Fencott & Murcott

Fen = long narrow boggy area (probably the Roman Road) cott = cottages

Mur (mere or moor) marshy area cott = cottages

Population 1993-197, 1996-231, 2001-241, 2002 - 247 (198 electors)

Households 1993-70, 1996-84, 2001-90 (2001 forecast)

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1665 Hearth Tax Return

Otmoor Garden Society

Running from Fencott


Beating the Bounds .



In Victorian times young lads were processed around the parish boundaries and beaten on suitable rocks and abused in other ways to impress on them the place of the parish boundary. This was often taken over by a much gentler activity – that of going around the parish blessing the crops and animals although the origin of Rogation – blessing the crops - is much more ancient than Beating the Bounds



  Entering Fencott       

    Fencott Main Street

    River Ray at Fencott entering Otmoor  

Early in World War II a Hampden aircraft crashed near this spot at this Fencott bridge.


Nut Tree Restaurant Murcott



Nut Tree Web Site: http://www.nut-tree.co.uk/




WOOD AND SPARKES at the Nut Tree


 The faces have changed – but the welcome at Murcott’s Nut Tree has lost none of its warmth.  New partners behind the pumps James Wood and Andy Sparkes are already pulling in the regulars who last month bade a sad farewell to landlord Gordon Evans and wife Diane after almost a quarter of a century at the 500-year-old inn.  It’s a take-over which was virtually seamless – and that’s just the way they wanted it.  “We will definitely keep the village aspect of the pub unchanged,” said James, who previously ran the hospitality division of Wembley Stadium.  

“We want to keep the locals and societies like the Nutters, and activities like Aunt Sally, coming here.  And we’ll host charity fund raising functions for the local school, for example. “Obviously we do have big plans but these things take time and they will be in keeping with a 14th century inn and its position in the village community.”  


 Gordon and Diane finally headed west at the end of October after notching up a tremendous 23-and-a-half years. They handed over an inn with a reputation for good food as well as fine wines and beer. When they arrived in the 1970s however, the Nut Tree was anything but a well-loved watering hole. During major renovations last year, Gordon admitted: "It was in a pretty sad state when we took over.  "The place was falling down and it was infested with all kinds of creepy-crawlies of all shapes and sizes. But we rolled up our sleeves and got on with clearing it up."  


They transformed it into the thatched white-washed chocolate box style inn that it is today which attracts diners and drinkers from far and wide as well as appealing to locals. It also appealed to James and Andy when they dropped in during the summer. Already hunting for a business to buy, the pair were put onto the Nut Tree’s scent by an estate agent over a casual drink. James, a qualified wine-maker who has worked in France and South Africa, explained: “We came to see it and I did my bit as mystery guest a few times. We were looking at other properties down the M4 and M3 corridor down into Hampshire but kept coming back here.


“We wanted to find something that suited the work we wanted to do but wasn’t modern and that also had scope for growth, that was established but still had potential to expand. “In September we were ready to firm up the offer. We bought the freehold outright and moved in on November 1st. We’ve been very well received and everyone has been very helpful.”   James had left Wembley Stadium a few months earlier and Andy was party planner and manager at London’s largest catering company The Admirable Crichton when they turned their backs on the bright city lights for a life in the country.


“It’s not something we miss at all,” said James. “We think it’s just wonderful here. We love it and we’re planning to stay. We’re not out to make a fast buck and then vanish. This will be it for quite a while.”


Future plans for the Nut Tree include offering Bed and Breakfast accommodation, having a separate dining room with full-time waiting staff – a new head chef starts in January – having more functions and outside catering, and making better use of the gardens and area at the back to make the pub more attractive to families. But all that lies in the lap of the Gods – or Cherwell planners. “Andy’s and my skills are very strong in different areas,” said James. “Basically we very much want to make this a successful inn. We don’t want to be classed as landlords or restaurateurs. We’ll be all things to all people. Whether it’s a wedding or birthday party or fund-raiser or quiet dinner or simply a drink that people want. They’ll all be welcome here.”

                                                                                                                Sue Gonnella


Cutting found by Bob Wakelin of Horton cum Studley


Local By-laws (Translation from the original Latin)


1 April 1421


It is agreed here be the court that the tenants of Murcort and Fencot meet to determine the boundaries and metes in the fields there before the feast of St Philip and St James the apostles next. Pain of 12d on each defaulter and for each default


26 April 1502


"It is commanded that each tenant of Murcot having land in the place called Heycote Furlong and in another place called Mabyldon Stubble cultivate it sufficiently at the proper season. Pain 3s 4d on each them defaulting


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