Great Tew

Great Tew is a village as historic as it is beautiful; many of the Grade II-listed cottages date back to the 17th century.

However, a nearby barrow and the remains of a Roman villa (complete with mosaic floor) suggest that the area’s been inhabited for a lot longer than that. In Saxon times the village was apparently known as Ciric Tiwa (Church Tew).

A manor was established prior to the 10th century, and was held by Ælfric of Abingdon (who later became Archbishop of Canterbury). In the 1630s a group of literary figures known as the Great Tew Circle often gathered in Great Tew’s manor house, united by the estate’s owner Lucius Cary - later killed in the Battle of Newbury during the English Civil War.

Many of the cottages (thatched or otherwise) have been built from locally-quarried ironstone. After Sir Laurence Tanfield (owner of the Great Tew estate from 1611-1626) purchased the estate, he kept villagers from the timber, pushing local properties into ruin (the cottages you see today were probably built after his tenure).

After many years of creeping dereliction in the early and mid 20th century, Great Tew came into the ownership of the Johnstone Family, who set about increasing existing restoration efforts. In the year 2000 the Johnstone family re-opened the Ironstone quarry.

Now Great Tew is often associated with Soho Farmhouse (a member’s club) and Cornbury Music Festival (its last iteration hosted in 2017).

Transport Links

Great Tew is close to Banbury, Chipping Norton and only 18 miles by car from Oxford. Rail access can be achieved from Kingham, Banbury, Charlbury or Oxford. London is an hour by rail from Oxford, or an hour and a half from Kingham.


Residents are served by a local shop and cafe. Not to mention the Falkland Arms - a pub with a long history of its own, with enough flagstone and oak beams to satisfy the most ardent lover of country comforts. The Tew Centre - a community centre - has been open since 2006.

What’s there to see and do?

Great Tew’s proximity to Oxford offers residents all the pleasures of the city, and London is not far by train. Chipping Norton and its theatre are only five miles away. The village is also excellently situated for nature lovers and walkers, with the surrounding landscape a beautiful part of the Cotswolds.


The closest secondary school is in Chipping Norton School, a mixed secondary with academy status. Great Tew Primary School serves both Great and Little Tew.