St. Michael's parish church
Fringford shown within Oxfordshire
|Population||613 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Fringford is a village and civil parish in Oxfordshire, about 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Bicester. The parish is bounded to the east by the Roman road that linked Alchester Roman Town with Roman Towcester, to the south by a brook that joins the River Bure, to the north mostly by a brook that is a tributary of the River Great Ouse, and to the west by field boundaries. Fringford village is in the north of the parish, surrounded on two sides by a bend in the tributary of the Great Ouse.
At the southern edge of the parish, beside the tributary of the River Bure, there may have been a Roman villa. The site is only about 200 yards (180 m) west of the Roman road. It is now occupied by Fringford Lodge.
Fringford's toponym is derived from an Old English tribal or family name Ferring or Fcaring and the ford that formed the only crossing-point of the narrow stream that flows around three sides of the village. An earlier form of the name would have been Ferringas-ford.
After the Norman conquest of England in 1066, William of Normandy gave his half-brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, manors that included Fringford. Later the Crown deposed Odo and granted the manor of Fringford to Baron William de Arsic of Cogges.
By the early part of the twelfth century William's son Baron Manasses Arsic had built a stone church. It was dedicated to Saint Michael and All Angels and granted to the Benedictine Priory founded at Cogges by Baron William.
The south aisle may have been rebuilt in the 14th century. The ring of bells was hung sometime before the end of the 17th century. The only maintenance recorded before the 19th century is in 1788, when £18.4.3d. was spent on general repairs.
In 1815 Henry Dawson Roundell was appointed Rector. He is described as "possessed of ample means and genial temerament". He started letting parts of the parish glebe as allotments for labourers in the parish and, throughout his incumbency, he promoted the restoration of the church. After his incumbency the north aisle was rebuilt in 1905 and the roof was restored in 1909.
The Church of England parish of Fringford is now linked with 9 of its neighbours to form one benefice of Cottisford, Finmere, Hardwick, Newton Purcell, Mixbury, Stratton Audley with Godington, Fringford with Hethe and Stoke Lyne. These form the Shelswell Group of parishes, which number ten in all. The Rector for Shelswell parishes lives in Finmere. Associate ministers live in Fringford and Bicester, and a further Licensed Lay Minister lives in Fringford.
The 10 Parishes are part of the Deanery of Bicester & Islip, and the Dorchester Episcopal Area of the Diocese of Oxford.
Social and economic history
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2012)|
Fringford in the 19th century is associated with Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford trilogy, in which Fringford is the prototype for Candleford Green. In 1844 the Oxford Chronicle noted "there aren't enough dwellings to shelter the poor". In 1851 the population was 357. During this time the parish had only a few good farm-houses. However, the population grew in 1871, and reached its highest number until the 1990s at 479.
Fringford had five blacksmiths, three carpenters, three sawyers, three brickmakers, a stonemason, a shoemaker, three decorators, a carrier, a coal haulier, two bakers, two grocers and a butcher. Also two grooms, two footmen, six gardeners and a coachman from Fringford were employed at Shelswell House, Tusmore Park and Swift House.
Mains electricity was not supplied until after the Second World War and mains water until 1960.
- "Area: Fringford CP (Parish): Parish Headcounts". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- Lobel 1959, pp. 125–134.
- A Guided Tour of Five Churches of the Shelswell Group. Shelswell Benefice. p. not cited.
- "Fringford C.E. Primary School". fringford.oxon.sch.uk. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
- Shelswell W.I.
Sources and further reading
- Blomfield, James Charles (c. 1890). Part V: History of Fringford, Hethe, Mixbury, Newton Purcell, and Shelswell. Deanery of Bicester. Elliot Stock & Co: London.
- Greenwood, Martin W (2000). Fringford Through the Ages. Martin Greenwood. ISBN 0-9539627-0-9.
- Lobel, Mary D, ed. (1959). A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 6. Victoria County History. pp. 125–134.
- Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). Oxfordshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 607–608. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
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