infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 51.7854
longitude= -1.2902
official_name= Wolvercote
shire_district= Oxford
shire_county = Oxfordshire
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Oxford West and Abingdon
post_town= OXFORD
postcode_district = OX2
postcode_area= OX
os_grid_reference= SP490098

Wolvercote (Oxfordshire, England) is a village that is now part of the City of Oxford, England, though still retaining its own identity. It is located about 3 miles (5 km) to the northwest of the centre of Oxford, on the northern edge of Port Meadow. The village is listed in the Domesday Book as "Ulfgarcote" (Cottage of Wulfgar); the name had mutated to "Wolvercote" by 1185.

Wolvercote housing faced onto its extensive commons, which provided much of the community's livelihood. In 1789 the canal and in 1846 the railway divided the village into two parts. Some residents still have ancient rights on the commons. Geese rearing was once an important local activity, and a goose is still one of the village symbols. Horses and cattle are still grazed on Wolvercote Common and Port Meadow.

The western edge of Upper Wolvercote parallels the canal at "Wolvercote Green" and fades into North Oxford suburbia to the east. Lower Wolvercote borders the River Thames at Godstow to the west, and Port Meadow and the canal to the east.

The paper mill in Lower Wolvercote, supplier of paper to the Oxford University Press, was once a major local employer. The mill ceased trading in 1998 and was demolished in 2004. There are currently plans to develop the site to provide affordable housing for Oxford University staff.

The mill stream, which takes its water from the nearby Thames, is crossed in Wolvercote at an old toll-bridge. The bridge bears a plaque in memory of two airmen of the Royal Flying Corps who were killed nearby in a flying accident in 1912. Part of Port Meadow was used as an military airfield in the First World War; the Royal Artillery also had a base there. In 1940, a camp was set up on the meadow for evacuees from Dunkirk.


St Peter's church, in Upper Wolvercote, has a 14th century west tower and 15th Century window and doorway. It was rebuilt in 1860 in the Early English style, retaining the Norman tub font and 14th century south chancel window. Wolvercote Cemetery is only marginally in Upper Wolvercote, being located on Five Mile Drive between the Banbury Road and Woodstock Road, just north of the Oxford Ring Road [ [http://maps.google.com/maps?q=%4051.784708,-1.288845&ie=UTF8&ll=51.791417,-1.272526&spn=0.006304,0.013304&z=16> Google Map] ] . The graves include those of J. R. R. Tolkien and of Sir Thomas Chapman, father of T. E. Lawrence.


A "National School" was founded in 1817 in the glebe house; it moved to land to the west of the church in 1856. ["Wolvercote with Godstow Conservation Area Appraisal", Oxford City Council, 2007. p.10.] Wolvercote Infants' School (Upper Wolvercote) was built in 1897, on land given by the Duke of Marlborough, and was opened in 11th May 1898. Under Oxfordshire County Council it became a "first school" in 1974, taking children from 5 to 9 years old, but following a re-organisation of Oxford's schools in 2002, it was extended to become Wolvercote Primary School with an attached nursery school, taking children from 4 to 11 years.

Public Houses

There are three pubs in Wolvercote: the White Hart and the Red Lion, both on the central small green in Lower Wolvercote, and the Plough Inn, near the canal in Upper Wolvercote.

Godstow (technically outside Wolvercote) is the home of the famous Trout Inn public house (which features in the "Inspector Morse" books and television series — e.g., "The Wolvercote Tongue") and the ruins of Godstow Nunnery (founded 1139).


Wolvercote Platform railway station on the Great Western Railway, just north of the railway bridge on Godstow Road, opened in 1905 and was closed in 1926; there was also a London and North Western Railway station just south of the bridge on First Turn. [Anne Spokes Symonds (1997)]





* [http://www.wolvercote.org/ Wolvercote Music and Arts]
* [http://www.stpeterswolvercote.org/ St Peter's Church, Wolvercote]
* [http://www.wolvercote.oxon.sch.uk/ Wolvercote Primary School]
* [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=5908 Wolvercote] , from the Victoria History of the Counties of England: Oxfordshire.

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