Hook Norton

Hook Norton is a village and civil parish in Oxfordshire, England. It is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) northeast of Chipping Norton and close to the Cotswold Hills. Many of its buildings are built of local ironstone.

Hook Norton
  • Hooky
Hook norton brewery 1.jpg
Hook Norton brewery is one of Britain's last working Victorian tower breweries (April 2006)
Hook Norton is located in Oxfordshire
Hook Norton
Hook Norton
Location within Oxfordshire
Area22.23 km2 (8.58 sq mi)
Population2,117 (2011 census)[1]
• Density95/km2 (250/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSP3533
Civil parish
  • Hook Norton
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBanbury
Postcode districtOX15
Dialling code01608
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
WebsiteHook Norton Village Website
List of places
52°00′N 1°29′W / 52.00°N 1.48°W / 52.00; -1.48Coordinates: 52°00′N 1°29′W / 52.00°N 1.48°W / 52.00; -1.48


In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in AD 922, the village is called Hocneratune. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it is called Hochenartone.[2] Other historical spellings of the name include Hocceneretune (1050), Hogenarton (1216) and Okenardton (1263).[3] Another variation may be 'Hegnorton' as seen in 1430.[4] The name may possibly mean 'the farmstead of the Hoccanere tribe', the supposed tribal name deriving from the personal name 'Hocca' and Old English 'ora' (hill-slope), together with 'tun', settlement.[5]

Today the village is colloquially known to its inhabitants as "Hooky" and sometimes as "The Hook". The village is formed of four neighbourhoods: East End, Scotland End (in the west), Down End (in the centre) and Southrop (in the south).


The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that a Viking army raided the Hook Norton area in AD 913,[6] and the village had a parish church by AD 922.[7] The Domesday Book records that in 1086 Hook Norton had 76 villagers and two mills.[2] Reports of a band of villagers arming themselves and attempting to fight a Viking raiding party have also been made, supported by finds in nearby fields.

Hook Norton had a clockmaker, Thomas Webb,[8] who maintained the turret clock at St. Giles' parish church, Wigginton from 1788 until 1834.[9] Webb was succeeded in his trade at Hook Norton by John Paine, who maintained the clock at Wigginton from 1835 until 1855.[10] In 1840 Paine built a new turret clock for St. George's parish church, Brailes, Warwickshire.[10]

The former Banbury and Cheltenham Direct Railway, part of the Great Western Railway, served Hook Norton with a railway station at East End. British Railways closed the station in 1951 and closed the railway to all traffic in 1964.[11] Tall stone pillars which supported two B&CDR viaducts can be seen in the valley to the south of the village.

Near Hook Norton there were several ironstone quarries, evidence of which can still be seen. The Brymbo Ironworks, opened in 1899, had its own narrow gauge railway and was connected to the B&CDR at Council Hill Sidings, 0.75 miles (1.2 km) east of Hook Norton station. The Brymbo Ironworks closed in 1946 and was dismantled in 1948.

Hook Norton Brewery has a museum that includes a section on the history of the village. The village's 18th century hand-pumped fire engine, which was in use until 1896, is preserved in St. Peter's parish church.[7]

Notable buildingsEdit

The present Church of England parish church of Saint Peter is of Norman origin but also has Early English, Decorated Gothic and Perpendicular Gothic features. The Norman font is 11th century and is unusual in featuring pagan signs of the Zodiac. St. Peter's contains a number of Mediaeval wall paintings including saints, angels and the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul.[12] The church tower has a ring of eight bells.[13] St Peter's is now the mother church of the Benefice of Hook Norton with Great Rollright, Swerford and Wigginton.

Hook Norton Baptist Church is among the oldest in Britain, having been founded 1640.[14] Its present building is Georgian, built in 1781.[12] Hook Norton also had a Methodist chapel, which was built in 1875.[12]


Railway viaduct piers to the south of Hook Norton. (April 2006)

Hook Norton has a Church of England controlled primary school,[15] shop, a post office and general store,[16] a fire station[17] crewed by retained firefighters, a GPs' practice,[18] a dental practice,[19] veterinary surgery,[20] public library,[21] a memorial village hall, a Women's Institute[22] and a sports and social club.[23]

Hook Norton Brewery is famous for brewing traditional real ale. Hook Norton hosts an annual music festival, Music at the Crossroads, that raises funds for many local charitable causes.

Hook Norton has three public houses, all of which belong to the Hook Norton Brewery:

  • The Gate Hangs High[24]
  • The Pear Tree Inn[25]
  • The Sun Inn[26]

Sport and leisureEdit

Hook Norton F.C. plays in the Witney and District Division 2.[27] Hook Norton Cricket Club[28] plays in Oxfordshire Cricket Association Division One.[29] Hook Norton also has a tennis club,[30] a running club[31] and a Multi Use Games Area whose sports include netball.[32]


  1. ^ Parish: Key Statistics: Population. (2011 census Retrieved 2016-05-04.
  2. ^ a b "Domesday Book entry for Hook Norton". Hook-norton.org.uk. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  3. ^ Land at Bourne Lane, Hook Norton, Oxfordshire: An Archaeological Assessment, 2004, p. 5.
  4. ^ Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives; CP 40 / 677; http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no677/bCP40no677dorses/IMG_1340.htm; first entry, labelled "Staff", where the defendants are from Hognorton, Oxon.
  5. ^ Mills, A. D. (1993). A Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford University Press. p. 177. ISBN 0-192-83131-3.
  6. ^ "Anglo-Saxons.net". Anglo-Saxons.net. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  7. ^ a b "St Peter's Parish Church history". Stpeters-hooknorton.org.uk. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  8. ^ Beeson & Simcock 1989, p. 149.
  9. ^ Beeson & Simcock 1989, p. 190.
  10. ^ a b Beeson & Simcock 1989, p. 188.
  11. ^ Photographs of former railway tunnel and cuttings at Hook Norton Archived 12 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b c Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 651
  13. ^ Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, Chipping Norton Branch Archived 12 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Hook Norton Baptist Church history". Hook-norton-baptist-church.org.uk. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  15. ^ Hook Norton Church of England Primary School
  16. ^ "Hook Norton Post Office and General Store". Hookypostoffice.com. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  17. ^ "Hook Norton Fire Station". Oxfordshire.gov.uk. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Hook Norton Surgery". Bloxhamsurgery.co.uk. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  19. ^ "Lion House Dental Practice". Nhs.uk. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  20. ^ "Hook Norton Veterinary Practice". Hooknortonvets.co.uk. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  21. ^ "Hook Norton Public Library". Oxfordshire.gov.uk. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Oxfordshire Federation of Women's Institutes". Oxfordshirefwi.freeuk.com. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  23. ^ Fuzzywebs (8 November 2011). "Hook Norton Sports and Social Club". Hook Norton Sports and Social Club. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  24. ^ "The Gate Hangs High". Hooky-pubs.co.uk. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  25. ^ "The Pear Tree Inn". Hooky-pubs.co.uk. Archived from the original on 22 November 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  26. ^ "The Sun Inn". Hooky-pubs.co.uk. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  27. ^ "Hook Norton FC". Hook Norton FC. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  28. ^ Play-Sport New Media (13 June 2002). "Hook Norton Cricket Club". Hooknorton.play-cricket.com. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  29. ^ "Oxfordshire Cricket Association Division 1". Oxfordshirecricketassociation.org.uk. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  30. ^ Hook Norton Tennis Club
  31. ^ "Hook Norton Harriers". Hook Norton Harriers. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  32. ^ Fuzzywebs (8 November 2011). "Hook Norton Multi Use Games Area". Hooknortonsportsandsocialclub.co.uk. Archived from the original on 17 February 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2011.

Sources and further readingEdit

External linksEdit