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Longworth StMary SSE.jpg
St Mary's parish church
Longworth is located in Oxfordshire
Location within Oxfordshire
Population566 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceSU3999
Civil parish
  • Longworth
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townAbingdon
Postcode districtOX13
Dialling code01865
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament
WebsiteLongworth Village on the Web
List of places
51°42′00″N 1°26′53″W / 51.7001°N 1.4480°W / 51.7001; -1.4480Coordinates: 51°42′00″N 1°26′53″W / 51.7001°N 1.4480°W / 51.7001; -1.4480

Longworth is an English village and civil parish about 7 miles (11 km) west of Abingdon-on-Thames and similar distances east of Faringdon and south of Witney. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire. The 2011 Census recorded the parish population as 566.[1] The parish is bounded by the River Thames to the north, the A420 road to the south, and field boundaries to the west and east. The land slopes generally from the A420 to the river. The exception is Harrowdown Hill, near the north-east corner of the parish, whose highest point is 325 feet (99 m).

Parish church[edit]

The oldest parts of St Mary's Church, Longworth, the Church of England parish church, are 13th century. The current chancel, west tower and north aisle were built in the 15th century.[2] The church is a Grade I listed building.[2] St Mary's parish is part of the benefice of Cherbury with Gainfield.[3] The theologian and philosopher J. R. Illingworth was Rector of St Mary's from 1883 to 1915.

Economic and social history[edit]

Squirrel Cottage on Hinton Road, south of the village

At a farmstead about 34 mile (1.2 km) south of the village is a 17th-century tithe barn. It has a queen post roof seven bays long and is a Grade II* listed building[4] and a scheduled monument.[5]

Sir Henry Marten, a 17th-century judge of the Admiralty Court, and his son, Henry Marten, the regicide, lived at Longworth House.[6][7]The Old Rectory at Longworth was the birthplace on 7 June 1825 of the novelist R. D. Blackmore, author of Lorna Doone, whose father was briefly curate-in-charge of the parish.[8]

Harrowdown Hill is where biological warfare expert David Kelly died in 2003 during the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction controversy.[9] This gave rise to a public enquiry concluded by the Hutton Report, and to the title of Thom Yorke's song Harrowdown Hill, which questioned the UK Government's handling of the matter.


Longworth has a county primary school.[10]

There are currently no bus routes into the village, apart from school buses to Faringdon Community College and Matthew Arnold School. The closest bus stops are in Southmoor/Kingston Bagpuize.

Public houses[edit]

The Blue Boar public house

There is a pub in the village, the Blue Boar, which dates from 1606 [11] and has a thatched roof.[12] The Lamb and Flag (now a dwelling) about 1 14 miles (2 km) south-west of the village was in the parish until boundary changes in 2011 transferred it to Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor. The same boundary changes brought the Maybush Inn at Newbridge into the parish.

On the Blue Boar pub sign, the white boar and the white rose on the pennant are symbols of King Richard III. The blue boar was the personal badge of the De Vere family, who were Earls of Oxford. It is claimed that when Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, any White Boar pub signs were quickly repainted as Blue Boars, as an acknowledgement that the white boar was dead and the blue boar had prevailed.[citation needed]

Blue Boar RFC[edit]

Blue Boar Rugby Football Club[13] is based at the Blue Boar pub in Longworth. It normally plays home games at the Oxford R.F.C. ground.

The club played its first game of rugby in March 1977, as the result of a challenge by staff of Blackwells Bookshop in Oxford. In the following season, several more matches were arranged against local sides and the club affiliated to the Oxfordshire Rugby Football Union. The number of fixtures and strength of opposition increased in subsequent years, and in May 1981 the club was elected to the Rugby Football Union.

In September 1980 the club made its first tour of Cornwall, followed by further visits in 1987, 1988 and 1989. It made its first foreign tour in 1981, when a party of 35 players and supporters went to Brittany. The team returned there a year later. In 1991 the club was the first English RFU club to make an official tour of Hungary, hosted by the Hungarian Rugby Union.

The club reached the final of the Oxfordshire Knockout Cup Plate competition in the 2003–04 and 2008–09 seasons.


  1. ^ "Area: Longworth (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b Historic England. "Church of St Mary  (Grade I) (1048616)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  3. ^ Archbishops' Council. "Longworth: St Mary, Longworth". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Tithe Barn  (Grade II*) (1387458)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  5. ^ Historic England. "Barn at Longworth House (hospital) (1006289)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  6. ^ Page & Ditchfield 1924, pp. 466–471.
  7. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1891). "Marten, Henry (1562?–1641)" . Dictionary of National Biography. 28. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  8. ^ Winn 2010, p. 45.
  9. ^ "David Kelly laid to rest". BBC News. 6 August 2003. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
  10. ^ Longworth Primary
  11. ^ "Homepage | The Blue Boar". www.blueboarlongworth.co.uk. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  12. ^ Historic England. "The Blue Boar public house  (Grade II) (1284516)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  13. ^ Blue Boar RFC Archived 7 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine

Sources and further reading[edit]

Stone gazebo in the garden of Longworth Manor (centre left), with the manor house in the background (centre right)

External links[edit]