In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Hook Norton like this:
“HOOK-NORTON, a village and a parish in Banbury district, Oxford. The village stands on a branch of the river Swere, 2 miles E of the boundary with Warwick, and 5 NE of Chipping-Norton r. station; and has a postoffice under Chipping-Norton, and fairs on 29 June and 28 Nov.
Florence of Worcester calls it Regia Villa, “a royal town or village”.
The parish comprises 3, 730 acres. Real property, 8,954. Pop. in 1851, 1, 496; in 1861, 1, 393. Houses, 329. The decrease of pop. was caused by emigration, and by the closing of a private lunatic asylum. The property is much subdivided.
The manor was given, by William the Conqueror, to Robert de Oily; and was held, in 1285, by Ela, Countess of Warwick, on the tenure of “carving before the king., and to have the knife with which she carved.” Remains of an ancient British camp are near Hook-Norton Lodge. A battle, between the Danes and the English, was fought at or very near Hook-Norton in 917. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford. Value, 210.* Patron, the Bishop of Oxford. The church is ancient but good; shows interesting features: has an imposing tower; underwent recent repair at great cost; and contains a curious font of the 12th century. There are chapels for Baptists, Quakers, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists, national schools, and a British school.”
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