Fifield, Oxfordshire

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Fifield StJohnBaptist.JPG
St John the Baptist parish church
Fifield is located in Oxfordshire
Location within Oxfordshire
Population240 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceSP2318
Civil parish
  • Fifield
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townChipping Norton
Postcode districtOX7
Dialling code01993
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
List of places
51°52′12″N 1°39′18″W / 51.870°N 1.655°W / 51.870; -1.655Coordinates: 51°52′12″N 1°39′18″W / 51.870°N 1.655°W / 51.870; -1.655

Fifield is a village and civil parish about 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Burford in Oxfordshire. The western boundary of the parish forms part of the county boundary with Gloucestershire. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 240.[1]


In the parish nearly 1+12 miles (2.4 km) west of the village is a Neolithic long barrow dating from between 3400 and 2400 BC. It is 157 feet (48 m) long, up to 92 feet (28 m) wide and up to 6 feet (1.8 m) high. It had a stone-lined passage about 66 feet (20 m) long, starting at its northeast end and ending in a small burial chamber. The barrow was partly excavated in 1934. It is a scheduled monument.[2][3]


The toponym is probably derived from its Old English name of Fifhides.[4] The Domesday book of 1086 records Fifield:

"Henry de Ferrers holds Fifield[5] There are five hides. Land for seven ploughs. Now in demesne 2 ploughs and 4 slaves and 9 villans with 4 bordars have 5 ploughs. There are 24 acres of meadow. Pasture one league in length and one breadth. It was and is worth 100 shillings."[6]

Parish church[edit]

The Church of England parish church of St John the Baptist is early 13th-century with a 14th-century tower and porch. The nave was partly rebuilt in 1840. It was restored in 1897 to designs by TE Colcutt, who added the north vestry. The church is a Grade II* listed building.[7] The tower has a ring of three bells. The second bell was cast in about 1399 by a bell-foundry that then existed in Wokingham, Berkshire. Abraham II Rudhall of Gloucester cast the tenor bell in 1725. James Bagley of Chacombe, Northamptonshire cast the treble bell in 1746. For technical reasons the bells are currently unringable. St John's also has a Sanctus bell that was cast by an unknown founder around 1499.[8] St John's parish is part of the Benefice of Shipton-under-Wychwood with Milton-under-Wychwood, Fifield and Idbury.[9]

RAF Little Rissington[edit]

In 1938 RAF Little Rissington was opened west of Fifield. Its periphery straddles the county boundary and includes Fifield long barrow.


Houses in Fifield
  1. ^ "Area: Fifield (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  2. ^ Harden 1954, pp. 142, 143.
  3. ^ Historic England. "Fifield long barrow (1015159)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  4. ^ Williams & Martin 2003, p. 1345.
  5. ^ Henry de Ferrers held a considerable number of manors given to him by the King including several in Oxfordshire. As well as Fifield these included Dean, Chastleton, Badgemore and Sibford.
  6. ^ Williams & Martin 2003, p. 433.
  7. ^ Historic England. "Church of St John the Baptist (Grade II*) (1283580)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  8. ^ Davies, Peter (23 December 2011). "Fifield S John Bapt". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  9. ^ Archbishops' Council (2015). "Benefice of Shipton-under-Wychwood with Milton-under Wychwood, Fifield and Idbury". A Church Near You. Church of England. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.

Sources and further reading[edit]

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