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Balscote Church (geograph 4967293).jpg
Parish church of St Mary Magdalene
Balscote is located in Oxfordshire
Location within Oxfordshire
OS grid referenceSP3941
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBanbury
Postcode districtOX15
Dialling code01295
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
WebsiteWroxton & Balscote Community Web Site
List of places
52°04′41″N 1°25′37″W / 52.078°N 01.427°W / 52.078; -01.427Coordinates: 52°04′41″N 1°25′37″W / 52.078°N 01.427°W / 52.078; -01.427

Balscote or Balscott is a village in the civil parish of Wroxton, Oxfordshire, about 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Banbury. The Domesday Book of 1086 records the place-name as Berescote. Curia regis rolls from 1204 and 1208 record it as Belescot. An entry in the Book of Fees for 1242 records it as Balescot. Its origin is Old English, meaning the cottage, house or manor of a man called Bælli.[1]

Church and chapel[edit]

Church of England[edit]

The earliest features of the Church of England parish church of St Mary Magdalene include a Norman font and an Early English Gothic window. Most of the present church building is 14th-century, built in a Decorated Gothic style.[2] It is a Grade II* listed building.[3] The parish of St Mary Magdalene is now one of eight in the Ironstone Benefice.[4]

Balscote Methodist chapel

Methodist chapel[edit]

Balscote had a Methodist chapel but this has now been converted into a private home.

Secular buildings[edit]

Many of Balscote's buildings are of local Hornton Stone. Priory Farm is a 14th-century hall, extended in the 15th century and modernised in the 17th and 18th centuries. Grange Farm is a 15th- or early 16th-century house, extended and modernised in the 17th and 18th centuries. Both houses may have been built by the owners of nearby Wroxton Abbey.[5]

Balscote has a public house, The Butchers Arms,[6] which is controlled by the Hook Norton Brewery.[7] In 1996 Balscote Village Hall Trust, a registered charity, started planning and fund-raising to build a community hall.[8] Building began in October 2010[9] and was completed in 2011.[10] It is a timber building.[11]

The Butchers Arms

Notable residents[edit]

  • Nicholas de Balscote (died 1320), Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, was born in Balscote.
  • Alexander Petit (died 1400), one of the dominant figures in late 14th-century Ireland, was also a native of Balscote. He held many important offices including Bishop of Ossory, Bishop of Meath and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. As was usual at the time he was more commonly referred to, not by his family name, but his birthplace, as Alexander de Balscot.[12] He may have been a relative of Nicholas de Balscote, who is known to have appointed several family members to important positions in Ireland, or they may simply have shared a birthplace.


  1. ^ Ekwall 1960, Balscott.
  2. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 428.
  3. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Mary Magdalene (Grade II*) (1299831)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Welcome to the eight Churches of the Ironstone Benefice in North Oxfordshire". The Ironstone Benefice. 24 June 2019.
  5. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, pp. 428–429.
  6. ^ Historic England. "The Butchers Arms Public House (Grade II) (1185111)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Butchers Arms, Balscote". Hook Norton Brewery. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Balscote Village website". Archived from the original on 25 January 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2009.
  9. ^ "Long fight ends as work begins". Banbury Guardian. Johnston Press. 21 October 2010.
  10. ^ "Balscote, Oxfordshire opens village hall". BBC News. 3 June 2011.
  11. ^ "Balscote" (pdf). Timberworks Europe.
  12. ^ O'Flanagan 1870[page needed]


External links[edit]