Hook Norton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hook Norton
  • Hooky
Hook norton brewery 1.jpg
Hook Norton brewery is one of Britain's last working Victorian tower breweries (April 2006)
Hook Norton is located in Oxfordshire
Hook Norton
Hook Norton
Location within Oxfordshire
Area22.23 km2 (8.58 sq mi)
Population2,117 (2011 Census)
• Density95/km2 (250/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSP3533
Civil parish
  • Hook Norton
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBanbury
Postcode districtOX15
Dialling code01608
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
WebsiteHook Norton
List of places
52°00′N 1°29′W / 52.00°N 1.48°W / 52.00; -1.48Coordinates: 52°00′N 1°29′W / 52.00°N 1.48°W / 52.00; -1.48

Hook Norton is a village and civil parish in Oxfordshire, England. It lies 4+12 miles (7 km) northeast of Chipping Norton, close to the Cotswold Hills. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 2,117.[1] The village is formed of four neighbourhoods: East End, Scotland End (in the west), Down End (in the centre) and Southrop (in the south).


In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 917 the village is recorded as Hocneratun. The Domesday Book of 1086 records it as Hochenartone. A charter from 1130 records it as Hokenartona. An episcopal register entry from 1225 records it as Hokenartone. A record from 1267 records it as Hokenarton. The Taxatio Ecclesiastica of 1291 records it as Hoke Norton.[2] Other past spellings of the name include Hocceneretune (1050), Hogenarton (1216) and Okenardton (1263).[3] Hegnorton is recorded in a plea roll from 1430.[4][5] The name is derived from Old English. Hocca may perhaps be the name of a person or tribe, although other interpretations are possible; ōra may refer to a hill slope and tūn is a settlement.[2] Today the village is colloquially known to its inhabitants as "Hooky" and sometimes as "The Hook".


The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that a Viking army from Northampton raided the Hook Norton area in 913.[6] The village had a parish church by 922.[7] The Domesday Book records that in 1086 Hook Norton had 76 villagers and two mills.[8] Leland noted c.1540 the existence of a deer park at Hook Norton which was owned by the king, Henry VIII. The park had previously belonged to a Chaucer and Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk.[9] By the 1800s it was "an ancient park, long-disused and forgotten."[10]

Hook Norton had a clockmaker, Thomas Webb,[11] who maintained the turret clock at St. Giles' parish church, Wigginton from 1788 until 1834.[12] Webb was succeeded in his trade at Hook Norton by John Paine, who maintained the clock at Wigginton from 1835 until 1855.[13] In 1840 Paine built a new turret clock for St. George's parish church, Brailes, Warwickshire.[13]

The former Banbury and Cheltenham Direct Railway, part of the Great Western Railway, served Hook Norton with a railway station at East End. British Railways closed the station in 1951 and closed the railway to all traffic in 1964.[14] Tall stone pillars which supported two B&CDR viaducts can be seen in the valley to the south-east of the village. Near Hook Norton there were several ironstone quarries, evidence of which can still be seen. The Brymbo Ironworks, opened in 1899, had its own narrow gauge railway and was connected to the B&CDR at Council Hill Sidings, 34 mile (1.2 km) east of Hook Norton station. The Brymbo Ironworks closed in 1946 and was dismantled in 1948.

Hook Norton Brewery was founded in 1849 and is an important architectural example of a Victorian tower brewery, as well as containing a working Victorian steam engine.[15][16] The brewery has a museum that includes a section on the history of the village. The village's 18th century hand-pumped fire engine, which was in use until 1896, is preserved in St. Peter's parish church.[7]


The present Church of England parish church of Saint Peter is of Norman origin but also has Early English, Decorated Gothic and Perpendicular Gothic features. The Norman font is 11th century and is unusual in featuring pagan signs of the Zodiac. St. Peter's contains a number of wall paintings including saints, angels and the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul.[17] The church tower has a ring of eight bells, all cast in 1949 by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough.[18] St Peter's is now the mother church of the Benefice of Hook Norton with Great Rollright, Swerford and Wigginton. Hook Norton Baptist Church is among the oldest in Britain, having been founded 1640.[19] Its present building is Georgian, built in 1781.[17] Hook Norton also had a Methodist chapel, which was built in 1875.[17]


Railway viaduct piers to the south-east of Hook Norton. (April 2006)

Hook Norton has a Church of England controlled primary school,[20] shop, a post office and general store,[21] a fire station[22] crewed by retained firefighters, a GPs' practice,[23] a dental practice,[24] veterinary surgery,[25] public library,[26] a memorial village hall, a Women's Institute[27] and a sports and social club.[28] Hook Norton Brewery is famous for brewing traditional real ale. Hook Norton hosts an annual music festival, Music at the Crossroads, that raises funds for many local charitable causes. Hook Norton has three public houses, all of which are controlled by Hook Norton Brewery:

  • The Gate Hangs High[29]
  • The Pear Tree Inn[30]
  • The Sun Inn[31]

Sport and leisure[edit]

Hook Norton F.C. plays in the Witney and District Division 2.[32] Hook Norton Cricket Club[33] plays in Oxfordshire Cricket Association Division One.[34] Hook Norton also has a tennis club,[35] a running club[36] and a Multi Use Games Area whose sports include netball.[28]


  1. ^ "Hook Norton Parish". nomis. Durham University. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b Ekwall 1960, Hook Norton
  3. ^ Land at Bourne Lane, Hook Norton, Oxfordshire: An Archaeological Assessment. CPM environmental planning and design. 2004. p. 5.[clarification needed]
  4. ^ "`". Anglo American Legal Tradition.
  5. ^ "CP 40 / 677". Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas. National Archives. first entry, labelled "Staff", where the defendants are from Hognorton, Oxon
  6. ^ Miller, Sean. "Timeline: 880–927". Anglo-Saxons.net. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  7. ^ a b "St Peter's Parish Church history". St Peter's, Hook Norton. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Hook Norton in the Domesday Book" (PDF). Hook Norton Local History Group. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  9. ^ "The Itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535–1543". p. 74 vol vii. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  10. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip (1867). Some Account of English Deer Parks. London: John Murray. p. 135.
  11. ^ Beeson 1989, p. 149.
  12. ^ Beeson 1989, p. 190.
  13. ^ a b Beeson 1989, p. 188.
  14. ^ Photographs of former railway tunnel and cuttings at Hook Norton Archived 12 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Hampson, Tim (2008). The Beer Book. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 162. ISBN 978-1405333016.
  16. ^ Hampson, Tim (2008). The Beer Book. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 8. ISBN 978-1405333016.
  17. ^ a b c Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 651
  18. ^ Smith, Martin (28 June 2020). "Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, S Peter". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Our history". Hook Norton Baptist Church. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  20. ^ Hook Norton Church of England Primary School
  21. ^ "Spar – Hook Norton". Spar. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  22. ^ "Hook Norton Fire Station". Oxfordshire County Council. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  23. ^ "Bloxham & Hook Norton Surgeries". Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  24. ^ "Lion House Dental Practice". Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  25. ^ "Hook Norton Veterinary Group". Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  26. ^ "Hook Norton Library". Oxfordshire County Council. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  27. ^ "Hook Norton". Oxfordshire Federation of Women's Institutes. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  28. ^ a b "Hook Norton Sports and Social Club". Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  29. ^ "Gate Hangs High, Hook Norton". Hooky Norton Brewery. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  30. ^ "Pear Tree Inn, Hook Norton". Hook Norton Brewery. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  31. ^ "Sun Inn, Hook Norton". Hooky Norton Brewery. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  32. ^ "Hook Norton Fotball Club". Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  33. ^ "Hook Norton CC". play-cricket.com. 13 June 2002. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  34. ^ "Oxfordshire Cricket Association Division 1". Oxfordshire Cricket Association. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  35. ^ Hook Norton Tennis Club
  36. ^ "Hook Norton Harriers". Retrieved 26 August 2020.

Sources and further reading[edit]

External links[edit]