A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 11, Wootton Hundred (Northern Part). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1983.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Westcott Barton, a small parish of 1,049 a. (425 ha.), lies 11 miles (18 km.) north of Oxford and 9 miles (14 km.) south of Banbury. (fn. 1) Until 1932 it was intermixed with the neighbouring parish of Steeple Barton, and the two parishes have been closely connected throughout their history.
The boundary of the modern parish of Westcott Barton (fn. 2) follows the Cockley brook on much of the north, the Kiddington-Worton road on much of the east, and the Wootton-Sandford road on part of the west. Elsewhere the boundary follows field boundaries. The parish is long and narrow, curling round the west and north sides of Steeple Barton. The land rises to c. 160 m. in the north and south but falls to 120 m. along the river Dorn which crosses the parish from west to east. The uplands are mainly of the Great Oolite limestone, but along the Dorn there are bands of alluvium, clay, and Chipping Norton limestone. The village lies partly on the clay and partly on the Chipping Norton limestone. (fn. 3)
Some detached areas of the parish were inclosed during the 18th century, but most of the fields remained open until parliamentary inclosure in 1796, and there were no outlying farmhouses. Downhill Farm, the rectory farmhouse, was first recorded in 1833 and Horsehay Farm, on the Duns Tew road, c. 1840. (fn. 4) The 17th-century Manor Farm, nearly ½ mile west of the church, is probably the westernmost house of a scattered village rather than an early outlying farm.
The Bicester-Enstone road, turnpiked in 1793 and disturnpiked in 1876, (fn. 5) runs through the parish, crossing the Dorn south-west of the church. A minor road leads from it to Sandford St. Martin; another minor road, leading from Westcott Barton village across the fields to Duns Tew, was stopped at inclosure. (fn. 6)
The Westcott Barton bridge repaired in 1755 was probably a footbridge on the Enstone road. The first carriage bridge on that road was built c. 1794, presumably by the turnpike trustees. (fn. 7) It was apparently repaired by the parish in 1830, and was rebuilt as a county bridge in 1868. (fn. 8) Responsibility for the repair of the footbridge on the Kiddington road was disputed between Westcott and Steeple Barton in 1859; in 1867 the bridge was rebuilt as a carriage bridge by public subscription. (fn. 9) A bridge in High Meadow, presumably over the Cockley brook on the Duns Tew road, was recorded between 1743 and 1795, and one at 'Stewards' in 1747 and 1759. (fn. 10)
In the later 19th century a carrier from the village travelled to Banbury once or twice a week, and in the early 20th century another went to Oxford once a week. (fn. 11) The nearest railway station is Lower Heyford, opened in 1850; (fn. 12) the nearest post office is at Middle Barton.
Westcott Barton, as its name implies, (fn. 13) was a small, secondary, settlement of the earlier parish or estate of Barton. By 1066, however, it was a separate manor, and almost certainly had its own church. (fn. 14) It has remained considerably smaller than the neighbouring Steeple Barton, and in the Middle Ages was occasionally called Little Barton. (fn. 15) The original settlement was probably around the church, where the remains of house platforms and boundary banks are still visible, (fn. 16) but by the 18th century the focus of the village had moved east, towards the western edge of Middle Barton, and most houses lay along the lane leading south to the mill, the modern Fox Lane. In 1796 there were two cottages on the turnpike road south of the Dorn, and a house and cottages on the Sandford road, between the church and Manor Farm. (fn. 17) The 19th-century Manor House was built in 1858–9 on what had previously been agricultural land. In the 19th century and the 20th more houses were built along the main road on the east side of the parish, so that Westcott and Middle Barton have merged into a single village; other houses were built on the western edge of the village, on the north side of the Enstone road.
In 1086 Westcott Barton was cultivated by 19 men, 5 of them serfs. (fn. 18) The population had increased, perhaps by about a quarter, by 1279 when 22 tenants were recorded on the manor. (fn. 19) Only 24 adults paid poll tax in 1377, (fn. 20) suggesting that Westcott Barton, like Steeple Barton, had suffered severely from the Black Death and other disasters of the earlier 14th century. The population had recovered by 1640 when the rector and 40 adult men took the protestation oath; (fn. 21) it may have fallen slightly again in the middle of the century, for in 1676 only 70 adults were reported in the parish. (fn. 22) In the 18th century there were between 25 and 30 houses; in 1774 there were 28 families. (fn. 23) In 1801 there were 184 people in 37 houses in the parish. The population rose to 302 in 70 houses in 1861, by which date, however, there were already six uninhabited houses, suggesting that the real peak in population growth had been reached in the 1850s. (fn. 24) An apparent fall between 1841 and 1851 was caused by a minor boundary change in the village. (fn. 25) Between 1861 and 1961 the population declined steadily, reaching a low point of 114 persons in 38 houses in 1961. In 1971 there were 45 households and a total population of 138. (fn. 26)
There were several prosperous yeomen or minor gentry in the village in the 17th century, notably members of the Ford, Dandridge, Buswell, and Wright families who occupied Park, Manor, and Elm Grove Farms. All those families died out during the 18th century, and their properties were sold to men from outside the parish. In 1831 the parish was very poor, there being no resident gentry and the few farmers impoverished by the agricultural depression, and it was still 'exceedingly poor' in 1855. (fn. 27) The buildings of the village reflect its history. Most are small cottages of coursed rubble with slate or tiled roofs. A house on the east side of Fox Lane is of slightly better quality, having stone mullioned windows and drip moulds. Only one house, on the south bank of the Dorn near the ford, is dated: B/WE/1722 probably for William and Elizabeth Bath. Park Farm, south-west of the church, was rebuilt in the 19th century, but the 18th-century Elm Grove Farm, or Middle Barton Pottery, survives. It stands on high ground between the main road and the Dorn, facing south towards the river. It is a three-storeyed house of coursed rubble, probably built in the mid 18th century and refronted in ashlar later in the century. The south front has sash windows and a fanlight over the central door. The house was held in 1796 by William Weston, and was probably that rented in the late 18th century by Sir William Doyley. (fn. 28) It may be on the site of the house with seven hearths, the largest in the parish, occupied by Matthew Wright in 1662. (fn. 29) The only large buildings erected in the 19th century were the manor house and the rectory house. (fn. 30) The cottages were described in 1868 as 'very small and poor', usually of only three rooms. The Dorn served for both water supply and drainage. (fn. 31) In 1882 four cottages still had no privies and were in a 'filthy state', conditions which were blamed for an outbreak of scarlet fever. (fn. 32)
From the 18th century there has usually been one licensed public house in Westcott Barton. In the early 1740s it was owned by Elizabeth Bath, and was perhaps the dated house by the ford. (fn. 33) Later, the public house apparently stood on the western edge of the village, on the Enstone road south of the Dorn; it was called the White Horse in 1788, but changed its name to the Fleur de Luce in 1796. In 1809 it was replaced by the Fox, on the corner of the Enstone road and Fox Lane, which remained open in 1980. (fn. 34)
The village feast was still kept for two days in mid October in the early 20th century, and children toured the village with garlands on May Day. A Christmas mummers' play, recorded in 1870, had ceased by 1904. (fn. 35)
Manors and Other Estates.
Before the Conquest Westcott Barton, with Little Tew, Duns Tew, and Dunthrop, was held freely by Leofwine of Barton. In 1086 Westcott Barton was held by Gilbert Maminot, bishop of Lisieux, (fn. 36) in whose family it remained until the early 12th century when it passed to Ralph de Keynes in marriage with the bishop's grandniece Alice Maminot. (fn. 37) William de Keynes was overlord in 1242–3, and his son Robert in 1279 held Westcott Barton in chief as of the manor of Tarrant Keynston (Dors.). (fn. 38) Thereafter the descent of the overlordship is obscure. In 1483 the manor was held of the king as of the earldom of Hereford, and in the early 17th century it was held of the earldom as parcel of the duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 39)
In 1086 Rotroc held the manor of the bishop. (fn. 40) The next recorded lord was Alexander of Barton, who held in the late 12th century. (fn. 41) He was succeeded by his son William of Barton who in 1229 seems to have settled the manor on his son, another William. (fn. 42) The second William was dead by 1238 when his heir, a minor, was in ward to Hugh Paynel, husband of William Keynes's widow Lettice. (fn. 43) Hugh still held in wardship in 1242–3, but c. 1260 the lord was Peter of Barton who was still holding in 1279. (fn. 44) Hugh of Barton held in 1316. (fn. 45) In 1331 Hugh's son Peter settled the manor on Robert of Barton, presumably his son, with remainder to Robert's sons Hugh, Robert, and Thomas, and his daughter Margaret. (fn. 46) Hugh of Barton was lord in 1346, but in 1428 the fee was held by Margaret Paynel. (fn. 47) On Margaret's death the manor was divided between her daughters Agnes wife of Thomas Beckingham and Elizabeth wife of Richard Hawtrey. Between 1475 and 1483 it was disputed between Margaret's great-grandsons Edward Beckingham and Thomas Hawtrey. (fn. 48) The manor seems to have descended in moieties thereafter, although each moiety was treated as a manor.
Edward Beckingham died in 1483 (fn. 49) and was succeeded by his son Richard who, with his son Robert, in 1542 leased the manor to John Cupper. (fn. 50) Cupper acquired the freehold before 1581 when he settled the manor on his son Richard and his heirs. (fn. 51) Richard died in 1583, and the manor passed to his infant daughter Elizabeth who later married John Hayes. (fn. 52) In 1612 Elizabeth and John Hayes conveyed it to John Martin who in 1624 assigned it to Richard Ford. (fn. 53) Ford alienated the manor before his death in 1638, (fn. 54) but no record of the transaction survives.
The other moiety of the manor passed from Elizabeth Hawtrey to her son and grandson, both called Thomas Hawtrey. (fn. 55) Between 1533 and 1544 it was in dispute between Thomas Boldrey, son and heir of Elizabeth Barnesley formerly Boldrey, and Jerome Heydon who claimed to have bought the manor from Elizabeth. (fn. 56) In 1545–6 Thomasina Heydon and Thomas Boldrey granted an estate in Westcott Barton to Michael Dormer of London, and in 1547 it was held by his son John Dormer. (fn. 57) Before 1587 the manor had passed to Thomas Norwood who devised it to his grandson John. (fn. 58) John died in 1612, devising Westcott Barton to his son-in-law James Aris whose son Edward sold it in 1636 to Henry Clarke. (fn. 59) From Clarke the manor passed in 1655 to Matthew Wright on whose death in 1679 it was sold. (fn. 60)
By 1687 Robert Buswell had acquired one or both moieties of the manor, (fn. 61) which descended in his family until the late 18th century. In 1770 John Buswell settled one moiety of his manor on himself and the other moiety on himself for life with reversion to his wife and his daughter Ann who in 1772 married John Carter. In 1773 Buswell sold his moiety to Samuel Churchill of Deddington, and in 1788 and 1795 John and Ann Carter sold Churchill their interest in the other moiety. John Carter died in 1817, and in 1818 Ann repudiated the sale to Churchill and made a new settlement of her moiety of the manor. On her death in 1820 it was sold to William Wilson of Worton whose son in 1857 sold it to Jenner Marshall. In the same year Marshall bought the other moiety of the manor from Isaac Berridge who had bought it c. 1839 from Samuel Churchill's son Samuel. (fn. 62) From Jenner Marshall, who built up a large estate in the parish, the manor passed to his son J. G. Marshall (d. 1908), to J. G. Marshall's son J. S. C. Marshall (d. 1916) and daughter Elizabeth Eleanor de Peyster Marshall who sold it in 1925 to Jenner Marshall's younger son, F. E. Marshall. F. E. Marshall died in 1950, and in 1954 the estate was sold. (fn. 63)
The medieval manor house of Westcott Barton was presumably on the site of Park Farm, southwest of the church. It was held in the early 17th century by Richard Ford (d. 1638), and passed, with an estate of 12 yardlands, to his son Richard, and then, by a series of mortgages and conveyances, to Thomas Dandridge whose son Thomas in 1746 sold it to William Taylor of Sandford. Taylor's son, another William, held it at inclosure in 1796. The property was acquired in 1861 by Jenner Marshall. (fn. 64)
The manor house of the Buswell family was Manor Farm, just outside the village on the west. It is an earlier 17th-century house in two ranges which was refronted and partly refitted late in the 18th century. In 1858 and 1859 Jenner Marshall built a new manor house on the western edge of the parish, on land awarded at inclosure in lieu of manorial rights. The house, in Tudor style, was designed by G. P. Manners. (fn. 65)
The Hospitallers held 1 yardland of Peter of Barton in 1279; the later descent of the property, which was a dependancy of their estate at Gosford, has not been traced. (fn. 66) In 1513 Magdalen College held a cottage in Westcott Barton, and in 1550 Simon Perrot sold the college a further 3 a. of land, which had been given to endow lights in the church. (fn. 67) In 1675 and 1770 the property was described as a cottage and 2 a. of land, and by inclosure in 1796 the estate, held by James Parsons, had become two cottages and ½ a. (fn. 68) The college still held the property in 1872, (fn. 69) but had sold it before 1980.
In 1279 tenants on the manor owed suit to Peter of Barton's manor court. (fn. 70) There is no further record of the court until the early 19th century, when it was called a court leet and held at Manor Farm. The last and only recorded meeting, in 1823, gave permission for the building of a cottage on the waste. (fn. 71)
The usual parish officers were elected in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 72) The constable maintained the parish pound (shared with Middle Barton), the stocks, the handcuffs, and the town gun. His main work was collecting taxes, attending petty and quarter sessions, and guarding accused men on their way to court, but he also made payments to travelling beggars, among them, in 1744, 'a man that had great hurt by the Turks', and paid at least some of the expenses of repairing roads and bridges although there were also surveyors of the highways. Money was raised by a levy on each yardland. (fn. 73)
Poor relief was reported to have cost the parish £19 in 1776 and an average of £33 a year from 1783–5. (fn. 74) Thereafter it rose steadily to £120 in 1799–1800, and sharply to £279 in 1800–1 and 1801–2; the rise seems to have been due largely to the doubling of numbers on relief. (fn. 75) Though expenditure fell again to £150 (c. 16s. a head of population) in 1802–3, it was still five times as great as in 1783–5, an unusually rapid rise for the region. Between then and 1834 costs per head ranged from £1 to £1 4s. (in 1820), the highest recorded total expenditure being £304 in 1832. (fn. 76) The numbers on regular out-relief rose from 6 in 1786 to c. 15 in 1800, fell to c. 7 in 1804, and then rose fairly steadily to c. 20 in 1812, a figure which was reached again in 1817 and 1819. Roundsmen are first identifiable in 1797, and in 1820 there were still 10 men paid 'for days'. (fn. 77) A ruling by the local justices in 1820 that roundsmen should not be paid seems to have been ignored, for rounding was said to be in operation in the Bartons in the 1820s. (fn. 78)
There was no workhouse, but two parish cottages were probably used to house the poor. The overseers paid rents for some paupers. In 1831 and 1832 women were appointed as overseers. (fn. 79) Westcott Barton was included in the Woodstock poor law union in 1834, being transferred from the Woodstock to the Chipping Norton rural district in 1932; (fn. 80) in 1977 it became part of West Oxfordshire district.
There is archaeological evidence of a church at Westcott Barton in the 11th century, and its original dedication to St. Edmund of East Anglia suggests that it was a 10th-or early 11thcentury foundation. (fn. 81) From 1951 the living was held in plurality with Steeple Barton, and in 1960 the benefices were united. In 1977 the united benefice was united with Sandford St. Martin and Duns Tew. (fn. 82)
The church was given to Eynsham abbey by Alexander of Barton between 1180 and 1189, (fn. 83) and the abbey retained the advowson of the rectory until the Dissolution when it passed to the Crown. In 1557 it was sold to John Cupper; a later sale to speculators did not take effect. (fn. 84) William Raynsford of Wilcote presented in 1557 by virtue of a grant of one turn by Eynsham abbey in 1534, (fn. 85) but Cupper presented in 1566 and 1572, the presentee in 1566 being William Cupper. (fn. 86) The advowson was included in 17thcentury conveyances of both moieties of the manor, (fn. 87) but no lord exercised it. In 1631 John Cupper's granddaughter Elizabeth and her husband John Hayes granted a turn to Thomas Belcher, clerk, presumably the man presented in 1640 by William Belcher. A similar arrangement had been made when Henry Cockson in 1680 presented Edward Cockson. (fn. 88) By 1712 the advowson was held by John Welchman who presented William Welchman. Members of the Welchman family presented in 1749 and, with members of the Seagrave family, in 1760 and 1763. (fn. 89) The Seagraves retained the advowson until 1920 when Miss M. K. Seagrave devised it to Donald Tait, from whom it passed, before 1938, to Cecily Margaret Webb, (fn. 90) one of the patrons of the joint benefice in 1980.
The medieval rectory was poorly endowed, and burdened with an annual pension of 6s. 8d. to Eynsham abbey. (fn. 91) The net value of the living was £2 13s. 4d. in 1254, and £4 6s. 8d. in 1291; (fn. 92) in 1535 it was £7. (fn. 93) By 1675 the income had risen to £51 gross, £44 net, derived mainly from the great tithes of 35½ yardlands, worth £35, and 2 yardlands of glebe, worth £10; the outgoings included £5 for a 'customary dinner' and £2 for an entertainment for the parish at Easter. (fn. 94) In 1715 the living was worth £75. (fn. 95) Inclosure in 1796 increased the value of the living which in 1808 was worth c. £140 net, all arising from the 208–a. allotment for glebe and tithe. (fn. 96) In 1831 and 1851 it was worth c. £180. (fn. 97)
The 18th-century rectory house, and presumably its medieval predecessor, lay east of the church. (fn. 98) It contained 3 hearths in 1662. (fn. 99) Although the 17th-century rectors lived in the house, in 1739 part and from c. 1743 the whole of it was let to tenants. (fn. 100) In 1805 it was divided into two tenements. (fn. 101) In 1815 it was occupied by the tenant of the glebe farm, and in 1831 by a labouring family. (fn. 102) In 1838 the rector, Samuel Young Seagrave, built a new house on part of the glebe allotment on the north side of the main road, opposite the church, and laid out extensive gardens. The house, a two-storey building of rubble and ashlar with a small porch on the west front, was originally roughly square with two courtyards of offices and outbuildings on the north. At some date, possibly c. 1916, the southern courtyard was filled in and the outbuildings on the north incorporated into the house. In 1939 it contained three sitting rooms and ten bedrooms. (fn. 103) The house was replaced as the rectory house in 1964 by a new house built on the former glebe land east of the church. (fn. 104)
Some of the earlier medieval rectors seem to have owed their presentation to connexions with Eynsham abbey. William and Robert de la Pomerai, rectors 1250–67 and 1267–99, almost certainly belonged to the family which held Caswell in Curbridge (in Witney) from Eynsham abbey. (fn. 105) Many were M.A.s or held higher degrees from Oxford university, but they were usually non-resident or pluralists. (fn. 106) In the 1220s the church was served by a vicar, Thomas of Barton, who held the church for life, paying a pension of 20s. a year to the rector. (fn. 107) In 1460 the rector, Henry Says, received a papal dispensation to hold an additional benefice. Richard Smith, rector 1494–1504, probably resided on his other benefice of Wirksworth (Derb.) where he founded a chantry. (fn. 108) Church life seems to have been at a low ebb c. 1520 when the rector was accused of immorality, of failing to say the offices at the proper times, and of failing to repair the chancel, and the churchwardens were presented for not rendering their accounts and for providing an unsatisfactory holy water, or parish, clerk. (fn. 109) The rector escaped further criticism in 1530 when it was alleged that Elizabeth Boldrey had not paid the money left to the church by her husband, William. (fn. 110) There was an endowed light or lights in the church. (fn. 111)
William Webb, rector 1557–66, conformed to the Elizabethan settlement. (fn. 112) The 17th and 18th centuries were marked by long incumbencies, most rectors holding the living in plurality with Steeple Barton or Sandford St. Martin. (fn. 113) Richard Gregson held the living for 56 years from 1584 to 1640; his successor Thomas Belcher, 1640–80, was deprived in 1646, perhaps for pluralism as he held Steeple Barton and Sandford St. Martin. The intruded minister, John Bowen, was alleged to have treated him harshly. (fn. 114) The next rector, Edward Cockson, 1680–1712, a vigorous oponent of the Quakers, (fn. 115) held Steeple Barton in plurality; he farmed the glebe, and although his successor later alleged that he died destitute, his goods, principally his cattle, corn, and wool, were valued at c. £100. (fn. 116) William Welchman, rector 1712–49, held the living of Dodford (Northants.) where he resided for much of the year. He spent the latter part of his incumbency arguing with the bishop, trying to avoid either residing in Westcott Barton himself or supplying a suitable curate. His preoccupation with his health and 'worldly concerns' led to difficulties with his parishioners, some of whom, he claimed, delighted 'to make and keep their parson poor', while others 'would sacrifice my ease and interest to their own little ends'. (fn. 117) His successor, John Blake, 1749–60, served the cure from Worton; in 1759 he had an assistant curate who lived in Enstone. (fn. 118) From 1763 to 1852 the living was held by members of the Seagrave family who also held the advowson. None of them resided until S. Y. Seagrave rebuilt the rectory house in 1838, and most were pluralists; the living was served by a succession of poorly paid, non-resident curates, many of whom served two or more churches. (fn. 119) The number of Sunday services declined from two in 1738 and 1759 to two in the summer and one in the winter in 1768 and 1774, and to only one in 1802. The number of communicants at the quarterly administration of the sacrament fell from 15 in 1768 to c. 8 in 1811. The average congregation in 1831 was 40–50 out of a population of 258, and services were unchanged in 1834. (fn. 120) The bishop failed to persuade John Seagrave, rector 1813–36, to increase the number of Sunday services or to improve the rectory house. (fn. 121) S. Y. Seagrave, 1836–52, though resident after 1838, was according to Bishop Wilberforce 'dry, frigid, and unzealous' and too fond of hunting. (fn. 122) In 1851 Seagrave reported congregations of 129 in the morning and 150 in the afternoon of Census Sunday, but admitted that numbers were swelled by parishioners of Steeple Barton whose own church was being rebuilt. (fn. 123)
Edmund Leopold Lockyer, rector 1852–1900, at first found the parish 'a very turbulent, undisciplined place' and complained of rowdy behaviour in church. By 1854 he had introduced daily morning service and a monthly communion for c. 16 communicants, but Sunday congregations remained low, averaging 60–70, and two thirds of the parish were dissenters, a legacy of the neglect of the previous century. (fn. 124) Congregations rose to 80–90 in 1866, and in 1872 only a third of the population, half of them dissenters, regularly stayed away from church. The number of communicants rose to c. 40 in 1878 when the number of communion services was increased to two a month. (fn. 125) Church life declined again towards the end of Lockyer's long incumbency, but revived under his successor. (fn. 126)
The church of ST. EDWARD THE CONFESSOR (fn. 127) comprises chancel, nave with south aisle and south porch, and west tower. Excavation has revealed that an earlier nave was twice extended westwards before the south aisle was added in the mid 12th century. (fn. 128) The aisle arcadé of two arches and a tomb recess in the south wall of the aisle both date from the mid 12th century. Later in the century the chancel arch was rebuilt. In the 15th century the church was extensively remodelled. The chancel and north wall of the nave were rebuilt; new windows and a doorway were put into the south aisle; and the west tower and stair turret and south porch were added. Despite this work, the chancel was said to be in ruins c. 1520. (fn. 129) Surviving medieval fittings include a wooden pulpit, part of the rood screen, and some of the woodwork of the south door.
In 1824 the church was reroofed. It was restored in 1855 and 1856, under the direction of G. E. Street. A western gallery, presumably erected in the 18th century, was removed, as were the 'most inconsistent' pews, and the roofs were replaced. A new font was placed at the west end of the church; the pulpit and rood screen were repaired, the screen being repainted; doors and windows were replaced. (fn. 130) Further repairs and restoration work were carried out in 1965, and in 1977 the Victorian tile floor was removed. (fn. 131)
The monuments include plaques to John (d. 1768) and Elizabeth (d. 1767) Buswell, and to several members of the Marshall and Lockyer families. In the churchyard is a 15th-century tomb chest with brass indent and a late medieval cross base.
The plate includes a silver chalice with paten cover, dated 1574, a late 17th- or early 18thcentury pewter flagon, and two pewter plates of c. 1750. (fn. 132) There are three bells, the earliest of c. 1490. (fn. 133)
Dame schools were reported in 1808, but they had apparently closed by 1811, and in 1815 the 15 parish children attending school went to Middle Barton or Sandford. (fn. 134) A school for 30 boys, supported by the parents, was started in 1827, and a similar one for 12 girls in 1832. (fn. 135) In 1834, however, there was no school in the parish. (fn. 136) In 1836 the rector re-established a day school and started a Sunday school, both supported by subscriptions and school pence. (fn. 137) There were 30 children at the day school in 1854 and 1866, but only 22, most of them under 10, in 1868, and only 20 in 1870. (fn. 138) The school was held in a rented cottage, and closed in 1878 when the lease expired. (fn. 139) Thereafter Westcott Barton children attended schools in Middle Barton or Sandford St. Martin. In 1979 younger children went to Middle Barton county primary school, and seniors to Chipping Norton comprehensive. (fn. 140)
Charities for the Poor.
John Norwood by will dated 1612 gave £10; Richard Ford (d. 1638) £10, Robert Buswell by will dated 1708 £10, John Buswell of North Aston by will dated 1724 £5, Edmund Buswell by will dated 1731 £5, and Robert Buswell by will dated 1734 £10, the interest to be distributed to the poor. In 1750 the money from all six legacies was invested in land in Middle Barton. In 1825 and 1868 the whole income was distributed in bread at Christmas and Easter. (fn. 141)
At inclosure in 1796 a plot of c. 14 a. was allotted to trustees for the poor in lieu of their right to cut fuel. (fn. 142) The land was leased to tenants until 1850 when it was divided into allotments and let to the poor, the rent being distributed in coal. By a Scheme of 1869 the profits of the charity were to be distributed in fuel or clothing or used to support fuel or clothing clubs. (fn. 143)
By a Scheme of 1970 the Westcott Barton charities were united with those of Steeple Barton. (fn. 144)