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St Mary Magdalene, Balscote, Oxfordshire

(52°4′20″N, 1°25′56″W)
SP 390 417
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Oxfordshire
now Oxfordshire
  • Janet Newson
18 Sept 2012

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Balscote, formerly Balscott, is a hamlet in NE Oxfordshire, 4.5 miles NW of Banbury. The small ironstone church of St Mary Magdalene is now a 14thc. building, comprising a chancel, nave and S aisle with a slender S tower over the porch. Repairs and restorations were carried out in 1800-23, 1873 and 1921-7 (VCH). However, it retains a few features from its 12thc. origins: a fragment of a tympanum re-used in the N nave wall, some re-used internal nave corbels and a plain tub font.


In 1086 Balscote, assessed at 5 hides, was part of the fief of Bishop Odo of Bayeux and was held by Wadard, one of his most influential and wealthy tenants. Like Wadard's other lands, Balscote afterwards formed part of the barony of Arsic, of which Cogges was the head. The overlordship was held by the Arsic family in the 12thc. and 13thc.

Balscote was originally a dependent chapel of Wroxton Priory. It now belongs to the Ironstone Benefice that comprises Alkerton, Balscote, Drayton, Hanwell, Horley, Hornton, Shenington and Wroxton.


Interior Features

Vaulting/Roof Supports

Interior Decoration





J. Sherwood and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth 1974, 428.

Victoria County History: Oxfordshire, 9 (1969), 171-188 (under Wroxton).