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St Mary the Virgin, Black Bourton, Oxfordshire

(51°44′12″N, 1°35′8″W)
Black Bourton
SP 287 043
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Oxfordshire
now Oxfordshire
  • Janet Newson
  • John Blair
  • Nicola Coldstream
  • Sarah Blair
11 November 1991, 31 July 2014

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Black Bourton is a village about eight miles SW of Witney on Black Bourton Brook, a tributary of the River Thames. The church lies to the N of the village and was built of coursed rubble limestone; it consists of an early 12thc chancel altered in the 13thc, a late 12thc nave with N aisle, a 14thc S porch, and a W tower erected on the westernmost sector of the nave in the early 16thc. The building was restored 1866 by Edward George Bruton. Romanesque sculpture is found on the S doorway, the N arcade, and the font.


The Domesday Survey records that in 1066 'Burtone' was held by Thorgot and Ansketil of Graye; in 1086 its lordship passed to Wimund and Payne of Clanfield, being tenants-in-chief Earl William, son of Osbern, and Arnulf of Hesdin. Before 1180 the church - then a daughter of Bampton - was divided between Hugh de Bourtonb and Ralph Murdac, who simultaneously gave their halves to Oseney Abbey.


Exterior Features


Interior Features






The three windows in the E chancel wall (one above the other two) now have segmental heads, but Mary Lupton (1903), 38, states that before the Victorian restoration the two lower windows had segmental rear-arches.


The Oseney Cartulary, ed. by H. E. Salter, vol. IV, Oxford 1933, nos. 436-9.

C. E. Keyser, 'Notes on the Churches of Brize Norton and Black Bourton in the County of Oxford', Journal of the British Archaeological Association, n.s. (1915), 89-96.

M. Lupton, A History of the Parish of Black Bourton, otherwise Called Burton Abbots, in the County of Oxford, Oxford 1903, 38-46.

J. Sherwood and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, Harmondsworth 1974, 458-9.

Victoria County History: Oxfordshire, 15 (2006), 94-9.