Appleton, Oxfordshire

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Appleton StLawrence south.JPG
St Laurence's parish church
Appleton is located in Oxfordshire
Location within Oxfordshire
Population915 (parish, with Eaton) (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceSP4401
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townAbingdon
Postcode districtOX13
Dialling code01865
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
WebsiteAppleton with Eaton
List of places
51°42′36″N 1°21′40″W / 51.710°N 1.361°W / 51.710; -1.361Coordinates: 51°42′36″N 1°21′40″W / 51.710°N 1.361°W / 51.710; -1.361

Appleton is a village in the civil parish of Appleton-with-Eaton, about 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Abingdon. Historically in Berkshire, the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire for administrative purposes. The 2011 Census recorded Appleton-with-Eaton's parish population as 915.[1]


In the 9th century Abingdon Abbey held the manor of Appleton. In 871 the Danes sacked the abbey and thereby obtained Appleton, but it is assumed that Appleton was recovered by Alfred the Great.[2] Appleton's toponym means simply "an orchard". In the 10th century it was Æppeltune or Appeltun, from then until the 17th century it evolved as Apletone, Apletune and Appelton, and in 1316 it was recorded as Aspelton. In the 10th century the village had the alternative name of Earmundeslæh, Earmundesleah, Earmundeslee or Earmundeslei, referring to King Edmund I, who in 942 granted it to Athelstan, one of his thegns, who may have restored it to Abingdon Abbey.[2] The Domesday Book of 1086 records that Miles Crispin was the manorial overlord of Appleton and Eaton. There was also a second landholding at Appleton of which the overlord was Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, who was William of Normandy's half-brother. The Domesday Book records that Appleton had the most valuable fishery in Berkshire, valued at £1.4s.2d.[2]

From then on the history is largely a record of grants and reversions, the best-known names to appear in the list of grantors or tenants being William de Merton, perhaps a kinsman of the founder of Merton College, Oxford, Sir William de Shareshull, Lord Chief Justice in the reign of Edward III, and William Lenthall, Speaker of the Long Parliament (this at a time when the Lordship of the Manor descended with that of Besselsleigh) and, of more local note, the Fettiplace and the Southby families. Appleton Manor House dates from about 1174 and has an ornate doorway.[3] The Grade-II*-listed[4] house has a porch and fireplace that were added in the Tudor era.

Parish church[edit]

The oldest parts of the Church of England parish church of Saint Laurence are 12th-century[2] Norman. The north aisle was added late in that century, linked with the nave by a four-bay arcade of pointed arches. In the 13th century a new window and doorway were inserted in the south wall of the nave, as was the priest's doorway on the south side of the chancel. The east window of the chancel is 14th-century in style. In the 15th century the Perpendicular Gothic[3] bell tower was added, a window inserted on the south side of the nave and the nave was re-roofed. The south porch was added early in the 16th century, the north aisle was rebuilt in the 17th century and the north porch was built in about 1700. The Gothic Revival architect CC Rolfe restored the nave in 1882–84.[5] The church is a Grade II* listed building.[2][3][6]

Monuments in the church include a brass of two shrouded corpses in memory of John Goudrington, who died in 1518, and his wife. In the chancel is a Renaissance stone monument erected in 1593 in memory of Sir John Fettiplace, who died in 1580. It includes a life-size effigy of Sir John in 16th-century armour, a pair of Corinthian columns supporting a canopy surmounted by a pair of obelisks, and a long Latin inscription surrounded by extensive strapwork and a number of skulls.[6][3] The tower has a ring of ten bells, all cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Thomas II Mears cast the seventh bell in 1817. George Mears cast the second and third bells in 1859 and the ninth and tenor bells in 1861. Mears and Stainbank recast the eighth bell in 1874 and cast the treble, fourth and fifth bells in 1875. The sixth bell was recast, and the fittings for all bells replaced, and a new frame installed in 1977. The work was carried out by White's of Appleton, in the same village.[7]

White's of Appleton[edit]

In 1824 Alfred White founded White's of Appleton, a contractor for hanging church bells. The company is still based in Appleton and is now the oldest bellhanging company still trading in the United Kingdom.[8]


Appleton has a Church of England primary school, a community shop, a Women's Institute[9] and a cricket club.[10] Appleton All Stars Football Club were a member of the North Berks Football League[11] but folded in 2014.[12][13] Oxfordshire County Council bus route 63 between Oxford and Southmoor serves Appleton five times a day in each direction, every day except Sundays and Bank Holidays. The current contractor operating the route is Thames Travel.[14]



  1. ^ "Area: Appleton-with-Eaton (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Page & Ditchfield 1924, pp. 335–341.
  3. ^ a b c d Pevsner 1966, p. 65–66.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Appleton Manor (Grade II*) (1198061)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  5. ^ Saint 1970.
  6. ^ a b Historic England. "Church of St Lawrence (Grade II*) (1048421)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  7. ^ Baldwin, John (13 April 2009). "Appleton S Lawrence". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  8. ^ "History". Whites of Appleton Church Bellhangers. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Appleton Women's Institute". Appleton with Eaton. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Appleton Cricket Club". Appleton with Eaton. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  11. ^ "A Team have the Key to Appleton! 1st Team dumped from cup, Reserves continue challenge". Faringdon Town Football Club. 18 November 2012. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Appleton Stars". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Attitude In Adversity". Football: Wherever it may be. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  14. ^ "route63 Oxford • Cumnor • Southmoor" (PDF). Timetables. Thames Travel. Retrieved 12 December 2015.


External links[edit]