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home > Towns & Villages > About Faringdon > Great Coxwell

Great Coxwell

Great Coxwell is a small cul-de-sac village on the high ground known as the Midvale Ridge about 2 miles south west of Faringdon, just off the A420 Oxford to Swindon road.

The village stands on the Corallian limestone beds on the northern slope of the Vale of White Horse.

The Domesday Book of 1086 records that King Harold held the manor before the Norman Conquest of England. In 1205 the manor was granted to Beaulieu Abbey, which held it until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In 1540 the manor was bought by Thomas Morris, whose descendants sold it in 1638 to the Pratt family.

On the northern edge of the village is a large 14th century tithe barn, built for Beaulieu Abbey to store the crop of its monastic grange. The barn is now in the care of the National Trust.

Many of the older properties in the village are built of local corallian limestone rubble. There are also some 19th century brick-built cottages and, of course, some late 20th century housing.

In common with most small villages Great Coxwell has lost most of its local traders, the school and other services. Now only the church, parish reading room and a small part-time sub-post office remain.

The small 12th century church of St Giles stands on the site of an earlier Saxon church. Parts of the present building date from the 12th century and the tower is 14th century and has Cotswold stone gargoyles.

Claim to fame:
Just outside the village is the Great Coxwell Barn which was completed in the middle of the 13th century. It is the finest surviving medieval barn in the country and is now owned by the National Trust. This is an impressive 152 feet long Cotswold stone barn with Cotswold stone tiles supported by oak posts which sit on top of 22 feet high stone posts. Much of the original oak roof structure was replaced in deal in the 19th century but the posts and main and intermediate trusses are original. In the 20th century extensive repairs were carried out by the National Trust. The Great Barn and parts of the nearby Court House are all that remain of the 13th century Grange, once belonging to Beaulieu Abbey in Hampshire.

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