Hanwell is an attractive little village close to the county boundary with Warwickshire. Like other nearby villages, it is a village of golden brown cottages and houses built in the local Hornton ironstone.
The earliest parts of the parish church, St. Peter's, date from the 13th century. The church was almost entirely rebuilt in the first half of the 14th century in a Transitional style between Early English and Decorated gothic, and the north and south aisles and the Decorated style bell tower were added. St.Peter's is noted for its carvings which date from about 1340. Internally there are carvings of figures encircling the nave and pillare capitals and on the south side minstrels playing a variety of instruments. Outside there are two friezes decorating the external wall of the chancel.
Next to the church is Hanwell Castle, never actually a castle but a large house with ornamental battlements which was originally called Hanwell House or Hall. Most of the building was demolished late in the 18th century but the western part of the south range was retained as a farmhouse. In 1902 some restoration and extensions were made to the surviving building.
Hanwell is about 2 miles north-west of Banbury.