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Church of St Peter and St Paul, Chacombe (geograph 3028532).jpg
SS Peter & Paul parish church
Chacombe is located in Northamptonshire
Location within Northamptonshire
Population659 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceSP4943
Civil parish
  • Chacombe
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBanbury
Postcode districtOX17
Dialling code01295
AmbulanceEast Midlands
EU ParliamentEast Midlands
UK Parliament
WebsiteChacombe Parish Council
List of places
52°05′17″N 1°16′44″W / 52.088°N 1.279°W / 52.088; -1.279Coordinates: 52°05′17″N 1°16′44″W / 52.088°N 1.279°W / 52.088; -1.279

Chacombe is an English village and civil parish in South Northamptonshire, about 3 miles (5 km) north-east of the Oxfordshire town of Banbury. It has sometimes been spelt Chalcombe.[1] The parish is bounded to the west by the River Cherwell, to the north by a tributary of it, and to the south-east by the Banbury–Syresham road. The 2011 Census recorded the parish population as 659.[2]


In the reign of Edward the Confessor in the middle of the 11th century, one Bardi held the manor of Chacombe "freely" (i.e. without a feudal overlord).[3][4] However, the Domesday Book of 1086 records that after the Norman Conquest of England one Godfrey held the manor of "Cewecumbe" of Remigius de Fécamp, Bishop of Lincoln.[3][4] The manor had four hides of arable land, nine acres of meadow and three watermills.[3][4] In the 12th century the manor was still assessed as four hides and was still held of the Bishop of Lincoln.[5]

The manor house has been demolished. It was on the north-west side of the village, just east of the parish church in what is now Berry Field.[6]


Hugh of Chalcombe, lord of the manor of Chacombe, founded the Augustinian Chacombe Priory in the reign of Henry II (1154–1189).[7] It was just west of the present village.[6]

In 1536 the Priory was suppressed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries[7] and passed all its properties to the Crown. The only visible remains of it are a small chapel apparently built in the 13th century[8] and a set of medieval fishponds,[7] although at least three medieval stone coffin slabs, one from the 13th century, have been found in the priory grounds.[6]

Part of the priory site is now occupied by a house, also called Chacombe Priory. The house has a large Elizabethan porch and a late 17th-century staircase, and was remodelled in the Georgian era.[8]

Parish church[edit]

The earliest part of the Church of England parish church of Saints Peter and Paul is the Norman font.[8] The current building is essentially Decorated Gothic from the early part of the 14th century, including the three-bay arcades either side of the nave.[8] The north aisle has a 14th-century wall painting of Saint Peter being crucified upside-down.[9] It is one of only two wall paintings of Saint Peter's crucifixion known in England, the other being in the parish church at Ickleton in Cambridgeshire. The church is a Grade I listed building.[10]

The bell tower has a ring of six bells.[11] William Bagley of Chacombe[12] cast four of them including the treble bell in 1694.[13] John Briant of Hertford[12] cast the present fifth bell in 1790;[13] the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the present tenor bell in 2009.[13]

The parish is a member of the Chenderit Benefice, which also covers the parishes of Greatworth, Marston St. Lawrence, Middleton Cheney, Thenford and Warkworth.[14]

Social and economic history[edit]

A cottage in Silver Street being thatched in 2006

By the 13th century many hundreds in Northamptonshire listed in Domesday had been consolidated, with Chacombe parish within (King's) Sutton Hundred.[15][16]

Ridge and furrow patterns of Chacombe's former open field system can be traced in much of the parish, particularly from the air. The common fields were enclosed long before the 18th century and without a parliamentary Inclosure Act. In about 1720 John Bridges wrote that the whole lordship [of Chacombe] was then enclosed and had been so "for near a 100 years".[17]

From 1605 until 1785 the Bagley family of Chacombe were bellfounders, casting more than 440 bells for churches in England[18] including the four 1694 bells in Chacombe parish church.[11] Master-founders at Chacombe included Henry I Bagley (active 1630–1684), Matthew I Bagley (active 1679–1690), Henry II Bagley (active 1679–1703), William Bagley (active 1687–1712), Henry III Bagley (active 1706–1746) and Matthew III Bagley (active 1740–1782).[12] Henry II Bagley also ran a foundry at Ecton and Henry III Bagley one at Witney.[12]

Before 1901, the hundred court was disused and Chacombe parish part of the Southern Division of Northamptonshire.[19] In 1900 the Great Central Railway branch line between Culworth and Banbury was built along the northern edge of Chacombe parish. In 1911 the railway opened Chalcombe Road Halt just north of the village on Wardington Road. British Railways closed this in 1956 and the line in 1966.

The Conservative politician and government minister Norman St. John-Stevas, Lord St. John, died at Chacombe House care home on 2 March 2012, at the age of 82.[20]

School and amenities[edit]

Sign at the entrance to the village

The parish school in Chacombe was founded in 1868.[21] The school is now known as Chacombe CEVA Primary Academy.[22]

The village has a public house, the George and Dragon, linked to Everards Brewery.[23] It also has a village hall.[24]

There are bed-and-breakfast facilities at the Old Farmhouse in Banbury Road.[25] There is also a care home for the elderly.[26]

Cherwell Edge Golf Club lies south-east of the village.[27]


  1. ^ Lewis 1848, pp. 242–245.
  2. ^ "Area: Chacombe (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Adkins & Serjeantson 1902, p. 312.
  4. ^ a b c Domesday Online: Chacombe, accessed Feb 2019.
  5. ^ Adkins & Serjeantson 1902, p. 368.
  6. ^ a b c RCHME 1982, pp. 26–27.
  7. ^ a b c "Chacombe Priory". Pastscape. English Heritage. Retrieved 13 December 2009.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b c d Pevsner & Cherry 1973, p. 146.
  9. ^ "Medieval Wall Painting in the English Parish Church: Martyrdom of St. Peter: Chacombe, Northants (Peterborough) C.14". Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  10. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Peter and St Paul  (Grade I) (1041190)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Chacombe: Church Guide". Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  12. ^ a b c d Dovemaster (31 October 2012). "Bell Founders". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  13. ^ a b c Dawson, George (23 March 2009). "Chacombe SS Peter & Paul". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  14. ^ Archbishops' Council (2015). "Benefice of Chenderit". A Church Near You. Church of England. Archived from the original on 9 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  15. ^ Northamptonshire Militia Lists 1777: Kings Sutton Hundred. Northamptonshire Record Society, accessed February 2019.
  16. ^ Hundreds and Liberties in Northamptonshire. University of Kentucky Genealogy Archive, accessed February 2019.
  17. ^ RCHME 1982, pp. 26–27, citing Bridges 1791
  18. ^ "Chacombe: Church Guide: Bagley bell-founders". Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  19. ^ University of Kentucky Genealogy Archives: Northamptonshire, accessed February 2019.
  20. ^ Dennis Kavanagh, "Stevas, Norman Antony Francis St John-, Baron St John of Fawsley (1929–2012)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, UK: OUP, 2016) Retrieved 18 May 2016
  21. ^ "Chacombe: Timeline". Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  22. ^ "Diary & News". Chacombe CEVA Primary Academy. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  23. ^ Everards: George & Dragon, Chacombe
  24. ^ "Welcome". Chacombe Parish Council. Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  25. ^ Agency site Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  26. ^ Own site Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  27. ^ "Cherwell Edge Golf Club". Retrieved 17 June 2012.


External links[edit]