Clanfield Travel Guide

History

Robert D'Oyly gave land at Clanfield to the Order of Knights Hospitaller, who built a moated preceptory on the site. This gift must have predated D'Oyly's fall from power in 1142 during the Anarchy. By 1279 the preceptory owned land and property not only at Clanfield but also at Brize Norton, Grafton, Westwell, Oxford and Woodstock. The preceptory buildings have gone and their moated site is now occupied by Friars Court, a gabled house built in about 1650. Friars Court is a private house but it is now hired out as an approved venue for weddings and civil partnerships.

In the Church of England parish church of Saint Stephen the tympanum over the south door is Norman and both the arcade between the nave and the north aisle and the responds of the chancel arch are in the Transitional style between Norman and the Early English Gothic style. These features date the church building to about AD 1200. St. Stephen's has four lancet windows dating from late in the twelfth century or early in the thirteenth century: two in the south wall of the chancel and two in the north wall of a chapel on the north side of the chancel. In the chancel the east window and the easternmost window in the south wall are in the Decorated Gothic style, which dates them to between 1250 and 1350. The style of the bell tower suggests it was built either about 1300 or early in the fourteenth century. In the fifteenth century a large statue of St. Stephen was added to the outside of the tower, a squint was inserted in the south side of the chancel and the present font was made. The nave was rebuilt in 1869 and the chancel enlarged and partly rebuilt in 1870. The tower has a peal of eight bells.

The parish had two water mills at Little Clanfield on Little Clanfield Brook. One of them, Little Clanfield Mill, is now a private house but its machinery remains operational.

The road between Witney and Clanfield was a turnpike from 1771 until 1874.


source: Wikipedia

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