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Coordinates: 51°40′19″N 0°58′01″W / 51.672°N 0.967°W / 51.672; -0.967 Lewknor St. Margaret's parish church Lewknor  Lewknor shown within Oxfordshire Population 665 (parish, including Postcombe and South Weston) (2001 census)[1] OS grid reference SU7197 Parish Lewknor District South Oxfordshire Shire county Oxfordshire Region South East Country England Sovereign state United Kingdom Post town Watlington Postcode district OX49 Dialling code 01844 Police Thames Valley Fire Oxfordshire Ambulance South Central EU Parliament South East England UK Parliament Henley Website Lewknor Village List of places: UK • England • Oxfordshire Lewknor is a village and civil parish 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Thame in Oxfordshire. Contents 1 Iron Age and Roman periods 2 Manor 3 Parish church 4 Inclosure 5 Village school 6 Railway and roads 7 Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 8 References 9 Sources // Iron Age and Roman periods Two ancient roads pass through the parish: the ancient Icknield Way at the foot of the Chiltern Hills escarpment and the Ridgeway along the top. Both have been roads since at least the Iron Age.[2] Early in the 1970's archaeological investigations prior to building of the M40 motorway through the parish found traces of a Romano-British settlement near the village and a Romano-British cemetery near Icknield Way.[3] Manor Lewknor is a Saxon spring line settlement near the foot of the Chilterns chalk escarpment. The toponym derives from the Old English name of its owner Leofeca, recorded in a lawsuit in AD 990.[2] In the 11th century the manor of Luvechenora belonged to Edith of Wessex, who in 1045 became queen consort of Edward the Confessor. The manor then passed to a Danish thegn of King Edward called Tovi, who bequeathed it to Abingdon Abbey. For most of the Middle Ages the abbey leased out Lewknor manor, until the abbey was suppressed in 1538 in the dissolution of the monasteries.[2] All Souls College, Oxford had become a major landowner in the parish before the end of the 17th century[2] and has remained so until modern times. Church Farm has a timber-framed barn that is considered to date from about 1400. There have been suggestions that it is a former Mediaeval hall-house.[4] Early in the 1970's archaeological investigations prior to building of the M40 motorway through the parish found traces of a large Mediaeval farmhouse high in the Chilterns in the east of the parish, on the alignment onto which the Christmas Common road was to be diverted.[3] Parish church Documentary and architectural evidence indicates the Church of England parish church was built some time after 1146 and before 1200. It was dedicated to Saint Mary but at some date was rededicated to Saint Margaret. It was originally a cruciform building with a chancel, nave, north and south chapels and a west tower.[5] The chancel arch, north chapel, two lancet windows in the nave, the font and some other features survive from this time.[2] Early in the 14th century the building was enlarged in the Decorated Gothic style with a south aisle that absorbed the south chapel, and the chancel was enlarged and received new windows including the present east window.[2] In the chancel is a memorial effigy of a lady that also dates from the 14th century.[5] In the 15th century a new Perpendicular Gothic west tower was built.[5] In 1553 the tower was recorded as having four bells and a sanctus bell.[2] These were replaced by a peal of five bells cast in 1636. The peal was increased to six with the addition of a new treble bell cast in 1950.[6] In 1845 All Souls College paid for the chancel to be restored.[2] In 1863 the nave was restored, re-roofed and had two more windows inserted under the direction of the Gothic Revival architect Arthur Blomfield.[5] Two windows in the chancel have Pre-Raphaelite stained glass that Pevsner and Sherwood attribute to William Morris.[5] Inclosure The parish was farmed on an open field system until the Georgian era. The first Inclosure Bill for the parish was moved in Parliament in 1792 but the Earl of Macclesfield opposed it and it was defeated. A second Lewknor and Postcombe Bill was passed as an Inclosure Act in 1810 and was put into effect in 1815.[2] Village school In 1836 All Souls College paid for a village school to be built next to the churchyard. This became a National School. In 1929 it was reorganised as a junior school, and senior pupils from the village were thereafter schooled at Chinnor. From 1859 the school was vested in the Vicar and churchwardens, and since 1950 it has been a voluntary controlled school.[2][7] Railway and roads In 1869-72 the Watlington and Princes Risborough Railway was built through the parish. It ran right past the village but the nearest station it provided was 1 mile (1.6 km) away at Aston Rowant. The Great Western Railway took over the line in 1883 and built Lewknor Bridge Halt right next to the village in 1906.[8] British Railways withdrew passenger services and closed the halt in 1957.[9] Aston Rowant remained open for freight only until 1961, when BR withdew this service and removed the track south of Chinnor cement works. Early in the 1920's the Watlington - Chinnor road through the village was classified B4009. In 1974 the M40 motorway was built through the parish, passing just east of the village on an embankment. A bridge carries the embankment over the former railway trackbed, which has been reused to divert the B4009 to bypass the village. M40 junction 6 between the motorway and the B road was formed here. South of the village the motorway climbs the Chiltern escarpment in a cutting up to 150 feet (46 m) deep[3] with steep chalk faces. The minor road linking Christmas Common with the A40 road near Stokenchurch was diverted slightly eastwards where is now carried across the cutting on a bridge formed of a single concrete arch 180 feet (55 m) wide.[3] Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty In 1965 the Chilterns including the escarpment and hills in the parish were declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.[10] On the escarpment on either side of the motorway is Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve, which despite its name the reserve is in fact in Lewknor parish. The reserve has beech woodlands, chalk grassland supporting diverse rare plants and butterflies, and is one of the best places in England to see Red Kites.[11] References ^ "Area: Lewknor CP (Parish): Parish Headcounts". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 March 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lobel, 1962, 98-115 ^ a b c d The Motorway Archive, Region: South East, M40. Stokenchurch to Waterstock ^ Pevsner & Sherwood, 1974, page 984 ^ a b c d e Pevsner & Sherwood, 1974, page 683 ^ Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, South Oxfordshire Branch ^ Lewknor Church of England Primary School ^ Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway: History ^ Oppitz, 2000, page 22 ^ The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty ^ Natural England: Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve Sources Lobel, Mary D. (1969). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 8: Lewknor and Pyrton Hundreds. p. 98–115.  Oppitz, Leslie (2000). Lost Railways of the Chilterns. Newbury: Countryside Books. p. 20–23. ISBN 1 85306 643 5.  Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 683–684. ISBN 0 14 071045 0.  Turner, Hilary L. (1973 for 1972). "The 'Great Barn', Lewknor : the documentary evidence". Oxoniensia: Oxford Architectural and Historical Society 37: 187–91. ISSN 03085562.  v • d • e The District of South Oxfordshire Oxfordshire • County Council elections • District Council elections • Henley County Constituency • Wantage County Constituency Towns Didcot • Henley-on-Thames • Thame (Moreton) • Wallingford • Watlington (Christmas Common, Northend) Large Villages Benson (Preston Crowmarsh) • Berinsfield • Brightwell-cum-Sotwell (Brightwell, Mackney, Sotwell) • Chalgrove • Chinnor (Emmington, Henton, Oakley) • Cholsey (Winterbrook) • Crowmarsh (Crowmarsh Gifford, North Stoke, Mongewell, Newnham Murren) • Ewelme • Garsington • Goring-on-Thames • Great Milton • Horspath (Bullingdon Green) • Sandford-on-Thames • Shiplake (Lower Shiplake) • Sonning Common • Wheatley (Littleworth) • Woodcote Other Civil Parishes (Component Villages and Hamlets) Adwell • Aston Rowant • Aston Tirrold • Aston Upthorpe • Beckley and Stowood (Beckley, Stowood) • Berrick Salome (Berrick Prior, Roke, Rokemarsh) • Binfield Heath • Bix and Assendon (Bix, Bix Bottom, Lower Assendon, Middle Assendon) • Brightwell Baldwin • Britwell Salome • Checkendon • Clifton Hampden (Burcot) • Crowell • Cuddesdon and Denton (Cuddesdon, Denton) • Culham • Cuxham with Easington (Cuxham, Easington) • Dorchester • Drayton St. Leonard • East Hagbourne (Coscote) • Elsfield • Eye and Dunsden (Sonning Eye, Dunsden Green, Playhatch) • Forest Hill with Shotover (Forest Hill, Shotover) • Goring Heath (Whitchurch Hill, Cray's Pond) • Great Haseley (Latchford, Little Haseley, North Weston, Rycote) • Harpsden • Highmoor (Satwell) • Holton • Ipsden • Kidmore End (Gallowstree Common) • Lewknor (Postcombe, South Weston) • Little Milton • Little Wittenham • Long Wittenham • Mapledurham (Trench Green, Chazey Heath) • Marsh Baldon (Baldon Row) • Moulsford • Nettlebed • Newington (Great Holcombe) • North Moreton • Nuffield • Nuneham Courtenay • Pishill with Stonor (Pishill, Stonor, Russell's Water) • Pyrton • Rotherfield Greys • Rotherfield Peppard • Shirburn • South Moreton (Fulscot) • South Stoke (Littlestoke) • Stadhampton (Chiselhampton, Brookhampton, Ascott) • Stanton St. John (Woodperry) • Stoke Row • Stoke Talmage • Swyncombe • Sydenham (Kingston Stert) • Tetsworth • Tiddington-with-Albury (Tiddington, Albury) • Toot Baldon • Towersey • Warborough (Shillingford) • Waterstock • West Hagbourne • Whitchurch-on-Thames • Woodeaton • Waterperry with Thomley (Waterperry, Thomley) • Wheatfield • Wilcote Former Districts and Boroughs Bullingdon Rural District • Municipal Borough of Henley-on-Thames • Henley Rural District • Thame Urban District • Municipal Borough of Wallingford • Wallingford Rural District Crowmarsh Rural District • Culham Rural District • Goring Rural District • Headington Rural District • Thame Rural District Former Constituencies Oxfordshire County Constituency • Wallingford Borough Constituency • Abingdon Borough Constituency • Berkshire North or Abingdon County Constituency • Abingdon County Constituency List of Parliamentary constituencies in Oxfordshire • List of places in Oxfordshire • List of civil parishes in Oxfordshire