Oddington, Oxfordshire

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Oddington StAndrew SouthElevation.jpg
St. Andrew's parish church from the south
Oddington is located in Oxfordshire
Oddington shown within Oxfordshire
Area 5.51 km2 (2.13 sq mi)
Population 129 (2011 Census)
• Density 23/km2 (60/sq mi)
OS grid reference SP5514
Civil parish
  • Oddington
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Kidlington
Postcode district OX5
Dialling code 01865
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°49′52″N 1°11′53″W / 51.831°N 01.198°W / 51.831; -01.198Coordinates: 51°49′52″N 1°11′53″W / 51.831°N 01.198°W / 51.831; -01.198

Oddington is a village and civil parish about 5 miles (8 km) south of Bicester in Oxfordshire, England. The village is close to the River Ray on the northern edge of Otmoor. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 129.[1]


The toponym is derived from the Old English for "Ot(t)a's Hill", possibly after the same person who gave his name to Otmoor.[2]

Parish church[edit]

A mention of Oddington in a Papal bull written in AD 1146 suggests that the village had a parish church by the middle of the 12th century.[2] The present Church of England parish church of Saint Andrew was built at the end of the 13th century and beginning of the 14th century. The buttresses of the nave are late 13th century, and the font is probably also from that century. Some features of the chancel are early 14th century, but in 1821 the chancel was demolished and rebuilt.

Between 1884 and 1886 the church was heavily restored under the direction of the architect E.G. Bruton. The bell tower and the north wall of the chancel were rebuilt, the vestry and north aisle were added and several windows inserted.

Monumental brass to Ralph Hamsterley (died 1518), who had been parish priest at St Andrew's. The brass shows worms protruding from Hamsterley's skeleton inside his burial shroud.

Inside the church are two unusual monuments. The first is an early 16th-century monumental brass in memory of Ralph Hamsterley, who had been parish priest and died in 1518. It is a cadaver monument, showing his corpse in its burial shroud, which is a style unusual for monumental brasses in England. Elsewhere there is an example from the late 14th century, also in memory of a parish priest, in the parish church at Lytchett Matravers in Dorset.

Grave of Margaret Staples Browne in St Andrew's churchyard. Browne was a Māori princess whose maiden name was Papakura

The second unusual monument is a large pietà at the west end of the nave. It is decorated with Māori totems in memory of Māori servicemen killed in the First World War.[2]

The tower has three bells. The treble was cast in 1609 but the bellfounder has not been identified.[3] James Keene of Woodstock[4] cast the tenor in 1626.[3] Thomas I Mears of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry[4] cast the youngest of the three bells in 1804.[3] For technical reasons the bells are currently unringable. There is also a Sanctus bell, cast by an unknown founder in about 1614,[3] but it is cracked.[5]

Gilbert Sheldon held the living of the parish[2] from 1636. Sheldon already held the living of Hackney, received that of Ickford, Buckinghamshire at about the same time as that of Oddington, and at some time also the living of Newington, Oxfordshire. After the Restoration of the Monarchy, Sheldon was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury in 1663.

The Syriac scholar William Cureton was curate of Oddington for a time in the 19th century.[2] St. Andrew's is now part of the Church of England Benefice of the Ray Valley.[6]


The Buckinghamshire Railway between Bletchley and Oxford, completed in 1851, passes through the parish. The Buckinghamshire Railway was taken over by the London and North Western Railway in 1879, which opened Oddington Halt at Oddington Crossing, 1 mile (1.6 km) northwest of the village in 1905. The 1923 Grouping made the L&NWR part of the new London, Midland and Scottish Railway, which closed Oddington Halt in 1926. The part of the line between Oxford and Bicester is now the Bicester Link. The line's nearest station to Oddington is now Islip, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away.


  1. ^ "Area: Oddington (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Lobel 1959, pp. 276–285.
  3. ^ a b c d Davies, Peter (14 December 2006). "Oddington S Andrew". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Dovemaster. "Bell Founders". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Oddington". Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, Bicester Branch. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Archbishops' Council. "Benefice of The Ray Valley". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 


External links[edit]

Media related to Oddington, Oxfordshire at Wikimedia Commons