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Brightwell Baldwin is a village and civil parish in Oxfordshire, about 4 12 miles (7 km) northeast of Wallingford. It was historically in the Hundred of Ewelme[1] and is now in the District of South Oxfordshire. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 208.[2]

Brightwell Baldwin
Brightwell Baldwin church.jpg
St Bartholomew's parish church
Brightwell Baldwin is located in Oxfordshire
Brightwell Baldwin
Brightwell Baldwin
Brightwell Baldwin shown within Oxfordshire
Area 6.52 km2 (2.52 sq mi)
Population 208 (2011 Census)
• Density 32/km2 (83/sq mi)
OS grid reference SU6595
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Watlington
Postcode district OX49
Dialling code 01491
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
Website Brightwell Baldwin Parish Meeting
List of places
51°39′04″N 1°03′29″W / 51.651°N 1.058°W / 51.651; -1.058Coordinates: 51°39′04″N 1°03′29″W / 51.651°N 1.058°W / 51.651; -1.058


Brightwell ParkEdit

The old country house of the Stone family burnt down in 1786, and was replaced by one built in 1790.[1] This too has been demolished, but its kitchen wing, stables and cruciform 17th-century dovecote[3] survive.[4]

Parish churchEdit

The earliest parts of the Church of England parish church of Saint Bartholomew are 13th century, including a stair turret and a number of lancet windows, notably in the chancel.[5][6] Early in the 14th century the nave was rebuilt in the Decorated Gothic style, with north and south aisles linked to it by arcades of four bays.[5] The west tower and the Perpendicular Gothic east window of the chancel were added in the 15th century.[5] The pulpit and tester are Jacobean[5] and therefore 17th century. The building was restored in 1895 and is a Grade I listed.[6]

Church monuments in St Bartholomew's include a number of brasses. In the north aisle is a brass commemorating John the Smith, who died in 1371.[6] It bears an epitaph written in Middle English, which may be the earliest example of an inscription in the English language.[7] The epitaph reflects upon human mortality:

man com & se how schal alle ded li: wen yolk comes bad & bare

moth have ben ve awaẏ fare: All ẏs wermēs yt ve for care:—
bot yt ve do for god ẏs luf ve haue nothyng yare:

yis graue lẏs John ye smẏth god yif his soule hewn grit[7]

In the chancel are two brasses commemorating John Cottesmore, who died in 1439.[6] Stone monuments include two 16th-century chest tombs of members of the Carleton family, and a substantial English Baroque monument to members of the Stone family on the east wall of the north chapel.[5] The latter was built in about 1670[5] or 1690,[6] replacing monuments to John Stone (died 1640) and his son Sir Richard Stone (died 1660) that were destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.[8]

The bell tower has a ring of six bells. John Saunders of Reading, Berkshire cast the tenor bell in about 1559.[9] Ellis I Knight, also of Reading, cast the fifth bell in 1637.[9] Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast or recast the treble, second, third and fourth bells in 1911.[9] There is also a Sanctus bell that was cast in about 1550.[9]

The churchyard includes a late 18th-century chest tomb a number of 17th-century gravestones that are Grade II listed.[10][11][12][13] Another 17th-century monument commemorates one Stephen Rumbold, who died in 1687 aged 105.[14] On it a rhyming epigram bets with its readers:

He liv'd one hundred and five

Sanguine and Strong
An hundred to five

You do not live so long[14]

St Bartholomew's parish is now part of the benefice of Ewelme, Brightwell Baldwin, Cuxham and Easington.[15]


The Lord Nelson public house dates from the 17th or 18th century.[16] It is now a gastropub.[17]


Brightwell Park's 17th-century dovecote
  1. ^ a b Lewis 1931, pp. 375–379.
  2. ^ "Area: Brightwell Baldwin (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Historic England. "Brightwell Park, dovecote approximately 220 metres north east of Brightwell Park  (Grade II) (1368825)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 485.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 484.
  6. ^ a b c d e Historic England. "Church of St Bartholomew  (Grade I) (1059763)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Utechin 1990, p. 39.
  8. ^ Utechin 1990, p. 4.
  9. ^ a b c d Davies, Peter (11 May 2012). "Brightwell Baldwin S Bartholomew". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Bartholomew, chest tomb approximately 1.7 metres east of south porch  (Grade II) (1059764)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Bartholomew, headstone approximately 13 metres south of south porch  (Grade II) (1059765)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  12. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Bartholomew, headstone approximately 3.5 metres south east of nave and 5 metres south of chancel  (Grade II) (1181623)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Historic England (3 April 1987). "Church of St Bartholomew, group of 4 headstones approximately 5 metres south south west of south porch  (Grade II) (1181635)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Utechin 1990, p. 82.
  15. ^ Archbishops' Council (2010). "Benefice of Ewelme Brightwell Baldwin Cuxham with Easington". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  16. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 486.
  17. ^ Lord Nelson Inn


External linksEdit