Origin: Hana’s well

Domesday: Leofwine holds of the king 5 hides. Land for 8 ploughs. Now in demesne 3 ploughs, and 6 slaves ; and 20 villans with 2 bordars have 7 ploughs. There are 14 acres of meadow. It was worth 100s; now £7. The same man held it.


A small Cotswold style village just north of Banbury. The road winds through the centre with virtually all the buildings strung along it – mediaeval ribbon development?


The most imposing building is the remnant of the castle (started by William Cope in 1498), a huge red brick tower complete with crenulations. Whilst most of the rest of the castle has disappeared there are stone outbuildings attached to the tower that themselves seem fairly ancient.


But not as ancient as the church parts of which are 12th century. This is wonderful both inside and out. The carvings around the exterior roofline (at the altar end) of all kinds of creatures are weathered but worth a visit in themselves. Inside the tops of the pillars are adorned with carvings of humans and these have suffered less from the ravages of time. Overall the carvings are so special that their restoration has received a John Betjamin award. A lovely old font, “harlequin” blue and white stained glass and a wooden funeral bier complete the picture. Pews have been replaced by chairs but even these fit in reasonably well.

If you are in the Banbury area the church is well worth a detour.




The Cope family were leading Puritans and in 1584 invited John Dod to St Peter’s. Dod became very well known for his preaching but eventually left the parish to go to Fawsley (see elsewhere on the web site) where the Knightley family were also Puritans. The presence of Cope and Dod in the late 1500s in Hanwell drew many people with similar views to the village, including, it would seem my ancestor Thomas Haselwood who moved into Hanwell after the birth of his last child with his wife and 6 children, Thomas was buried in 1597. The family subsequently moved to Cropredy. Although there are Haslewoods in Northamptonshire prior to 1600 I have been unable to discover where Thomas came from. It is possible that he came from further afield (one branch of the Northamptonshire family moved to Pershore in the 1500s – 2 great tombs in Pershore Abbey) and Thomas could have been related to this branch).

If anyone has spotted a Thomas Haselwood bringing up a family in the 1560s-1570s (Thomas, John, Clemency, John, Alexander, Mary all survived – yes I know there were 2 Johns one was referred to as “the elder”, the other “the younger” in Thomas’s will) then please let me know



For a description of the village in the late 1800s a Gardner Guide of 1852 is attached.