Minster Lovell

Minster Lovell is village of two halves either side of the River Windrush and the main road. New Minster is mainly a residential area on the south side of the river and main road, whereas in attractive Old Minster little cottages with thatched or Cotswold stone roofs line the road.

At the east end of Old Minster is St. Kenelm's Church. The present building was constructed in 1450 on the site of an earlier 12th century church. Saint Kenelm was a Saxon prince, and the name "Minster" in the name of the village suggests that the village may have had a Saxon minster. The suffix "Lovell" was added to the name from the 13th century when a William Lovel held land here.

Location map:

Next to the Church are the extensive ruins of Minster Lovell Hall, a 15th century manor house once belonging to William Lovel's descendant, Lord Lovell. Nearby, behind Manor Farm, is a medieval dovecote.

A large part of New Minster is the site of the Charterville Allotments, an estate of smallholdings founded by the Chartists in 1846-50 built to rehouse city dwellers in the countryside to make them more self-sufficient and to qualify them for the vote through the ownership of land. The experiment was not a success and the estate was sold. Many of the bungalows are still recognisable today.

In 1872, whilst the side of the road from Witney to Burford, was being levelled, three Anglo-Saxon burials were discovered at Minster Lovell. Two of the graves contained a shield boss, spear, knifes, brooches and ornaments and other fragments.

Minster Lovell is a couple of miles west of Witney on the B4047.

Images of Minster Lovell:
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