SS Peter and Paul parish church
Swalcliffe shown within Oxfordshire
|Area||6.79 km2 (2.62 sq mi)|
|Population||254 (2011 Census)|
|– density||37/km2 (96/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Swalcliffe is a village and civil parish about 5 miles (8 km) west of Banbury in Oxfordshire. The parish is about 2 1⁄2 miles (4 km) long north – south and about 1 mile (1.6 km) east – west. The 2011 Census recorded the population of the modern Swalcliffe parish as 210.
The toponym "Swalcliffe" comes from the Old English swealwe and clif, meaning a slope or cliff frequented by swallows. The ancient parish of Swalcliffe was larger than the present civil parish, and included the townships of Epwell, Shutford, Sibford Ferris and Sibford Gower.
About 3⁄4 mile (1.2 km) northeast of the village are the remains of an Iron Age hill fort on Madmarston Hill and the site of a Roman villa at Swalcliffe Lea. The hill fort is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The site of the villa is close to the course of a former Roman road running approximately east – west. Its course is now a bridleway. One authority asserts that there was a Roman or Romano-British village here.
Swalcliffe Manor house has a 13th-century service wing and a 14th-century hall. In the 16th century the hall was divided up and a solar was added. The house has later additions including a 20th-century extension. It is a Grade I listed building.
The Church of England parish church of SS Peter and Paul is Anglo-Saxon in origin but was rebuilt in the 12th and 14th centuries. The bell tower was built in the 13th century and made higher in the 15th century. The church is a Grade I listed building.
Swalcliffe tithe barn was built for New College, Oxford in 1401–07. It has an almost completely intact medieval timber half-cruck roof and is considered the finest medieval tithe barn in Oxfordshire and one of the best examples in England. It is a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
The barn is open free of charge on Sundays from Easter to October and houses part of the Oxfordshire Museum's collection of traditional agricultural and trade vehicles and an exhibition of 2,500 years of Swalcliffe history. The building has similarities to the tithe barns at Adderbury and Upper Heyford, which also were built for New College around the beginning of the 15th century.
On 31 May 1944 a Vickers Wellington B Mk III bomber aircraft, BK157 of No. 12 Operational Training Unit RAF based at Chipping Warden in Northamptonshire, was on a training flight over north Oxfordshire when the pilot, F/O Donald Driver, DFM, made an evasive diving turn to port. The port wing collapsed and the aircraft crashed at Swalcliffe. It burst into flames and all seven crew were killed.
The crew were members of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. F/O Driver and one of the air gunners are buried in Southam Road Cemetery in Banbury, which has a Commonwealth War Graves section. Other members of the crew are buried at Downpatrick in County Down, Hounslow in Middlesex, Huntly in Aberdeenshire, Titchfield in Hampshire and Wick in Caithness.
- "Area: Swalcliffe (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Mills & Room 2003[page needed]
- Crossley 1972, pp. 225–260.
- Historic England. "Madmarston Hill camp (1006371)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Aston & Bond 1976, p. 45.
- Historic England. "Manor House (Grade I) (1046268)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 795.
- Historic England. "Church of St Peter and St Paul (Grade I) (1199016)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Dovemaster (25 June 2010). "Bell Founders". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
- Davies, Peter (15 December 2006). "Swalcliffe SS Peter & Paul". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
- Archbishops' Council (2015). "Benefice of Wykeham". Church of England. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Historic England. "Tithe Barn (Grade I) (1046267)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Historic England. "Tithe barn (1006349)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- The Oxfordshire Museum
- Lobel 1959, pp. 196–205.
- "31.05.1944 No 12 O.T.U. Wellington III BK 157 KX-P P/O Donald Driver". Archive Report: Allied Forces. Aircrew Remembered. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- Historic England. "Stag's Head Public House (Grade II) (1046266)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- The Stag's Head Swalcliffe
- Swalcliffe Park School
- "50/50A" (PDF). Stagecoach in Warwickshire. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
Sources and further reading
- Aston, Michael; Bond, James (1976). The Landscape of Towns. Archaeology in the Field Series. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd. p. 45. ISBN 0 460 04194 0.
- Crossley, Alan (ed.); Colvin, Christina; Cooper, Janet; Cooper, NH; Harvey, PDA; Hollings, Marjory; Hook, Judith; Jessup, Mary; Lobel, Mary D; Mason, JFA; Trinder, BS; Turner, Hilary (1972). A History of the County of Oxford. Victoria County History. 10: Banbury Hundred. London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research. pp. 225–260. ISBN 978-0-19722-728-2.
- Fowler, Peter J (1960). "Excavations at Madmarston Camp, Swalcliffe, 1957–8" (PDF). Oxoniensia. Oxford Architectural and Historical Society. XXV: 3–48. ISSN 0308-5562.
- Lobel, Mary D, ed. (1959). A History of the County of Oxford. Victoria County History. 6: Ploughley Hundred. London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research. pp. 196–205.
- Mills, AD; Room, Adrian (2003). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-852758-6.[page needed]
- Munby, Julian; Steane, JM (1995). "Swalcliffe: A New College Barn in the Fifteenth Century" (PDF). Oxoniensia. Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society. LX: 333–378. ISSN 0308-5562.
- Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). Oxfordshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 860–862. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
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