The the peaceful little village of Ascott-under-Wychwood lies on the south side of the river in the picturesque Evenlode valley. In the centre of the village is an attractive green and nearby is the early 13th century Holy Trinity Church. The main access to the church is through an avenue of lime trees which in the spring are carpeted with wild crocus. The church was remodelled in the 14th century and the upper stages of the bell tower date from the 15th century.  At the back of the church are five wooden pews which were for the old and sick and possibly are the oldest in Oxfordshire. For the history and full information about Holy Trinity Church click here.

Ascott is lucky to have a railway station, a smart village shop and a small village garage cum forge, precious facilities in a modern village.

Ascott began as a settlement of nearby Shipton under Wychwood, and the name 'Ascott' comes from the Old English for 'East Homestead' or 'Eastern Cottages'. Wychwood was the ancient royal forest of Wychwood, and its name originated from the 'wood of a tribe called Hwicce'. Little remains today of the forest. Apart from Shipton, one other village bears the name 'Wychwood', namely nearby Milton under Wychwood.

Historically the village has had two castles - one at Ascott d'Oyley, as the east end of the village is known, and one at Ascott Earl which is at the west end of the village. Ascot d'Oilly Castle was built in about 1129-1150, and a stone tower was added to it in the 13th century. Only a fragment now remains and the castle bailey is now occupied by the 16th/17th century manor house.

Ascott Earl was a neighbouring estate and the castle there was a motte and bailey castle built by an Earl of Worcester.

The village of Ascott has a place in trades union history after 16 local women were arrested in 1873 and eventually jailed. Local men had been sacked for joining the new Agricultural Workers Union and the women had tried to stop replacements brought in from nearby Ramsden from working. Because of this the women were arrested. Eventually, however, the women were pardoned by Queen Victoria and an enquiry into wages and working conditions of Oxfordshire workers was launched. On the green in Ascott is a tree planted in memory of the Ascott Martyrs. The tree has seats round it with plaques commemorating the martyrs.

Ascott-under-Wychwood is half way between Burford and Chipping Norton, and about a mile and a half from the neighbouring village of Shipton under Wychwood.


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