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Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Crowell, Oxfordshire

(51°41′24″N, 0°55′30″W)
SU 744 996
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Oxfordshire
now Oxfordshire
  • Janet Newson
16 Sept 2013

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Feature Sets

Crowell is a hamlet in E Oxfordshire, 5 miles SE of Thame. The original church was in existence by the mid-12thc at the latest, and additions were made in the 13th and 14thc. It was almost entirely rebuilt in 1878. The present church is small and built of flint, comprising a chancel, a nave, a S porch, a vestry and a stone bell-cote. There is a surviving Romanesque N door.


In 1086 Crowell was one of two Oxfordshire estates held by William Peverell, a Nottinghamshire baron. On the marriage of William's daughter, Adelina, to Richard de Riviers, Crowell went to him and descended with their heirs, the Earls of Devon. Romanesque work in the church shows its building to be mid-12thc at the latest.

The first documentary evidence dates from 1231 when Margaret de Riviers, lady of the manor and mother of the Earl of Devon, presented the church to the living. The advowson had probably been long held by the manor.

The church is in the benefice of Thame with Crowell and Sydenham.


Exterior Features



J. Sherwood and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth 1974, 560-61.

Victoria County History: Oxfordshire, 8 (1964), 80-91.