Coxwell is a small cul-de-sac village on the high ground known as the Midvale
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
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.
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.
the south side of the churchyard there is a distant view
of the Uffington
White Horse. This well-known prehistoric hill figure
is carved into the hillside above the village of Woolstone.
At 360ft by
130ft, the White Horse can be seen from miles around,
with the best views probably from the London to Bristol
railway line which runs to the south of the village. Uffington
White Horse is by far the oldest of all Britain's hillside
white horse figures and there have been many theories
about its origin. These theories and the and many myths
about the White Horse and its surrounding landscape are
explored on David
Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History.
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.
Great Coxwell is about 2 miles south-west of Faringdon, just
off the A420 Oxford to Swindon road.