Little Coxwell

Little Coxwell Eagle Tavern 1964
1964. The Eagle Tavern – an inn built to serve the farming community since 1901. Residents have been recorded at this address from 1891 Ernest A Willis to 1935 Frank Goddard.

Little Coxwell is situated about 2 miles south of Faringdon on the road to Fernham. It is on the opposite side of the A420 to Great Coxwell and the road that once connected them has been cut off to traffic. Unlike its neighbour this village still has a public house. The village lies at the source of the River Ock, which drains into the Thames at Abingdon and is the river system that created the Vale of the White Horse. The 2001 Census recorded the parish’s population as just 132.

Little Coxwell is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Cocheswelle, and later records show it as Parva Cokewell, Cokeswell, Cokeswylle and Cokyswell. The name possibly derives from the OE/Anglo-Saxon cock or coch, which means ‘from the hills’, by a family that took that name and had a spring here, wella meaning ‘spring or stream’.

Victorias Diamond Jubilee Tree 2022Victorias Diamond Jubilee 1897The Faringdon Advertiser Saturday 26th June 1897 reported the planting of this tree during the village’s celebrations to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. This photo of the tree, now 125 years old was taken on the Fernham Road, looking towards Faringdon at the turn into Little Coxwell. The small brick structure in front of the tree is a bus shelter.

Mr Chandos-Pole, who lived at Church House, submitted the proposal for planting a tree on this triangular piece of ground when at a meeting of the Faringdon Rural District Council in April of that year. The Council decided not to interfere with the proposal so long as the parish and the public were satisfied. Mr and Mrs James Clack, who presented the tree on the day, lived at Gorse Farm. Both these families lived in the village for just a few years, but nevertheless were well involved with the village and village activities.

Little Coxwell Hunt 1942

1942. A wartime meet of the Hunt. Jack Pickford, huntsman, leading the hounds down into the village. The two riders at the back have just come off the Fernham Road and are passing the tree planted in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. It is winter time so it had no leaves then.

Olympus Digital CameraModern views of the village pond during winter of 2022. The first taken on the way into the village and the second taken on the way out of the village.

Little Coxwell Post OfficeLittle Coxwell Post Office 2022 Looking out of the village towards the junction with Fernham Road at the Gorse Farm Cottages when the old post office was still there in the cottage to the left. The more recent photo shows the old post office has since been renamed ‘Clove Cottage’. Notice that the older photograph was taken before the installation of any telegraph poles. There is a track to the church off to the left at the end of the row of cottages.

Little Coxwell ChurchLittle Coxwell Graveyard 2021Little Coxwell Church 2021

Little Coxwell St Marys Lych Gate 1964The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Little Coxwell is linked to All Saints in Faringdon. The Church is a 12th Century Chapel of Ease, built by the Monks of Beaulieu Abbey. It contains a number of features of historical and architectural interest, such as a Norman doorway, a 13th Century Bell-cote, and a 15th Century octagonal font.3

Little Coxwell 1920sEarly 1920s. Looking up from the old A420 link road towards the Eagle pub, which is just out of shot. The cottages were pulled down when Mr Geoffrey Berners bought the Grove estate to build modern houses for the workers.

Little Coxwell Post Office At The Villa 1964
1964. The Post Office has been relocated to The Villa, way down the road to Great Coxwell.
Little Coxwell Shop At Studio Cottage 1964
1964. The village had a small shop at this time, at Studio Cottage.
Little Coxwell Baptist Chapel 1963
1963. Looking back towards the Eagle, the Baptist Chapel is on the right.

Plough 2000The Plough, once a public house situated quite a way outside the village on the A420 towards Swindon. Early records show landlords from 1847 James Green to 1935 Hy Jn Field. At the time this photo was taken, around the year 2000, it had been denied permission for a 10 bed extension. It was soon sold to become converted to a private house.

Little Coxwell School

Little Coxwell Headmaster 1940s1940s. Mr and Mrs P.J. Smith, a headmaster who was evacuated with his school from London to this area during WWII.

Little Coxwell Pupils 1952.
Little Coxwell School group in 1951 or 52.
Little Coxwell Pupils 1953.
Little Coxwell School group in 1953
Little Coxwell Pupils 1954
Little Coxwell School group in 1954


  1. Some photos and text scanned directly from The Changing Faces of Faringdon and Surrounding Villages – Book 1 p105-106 by Rosemary Church, Jim Brown, Millie Bryan and Beryl Newman. Robert Boyd Publications 1999 – now out of print.
  2. Some photos were donated by local photographers Bill Law and Ann Preston. Others were scanned from society archives.
  3. The Faringdon Advertiser, Saturday 26th June 1897 – Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
  4. The Church Explorer – https://thechurchexporer.blogspot.com/2019/10/st-mary-virgin-little-coxwell.html
  5. The English Place-Name Society search page – https://epns.nottingham.ac.uk/search

Page first published 21-07-2021 | Last updated 28-02-2024 | Copyright © 2018-2024 Ian Lee | All rights reserved.