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Begbroke Church - - 1386361.jpg
St Michael's parish church
Begbroke is located in Oxfordshire
Location within Oxfordshire
Area2.88 km2 (1.11 sq mi)
Population783 (2011 Census)
• Density272/km2 (700/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSP4824
Civil parish
  • Begbroke
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townKidlington
Postcode districtOX5
Dialling code01865
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
WebsiteBegbroke Parish Council
List of places
51°49′19″N 1°19′08″W / 51.822°N 1.319°W / 51.822; -1.319Coordinates: 51°49′19″N 1°19′08″W / 51.822°N 1.319°W / 51.822; -1.319

Begbroke is a village and civil parish in Oxfordshire about one mile (1.6 km) west of Kidlington and five miles (8 km) northwest of Oxford. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 783.[1]


Fragments of early pottery have been found in the parish, as well as flints, scrapers, and an axe and arrow head. Aerial photographs show ancient crop marks.


The toponym "Begbroke" is Old English for "Little Brook". This refers to Rowel Brook which runs through the village and was the reason for its early settlement. Rowel Brook is a tributary of the River Cherwell.


Begbroke Manor House was built in about 1700.[2] In the 19th century it became part of the Priory of St Philip, which until 2000 was the novitiate house for the Roman Catholic Servite Friars in England. It was then sold to a Church of England order of nuns, the Community of St John Baptist. The brethren of the Servites were well known in the village and served as Air Raid Precautions (ARP) wardens in World War II.

Parish church[edit]

The Church of England parish church of Saint Michael was a 12th-century Norman building.[3] The uppermost stage of the tower was rebuilt in the 14th century and the nave and chancel were repeatedly "restored" in the 19th century.[2]

Economic and social history[edit]

The former Begbroke Hill Farm was owned by the Giffard and FitzHerbert families for nearly 500 years. It was built early in the 17th century[2] for either Humphrey FitzHerbert (died 1616) or his son Robert (died 1632).[4] It is now the site of the Oxford University Begbroke Science Park (which, despite the name, is accessible only from the neighbouring village of Yarnton and but is in the boundary of Begbroke parish).

Orchard House, next to St Michael's parish church, also belonged to the FitzHerberts. More recently it was the home of science fiction author Brian Aldiss.[citation needed] Begbroke Place was built in 1906.[2] From 1940 until 1984 the house was incorporated into the campus of St Juliana's Convent School, an independent girls' school run by the sisters of the Servite Order. Commuter homes were built in the village beginning in the 1930s, mainly on the east side of Woodstock Road.


The Royal Sun public house

The village has a public house, the Royal Sun inn, that has traded since at least 1711. Begbroke has a village hall with cricket and bowling greens. Solid State Logic, the world's largest manufacturer of professional analogue and digital audio consoles for music, broadcast, post production and film, is headquartered at Begbroke. SSL bought the convent and convent school buildings.[citation needed]


Remains of medieval preaching cross in St Michael's churchyard
  1. ^ "Area: Begbroke (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 450.
  3. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Michael (1291232)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  4. ^ Sturdy 1961–62, p. 332.


External links[edit]