dialling code 01993
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Witney
Website Leafield Village Home Page
List of places

Coordinates: 51°50′20″N 1°32′42″W / 51.839°N 1.545°W / 51.839; -1.545

Leafield is a village and civil parish about 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Witney in West Oxfordshire. The parish includes the hamlet of Langley, 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Leafield village.

The village is 635 feet (194 m) above sea level in the Cotswold Hills. It was the highest point in Oxfordshire until the 1974 county boundary changes enlarged the county.


The parish is within the former limits of the Wychwood forest. The area of forest south of Langley was cleared in 1857–58, leaving straight, regular field boundaries typical of the 18th and 19th century enclosures.[2]

Gothic Revival preaching cross on medieval steps and base

The village has the remains of a medieval preaching cross.[3] The steps and lower part of its base are old.[3] A new Gothic Revival shaft and top were added in 1873 as a thanksgiving for the village escaping a smallpox epidemic.[3]

Leafield was a dependent chapelry of the ecclesiastical parish of Shipton-under-Wychwood until the 19th century. Leafield's Church of England parish church of Saint Michael and All Angels was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, built in 1859 and consecrated in 1860. The bell tower was completed in 1874[4] and has a ring of six bells, all cast that year by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough.[5] St. Michael's is now a member of the Forest Edge Benefice.[6]

Leafield Church of England Primary School opened in 1839.[7] It was expanded by the building of additional classrooms in 1871, 1897 and 1904.[7] The 1871 classroom was designed by the architect C.C. Rolfe.[8] Leafield's school district was expanded in 1873 to include Asthall, Langley and Wychwood.[7] Leafield C of E School resisted Oxfordshire County Council's attempts to reorganise it as a junior school until after the Second World War.[7] The school's catchment area was expanded in 1986 to include Ascott-under-Wychwood.[7]

Leafield Technical Centre[edit]

A large radio transmission station was sited at Langley from 1912 until 1986.[9] British Telecom redeveloped the site as a training college, but then closed the site in 1993.[9] It was then used by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) as a motorsport development centre for the Arrows Formula One team,[9] until the team's demise in the 2002 season. From the 2006 season until the 2008 season Leafield Technical Centre was the headquarters of the now-defunct Super Aguri F1 team.

Menard Competition Technologies is now based at Leafield Technical Centre.[10] MCT has made the engines for Norton Motorcycles' range of Commando 961 models[11] since 2009.[12]

In January 2012 Caterham F1 announced that they would be moving to Leafield from their original base at Hingham, Norfolk.[13]


The Fox public house

Leafield has two public houses: The Fox and The Pearl. The Fox has now re-opened affer a recent closure. The Pearl (formerly the Spindleberry) now operates as a Chinese restaurant, takeaway and bar.

The Wychwood Way, a 37 miles (60 km) circular walking trail, passes through Leafield Lower End.


  1. ^ "Area: Leafield CP (Parish): Parish Headcounts". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Taylor 1975, p. 145–146.
  3. ^ a b c Marples 1973, p. 307.
  4. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 682.
  5. ^ Davies, Peter (7 January 2009). "Leafield S Michael & All Angels". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  6. ^ Forest Edge Benefice: Leafield with Wychwood
  7. ^ a b c d e "School Past". Leafield Village. 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Saint 1970, p. 98.
  9. ^ a b c "The BT Radio Station". Leafield Village. 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  10. ^ Menard Competition Technologies (MCT)
  11. ^ "MCT powers the re-birth of Norton". News. Norton Motorcycles. 2009. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  12. ^ "Production of Norton Engines Starts at Leafield". Witney Gazette. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  13. ^ Autosport, January 18th 2012, Caterham F1 team confirms proposed move to Leafield


External links[edit]