Launton

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Launton
St Mary's Church, Launton - geograph.org.uk - 61239.jpg
St Mary's parish church
Launton is located in Oxfordshire
Launton
Launton
Launton shown within Oxfordshire
Area 10.49 km2 (4.05 sq mi)
Population 1,204 (2011 Census)
• Density 115/km2 (300/sq mi)
OS grid reference SP6022
Civil parish
  • Launton
District
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Bicester
Postcode district OX26
Dialling code 01869
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
Website Launton Village Website
List of places
UK
England
Oxfordshire
51°53′35″N 1°06′58″W / 51.893°N 1.116°W / 51.893; -1.116Coordinates: 51°53′35″N 1°06′58″W / 51.893°N 1.116°W / 51.893; -1.116

Launton is a village and civil parish on the eastern outskirts of Bicester, Oxfordshire, England. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 1,204.[1]

Manor[edit]

King Edward the Confessor granted the manor of Launton to Westminster Abbey in 1065. The abbey surrendered the manor to the Crown when it was suppressed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540, but in 1542 the Crown granted Launton to the abbey's Dean and Chapter. Mary I restored the Roman Catholic church in England so in 1556 Launton was surrendered to the Crown, who restored it to the reinstated abbott and convent of Westminster. Elizabeth I restored the English Reformation so in 1560 Launton was surrendered to the Crown for a third time, who again granted it to the Dean and Chapter. In 1649 the Commonwealth of England assigned Launton to Westminster School. In 1860 the lands of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster were vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.[2]

The present manor house is 17th-century, with a court room that was re-ordered in the 19th-century.[3] Its farmyard has a 14th- or 15th-century barn of 10 bays with 17th-century roof timbers. It may have been a tithe barn. It is now a Grade II* listed building.[4]

Church and chapels[edit]

Church of England[edit]

The Church of England parish church of the Assumption of the Blesséd Virgin Mary was built in the 12th century, and the four-bay aisles of its nave were added in the 13th century.[5][6] Sources disagree as to whether the west tower is part of the original 12th-century church[6] or a 13th-century addition.[5] Originally the chancel had an apse, but in the 15th century this part of the church was reordered with a rectangular east end.[6][7] The nave has a clerestory with 15th- or 16th-century windows.[6] Some of the windows of the aisles are 16th-century.[6][7]

In 1891 a pair of flying buttresses designed by Reginald Blomfield was added to the west tower. In 1910 an Arts and Crafts-style screen designed by John Oldrid Scott was added to the south aisle. The church is Grade I listed.[6]

The bell tower has a ring of six bells, all cast by Gillett & Johnston of Croydon in 1907.[8] The church has also a Sanctus bell that was cast in 1352.[2]

In the churchyard are the base and broken shaft of a 14th- or 15th-century stone churchyard cross.[9]

The ecclesiastical parish is now part of the Benefice of Bicester, Bucknell, Caversfield and Launton.[10]

Presbyterian chapel[edit]

Launton had a Presbyterian congregation by 1772, when a meeting house was licensed for it. The congregation lapsed by about 1800, but was re-established by 1806. In 1807 Zion chapel was built for it on the western edge of the village. Later in the 19th century the chapel was used as a school.[2]

Congregational chapel[edit]

Bethel chapel was built in 1850 for an independent Nonconformist congregation. By 1855 it had a lending library and a school. It later joined the Congregational Church.[2][11]

Economic history[edit]

The Varsity Line between Bletchley and Oxford via Bicester Town was built through Launton parish and opened in 1851. Launton railway station served the village until the end of 1967, when British Railways withdrew passenger services between Bletchley and Oxford.

Amenities[edit]

The Black Bull

Launton has two public houses: The Bull Inn at the crossroads in the centre of the village and The Black Bull at West End. The village has also a post office, a butchers and a hair salon.

Launton has a Church of England primary school.[12] The school has links with the parish church including Christingle and Year Six leavers services.

Launton has a Parish Hall. The Sports and Social Club provides the home pitch for Launton Football Club, plus a tennis court and small children's play area.[13]

The Launton Village Players is an amateur theatre group living in and around Launton who perform an annual pantomime at The Cooper School in Bicester, and musical shows and plays in the village.[14]

The village has a Woods on your Doorstep[15] at Island Pond Wood, managed by The Woodland Trust.[16] Villagers bought it by public subscription and planted it in 1999.[16]

Launton has a Non-League football club, Launton Sports F.C., which plays at Launton Sports Club on Bicester Road.

Public transport[edit]

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire route S5 links Launton with Bicester, Gosford and Oxford.[17] This service runs hourly, Mondays to Saturdays only and there is no late evening or Sunday service.

During school terms the village is also served by school coaches to and from Blessed George Napier Roman Catholic School in Banbury.

Twinning[edit]

Launton is twinned with the village of Gavray in the Lower Normandy region of France.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Area: Launton (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Lobel 1959, pp. 232–243
  3. ^ Historic England. "Manor Farmhouse  (Grade II) (1232878)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Historic England. "Barn approximatery 50 metres south of Manor Farmhouse  (Grade II*) (1232879)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, pp. 681.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Historic England. "Church of St Mary  (Grade I) (1369735)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, pp. 682.
  8. ^ Davies, Peter (17 December 2006). "Launton Assumption of the BVM". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Historic England. "Churchyard cross approximately 6 metres south of the Church of St Mary, Bicester Road  (Grade II) (1276857)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Archbishops' Council. "Benefice of Bicester with Bucknell Caversfield and Launton". A Church Near You. Church of England. 
  11. ^ "Launton". Oxfordshire Churches & Chapels. Brian Curtis. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Launton Church of England School
  13. ^ "Launton Sports and Social Club". Launton Village Website. 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "Launton Village Players". Launton Village Website. 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  15. ^ "Woods on your Doorstep". Projects. The Woodland Trust. 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "Island Pond Wood". A to Z list. The Woodland Trust. 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  17. ^ "bus route S5". Stagecoach in Oxfordshire. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 

Sources and further reading[edit]

External links[edit]