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Garsington StMary SE2.JPG
St Mary's parish church
Garsington is located in Oxfordshire
Location within Oxfordshire
Area8.42 km2 (3.25 sq mi)
Population1,689 (2011 Census)
• Density201/km2 (520/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSP5802
Civil parish
  • Garsington
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townOXFORD
Postcode districtOX44
Dialling code01865
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
WebsiteGarsington Parish Council
List of places
51°42′58″N 1°09′40″W / 51.716°N 1.161°W / 51.716; -1.161Coordinates: 51°42′58″N 1°09′40″W / 51.716°N 1.161°W / 51.716; -1.161

Garsington is a village and civil parish about 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Oxford in Oxfordshire. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 1,689.[1] The village is known for the flamboyant social life at Garsington Manor when it was the home from 1914 to 1928 of Philip and Ottoline Morrell,[2] and for the Garsington Opera which was staged here from 1989 until 2010.


Garsington Manor[edit]

Garsington Manor House was built in the 16th century and remodelled in the 17th century.[3] It is a Grade II* listed building.[4] It was the home of Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873–1938), doyenne of the Bloomsbury group of writers and artists who used to meet at the manor. By association it has connection with the philosopher Bertrand Russell, writers such as Aldous Huxley, W. B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence and artists like Mark Gertler, Eric Gill and Dora Carrington. Garsington Manor was bought in 1982 by Leonard Ingrams who established the Garsington Opera, an annual open air opera festival which was staged there each summer from 1989 until 2010. The opera moved to Wormsley Park, Buckinghamshire in 2011.

Southend Manor House[edit]

The Southend part of the village has its own manor house. It is an early 17th-century double-pile Jacobean building with a front of seven bays. It is a Grade II* listed building.[5]

Parish church[edit]

The oldest part of the parish church of Saint Mary includes the tower, built towards the end of the 12th century in the transitional[6] style between Norman[7] and Early English.[8] The chancel is pure Early English and was built or rebuilt in about 1300.[3][6] St Mary's has Decorated Gothic north and south aisles, which were added in the 14th century and have four-bay arcades.[3][6] St Mary's was restored in 1849 under the direction of the Gothic Revival architect Joseph Clarke.[3][6] Clarke's alterations included rebuilding the chancel arch to match the north arcade,[3] adding gargoyles to the south aisle and much remodelling of the north aisle.[6] St Mary's is a Grade II* listed building.[6] Inside, next to the entrance door, is a memorial to Garsington's most illustrious inhabitant, Ottoline Morrell, by Eric Gill.

The west tower has a ring of six bells. Richard Keene of Woodstock cast the treble bell in 1696.[9] Abraham II Rudhall of Gloucester cast the second bell in 1720. Henry III Bagley of Chacombe, Northamptonshire cast the third bell in 1733, presumably at his then foundry in Witney. John Rudhall of Gloucester cast the tenor bell in 1788. W&J Taylor cast the fifth bell in 1825, presumably at their then foundry in Oxford. The fourth bell was cast in 1732 but Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry recast it in 1929. The bells were restored in 2013.[10] Thomas Thwaites of Clerkenwell in London built the turret clock for the tower in 1796 at a cost of £172 4s 0d.[11] It is a 30-hour clock and it strikes the hours on the tenor bell.[11] Its dials still have only an hour hand.[11] St Mary's parish is now part of the Benefice of Garsington, Cuddesdon and Horspath.[12] The wedding scene in the 2006 film Amazing Grace was filmed at the church.[13]


A parish school was built in Garsington in 1840. It was reorganised as a junior school in 1923.[7] It now occupies more modern premises and is a Church of England primary school.[14]

Village hall[edit]

The village hall was built in 1911 and given to the village by the lord of the manor, Philip Morrell. For most of the 20th century it served the needs of the villagers and a number of small improvements were made over the years. It was renovated to bring it up to modern day standards. The building retains its original appearance as well as adding modern-day facilities.[15]

The Boundary : Jennings[edit]

In 1926 Joseph William Jennings bought land in Garsington and originally established a poultry farming business. This site is now known as The Boundary. Joe and John Jennings (sons of J.W. Jennings) bought a further site in Chalgrove, which had previously been used by the USA air force, to develop this family run business. The Chalgrove site would become Monument Park.

In the early 1980s, a growing number of crafts people looking for workshop space brought about the conversion of many of the farm buildings. Combined with a sympathetic ear and an understanding of being self-employed, Jennings became landlords with huge demand for their buildings. The vision evolved for a business community where people feel valued, relationships matter and small businesses are supported, across its sites at Garsington and Chalgrove.

Jennings continues to positively impact local and business communities, with a values-led culture and passion for sustainable business growth.


Garsington has a public house: the Three Horseshoes. Garsington Sports and Social Club is in Denton Lane. It has two men's football teams that play in the Oxfordshire Senior Football League and two youth teams that play in the Oxford Mail Youth League[16] Garsington Cricket Club[17] plays in the Oxfordshire Cricket Association League Division Five.[18] The Garsington Society seeks to expand the knowledge of Garsington and its surrounding areas historically and geographically with talks held from time to time. Garsington has a Women's Institute.[19]



  1. ^ "Area: Garsington CP: Parish Headcounts: Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  2. ^ Seymour, Miranda (1885–1900). "Morrell (née Cavendish-Bentinck), Lady Ottoline Violet Anne" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. ^ a b c d e Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 611
  4. ^ Historic England. "Garsington Manor (Grade II*) (1001095)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  5. ^ Historic England. "Manor House, Southend (Grade II*) (1047686)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Historic England. "Church of St Mary, Southend (Grade II*) (1284943)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  7. ^ a b Lobel 1957, pp. 134–156.
  8. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 610.
  9. ^ Davies, Peter (28 January 2009). "Garsington S Mary". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  10. ^ Nunn, Andy. "Towers". Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, Oxford City Branch. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  11. ^ a b c Beeson 1989, p. 38
  12. ^ Archbishops' Council. "Benefice of Garsington, Cuddesdon and Horspath". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  13. ^ Archbishops' Council. "Garsington: St Mary, Garsington". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  14. ^ Garsington CE Primary School
  15. ^ Garsington Village Hall
  16. ^ "Boys League". Oxford Mail. Newsquest. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  17. ^ Garsington Cricket Club
  18. ^ "Clubs". Oxfordshire Cricket Association. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  19. ^ "Your Nearest WI". Oxfordshire Federation of Women's Institutes. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.


External links[edit]