Ramsden, Oxfordshire

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Ramsden StJames north.JPG
St. James' parish church, built in 1872
Ramsden is located in Oxfordshire
 Ramsden shown within Oxfordshire
Population 328 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SP3515
Civil parish Ramsden
District West Oxfordshire
Shire county Oxfordshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Chipping Norton
Postcode district OX7
Dialling code 01993
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Witney
Website Ramsden - Oxfordshire
List of places

Coordinates: 51°50′13″N 1°26′13″W / 51.837°N 1.437°W / 51.837; -1.437

Ramsden is a village and civil parish about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north of Witney in West Oxfordshire.


In the western part of the parish, about 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the village and just off the road to Leafield, is a bowl barrow. It is about 22 metres (72 ft) wide and 0.5 metres (1 ft 8 in) high, and is surrounded by the remains of a ditch that would originally have been about 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) wide.[2] The barrow is either Bronze Age or late Neolithic, and therefore dating from between 2400 and 1500 BC.[2] It is a scheduled monument.[2]

There is a 440-yard (400 m) length of Grim's Ditch on a north-south axis just west of Ramsden village. It may be Iron Age or post-Roman.

The course of Akeman Street Roman Road linking Cirencester with London passes through the parish, bisecting the village. It is now part of the Wychwood Way long distance path.

The site of a Roman villa or bath house has been found at Brize Lodge Farm, west of the village[3] and just west of the bowl barrow.[2] Artefacts recovered include a bronze figurine of a dove-like bird.[4]

Chapels and church[edit]

Ramsden Methodist chapel in the High Street was built in 1804.[5] It is now a private house.

In the Church of England, Ramsden used to be a dependent chapelry of the parish of Shipton-under-Wychwood.[6] In 1848 the Anglican chapel was described as being "of recent date".[6]

The architect William Wilkinson designed Ramsden parsonage, which was built in 1862.[7] It is now Ramsden House.[8]

In 1872[7] the Anglican chapel was replaced by the present Church of England parish church of Saint James. It was designed by the Gothic Revival architect Arthur Blomfield in an Early English Gothic style.[7] Its bell tower has a broach spire and a set of three bells.[7]

Economic and social history[edit]

Akeman cottage (left), the Royal Oak public house (right) and parish war memorial (foreground)

Ramsden is a linear village, lying east-west along an old road that intersects Akeman Street.

Wychwood Lodge in the High Street was built late in the 16th century and had been extended by the middle of the 17th.[9] It is built of coursed Cotswold stone rubble with ashlar dressings and has a Stonesfield slate roof.[9] The front doorway and the main ground floor fireplace are Tudor.[9] The house is a Grade II* listed building.[9]

Trades in Ramsden included a forge and attached cottage that were built in the middle of the 18th century.[10] The forge is no longer trading and has been converted into part of the attached cottage.[10]


Former Methodist chapel, built in 1804
Parish memorial hall (right), former Methodist chapel (left background) and K6 telephone kiosk (right foreground)

Ramsden has a public house, the Royal Oak, that was built in the 17th[11] or mid-18th[12] century.

The Memorial Hall is Ramsden's village hall. It is converted from a former barn in the High Street and commemorates the men of the parish who died in the First and Second World Wars. There is also a war memorial in the form of a stone obelisk in the centre of the village in front of the Royal Oak.


  1. ^ "Area selected: West Oxfordshire (Non-Metropolitan District)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Brize's Lodge Bowl Barrow". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 9 September 1993. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Henig & Chambers 1984, p. 19.
  4. ^ Henig & Chambers 1984, pp. 19–21.
  5. ^ "Former Methodist Chapel". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 13 June 1988. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Lewis 1848, pp. 633–638.
  7. ^ a b c d Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 734.
  8. ^ "Ramsden House". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 13 June 1988. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Wychwood Lodge". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "The Old Forge". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 13 June 1988. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Welcome to the Royal Oak at Ramsden
  12. ^ "Royal Oak Public House". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 7 July 1986. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 



External links[edit]

Media related to Ramsden, Oxfordshire at Wikimedia Commons