Coordinates: 51°52′19″N 1°28′55″W / 51.872°N 1.482°W / 51.872; -1.482

Hixet Wood, Charlbury.jpg
Charlbury is located in Oxfordshire

 Charlbury shown within Oxfordshire
Population 2,984 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SP3519
District West Oxfordshire
Shire county Oxfordshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Chipping Norton
Postcode district OX7
Dialling code 01608
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Witney
Website Charlbury Town Council
List of places: UK • England • Oxfordshire

Charlbury (play /ˈɑrlbri/ or /ˈɔrlbri/, locally /ˈtʃɔwbri/) is a small town and civil parish in the Evenlode valley, about 6 miles (9.7 km) north of Witney in West Oxfordshire. It is on the edge of the Wychwood forest and the Cotswolds.


Place name

The origin of the town's toponym is obscure. At first sight it may appear to relate to the name 'Charles' but some[2] hold it to derive from the Old English word ceorl (probably pronounced /tʃɔrl/) meaning "freeman of the lowest class", whence the Modern English words "churl" and "churlish" (which are now used only in a derogatory sense), whilst other sources state it to derive from the Old English personal name Ceorl.[3] For this reason some hold the latter two pronunciations more valid than the former, and the current spelling incorrect, preferring 'Chorlbury'. Both the name 'Charles'/Ceorl and the word ceorl/'churl' derive from the same Proto-Germanic word *karlaz.[4]

Notable buildings

On the outskirts of Charlbury is Lee Place, the former Dower house of Ditchley[5] and now the home of the Duchess of Marlborough.[citation needed] Cornbury Park, now owned by Lord Rotherwick, contains a 17th century country house designed partly by the architect Hugh May.[6]

Parish church

The Church of England parish church of St. Mary the Virgin is by tradition associated with Saint Diuma,[7] the 7th century first Bishop of Mercia. By 1197 or 1198 the church belonged to Eynsham Abbey, which held the advowson of the parish until the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century.[8] The arcade of Norman arches between the nave and north aisle dates from this period. In the 13th century the building was greatly enlarged: the chancel was extended eastwards and the south aisle, west tower and north and south chapels were added.[8] In the 14th century the present east windows of the chancel and south chapel were added, both in the Decorated Gothic style.[8] During or before the 15th century the north aisle was widened. In the 15th century additions were made to the building in the Perpendicular Gothic style: the tower was extended higher and a west door was inserted in its base, a clerestorey was added to the nave and new windows were inserted in both aisles.[8] In the 16th century the Perpendicular style south porch was added. Two wooden galleries were added, possibly in the 18th century. In the 18th or early in the 19th century most of the windows lost their tracery.[8]

In 1856 the Gothic Revival architect G.E. Street removed the galleries and refitted the church with new pews, and in 1874 another Gothic Revival architect, Charles Buckeridge, rebuilt the chancel.[8] In the early 1990s an extensive reordering saw the pews removed and the main altar moved to the west end.

The organ is a two-manual Wyvern digital instrument, installed in 2010 to replace a Makin digital in place since 1990.[citation needed] The bell tower has a ring of six bells, all cast in 1716[9] by Abraham I Rudhall of Gloucester[10] plus a Sanctus bell cast by an unknown founder in about 1599.[9]


Charlbury railway station is on the Cotswold Line. It is served by First Great Western trains between London, Oxford, Great Malvern, Worcester and Hereford.

Bus services include a branch of Stagecoach in Oxfordshire route S3 between Charlbury and Oxford via Woodstock. Services on the Charlbury branch of route S3 run hourly, Monday - Saturday. Route S3 evening and Sunday services do not serve Charlbury.[11] RH Buses' route X9 between Chipping Norton and Witney runs hourly via Charlbury, Monday - Saturday.[12] There are other local bus services to and from Charlbury that run less than hourly.[13]


Charlbury Town Football Club plays in Witney and District Football League Premier Division.[14] Charlbury Cricket Club[15] plays in Oxfordshire Cricket Association League Division 1.[16] Charlbury has a Women's Institute.[17]

Charlbury Museum, opened in 1962, is a local museum run by the Charlbury Society.

Charlbury hosts a number of public events each year: the Riverside Music Festival in June, the Cornbury Music Festival and Charlbury Beer Festival in July and the Charlbury Street Fair, which dates back to 1955, in September.[citation needed]

View looking down Dyers Hill.


Charlbury is in the parliamentary constituency of Conservative leader and Prime Minister David Cameron. Charlbury's county councillor, Neil Owen, is a Conservative and two district councillors, Glena Chadwick and Michael Breakell are both Liberal Democrats.

See also



  • Corbett, E (1962). A History of Spelsbury. Banbury: Cheney and Sons. 
  • Crossley, Alan (ed.); Colvin, Christina; Cooper, Janet; Cooper, N.H.; Harvey, P.D.A.; Hollings, Marjory; Hook, Judith; Jessup, Mary et al. (1972). A History of the County of Oxford, Volume 10. Victoria County History. pp. 127–157. 
  • Mills, A.D.; Room, A. (2003). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198527586. 
  • Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). Oxfordshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 527–529. ISBN 0 14 071045 0. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Charlbury — (ˈtʃɑrlb(ə)ri o /ˈtʃɔrlb(ə)ri/, localmente [ˈtʃɔwbri]) es un pueblo y parroquia en la valle del río Evenlode, cerca 6,4km al norte de Witney en Oxfordshire. Está al borde del bosque Wychwood y en los Cotswolds. Contenido 1 Nombre del pueblo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Charlbury — Basisdaten Status Town Region South East England Verw.grafschaft Oxfordshire Verwaltungssitz Witney Bevölkerung 2.984 Website …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Charlbury — Original name in latin Charlbury Name in other language Charlbury State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 51.8727 latitude 1.48247 altitude 111 Population 3050 Date 2011 02 24 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Charlbury railway station — Charlbury Location Place …   Wikipedia

  • Charlbury Museum — is a local museum in the town of Charlbury, Oxfordshire, England.[1] The museum and collections are organized and run by the Charlbury Society, originally founded in 1949. The museum s displays present traditional crafts and industries of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Charlbury Road — View of Charlbury Road …   Wikipedia

  • Charlbury Riverside Festival — The Charlbury Riverside Festival is a regular open air music festival held in the Cotswold town of Charlbury, Oxfordshire, England on an area of watermeadow which forms an island in the river Evenlode. First held in 1996 it is the largest free… …   Wikipedia

  • Cotswold Line — Overview Type Rural, Heavy rail System National Rail …   Wikipedia

  • Chipping Norton — This article is about the town in Oxfordshire, UK. For the suburb of Sydney, Australia, see Chipping Norton, New South Wales. Coordinates: 51°56′N 1°33′W / 51.94°N 1.55°W …   Wikipedia

  • Finstock — is a village in Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom.HistoryIn 1135 the village of Finstock is referred to as Fynstoke. In this period, the village formed part of the manor and parish of Charlbury. Roman coins and Romano British potsherds have… …   Wikipedia

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