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Cumnor is a village and civil parish 3 1⁄2 miles (6 km) west of the centre of Oxford, England. The village is about 2 miles (3 km) southwest of Botley and its centre is west of the A420 road to Swindon.
Cumnor parish includes Cumnor Hill, (a ribbon development between Cumnor village and Botley), Chawley (at the top of Cumnor Hill), the Dean Court area on the edge of Botley and the outlying settlements of Chilswell, Farmoor, Filchampstead and Swinford. The parish was part of Berkshire until the 1974 local government boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire. The 2011 Census recorded the parish population as 5,755.
Cumnor has two public houses, the Vine and the Bear and Ragged Staff. It has a butcher, a hairdresser, a sub-post office and greengrocer and a complementary health clinic. The newsagent closed in 2018. It has three churches: the Church of England parish church of St Michael in the centre of the village, Cumnor United Reformed Church in Leys Road and Living Stones Christian Fellowship which meets in the Primary School.
The village has football and cricket clubs, both located on Appleton Road.
Cumnor Primary School has produced many notable pupils who have attended schools such as Matthew Arnold School, Abingdon School, Magdalen College School, Oxford High School for Girls, Our Lady's Abingdon and the School of St Helen and St Katharine in Abingdon. The Oxford School of Music is in Cumnor Hill.
Notable residents, as of October 2008, included novelist Philip Pullman and celebrity chef Sophie Grigson. The composer and conductor Christopher Whelen lived here for several years until his death in 1993.
The earliest known record of Cumnor is in a Saxon charter from AD 931 that records it as Cumanoran. The Domesday Book of 1086 records it as Comenore. Other Mediæval spellings include Colmonora and Colmanora. The name is derived from Old English, meaning "Cuma's hill-slope". A Benedictine called Cumma was Abbot of Abingdon around AD 730.
In 1560 Cumnor Place was the scene of the accidental death and rumoured suicide or murder of Amy Robsart, the ailing wife of Lord Robert Dudley. The house was pulled down in 1810, because, it is said, her ghost gave the locals so much trouble. In reality, the ancient house had become decrepit.
Cumnor includes some houses by Clough Williams-Ellis, the architect most noted for his designs for Portmeirion. His Cumnor houses are some of his earliest commissions, including his first commission, Larkbeare (1903–04, completed 1907) on Cumnor Hill, designed whilst he was still a student at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. The other examples are Cutts End House (1911, Appleton Road), Hurstcote (1922, Appleton Road), and Larkbeare Cottage (1910, Cumnor Hill; originally a gardener's cottage associated with Larkbeare). He also designed Cumnor Rise Hospital at a similar time to Larkbeare (designed 1903–04, completed 1907) but this was demolished in the 1990s.
- Henry Brooke, Baron Brooke of Cumnor (1903–84)
- Ruth Deech, Baroness Deech of Cumnor (born 1943)
- Cumnor Hurst
- "Cumnor Parish". Local Area Report for areas in England and Wales. nomis. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- Cornwell, John (24 October 2004). "Some enchanted author". Some enchanted author. The Times Online. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- Grigson, Sophie (1 March 2007). "Sophie's Guide to the World of Vegetables". The Oxford Times "Weekend". Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- "4 4B Abingdon ∙ Wootton ∙ Cumnor ∙ Botley ∙ City Centre ∙ Wood Farm 4A Elms Rise 4C Dean Court" (PDF). Oxford Bus Company. 1 September 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- "S9: Wantage - Grove - Oxford" (PDF). Stagecoach in Oxfordshire. 4 August 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- Ekwall 1960, Cumnor.
- Powell-Smith, Anna. "Cumnor". Open Domesday. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- "Cumnor Place (Cumnor Hall) (Dudley Castle)". The DiCamillo Companion. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
Sources and further reading
- Ditchfield, PH; Page, William, eds. (1924). "Cumnor". A History of the County of Berkshire. Victoria County History. IV. assisted by John Hautenville Cope. London: The St Katherine Press. pp. 398–405.
- Ekwall, Eilert (1960) . Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cumnor. ISBN 0198691033.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1966). Berkshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 124–126.
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