Widford, Oxfordshire

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Widford StOswald SE.JPG
St. Oswald's parish church
Widford is located in Oxfordshire
Location within Oxfordshire
OS grid referenceSP2712
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBurford
Postcode districtOX18
Dialling code01993
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
List of places
51°48′18″N 1°36′14″W / 51.805°N 1.604°W / 51.805; -1.604Coordinates: 51°48′18″N 1°36′14″W / 51.805°N 1.604°W / 51.805; -1.604

Widford is a deserted medieval village on the River Windrush about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Burford in West Oxfordshire. The village was an exclave of Gloucestershire until 1844.


Early occupation is evidenced by the remains of a Roman villa. The Church of England parish church of St. Oswald stands on its site, and a small area of Roman mosaic was visible in its chancel,[1] but has been moved to Cirencester museum. The Domesday Book of 1086 recorded that St Oswald's Priory in Gloucester held the manor of Widford.[2] It was a detached part of Gloucestershire until the 19th century.[2] St Oswald's church in Widford is Early English Gothic and was built in the 13th century.[1] In the 14th century numerous wall paintings were added, remains of which survive.[1] Most of the church's present windows were added in the 16th and 17th centuries.[1]

Widford was a substantial village in the Middle Ages but today only the 16th-century manor house and a few other houses remain. St. Oswald's stands in a field whose cropmarks show the outlines of former buildings. In 1844 the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844 transferred Widford to Oxfordshire.[2] Widford was a civil parish from 1866, but by 1931 its population was only 29.[3] In 1932 the civil parish was merged with the parish of Swinbrook to form the civil parish of Swinbrook and Widford.

The interior of St Oswald's church in Widford, Oxfordshire. A rustic interior with box pews, ochre walls and medieval wallpaintings.


Sources and further reading[edit]

  • Baggs, A.P.; Chance, Eleanor; Colvin, Christina; Day, C.J.; Selwyn, Nesta; Townley, Simon C. (1996). Crossley, Alan; Currie, C.R.J. (eds.). A History of the County of Oxford, Volume 13: Bampton Hundred (Part One). Victoria County History. pp. 1–5.
  • Edwards, John (1982). "A Newly-Deciphered Wall-painting of St. Martin at Widford". Oxoniensia. Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society. XLVII: 127–132.
  • Edwards, John (1984). "Widford Wall-paintings: More New Decipherments". Oxoniensia. Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society. XLIX: 133–139.
  • Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). Oxfordshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 841. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.

External links[edit]

Media related to Widford, Oxfordshire at Wikimedia Commons