Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cherwell (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 41640 41604, SP 41651 41648, SP 41663 41619


WROXTON DARK LANE SP4040-4140 (South side) 10/199 Wroxton College and attached 08/12/55 walls and steps (Formerly listed as Wroxton Abbey) GV I Country house now College (for students of Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey, U.S.A.) and attached walls and steps. Present house dating from c.1618 was built on the site of an Augustinian Priory founded in 1217 by Michael Belet in honour of St. Mary. North wing of the early C17 house incorporates monastic remains including a C13 blocked arch and a C14 moulded doorway in the boilerhouse. The early C17 house begun by Sir William Pope but left incomplete at his death in 1631, comprised the Great Hall, Parlour, Porch and Pantry. Additions by Roger North c.1672 include the north wing with Great Parlour, Garden Parlour, and Chapel. Chapel remodelled in Gothic style by Sanderson Miller in 1747 for Francis, later Earl of Guilford. Library by Sydney Smirke added C.1830. Addition of the south wing 1858-9 by Baroness Susan North. Restorations carried out by Fairleigh Dickinson University 1960-1980s. Ironstone ashlar. Steeply pitched stone slate roof laid to diminishing courses. Stone ridge, end and internal stacks. Stone coped gables with moulded kneelers and finials. H-plan. 2 storeys plus attics and cellars. 9-window range. West front has 7 gables and a central 4-storey porch with shaped gables and finials. Doorway has an elaborate surround in the form of a triumphal arch with shell niches flanking the entrance, and an entablature with strapwork and finials. Above the third floor a heraldic shield. Entrance is reached by a flight of stone steps with side walls. C17. 2 further sets of steps and walls on north and south. North wing on left has a 2-storey C19 bay window with tall mullioned and transomed windows. 1859 south wing to right has a similar window. Elsewhere stone mullioned windows and mullioned and transomed windows, some replacing earlier C18 sash windows. Hood moulds and label stops, some continuous. Rear. Irregular, with bay windows to north and south wings and stone mullioned windows, some original. Single-storey C19 library on right has mullioned and transomed windows with arched lights and a pierced parapet. Chapel approximately central has a 4-light intersecting window, with an ogee headed dripmould. Interior. Hall with screens passage to service rooms on right. Jacobean carved arcaded gallery with 4 pairs of arches divided by caryatids. Strapwork cartouches along dado. C19 carved frieze of small figures and caryatids in papier mache. Heraldic stained glass of the 1850s in the bay window at the dias end of the hall probably by Willement. Chapel. C17 carved oak gallery round 3 sides, 2 doors dated 1618 and altar. Early C18 Flemish altar rail. Alterations by Sanderson Miller c.1747 include the east window designed as a setting for painted glass of 1623 by A Van Linge, and possibly the Gothic frieze and the star enclosing the Agnus Dei on the ceiling over the alter. Elaborate woodwork was introduced in the C19, dating from the C16 and C17. Font, a rectangular bowl carved with swags of flowers. Great Parlour now Reading Room. Plaster ceiling possibly Jacobean Revival of 1740s. C18 fireplace to design of Battey Langley. Garden Parlour Room now the North Library. Fireplace dated 1698. Carving below windows in the style of Grinling Gibbons. Red Drawing Room now Small Library has fine carved wall panels. Library has fireplace dated 1859, a jib door with dummy books and linenfold panelling. Openwell staircase probably C17. Gold Room on first floor. C18, Ceiling redecorated in C19 and restored in 1964. Georgian stone chimney piece in Caen stone. Probably C19 woodwork. Visitors to Wroxton Abbey included James I, Charles I on July 13th 1643, Horace Walpole, Celia Fiennes, George IV, when Prince of Wales, in 1805, 1806, 1808. Frederick 2nd Earl of Guilford, Prime Minister to George II, lived here. Early C18 formal gardens by Tilleman Bobart. Mid C18 landscaped gardens by Sanderson Miller. Included in the H.B.M.C. Gardens Register. (VCH: Oxfordshire, Vol IX, p172-3; Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, 1974, p862-4; Wroxton Abbey Guidebook published by Wroxton College, 1982; Beesley, A; History of Banbury, 1841, p79-85, 263,348,540; Eden, F.S., Ancient Stained and Painted Glass, 1933, p185; Lamborn, E.A.G., Armonial Glass of the Oxford Diocese, 1949, XXX; Photographs in NMR)

Listing NGR: SP4166141622


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Wroxton Abbey Guidebook, (1982)
Beesley, A, History of Banbury, (1841), 79-85,263
Beesley, A, History of Banbury, (1841), 348, 540
Eden, F S , Ancient Stained and Painted Glass, (1933), 185
Lamborn, E A G, Armorial Glass of the Oxford Diocese, (1949)
Pevsner, N, Sherwood, J, The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, (1974), 862-4
Salzman, L F, The Victoria History of the County of Oxford, (1969), 172-3
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 34 Oxfordshire


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 04 Jun 2005
Reference: IOE01/13082/12
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr David Sheppard. Source Historic England Archive
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