Fritwell (St. Olave)

FRITWELL (St. Olave), a parish, in the union of Bicester, hundred of Ploughley, county of Oxford, 5 miles (N. W. by N.) from Bicester; containing 524 inhabitants. In 1159, Pope Alexander III. ratified a grant made by Malcolm, King of Scotland, of the church of Fritwell to the monks of St. Frideswide, Oxford; and by an inquisition taken in 1405, it appeared that the Earl of Ormond held a manor within the parish, called Ormondston. The parish is high table-land, and contains one of the sources of the river Ouse; it comprises 1850a. 2r. 10p., of which about one-fifth is arable, and the remainder pasture, with a very small portion of woodland. The manor-house occupied by the owner, William Willes, Esq., is a fine specimen of domestic architecture of the time of Elizabeth or James I. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 9. 4.; net income, £103; patrons and impropriators, the Willes family: the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1807. The church is an interesting edifice in the Norman style; the roof is supported by circular arches resting on massive round pillars with plain capitals: a portion of the ancient rood-loft, of highly decorated character, was recently removed. There are remains of Ormondston manor-house now held by a farmer.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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