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North Hinksey, Berkshire

Historical Description

Hinksey, North, or Ferry Hinksey, a village and a parish partly in Berks and partly included in the administrative county borough of Oxford. The village stands on the river Isis, at the boundary with Oxfordshire, half a mile SW from Oxford station on the G.W.R., is reached from Oxford by a ferry, and was anciently called Hengestesigge. There is a post office at Botley, under Oxford; money order and telegraph office, Oxford. The parish contains also the hamlet of Botley. Area, 859 acres, of which 797 are in Berks and 62 in Oxfordshire; population of the Berks portion of the civil parish, 245; of the ecclesiastical, 532. The manor was given in 955 to Abingdon Abbey, and belongs now to the Harcourt family. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Oxford; net value, £84. The church, which is a plain building of stone in mixed styles, has a fine Norman doorway, and a good font of the Decorated period, and contains the tomb of Thomas Willis, who fell in the siege of Oxford in 1643, and a monument to W. Finmore, Fellow of St John's in 1646. The churchyard has remains of a decorated cross with fluted shaft, and a fine old yew. The old church with its surroundings presents a very picturesque appearance, and it forms a favourite subject for artists. There are some very ancient houses in the parish, and from the hill above the village a good view may be obtained of Oxford and its south-western suburbs.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyBerkshire 
Ecclesiastical parishNorth Hinksey St. Lawrence 
Poor Law unionAbingdon 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1703.


Church of England

St. Lawrence (parish church)

The church of St. Lawrence, situated on an eminence at the north end of the village and formerly a chapel of ease to Cumnor, is a plain building of stone in the mixed styles, and consists of chancel, nave, south porch and a western tower of Early Norman date, with a pyramidal roof and containing 4 bells: the south doorway is a fine specimen of Early Norman, and on the south side of the chancel is a low side window of the same date; on the north side of the chancel is an arched recess, with zigzag moulding, probably a blocked hagioscope; in the church is a memorial to Thomas Willis (father of the celebrated Dr. Willis, and ancestor of Browne Willis, the antiquary), who died in the Royal cause at the siege of Oxford, Aug. 4, 1643; an inscription on the monument of William Finmore, fellow of St. John's College, Oxford, who died in 1647, begins thus: "Reader, look at thy feet; honest and loyal men are sleeping under them!" there are other memorials to the same family; in the churchyard near the porch is a fine old yew and at the east end the steps and shaft of a cross; this old church, with its rustic surroundings, is one of the most picturesque in the neighbourhood of Oxford, and has been repeatedly sketched by the late Mr. Ruskin and other artists; there are 160 sittings.

Civil Registration

North Hinksey was in Abingdon Registration District from 1837 to 1874

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for North Hinksey from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Berkshire is available to browse.


Online maps of North Hinksey are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Berkshire papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Berkshire 1532, 1566, and 1665-6 is available online.