Coordinates: 51°38′20″N 1°14′24″W / 51.639°N 1.240°W / 51.639; -1.240
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Appleford Church.jpg
SS Peter & Paul parish church
Appleford is located in Oxfordshire
Location within Oxfordshire
Area2.97 km2 (1.15 sq mi)
Population350 (2011 Census)
• Density118/km2 (310/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSU5293
Civil parish
  • Appleford
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townAbingdon
Postcode districtOX14
Dialling code01235
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
List of places
51°38′20″N 1°14′24″W / 51.639°N 1.240°W / 51.639; -1.240

Appleford-on-Thames is a village and civil parish on the south bank of the River Thames about 2 miles (3 km) north of Didcot, Oxfordshire. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 local government boundary changes. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 350.[1]


Evidence of a Romano-British settlement has been found in a field south of the parish church plus ceramics and human burials of the same period at Manor Farm.[2] In 1968 the Appleford Hoard[3] of 4th-century Roman artefacts was found. It includes Roman coins, pewter ware, and ironmongery including tools, a chain and a padlock. The hoard is now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.[4]


Anglo-Saxon Appleford was in existence by the last quarter of the 9th century, when King Alfred the Great of Wessex granted land there to one of his subjects.[2] The Domesday Book records that in 1086 the manor of Apleford belonged to Abingdon Abbey.[2] It remained so until the dissolution of the monasteries when the abbey surrendered properties including the manor of Apulford to the Crown in 1538.[2] Farming under an open-field system prevailed in the parish until 1838 when an enclosure award was made.[2]

Parish church[edit]

The Church of England parish church of Saints Peter and Paul was originally a chapelry of Sutton Courtenay.[2] The nave is 12th century Norman and the chancel was rebuilt early in the 13th century.[2] Surviving early features include a Norman door on the south side of the nave and an Early English Gothic door to the chancel.[5] The east and north walls of the chancel have original Early English lancet windows and the south wall has a Perpendicular Gothic window that was added in the 16th century.[2] The building was altered in the 19th century. The nave was remodelled and extended to designs by the architect Ewan Christian, and in 1885–86 the tower was rebuilt to hang a ring of six bells and the spire was added to designs by the architect William Gilbee Scott.[5]

The tower has a ring of six bells, and a plaque on the southwest wall in the church commemorates their being rung for the Millennium at noon on 1 January 2000. Currently they are unringable. The fourth bell was cast at Wokingham, Berkshire late in the 14th century, and the fifth was cast by the same foundry late in the 15th century. John Warner & Sons of Cripplegate, London cast or recast the first, second, third and tenor bells in 1886,[6] in time to be rung for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. Samuel Green built the organ in 1777 for Abbey House of Sutton Courtenay. It was moved to Appleford parish church at a later date.[citation needed] Saints Peter and Paul parish is now part of the Benefice of Sutton Courtenay with Appleford.[7]


In 1844 the Great Western Railway opened an extension from Didcot to Oxford, passing through Appleford parish and crossing the River Thames just north of the village. The new line included a station at Appleford, but the station was closed after just five years. In 1933 the GWR opened a new halt on the site, which continues in service today as Appleford railway station. Appleford had a bus service until 2016 when Oxfordshire County Council withdrew its subsidy.[8] It was route 46, which ran once in each direction on a Monday morning between Clifton Hampden Post Office and Abingdon War Memorial.[9]


Appleford has a village hall[10] and a Women's Institute.[11] Appleford had a pub, the Carpenters Arms, but in 2012 it ceased trading and its owner applied for planning permission to convert it into a private house.[12]


A thatched wall in Church Street
  1. ^ "Area: Appleford (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Page & Ditchfield 1924, pp. 369–379
  3. ^ Brown 1973, p. 184.
  4. ^ "Appleford Roman Pewter Hoard". Highlights of the British Collection. Ashmolean Museum. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b Pevsner 1966, p. 65
  6. ^ Davies, Peter (24 November 2006). "Appleford SS Peter & Paul". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  7. ^ Archbishops' Council. "Benefice of Sutton Courtenay with Appleford". A Church Near You. Church of England. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  8. ^ Oliver, Matt (31 May 2016). "UPDATE: At least 50 Oxfordshire bus routes to go in July + full list of closures". Oxford Mail. Oxford. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  9. ^ Oxfordshire Public Transport Map & Guide. Oxford: Oxfordshire County Council. 2010.
  10. ^ "Village Hall". Hall and Field. Appleford Parish Council. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Women's Institute". Appleford Parish Council. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Planning Application P12/V2419/FUL" (PDF). Vale of White Horse District Council. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2015.


External links[edit]