GREAT COXWELL


Great Coxwell is a small village on the high ground known as the Midvale Ridge. The road through the village is a cul-de-sac so there is little through traffic and many visitors want to visit the well-known Great Coxwell Barn. Many of the older properties in the village are built of local limestone rubble and 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.

From 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.

The well-known Great Coxwell Barn, which was completed in the middle of the 13th century and is the finest surviving medieval barn in the country, is now owned by the National Trust and is just outside the village. It 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.

 



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