A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 11, Wootton Hundred (Northern Part). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1983.
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BARFORD ST. MICHAEL
Barford St. Michael or Great Barford lies 5 miles (8 km.) south of Banbury and 2 miles (3 km.) west of Deddington on the river Swere, which forms the northern boundary of the parish. (fn. 1) The village grew up at a crossing-point on the river, opposite the hamlet of Barford St. John, which belonged to Adderbury parish and Bloxham hundred. (fn. 2) The name Barford ('barley ford') (fn. 3) points to the significance of the rivercrossing for early settlers. Both villages stand well above the valley floor, which is still liable to flooding. The bridge between them was mentioned in 1641. (fn. 4) The land of the ancient parish varies in height from c. 95 m. above sea-level at the river to between 150 and 170 m. in the south and south-west. A belt of marlstone runs across the north of the parish, and the village stands on this and an area of Middle Lias clay; other areas of marlstone lie in the west of the parish at Iron Down and on the high ground on the Chipping Norton road at Radwell hill. The areas of marlstone are separated by stretches of Lower Lias clay, but small patches of Chipping Norton limestone determined the siting of Rignell and Blackingrove farms. (fn. 5)
East of the village the parish takes the shape of a projecting tongue, the southern boundary at that point following the edge of the marlstone belt in the river valley. To the west the parish is much broader, its northern boundary swinging north following the curve of the river, while to the south the road from Deddington to Chipping Norton, an ancient route, divides Barford from Nether Worton. The central portion of the southern boundary has an artificial appearance. Barford shared its open fields with Hempton hamlet in Deddington, and the line of the early boundary between Barford and Hempton has not been traced; that established at inclosure in 1808, (fn. 6) however, may derive from some early agreement between Barford and Deddington churches to partition the fields for tithing. The new boundary divided Barford from Hempton in a complex way which gave Barford the marlstone area at Radwell hill and allowed Hempton a narrow strip running northwards to the river, cutting off the eastern part of Barford (c. 152 a.). A dozen other detached portions of Barford lay in Deddington (the largest being 20 a. at Tomwell hill), and some of Deddington lay in Barford. In 1881 the area of the parish was 1,162 a., including 190 a. in detached portions. (fn. 7) In 1889 the area was reduced to 1,134 a. by the transference to Deddington of the minor detached portions. (fn. 8) In 1932, when the parish was united with Barford St. John to form a single civil parish, the complex boundary with Deddington was further simplified by an exchange in which 34 a. of Deddington were taken into Barford and 9 a. of Barford surrendered. The area of the civil parish of Barford St. John and St. Michael was 1,885 a. (762. 9 ha.). (fn. 9)
The road system of the parish follows ancient lines being little altered at inclosure apart from the suppression of a way leading from the village over Steepness hill, roughly bisecting the arc between the Hempton and Worton roads. (fn. 10) The nearest railway to the village was the line from Chipping Norton to Banbury with a station at Bloxham, 2 miles distant, opened in 1875 and closed to passenger traffic in 1950. (fn. 11) In the later 19th century the village was linked with Banbury by two regular carriers, later reduced to one; (fn. 12) presumably Deddington was the market for the village in earlier times. There was no post office until 1897. A scheme of 1939 to install piped water was presumably abandoned because of the Second World War, and mains water was not available until 1960. A bus service through the village began in 1944. (fn. 13)
Although the parish is traversed by an ancient route and lies close to the earthwork at Ilbury, (fn. 14) no substantial traces of prehistoric settlement have been found within its limits. Remains of what may have been a Romano-British village were found near the site of Blackingrove Farm, (fn. 15) which was not built until the early 19th century, and similar remains were found on Iron Down. (fn. 16)
In 1086 21 inhabitants including 5 serfs were recorded, and in 1279 29 property-holders, of whom 18 were women, including at least 5 widows. (fn. 17) By 1377, when only 56 persons over 14 years old were assessed for poll tax, (fn. 18) there had been a serious fall in population, perhaps to less than 100 in all. In 1662 for the hearth tax 32 named individuals were taxed on 79 hearths, including one man on 12 hearths (the manor house), two each on 5 and 4 hearths, five on 3, and 22 on 1 or 2 hearths. The population was probably between 150 and 200, the higher estimate supported by the Protestation Returns of 1642 which record 61 adult males, and the Compton Census of 1676 which records a total of 124 adults. (fn. 19) Between 1738 and 1768 some 60 houses or families were recorded, the same as in the census of 1801 when the total population was 266; (fn. 20) registered baptisms suggest a similar population in the mid 18th century. (fn. 21) From 1801 the population rose to a peak of 392 in 1851. A loss of 60 in the following decade was attributed to migration to Sheffield and other large towns, and though subsequent decline was less dramatic it continued until 1931 when Barford St. Michael had 186 inhabitants. In modern times the population of the Barfords increased as a result of an influx of commuters; in 1971 there were 354 inhabitants in the civil parish and 594 by the end of 1978. (fn. 22)
The earlier plan of the village, much obscured by modern housing development, was complex. To the west stood the church and moated manor house and a triangle of housing along Church Street and Lower Street, while in the Hornhill area was another close-packed group of houses. Between the two lay the large rectangular West Close, bounded by roads and a few scattered houses. The division between west and east ends of the village suggests that the latter may represent a separate settlement, perhaps associated with the manor of Barford Olaf: certainly the demesne lands of the Chesney and Olaf manors lay respectively west and east of the village. (fn. 23) The comparative lack of houses close to the church, evident on 19th-century maps, (fn. 24) may have been the result of a serious fire in 1775 which was said to have destroyed some nine buildings in that area. (fn. 25) Until the 18th century a rectory house stood near the manor house and the mill, (fn. 26) presumably in the field immediately north of the church. A tradition recorded in 1823, that there was a castle in Barford, and a related report of the discovery of the foundations of 'massive walls' in the churchyard, (fn. 27) remain unsubstantiated.
Most of the older houses in the village are 17thcentury cottages and farmhouses in local stone, roofed with stone slate, Welsh slate, or thatch, and bearing dates and the initials of small gentlemen and yeomen of the period. Among the more distinguished is Turnstile House, near the bank known locally as the Rock; it is dated 1653 and bears the initials probably of Pitham Perkins, marking its enlargement from a small cottage. (fn. 28) Later it was owned by the Austin family. The George inn is a 17th-century thatched house of some distinction, characterized by stonemullioned windows with square labels, and a stone moulded doorway with a diamond-stop label. The datestone is inscribed T.G. 1679, perhaps for Thomas Gibbs, mason, who died in 1696. (fn. 29) It probably became a public house in the later 19th century, when beer-retailers began to be recorded again in Barford after a long lapse. (fn. 30) In the later 18th century there were at least two licensed houses in the village, the Pole Axe and the Windmill, the former in the area of the present Rock Cottage, the latter on the corner of the Green, on the site of the present Barn Elms. (fn. 31) A house at the west end of Church Street (north side), although small, boasts the careful details of larger 17th-century village houses of the area, again with stone-mullioned windows, labels, and a moulded doorway. Glebe Cottage (dated 1750) and Laurel Cottage illustrate the changing styles of the 18th century, the former retaining many of the traditional features of 17th-century local houses, the latter, built some 25 years later, more obviously Georgian in detail. A house in Hornhill (Dyer's Farm), inscribed J. S. Harris 1828, and College Farm have ashlar fronts of 3 bays and 3 storeys typical of Midland farmhouses of the period. The principal 19th-century additions to the village were the two nonconformist chapels, the rebuilt vicarage-house of 18556, and the school of 1875. The village hall of 1925 was the gift of Francis Taylor of Rignell House. (fn. 32)
Of the outlying farmhouses in the parish two, Buttermilk and Rignell Farm, were built long before parliamentary inclosure; the former existed by 1769, (fn. 33) the latter as early as 1681, although largely rebuilt by William Cumming in 1731. (fn. 34) Rignell House, in a park west of the village, was built in 1911 by Francis Taylor, lord of the manor; he had lived in the Argentine, and his attempts to keep stock by ranching methods are remembered vividly in the parish.
The character of the village was altered by extensive house-building in the 1960s and 1970s. Local stone was used for many of the houses fronting the village streets, and there was an attempt to blend the style of the new houses with that of the older buildings. In the separate estate developments brick or reconstituted stone were used. The Hornhill area has been little affected by modern changes, the chief developments being on the southern edge of the village, on both sides of High Street, and along Church Street and Lower Street, amounting in all to c. 80 new houses by 1978. (fn. 35)
Manors and Other Estates.
An estate of 5 hides was held in 1066 by Abingdon abbey and in 1086 by the son of Wadard from Roger who held of the abbot. (fn. 36) It appears later as a knight's fee of the honor of Abingdon and as such liable for a payment of 20s. a year for castle guard at Windsor. The due was partitioned among the tenants of the manor and was mentioned as late as 1696. (fn. 37) Nevertheless by the end of the Middle Ages local juries asserted that the fee was held of the abbot of Reading or the dean of Windsor. (fn. 38)
The Roger who held in 1086 was probably Roger d'Ivri since the mesne lordship followed the descent of the Ivri lands and was incorporated in the honor of St. Valery. A grant of demesne tithes in Barford had been made before 1133 together with those of other lands of the honor, (fn. 39) and in 1166 Reynold of St. Valery held of Abingdon abbey 1 knight's fee, presumably Barford. (fn. 40) The mesne lordship was referred to until 1351. (fn. 41)
The manor, later called BARFORD CHESNEY, passed from the son of Wadard to Walkelin Wadard (fl. 1130) (fn. 42) and then to his daughter Denise who married Hugh de Chesney. (fn. 43) She survived her husband and perhaps married Hugh of Chacombe, who endowed his foundation of Chacombe priory with Barford church. (fn. 44) Some time between the death of her first husband (between 1163 and 1166) and 1176 she gave Barford to her younger son William de Chesney to hold as 1 knight's fee. (fn. 45) A further mesne lordship was thus created which passed from her eldest son Ralph to the Dive family by the marriage of his eldest daughter Lucy to Guy de Dive, (fn. 46) but cannot be traced beyond 1331. (fn. 47) William de Chesney was succeeded shortly before 1213 by his daughter Agnes, wife of Simon of Maidwell, who held the manor in 1242. (fn. 48) In turn it passed to her son Alan of Maidwell and his son Simon, and then with Simon's daughter Alice to Richard of Seaton by 1275. (fn. 49)
The Seatons, who took their name from Seaton (Rut.), held land in several Midland counties. They held Barford for two hundred years (fn. 50) until Everard Seaton in 1476 left as heirs two infant daughters, Anne and Joan, (fn. 51) who later married Edward Catesby and Francis Metcalfe. A partition was said to have been made of the Seaton lands in 1488 (fn. 52) by which the whole of Barford went to Catesby and his wife, though legal documents continued to treat the manor as two moieties. In 1508 and 1514 the whole manor was acquired by Richard Fox from Francis Metcalfe and Edward son of Anne Catesby. (fn. 53) Fox was already connected with Barford, for his father William was living there in 1491 and was buried in the church in 1502. (fn. 54) Richard Fox was followed by his son John in 1521 who died in 1549. (fn. 55) The death of an infant son, William, a few months later left the manor to be partitioned between William's five sisters. (fn. 56) John Fox had committed the manor to trustees, but the next holders were probably his widow, Alice, until her death in 1573 and Anthony Ashfield her second husband (d. by 1562). (fn. 57) One of William's sisters died in 1557; (fn. 58) the others seem to have married as follows: Elizabeth to Thomas Stafford of Tattenhoe (Bucks.), Mary to Thomas Ashfield of Chesham (Bucks.), Ursula to Francis Ardern, and Joan probably to George Skinner. Only the last is known to have lived at Barford. (fn. 59) The manor was reunited during the following decades. In 1573 Thomas Stafford acquired from George Skinner and his wife half of their quarter of the manor and in 1580 he purchased the quarter of Thomas and Mary Ashfield. (fn. 60) In 1585 he conveyed the two and a half quarters to Alexander Hampden reserving a rent-charge of 80, redeemed in 1640. (fn. 61) The Ardern quarter seems to have come to the Skinners, for in 1595 Hampden acquired one and a half quarters from William Skinner, son of George Skinner (who had died that year), thus completing the reunion of the manor. (fn. 62)
Hampden was a Buckinghamshire squire of some importance, and was probably not much in Barford, though his widow farmed there until her death in 1628. (fn. 63) The manor passed in 1618 under a settlement to his niece Mary and her husband Sir Alexander Denton of Hillesden (Bucks.). (fn. 64) Financial pressure persuaded Denton to sell land, and in 1641 an Act was obtained to break the settlement. (fn. 65) The manor was sold to William Sheppard, son of Justinian, a cadet of the Sheppards of Great Rollright. (fn. 66) Although Edmund Denton was still selling off some Barford property as late as 1653, (fn. 67) William Sheppard was in occupation of the manor perhaps as early as 1640, and certainly by 1646 when he compounded for his royalist activities during the Civil War. (fn. 68) He was followed in turn by his sons William (succeeded 1666, d. 1672) and Justinian (d. 1714). (fn. 69) Under Justinian's will the manor passed to the descendants of his two married sisters, William Jenners and William Cumming, but the latter acquired Jenners's share in 1719. (fn. 70) Cumming, an eminent physician who seems to have resided often at Barford, (fn. 71) left the manor in 1746 to a cousin, John Pollard of Finmere (d. 1761), who was succeeded by his unmarried sister Elizabeth. (fn. 72) On her death in 1763 it was devised to her cousin John Carter of Weston Colville (Cambs.) on condition that he took the name of Pollard. (fn. 73) As John Carter Pollard he was in possession until his death c. 1806, (fn. 74) when the manor went to Thomas Hall in right of his wife Elizabeth, (fn. 75) whose relationship to Pollard is not clear. It remained in the Hall family of Weston Colville for over a hundred years. John Hall held it in 1852 and Charles Hall in 1864 and until c. 1880. William Henry Bullock, who then succeeded, was son of Charlotte, daughter of John Hall, but changed his name to Hall. His son Alexander Cross Hall followed in 1904, but sold the manor c. 1910 to Francis Taylor. (fn. 76) Neither the Pollards nor the Halls lived in Barford. The manor house was let in 1768 to a lawyer called Harris, but usually in the later 18th century was not occupied by any of gentry status. (fn. 77) Francis Taylor did not acquire the manor house, but built Rignell House for himself.
The site of the manor (fn. 78) is to the north west of the church where a rectangular moat, whose south side is now filled in, encloses the present house and a group of farm buildings; the site includes fishponds, presumably medieval. The house lies close to the south side of the moated area and has a formal walled garden, perhaps early 18th-century, joining it to the road; the curtain wall contains two sets of grandiose gate piers. The surviving buildings are an eastern cross wing and part of the central range whose western extension and cross wing can be traced in the garden wall. Two medieval corbels are reset on an outside wall but the house appears to be an early 17th-century reconstruction following an earlier plan.
A second estate in Barford comprising 4 hides had been held by Alwin in 1066 and in 1086 was held by Ilbod of the king. (fn. 79) From the 12th century it had the name of BARFORD OLAF, later often spelt Oliffe or Olave, which persisted until the 19th century. Ilbod was a brother of Ernulf de Hesding, (fn. 80) and the manor became incorporated with Ernulf's lands, so descending to the baronial family of FitzAlan. Before 1159 Henry II confirmed Barford to Ralph, chamberlain of Niel, bishop of Ely, as knight's fee under William FitzAlan. (fn. 81) Ralph, who appears in 1166 as Ralph Olaf, (fn. 82) was probably of Anglo-Danish ancestry; he was better known as the bishop's steward and was founder of the family of Lisle of Rougemont. (fn. 83) The Lisles' lordship became attached to their manor of Heyford Warren, and with it was sold by Robert de Lisle to William Wykeham, bishop of Winchester, for the endowment of New College, Oxford, the transaction being completed by 1380. (fn. 84) New College received the issues of the manor from 1397 to 1402 during the tenant's minority, and the lordship was still remembered in the 17th century. (fn. 85) By the early 13th century the manor had been subinfeudated, perhaps as a marriage portion: between 1207 and 1228 Sarah de Asnes, who was connected with the Lisles, (fn. 86) was named as lady of the manor. (fn. 87) She was succeeded by her daughter Margery, who was married to Bartholomew de Crec by 1222. (fn. 88) He seems to have made an arrangement with Robert de Pirenho and others to take custody of his children and some of his lands, (fn. 89) which is presumably why Robert de Pirenho held Barford in 1242. (fn. 90) After Bartholomew's death Margery de Crec released her rights in the manor to her kinsman, Robert de Lisle, from who she was holding it. (fn. 91) It was soon granted again, probably to Nicholas de Martivaus, one of the principal witnesses of that release, whose daughter and heir, Maud, held it in 1279. (fn. 92) William Wygein, lord in 1285, (fn. 93) was perhaps her husband. The next known holder was Burge, wife of William de Vaux, who, probably in 1322, tried to secure arrears of rent from John of Bloxham for his life-tenancy of Barford Olaf: (fn. 94) certainly in that year John's house was attacked by Burge's agent in the matter, Thomas Beaufeu, lord of Barford St. John. (fn. 95) Burge was still alive in 1332, but by 1336 Barford Olaf was in the hands of John Seaton, lord of the other manor, (fn. 96) probably by descent rather than purchase. (fn. 97) The manorial rights had contracted meanwhile to a fixed rent of 8 a year, which was sold in 1516, probably by the Seatons' feoffees, to Edward Audley, bishop of Salisbury, for the upkeep of his chantry. (fn. 98) On the seizure of chantry lands it passed to the Crown, was disposed of in 1651 to Francis Martin of Ewelme, (fn. 99) and reverted to the Crown at the Restoration. It was sold again in 1673, together with one or two other rents in Barford arising from former monastic property, making up the whole to 9 14s., to Nathaniel Hornby. After passing through several hands the rents were purchased in 1707 to support Robinson and Hall's charity in St. Aldate's parish, Oxford. Many of the rents have been redeemed and a few lost. (fn. 100)
Before 1176 Denise de Chesney had given with her daughter Alice in marriage to Warin de Plaiz hide in villeinage and 1 hide in demesne, as 3/10 knight's fee. (fn. 101) By 1279 this estate was reckoned as knight's fee. On Alice's death without issue it reverted to the Dives and was held by Ralph de Dive in 1279, an attempt by Richard of Seaton to claim it as his escheat in 1277 having failed. (fn. 102) In 1295 Ralph de Dive conveyed it to John of Bloxham, who held it at his death in 1331. (fn. 103) His heir, William son of Robert Hikeman of Bloxham, probably his brother, had granted the reversion to Robert de Ardern. (fn. 104) Its later history cannot be traced but it is evidently that referred to in 1436 as HASTINGS manor. (fn. 105) The 2 villein yardlands that formed part of this holding had themselves been granted out again as freeholds before 1279, one being held by Bradenstoke priory (Wilts.) of the gift of Alice de Chesney, (fn. 106) and the other by Robert Sampson by gift of Ralph de Dive in marriage with his daughter. (fn. 107)
A free tenure of 4 villein yardlands had been given in marriage by William de Dive with a daughter, Aubrey, to Fulk of Sharsted; it was held in 1279 by Osbert Giffard. (fn. 108) Since William de Dive did not hold the manor in demesne he may have got possession by seizing an escheat, and the holding may perhaps be traced to 1086 and identified with the land of the Frenchman who held of the Chesney manor. It was acquired in 1309 by Walter de la Salle of Adderbury, and was held by John of Adderbury in 1346. (fn. 109) It was settled in 1415 by Richard of Adderbury and his nephew and heir Richard de Arches, from whom it descended to John Dynham (d. 1501), (fn. 110) and presumably was absorbed in the properties of one of his heirs. (fn. 111)
Chacombe priory acquired 3 yardlands in Barford and 2 mills and other property from Agnes de Chesney in the mid 13th century. (fn. 112) After the Dissolution the estate was granted in 1544 to John Fox, (fn. 113) and descended to successive holders of the manor.
From about 1514 Brasenose College, Oxford, built up a freehold estate of 6 yardlands by purchasing tenements in Barford Olaf. (fn. 114) The college increased its holding in the parish in the late 19th and the 20th century.
The pre-inclosure fields of Barford, (fn. 115) stretching from a point southeast of Tomwell Farm in Deddington to Iron Down in the west of Barford, were shared with Hempton hamlet in Deddington, and each township contained strips in almost every furlong. A prolongation southward of the eastern boundary of Barford to the South Brook roughly marked off the Barford and Hempton fields from those of Deddington; the township and later inclosed farm of Ilbury (fn. 116) was not included, but otherwise the open field rolled over the whole area south and east of Barford, the houses of Hempton standing islanded in the middle. (fn. 117) From Barford to the west a tongue of open field extended to Iron Down, north of which lay the inclosed lands of the lord of the manor; the irregular line of the hedge dividing the two may still be distinguished from the straight lines laid out at inclosure. The open fields were divided into east and west fields, each of 500600 a. The boundary between them ran roughly from the east end of Barford village to Hempton, and from the east end of Hempton due south to the Duns Tew boundary. By the end of the 17th century the two fields had become four quarters, those of Astwell hill and Tomwell hill formed from the east field respectively north and south of the Deddington road, and those of Blindleys hill and Middle hill or Whiteway formed from the west field respectively south of Barford village and towards Iron Down. The change was presumably to allow half the fallow field to be sown every year, probably with leguminous crops. The cropping of a holding in June 1681, 5 ridges of winter corn, 15 ridges of barley, and 9 ridges of peas, (fn. 118) shows the one-third proportion of peas on the extra quarter to be expected under that arrangement, and the mixture of spring and winter corn on the other field; not all holdings, however, had the same amount of land in each quarter. A proportion of the open field arable had been converted to grass in the form of leys, usually about a quarter or a fifth of each holding; the leys seem to have been permanent, and there are no signs that the bulk of the arable was periodically laid down to grass. The biggest blocks of leys were on the clay lands, especially over the edge of the marlstone south and southwest of Hempton; they were a source of hay as well as extra pasture. There had also long been hay-meadows beside the river. In 1086 58 a. of meadow in Barford were recorded (fn. 119) and in the 14th century it was being used as lot meadow. The portion for 1 yardland, sometimes called 'one man's mowth', was said to be 2 loads of hay. The meadows, called Chief or Great mead, Small mead, and Overmore, lay east of the village, roughly between the river and the road to Blackingrove farm. Also mentioned were Summer leys (adjacent to the village, north of Hornhill) and Inmead, shares in which seem to have been attached to Barford Olaf yardlands; they may represent the earlier demesne pasture and meadow of that manor. (fn. 120) In the same way South Orchard and Sideling Close seem to have belonged to Barford Olaf, as did a small piece of land by the bridge, north of the river but included in Barford St. Michael by a deviation of the boundary. For this land, known as the common between the towns, the peasants of Barford Olaf were paying 2s. a year in 1279. (fn. 121) There was a cowpasture of c. 35 a. at Barford Marsh Green on the south side of the village, representing perhaps the 20 a. of pasture mentioned in Domesday Book, and one for Hempton of 40 a. near the earthworks of Ilbury.
The medieval yardlands were c. 20 a., made up of rood, acre, and half-acre strips, the latter predominating. Strips apparently of the same size were later called yards, acres, and lands, which together with leys in the open fields made up yardlands still of c. 20 a.; the or yardlands were sometimes proportionately a little less. The acres, of course, were customary field acres, on average smaller than statute acres and highly irregular among themselves.
The medieval arable evidently covered the whole available area, leaving no common pasture other than the meadows and cow-pasture. From the 16th century c. 400 a. of inclosed land lay north-west of the village; this was the demesne of the Chesney manor. In 1311 (fn. 122) the demesne lay in whole furlongs or culturae grouped in two fields, north and south (in contrast to the usual east and west designation of Barford fields) divided by a road near the boundary with South Newington, and including the hills near Rignell Farm (North Down and Langdon). The demesne evidently occupied the same area as in the 16th century, and was laid out in two large fields as was the land of the peasantry. It included land of the rector, and the name of one furlong (Akermannesland) suggests that the lord's ploughmen also were established there.
There were common pasture rights for grazing sheep, cows, and horses, the usual stint being apparently 40 sheep to a yardland, reduced to 30 after about 1760. In some cases, however, there was a smaller allowance of 22 or 24 sheep, and perhaps some yardlands never enjoyed the full amount. Cow-commons were at the rate of three or four, and horse-commons usually two. Temporary letting of common rights permitted some flexibility in the amount of stock kept by individuals. John Carter held rights for 130 sheep, but at his death in 1670 he had 180, and Anthony Holloway, tenant of the same holding in 1613, had 160. (fn. 123) John Skidmore with a single yardland had 100 sheep in 1694, and Richard Austin in 1695, keeping 12 cows and 28 sheep on his half yardland, chose to style himself grazier; (fn. 124) but the small men usually had far less than their nominal share of sheep, sometimes fewer than a dozen. Cow-and horse-commons were usually used to the full by their owners. The common herdsman enjoyed four ridges in the field. (fn. 125)
Little inclosure, other than that of the manorial lands, took place before the parliamentary award of 1808, which was carried through under the same Act and by the same commissioners as at Deddington. (fn. 126) The award mentioned over 490 a. of old inclosure, but over four-fifths of that was the manorial lands. Old closes adjoined the village on the river side, inside the grid of village streets, and flanking Hornhill to about a furlong's depth, the largest being 6 a. attached to Thomas Owen's house. There were none out in the fields, though one or two closes in Ilbury went with Barford holdings.
The two Barford manors of 1086 (fn. 127) were of similar and normal structure. That of Wadard's son had 2 demesne ploughteams and 2 serfs, while 6 villeins and 2 bordars with a Frenchman held 3 ploughs; the other manor had 2 demesne ploughteams and 2 serfs, while 6 villeins and 1 bordar held 2 ploughs. The extra tenants' team on the first manor presumably belonged to the Frenchman. Before 1228 Sarah de Asnes had granted all her lands and tenements in Barford Olaf to the men of the manor and their heirs for 8 a year and all suits to shire and hundred courts. (fn. 128) When Margery de Crec released the manor to Robert de Lisle she declared that the tenants should continue to hold their lands on the same conditions as from her. (fn. 129) Subsequent lords presumably regretted that arrangement at a time of rising profits from land, and in 1279 the tenants held their lands by a high extent (alta extenta) at a rent of 12s. on the yardland, yielding a total of over 9. (fn. 130) Later lords raised the rent still higher, for the manor was let to John of Bloxham for 16. By 1336, however, perhaps as a result of a changing economic climate, the chartered rent had been restored, and did not vary thereafter. (fn. 131) Although the peasants were still classed as villani in 1279, the charter had styled them boni homines, and to all intents had freed them. In the long run their land became freehold, the subject, for example, of a conveyance in the king's court in 1391. (fn. 132) In 1279 there were 16 yardlands, corresponding to the 4 hides of 1086, one held in free alms by Thetford nunnery, the others by 15 yardlanders. Presumably the demesne had been shared among them. There was only one cottar, perhaps representing the bordar of 1086. In the 16th century there were still 15 yardlands, rented at 10s. 5d. each, and a cottage paying 3s. 11d. (fn. 133)
The Chesney manor had also changed greatly by 1279; (fn. 134) there were still 2 ploughlands of demesne, but between the lord and the villeins had been interposed a group of intermediate free tenants such as Osbert Giffard and Chacombe and Bradenstoke priories, (fn. 135) of whom none lived in the village, the land being held by tenants each having 1 yardland. Although the yardlanders were technically still villeins (at least one was granted with his holding and all his sequela) (fn. 136) they were merely rent payers. All paid only a money rent of 10s. or 12s. a yardland, there were no labour services, and no single manorial court; it was thought to be against right and law for Osbert Giffard as lord of 4 yardlands to exact suit of court from his tenants. The peasants holding immediately from the lord of the Chesney manor comprised one tenant of a half yardland, which had been carved out of the demesne, (fn. 137) and 16 cottagers each having a croft and paying rents of between 1s. and 2s. 6d. Five of them, who paid a low rent, worked two or three days a week in the quarter ending at Michaelmas.
A difference in the course of development of the two manors between 1086 and 1279 may be noticed. In Barford Olaf the number of villein holdings had increased from 6 to 16; in Barford Chesney the small increase from 6 to 10 may be no more than the addition of those holding under Osbert Giffard on what had perhaps been the land of the Frenchman of 1086. Of smaller holdings there continued to be only 1 at Barford Olaf while those at Barford Chesney increased from 2 to 16. Increased population gave rise in Barford Olaf, through the transfer of the demesne to the peasants, to a class of 'full-landed men', but in Barford Chesney to a source of labour for a demesne lacking customary services. In general Barford had already attained the structure it was to retain until the later 19th century: a large manorial estate flanked by numerous small properties.
The manorial estate was inclosed, probably in the late 15th century or early 16th, and its conversion to pasture completed. In 1548 it was described as 60 a. of arable, 306 a. of pasture, and 46 a. of meadow; (fn. 138) by 1618 the arable had all been converted to give 432 a. of pasture and 50 a. of meadow. (fn. 139) A heavy concentration on sheepfarming resulted. Joan, widow of Richard Fox, in 1535 left in her will 680 sheep and 50 beasts, and Anthony Ashfield in 1562 left a flock of sheep, 30 cows, and a team of horses with another of oxen, (fn. 140) while Elizabeth Hampden at her death in 1628 had three cart horses, 30 beasts, and as many as 1,059 sheep. (fn. 141) The shepherds of these large flocks were persons of some importance; George Skinner left money to his shepherd, (fn. 142) as did Elizabeth Hampden, in whose house there was a special chamber and stable for him. Probably the whole demesne was then run from the manor house, but a detached farm had appeared by 1681 when a shepherd lived at Rignell; (fn. 143) he had little stock of his own (4 cows and 10 sheep) and was presumably still keeping the lord's flock. Buttermilk Hall Farm had appeared by 1767, the name suggesting a concentration on dairy farming; in 1794 it seems to have been pasture, whereas Rignell was partly arable. (fn. 144) In 1808 the two farms (of 202 and 188 a. respectively) accounted for the bulk of the manorial estate, about 50 a. remaining as a large garden and orchard with closes and meadows attached to the manor house. (fn. 145) By then the whole estate was in the hands of Thomas Hall, but earlier there had been a partial dispersal. The inclosed demesne in the 17th century had been rated as 19 yardlands but only 14 had been bought by William Sheppard. (fn. 146) Three had been sold to a Mr. Bullein in 1642, comprising 56 a. in two closes. (fn. 147) In 1704, however, Unton Bullein, owner from about 1675 (fn. 148) sold them to Justinian Sheppard. (fn. 149) Two yardlands of inclosure sold to Thomas Hawtin was evidently repurchased between 1685 and 1760. (fn. 150)
From the 16th century the next largest freehold estate after the manorial estate was the Brasenose College estate of 6 yardlands. (fn. 151) The college had singularly little direct influence on the village because of the system of customary 21-year leases, combining a low traditional rent (static for three centuries) with variable entry fines and a regular option of renewal; (fn. 152) leases descended for generations in the same families. (fn. 153) From 1579 four holdings existed, two of 2 yardlands, one of 1, and one of 1 yardland. Not until 1782 were there amalgamations, and there were still three farms when the last of the old type of lease ran out in the 1890s. (fn. 154) Thereafter the college purchased more land, but most was held on a single tenancy. Most of the tenants were Barford men working the holdings themselves. For 350 years the college estate helped to maintain the character of Barford as a home of small yeoman farmers.
In the late 14th century two cottages held by one man and similarly two yardlands in Barford Olaf (fn. 155) show the expected results of a contracting population and diminished demand for land. In 1548 the 15 yardlands of Barford Olaf were held by 10 individuals; the largest holding was 2 yardlands and none was less than 1 yardland. It was much the same c. 1620. (fn. 156) About 1680, (fn. 157) in the parish as a whole, 19 out of 46 yardlands were inclosed manorial land and 27 lay in the open fields, representing the 26 yardlands of villeinage of 1279. There were single holdings of 4, 3, and 2 yardlands, two of 2 and two of 1, seven of single yardlands, two of halves, and one of two-thirds (two thirdendeales of land). (fn. 158) Eight small holdings ranging from 2 to 6 ridges each and about the same number of small closes not connected with holdings in the fields made up the balance. The two largest holdings had been in the hands of Alexander Hampden in 1618, the nucleus of one being Chacombe priory's 3 yardlands granted to John Fox in 1544, while the other probably included 2 yardlands held by Thomas Jervis in 1548. (fn. 159) The Jervises were in Barford as early as 1279, but by 1548 had ceased to reside; their land went to George Skinner in 1593, and was included in the conveyance to Hampden of the manor in 1595. (fn. 160) Hampden then held a quarter of the open field, but the dispersal of the estate after 1641 (fn. 161) increased the number of substantial landowners. John Carter (4 yardlands), John Nicholls (3), Thomas Owen (2), and John Harris (2) all claimed the status of gentleman. Three were then living in Barford and probably worked their own land. Certainly Carter and Harris, who both died in 1670, were farming on a comparatively large scale, (fn. 162) and only Owen lived elsewhere and leased his land.
The gentry families, however, all held land outside the village and their residence in Barford was largely a matter of chance, unlike the more deeply rooted yeomen and husbandmen below them. Of the dozen or so remaining holdings about two-thirds were occupied by the owners. (fn. 163) Many lived entirely from their own land; others such as John Holloway owned one yardland and leased another from a small absentee owner. Andrew Stevenson, a weaver, owned only 1 yardland, but was able to give his son in 1698 at marriage half the crop of 4 yardlands, reserving for himself the whole crop of yardland. (fn. 164) The mere tenant farmer also existed, such as John Joyner, who died in 1681 tenant of at least 1 yardland and having 200 worth of crops in the ground. (fn. 165)
The pattern of land-holding changed little during the 18th century. The yardlands were used as taxation units at least until 1762 when the church-rate was paid on 44, (fn. 166) and perhaps for some poor-law purposes later, and the inclosure commissioners still recognized 22 out of the 27 in the open fields. The number of owners recorded was about 32 in 1680, 35 in 1760, and about 30 in 1786. (fn. 167) By 1760 there was a shift in the mediumsized holdings from the yardland to half yardlands, presumably a reaction to increasing numbers. By 1786, however, the excessive number of half yardlands had disappeared and a more even gradation existed, assisted by the action of Queen Anne's Bounty in buying in 1761, the 4 yardlands formerly held by George Carter, and creating three normal open-field tenements and two smaller holdings of closes and a few acres (fn. 168) (an exception to the rule that the larger holdings of 1680 were not broken up later).
The number of occupiers was smaller than that of owners and changed more easily. (fn. 169) In 1760, apart from the large manorial farms and 7 or more small holdings, there were 9 freeholders or college lessees occupying only their own holdings, 6 who worked both their own and another's land, and 3 who were tenant farmers only. Since 1680 there had perhaps been less change than there was between 1760 and 1786, by which time a general consolidation had taken place, marked by a drop of taxed smallholdings to 2 and of other occupiers to 14; there were only 2 owneroccupiers, 5 who leased land beside their own, and 7 tenant farmers. The capitalist farmer, in a small way, was appearing and some individuals by leasing land from several owners built up farms of 3 or 4 yardlands and rivalled the tenants of the older large properties, by then all in the hands of absentee owners. The Coleman family deserves mention: a John Coleman was tenant of the 2 yardlands of Thomas Owen in 1680, and a succession of John Colemans were tenants in 1760, 1786, and until 1831, during which time the property was enlarged by 1 yardland and the ownership changed hands several times. By 1807, just before inclosure, the number of taxed occupiers rose again to 23, chiefly because of a revival in the number of smallholdings, but it was notable that the holdings of the 8 owneroccupiers had a combined acreage nearly three times that of 1760.
The inclosure of 1808, which dealt with over 600 a. of new allotments, preserved the variation in the amounts of land owned: to the inclosed estate of 487 a. of Thomas Hall 40 a. were added in lieu of tithe; 108 a. were allotted to Brasenose College; there was one holding of 100 a., eight ranging from about 80 a. to 20 a., seven from 20 a. to 5 a., and about 20 smallholdings. (fn. 170) There was little change by 1831, and still in 1873 there were 14 residents who held land (not necessarily all in Barford but probably mostly so), with a preponderance of holdings of between 10 a. and 100 a. (fn. 171)
Of the families prominent at the end of the 18th century the Owens provide an example of varied fortunes. John Owen held 2 of the Barford Olaf yardlands in 1548 and purchased c. 2 yardlands from the heirs of John Dynham in 1557. (fn. 172) Thomas and Richard Owen, probably his grandsons, both died in 1617, and from the sons of Richard sprang two or three separate branches (fn. 173) who peopled Barford with Owens for two hundred years. The elder line kept the bulk of the land and moved after a generation first to Clifton and then to Shenington, (fn. 174) and the two junior branches existed on holdings of less than a yardland. (fn. 175) When the freehold land was sold in 1758 (fn. 176) a Brasenose lease provided a fresh livelihood for the family, until in 1792 Thomas Owen bought the 3 yardlands once held by the Nicholls family, taking over the holding himself and displacing the tenant. Being thus established in 1804 his son Thomas decided to let the Brasenose holding go. An Owen still held land in Barford in 1831, but had sublet it, (fn. 177) and although still owning land in 1873 the family was no longer among the leading Barford families.
The Owens were prolific and apt to divide land among the younger sons. In contrast the Lovedrens (originally Lovedream) show a slow ascent, a careful husbanding of resources, and rarely more than one of the name in each generation, at least after the 16th century. The early Lovedrens (fn. 178) included John and Richard, who held a yardland each in 1548 and were probably predecessors of Edward who leased 2 Brasenose yardlands in 1579 and died in 1588. (fn. 179) From that time there was a regular succession of Lovedrens leasing the college holding, which gave them a position somewhere near the top of the yeomanry, with exceptionally a younger son among the small husbandmen, as John Lovedren who died in 1677. (fn. 180) The family purchased two half yardlands in 1757, a yardland in 1783, a quartern land in 1787, and in 1779 a yardland in Hempton, besides a number of odd strips. It also held a copyhold yardland in Hempton, and from 1782 a third yardland under Brasenose lease. (fn. 181) The estate thus built up was the largest accumulation in Barford in the 18th century, and at inclosure Richard Lovedren was allotted 100 a. in Barford and 42 a. in Hempton (freehold, college leasehold, and copyhold). The later generations styled themselves gentlemen, and kept a wine-cellar, and the household of Joseph Lovedren, depicted in the census of 1851, (fn. 182) with its four servants and three visitors, was rivalled only by that of his brother-in-law, Richard Hall, at Buttermilk Farm. By 1854 Joseph had moved to Sheffield, and in 1863 he sold his house and land, and transferred the Brasenose lease to Richard Hall. (fn. 183)
Despite its proximity to the market town of Deddington, Barford always had a few traders and artisans. Those prosperous enough to leave a will in the 17th and early 18th centuries included a blacksmith, wheelwright, mason, weaver, tailor, hemp-dresser, and baker. (fn. 184) Some also held and worked land, such as the weavers Walter Hart (d. 1610) and Andrew Stevenson (fl. 1698). (fn. 185) In the early 19th century on average trade employed half as many as agriculture. (fn. 186) The censuses of 184161 reveal a small redpottery industry in Barford, employing some three or four persons, which ceased in the 1860s. Otherwise the trades represented were the expected ones; besides those mentioned above shoemakers were common, there being six including journeymen in 1841. By 1851, though the population had increased, the number of traders and artisans had sunk about 20 per cent, a decline that continued slowly. The tailor and 2 bakers of 1861 had gone by 1871, the number of wheelwrights dropped from 6 to 3, and shoemakers from 6 to 5, the craft apparently ceasing in Barford in the early 20th century. The butcher and blacksmith of 1861 were still there in 1871, and the number of grocers increased from 1 to 3; the sharpest rise was in the number of masons, carpenters, and other building craftsmen, from 6 in 1861 to 17 in 1871 (including apprentices). (fn. 187) In the 20th century, until the village began to attract commuters, the agricultural occupations predominated, and only one or two shops are recorded. (fn. 188)
A mill worth 9s. was attached in 1086 to the manor later called Barford Chesney. (fn. 189) By the 13th century it was held with 1 yardland by Richard the miller who was compelled, however, to release it to Agnes de Chesney, so that she could grant it with the land to Chacombe priory. The mill-soke then included not only Barford but tenants on the Chesney fee in South Newington. (fn. 190) The mill was acquired after the Dissolution by John Fox, and seems to have been held by later lords of the manor. (fn. 191) It was in use as a corn mill until c. 1908. The mill race, buildings, and remains of the mill wheel and gearing survive. (fn. 192)
In the early 13th century a fulling mill, known as Northdown mill (Nordunmille), lay upstream of Barford mill, with a little meadow attached. It was granted by Agnes de Chesney to Robert of Kington, a fuller, probably of Bloxham, for 28s. a year; there had been an earlier tenant. The son of the grantee was induced later to surrender his right to Chacombe priory, which received a grant of it from Agnes de Chesney. (fn. 193) Fulling mill ham survived as a place name in the 17th century, (fn. 194) and was probably the site known within living memory as Dingle mill.
In 1279 the bailiff of Wootton hundred held a view of frankpledge each year in the Seaton manor, a custom preserved by the annual court of Wootton hundred which met at Barford until 1925. (fn. 195) No other record of manorial courts survives. There were the usual parish officers. (fn. 196) In the 17th century the churchwardens acted as senior overseers of the poor above the two others, (fn. 197) but there are no later signs of that arrangement. The overseers were appointed annually, each being responsible for expenditure for part of the year; exceptionally a man served two consecutive periods. The overseers were chosen from among a dozen leading farmers, perhaps on a rota basis as the same sequences of names sometimes recur. The parish spent 134 on the poor in 1776, an average of 240 in 17835, and 283 in 1803, c. 1 per head of population. Between 1800 and 1830 costs per head of population ranged between 15s. (1823) and 1 14s., rather above the average for the area. Total costs in 1831 were 475 or c. 1 8s. per head. (fn. 198)
In 1803 there were 22 adults on regular outrelief and in 1813 there were 27. (fn. 199) Roundsmen or 'yardland men' are mentioned in the surviving overseers' books, and at first accounted for c. 40 per cent of total expenditure. (fn. 200) In 1803 the unemployed were apportioned to farmers according to the size of their farms and they were paid by their employers. (fn. 201)
Under the Act of 1834 the parish became part of Banbury poor law union; in 1894 it was included in Banbury rural district, and in 1974 in Cherwell district. (fn. 202)
The church was probably given to Chacombe priory by Hugh of Chacombe between 1163 and 1176, although the charter recording the gift is somewhat later. (fn. 203) Chacombe presented several rectors in the 13th century (fn. 204) and successfully warded off an attempt by Richard of Seaton to recover the church in 1276. (fn. 205) Moves towards appropriation were made in 1326 and 1344; (fn. 206) it was again planned shortly before 1406, (fn. 207) and was achieved finally in 1412 when a vicarage was ordained. (fn. 208) The advowson of the vicarage and the appropriated rectory, taken by the Crown at the Dissolution, were sold in 1544 to John Fox; (fn. 209) the advowson of the vicarage descended with the manor until 1890 when it was acquired by the bishop of Oxford. The chapelry of Barford St. John was annexed to the living at the same time. (fn. 210)
The glebe was said in 1341 to be worth 10s., which possibly indicated 1 yardland. (fn. 211) Probably it was inclosed with the demesne lands and was represented by the close and pasture held on lease by John Fox at the Dissolution, (fn. 212) and presumably merged with his manorial lands on his acquisition of the rectory. Two-thirds of the demesne tithes of the manor of Barford Chesney had been given to the canons of St. George's, Oxford, by 1133, (fn. 213) passing later to Oseney abbey. The grant caused friction with rectors until a final settlement was reached in 1311; (fn. 214) Oseney's right was upheld but certain furlongs and headlands, meadows, and mills were excepted. The small tithes of the Dive manorial demesne were divided equally between abbey and rector. After the appropriation in 1412 Chacombe priory took the rectorial tithes and in 1436 secured a perpetual lease of the Oseney portion of demesne tithe; (fn. 215) the tithes thus reunited went to John Fox and descended to Edmund Denton, who sold off the tithe of 26 yardlands along with the land to several small purchasers. That of the remaining 20 was sold to Pitham Perkins, one of the small gentry of Barford. (fn. 216) He was something of a spendthrift, and in 1678 he sold to all holders who wished the tithe of their lands, (fn. 217) retaining the tithe of only 10 yardlands, which he sold in 1681 to Samuel Belchier of Deddington. (fn. 218) Before inclosure, however, that remnant had passed to the lord of the manor and was extinguished by an allotment of land. (fn. 219)
The vicarage was endowed in 1412 with an annual payment of 5 6s. 8d. from the impropriators, and various oblations and small tithes, bringing the total income to 8 5s. 4d. (fn. 220) The 5 6s. 8d. was still being paid by the lord of the manor in 1806 (fn. 221) but the value of the other sources of revenue had fluctuated. The whole income was estimated at 7 13s. 4d. in 1526, 6 4s. 10d. in 1535, and in the late 17th and earlier 18th century at between 5 6s. 8d. and 12. (fn. 222) Queen Anne's Bounty in 1732 gave 200, (fn. 223) which in 1761 went towards the purchase of land in Barford divided among five Oxfordshire churches. (fn. 224) In 1757 Ann Roberts, uneasy in conscience because a yardland she inherited in Barford was tithe-free, paid half the cost of purchasing it for the living, Queen Anne's Bounty providing half. (fn. 225) In 1799 another yardland was bought with money received in 1787 from the Bounty and under John Blake's will. (fn. 226) By 1815 the value of the living had risen to over 80, but fell to only 67 c. 1830. (fn. 227)
Inevitably poverty affected the position of the clergy in Barford. After the 16th century vicars seem to have been treated as perpetual curates and their presentations were rarely recorded in diocesan sources. James Webbe, vicar in 1549, a captain of the Oxfordshire rising of that year, was sent for execution at Aylesbury. (fn. 228) His successor, Thomas Webbe, appointed in the following year by the Crown, may have been a relation. (fn. 229) He occasionally and Roger Bond (15911640) frequently participated in the making of Barford wills and presumably shared fully in the life of their flock. Bond was also vicar of South Newington and probably lived there. (fn. 230) Non-residence was the rule later. In 1738 the perpetual curate lived in Deddington, where he was vicar. (fn. 231) Lionel Lampet (175195) also held a rich Berkshire living and lived at Steeple Aston, where he kept a grammar school. (fn. 232) He was an articulate and enterprising personality whose ministrations seem to have been appreciated. He was appointed at the request of the parishioners, who agreed to raise 5 a year for him, in order that he might hold a service every Sunday, in place of once a fortnight which had been the custom 'time out of mind', (fn. 233) and the number of communicants rose from 12 to about 30. He tried to provide a vicarage house. The vicar of 1412 had been given a share of the rectory house, which stood near the manor house and backed on to the millstream. (fn. 234) This was probably the house which existed in 1662 when it had 4 hearths, comparable to the houses of the minor gentry. (fn. 235) In 1757 it was in ruins and Lampet exchanged it with the lord of the manor for a little dairy house near the church, (fn. 236) apparently the present house west of the church; but the project was not carried through to produce a fit residence.
Lampet's successor Samuel Parker (1795 1826), a wealthy pluralist, lived in Winterbourne (Glos.) where he was rector, (fn. 237) and from 1788 the Barford house was let to the overseers to house paupers; in 1806 it was said to have always been used for this purpose. (fn. 238) Parker's successor, though he had no other cure, was forced to live at Bloxham. (fn. 239) Parker employed curates, also nonresident, but by 1817 (fn. 240) services had improved, having reached a low point at the turn of the century; (fn. 241) communion was administered once a month in place of three times a year and there were two services on the first Sunday of every month and great festivals. (fn. 242)
Barford was not deeply affected by the revival of church life until the incumbency of Philip Hookins (185191), (fn. 243) who brought about a restoration of the church and, despite the lack of local financial aid, raised money to rebuild the vicarage house under the supervision of G. E. Street in 18556. (fn. 244) He then became resident, but held several other cures, including that of Barford St. John. (fn. 245) Barford was among the few Oxfordshire livings at that time to have only a single Sunday service, (fn. 246) and there were not two services until the late 1870s. In 1889 Hookins gave some 25 a. to the living, part of his outlay being covered by a grant from Queen Anne's Bounty. (fn. 247) It was largely through him that the two Barfords were united and placed under the bishop's patronage in 1890. (fn. 248) From 1938 the living was held in plurality with that of Wigginton and from 1968 with that of South Newington. (fn. 249)
The church of ST. MICHAEL (fn. 250) stands at the west end of the village on a mound which seems to be man-made, perhaps to support extensions to the original building. (fn. 251) It comprises a chancel, nave, south aisle, north and south porches, and a low embattled tower in the angle between the chancel and south aisle. (fn. 252) In the 12th century the church seems to have comprised only a chancel and short nave, with the tower, perhaps because of the nature of the site, built in an unusual position on the south side of the chancel; the continuation of the tower's plinth moulding around the west side shows that there was no aisle. The church was distinguished by ornate north and south doorways of c. 1150. The superior quality of the north door, with its elaborate beakhead design, (fn. 253) suggests that then, as later, the manor house and village lay on that side of the church.
During the 13th century the church was enlarged in two stages. In the first the south arcade of two bays and a narrow aisle were added and the south doorway presumably repositioned; in the second the nave and aisle were extended westwards by one bay. The chancel arch was rebuilt and the chancel perhaps extended eastwards. In the earlier 14th century the south aisle was widened, the south doorway reset in the western bay, and the north wall refenestrated and perhaps rebuilt. It may be then that the north doorway was moved to its present position in the western bay. Also in the 14th century the north porch was added, the chancel remodelled, and the tower's upper stage added or rebuilt. In the 15th century a large east window was inserted, the roofs of nave and chancel rebuilt, and two more bellopenings inserted in the tower. The east window was replaced by a much smaller window in the 17th century.
There were occasional complaints about the condition of the chancel, (fn. 254) and in 1684 roof repairs were held up because several landowners refused to contribute. (fn. 255) Both chancel and church were in poor condition in the mid 18th century, but 40 was spent in 1796, a gallery of unknown date repaired in 1805, two bells replaced in 1810, and a sanctus bell added. (fn. 256) Shortage of funds meant that a restoration in 1854 under the supervision of G. E. Street was limited in scope; (fn. 257) much of the floor was tiled, the western gallery removed, and the church substantially repewed, although a few medieval poppy-head bench ends survive. The 15th-century carved wooden screen, originally surmounted by a roodloft, was restored. The plain south porch was added probably at that time; an earlier, presumably medieval, porch had been removed before 1823. (fn. 258)
The church contains a 12th-century tub font. (fn. 259) The monuments include a brass to William Fox (d. 1502) and his wife Joan (d. 1495), presumably ordered by himself since his date of death was not completed, and floor slabs in the chancel to several members of the Sheppard family, to William Cumming, M.D. (d. 1746), and John Stevenson (d. 1810). The north door has decorative strap hinges which may be of the 12th century. The lectern and prayer desk incorporate Jacobean panelling, although the latter at least was built in the mid 19th century. (fn. 260) The stone pulpit apparently replaced a carved wooden one in the 1890s, (fn. 261) but an earlier stone pulpit was mentioned in 1853. (fn. 262) In 1975 an organ, removed from the church at Clifton in Deddington, was installed in memory of Canon A. J. S. Hart, vicar 193868. (fn. 263) The plate includes a chalice of c. 1571. (fn. 264)
A few recusants were reported in the 16th century, (fn. 265) but there was evidently no strong tradition in the parish. In 1676 there were two Protestant nonconformists in Barford who may have been Quakers, of whom several were recorded there in the late 17th century. (fn. 266) In 1738 there were three Quakers, two Anabaptists, and three Presbyterians, described predictably by the incumbent as 'of the meaner sort'. (fn. 267)
A meeting house for Independents licensed in 1783 (fn. 268) was not recorded thereafter. In 1798 George Nelson's house was licensed for Methodists and in 1799 mobs harassed the meeting, on one occasion throwing the preacher, John Leonard of Deddington, into a pond at Barford and then into another at Hempton; damages of 8 gns. were paid for by the rioters. (fn. 269) In 1819 the congregation moved to Joseph Lovell's house. By 1822 the congregation may have grown, for a barn was licensed, and in 1832 Thomas Lovell's house. (fn. 270) The surviving chapel was built in 1840. (fn. 271) Those connected with the movement in the early 19th century were not among the leading families, and many were craftsmen. On census day in 1851 there was a congregation of 40 in the morning and 92 in the evening. (fn. 272) The incumbent in 1854 thought there were only 6 or 7 regular members and an average attendance of between 20 and 50. (fn. 273) Twelve years later the incumbent claimed that there were no more than eight families of 'out and out dissenters', but admitted that the Methodist chapel drew many more occasional attenders, sometimes as many as 100 for the evening service. (fn. 274) The congregation had joined the Wesleyan Reformers by 1864. (fn. 275) The chapel continued in use in 1978.
A Baptist community had a meeting house in 1823 and built itself a chapel in 1838. (fn. 276) It had an average congregation in 1851 of 20; in 1854 the incumbent claimed there were only 2 members and an average attendance of between 7 and 10. (fn. 277) The chapel was closed in the 1890s and became a reading room; (fn. 278) it survives as the garage of a private house.
No school was mentioned before the 19th century, and it was perhaps a conspicuous absence of education at Barford which attracted the attention of the pious and wealthy William Wilson of Nether Worton. He may have been behind a Sunday school supported by private subscription which existed from 1802, (fn. 279) and certainly in 1815 founded a National day-school for c. 50 boys and girls, also supported at first by subscription. (fn. 280) After his death in 1821 his heirs continued to finance the school, and the children were not required to contribute. The school was described as 'very good'. The master was paid 20 a year; children were admitted at 5 years old and girls left at 16 to go into service, while the boys left somewhat younger. There was a Sunday school attached to the school. (fn. 281)
The school seems to have declined after the 1830s, possibly because of a withdrawal of support by the Wilsons. A school existing in 1852 (fn. 282) was said by the vicar, Philip Hookins, to have been established by him for both the Barfords. It consisted of c. 50 children over five and an infant school for c. 10, only the latter being assisted. (fn. 283) Presumably the derelict vicarage house was used, for when Hookins restored it c. 1857 and became resident he was obliged to give the school the use of his kitchen; he complained that he had 'not a farthing of help' from the parish. (fn. 284) He made a similar complaint in 1866 when there was a day-school for c. 50 children, a Sunday school for c. 35, and a winter evening school for adults attended by 13 pupils. (fn. 285)
In 1875 a school was built on the north side of Church Street with the aid of a building grant, although no annual government grant was received before 1877. (fn. 286) Thereafter the school was financed by grant and subscriptions. (fn. 287) In the early 20th century there were usually 60 or 70 pupils, including infants. (fn. 288) The school was reorganized as a junior school in 1930 and had an average attendance of 23, the senior children of the parish travelling to Deddington. By 1954 numbers had fallen to fewer than a dozen, and the school was closed in 1957 and sold in 1959. (fn. 289)
Charities for the Poor.
In 1567 there was a close given by John Phillips, a former vicar, to provide 4s. annually for food and drink for the poor. There were also 4 lands in the common fields of unknown origin but applied to the same end. (fn. 290) The rent from the close, later known as Whitebread close, was spent every year on bread and ale to be drunk in church after the service. The practice led to riots in church and in 1759 Lionel Lampet was trying to turn the money to a better use; the lessee threatened to withhold the rent unless it was spent in the old way. (fn. 291) At inclosure in 1808 the income from Whitebread close was amalgamated with that from the other charitable lands. Another close and a half yardland known as the Town lands or Poor's land existed in 1681, (fn. 292) the rent of which in 1759 was divided directly among the poor. (fn. 293) Probably, as in 1787 and later, the profits were thrown indiscriminately into the poor-relief funds. (fn. 294)
At inclosure 11 a. in all were allotted to the poor; the rent was used to buy coal, a practice followed into the 20th century under the administration of the parish council. By 1852 the land (known as Fernhill) had been divided into allotments, let to 34 poor men of the parish, but later was again let in one piece. (fn. 295) Under a Scheme of 1974 the income (then 60) was to be given to the poor in cash or kind. (fn. 296)
In 1895 Ann Hall gave 2,000 to provide hospital subscriptions, nursing for sick children, or relief in kind to the poor of the Barfords; she named the charity, in memory of her husband, the Major Charles Hall Memorial charity. (fn. 297) In the early 20th century it was administered in conjunction with a clothing club. (fn. 298) In 19723 an income of c. 120 was distributed mostly in food and coal. Under a Scheme of 1974 the income was to be given in cash or kind. (fn. 299)
Justinian Sheppard by will proved 1714 gave a house known as the Bakehouse with a. and 1 cow common for the schooling and apprenticing of two poor children. (fn. 300) At inclosure 2 a. were allotted for the cow common, and later became absorbed in the Poor's land; the sum of 2 was usually paid by one charity to the other for that reason. In the 19th century the charity was used to provide a boy's premium and outfit of clothes every few years. (fn. 301) In 1939 the charity was yielding only 10 a year, (fn. 302) but in 1970 the Bakehouse property, described as two dilapidated cottages and a., was sold for c. 6,000. Under a Scheme of 1972, replacing one of 1918, the charity was to be used for apprenticing or otherwise aiding children's education, and in 19778 much of the income (c. 940) was given in grants to local students. (fn. 303)