Lyford, Oxfordshire

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Thatched Cottage, Lyford - - 59290.jpg
Thatched cottage, Lyford, looking west
Lyford is located in Oxfordshire
 Lyford shown within Oxfordshire
Population 44 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SU3994
Civil parish Lyford
District Vale of White Horse
Shire county Oxfordshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Wantage
Postcode district OX12
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Wantage
List of places

Coordinates: 51°38′42″N 1°26′17″W / 51.645°N 1.438°W / 51.645; -1.438

Lyford is a village and civil parish about 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Wantage . Historically it was part of the ecclesiastical parish of Hanney.[2] Lyford was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred the Vale of White Horse to Oxfordshire.


There were two manors in Lyford: Lyford Manor and Lyford Grange.

St Mary, Lyford - - 1545689

The manor of Lyford dates from at least AD 944, when Edmund I granted six hides of land there to one Ælfheah.[2] The manor was enlarged by a grant of a further two hides of land by Canute the Great in 1034.[2] Lyford is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.[3]


Parish church[edit]

The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary the Virgin was built as a chapelry of Hanney in the first half of the 13th century.[2] The wooden bell-turret was added in the 15th century[2] and has three bells. The Perpendicular Gothic[4] clerestory was added either at the same time or early in the 16th century.[2] The church fabric was extensively restored in 1875.[5] St. Mary's is now part of the United Benefice of Cherbury with Gainfield.[5]

Rev. Michael Camilleri (circa 1814-1903), sometime vicar of Lyford, translated the New Testament into Maltese.[citation needed]


Oliver Ashcombe founded Lyford almshouses in 1611.[2] The present quadrangle of brick-built almshouses and a chapel appear to be 18th century.[2][6] The quadrangle was completed as 20 houses but these have now been combined as eight larger units.[5]

Lyford Grange[edit]

Lyford Grange, just east of the village, was originally a moated manor house of Abingdon Abbey built in a quadrangle. It was once named Moore Place, and the western wing dates from the 13th century.

During the reign of Elizabeth I the Grange belonged to a recusant, Francis Yate,[7] who harboured a community of Bridgettine nuns.[2] In 1581 the property was searched, three priests were eventually found and arrested by the government agent, George Eliot:[7] Thomas Ford, John Colleton and the renowned Jesuit, Edmund Campion.[7] They were subsequently tried and martyred.[2][8] A mass is held annually in the village in commemoration of this event.[8]

Lyford Manor Farm[edit]

The house at Lyford Manor Farm (originally Lyford Manor) is timber-framed. The core of the house is from the latter part of the 16th century and the extensions at either end were added early in the 17th century.[6] It bears the dates 1617 and 1621.[6]


  1. ^ "Area selected: Vale of White Horse (Non-Metropolitan District)". Neighbourhood Statistics: Full Dataset View. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Page & Ditchfield, 1924, pages 285-294
  3. ^ The National Archives Documents Online. Place: Lyford, Berkshire
  4. ^ Pevsner, 1966, page 172
  5. ^ a b c "St. Mary's, Lyford". United Benefice of Cherbury with Gainsfield. United Benefice of Cherbury with Gainsfield. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c Pevsner, 1966, page 173
  7. ^ a b c Ford, David Nash (2011). "The Arrest of St. Edmund Campion". Royal Berkshire History. Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Foley, 1877, pages 279, 280, 284


External links[edit]