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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
UK Parliament
WebsiteLongworth Village on the Web
List of places
51°41′49″N 1°26′15″W / 51.697019°N 1.4376°W / 51.697019; -1.4376Coordinates: 51°41′49″N 1°26′15″W / 51.697019°N 1.4376°W / 51.697019; -1.4376

Longworth is a village and civil parish in the Vale of White Horse, England. The 1974 boundary changes transferred it from Berkshire to Oxfordshire. It lies about 7 miles (11 km) west of Abingdon-on-Thames and 9 miles (14 km) south-west of Oxford. The 2011 Census recorded a population of 566, which was estimated at 570 in 2019.[1] The parish is bounded by the River Thames to the north, the A420 road to the south, and field boundaries to the east and west. The land slopes from the A420 to the river, except at Harrowdown Hill near the north-east corner of the parish, which has a summit of 325 feet (99 m).

Parish church[edit]

The oldest parts of the Anglican St Mary's Church, Longworth are from the 13th century, while the current chancel, west tower and north aisle are from the 15th century. The church contains a reredos by the Arts and Crafts movement painters and sisters, Kate and Myra Bunce.[2] It is a Grade I listed building.[2] The parish belongs to the benefice of Cherbury with Gainfield.[3] J. R. Illingworth, a theologian and philosopher, was Rector of St Mary's from 1883 to 1915. Longworth was once home to a Congregational chapel, built in 1848, and to a Primitive Methodist chapel, built in 1861.[4] Both chapels have now been converted into residences.

Manor house[edit]

Longworth's original manor house dates from the early 17th century, when it was built by a judge, Sir Henry Marten, about a mile south of the village on the edge of the Vale of White Horse.[5] It was occupied later by his son, Henry Marten, the regicide and republican. In the 20th century, it was home to Sir Clarendon Hyde, a Liberal MP and businessman.[4] Today's manor house, Longworth House, was originally known as Manor Farm. It stands just west of the parish church.[4] It was built in the late 17th century and remodelled and extended in the early 20th century. It is a Grade II listed building.[6] It was home to Colonel Granville Walton, a leading Scout.[7]

Economic and social history[edit]

A farmstead about a quarter of a mile (1.2 km) south of the village has a 17th-century tithe barn, with a queen post roof seven bays long. It is a Grade II* listed building.[8] and a scheduled monument.[9] 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.[10] Harrowdown Hill is where biological warfare expert David Kelly died in 2003 during the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction controversy.[11] This gave rise to a public enquiry that concluded with the Hutton Report. The government's handling of the matter is questioned in a song by Thom Yorke entitled Harrowdown Hill.

Squirrel Cottage on Hinton Road, south of the village


Longworth has a non-denominational county primary school.[12] As well as school buses to Faringdon Community College and Matthew Arnold School, Longworth is served by Pulhams Coaches, based in Bourton-on-the-Water. The 63 bus route runs between the village and Oxford, from Monday to Friday.[13]

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

Public houses[edit]

There is a pub in the village, the Blue Boar, which dates from 1606 and has a thatched roof.[14][15] The Lamb and Flag, now a dwelling about 1¼ miles (2.0 km) south-west of the village, was in the parish until boundary changes in 2011 transferred it to Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor. These changes brought the Maybush Inn at Newbridge into the parish. The white boar and the white rose on the Blue Boar pub sign are symbols of King Richard III. The blue boar was the personal badge of the De Vere family as 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 Boar, to signify that the white boar was dead and blue had prevailed.[citation needed]

The Blue Boar public house

Blue Boar RFC[edit]

Blue Boar Rugby Football Club,[16] based at the Blue Boar pub in Longworth, normally plays home games at the Oxford R.F.C. ground. It played its first rugby game in March 1977, after 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 and quality of its fixtures increased and in May 1981 the club was elected to the Rugby Football Union. In September 1980 it made a first tour of Cornwall, followed by further visits in 1987, 1988 and 1989. Its first foreign tour in 1981 took 35 players and supporters 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 2003–2004 and 2008–2009 seasons.


  1. ^ City Population. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  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. ^ a b c Page & Ditchfield 1924, p. 461.
  5. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1891). "Marten, Henry (1562?–1641)" . Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 28. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Longworth Manor (Grade II*) (1368400)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  7. ^ "St Mary's Church, Longworth" (PDF). www.cherbury-gainfield.org.uk. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  8. ^ Historic England. "Tithe Barn (Grade II*) (1387458)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  9. ^ Historic England. "Barn at Longworth House (hospital) (1006289)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  10. ^ Winn 2010, p. 45.
  11. ^ "David Kelly laid to rest". BBC News. 6 August 2003. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
  12. ^ Longworth Primary
  13. ^ "63 - Southmoor - Longworth - Oxford – Pulhams Coaches – Bus Times" (PDF). pulhamscoaches.com. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Homepage | The Blue Boar". www.blueboarlongworth.co.uk. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  15. ^ Historic England. "The Blue Boar public house (Grade II) (1284516)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  16. ^ Blue Boar RFC Archived 7 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine

Sources and further reading[edit]

External links[edit]