Great Oxenden: the little library

What at first glance appears to be a telephone box – in itself unusual – turns out to be so much more. Inside the box, the telephone has been replaced with a series of shelves holding a variety of reading matter, offering villagers the chance to book swap. A nice example of both community spirit and giving an unused space a new lease of life.

03 church locks

I had read that inside the village church there was a place where an echo would resonate 13 times, however finding the church proved difficult – eventually we asked someone (and by coincidence it transpired his wife was the bell ringer!), the church was outside of the actual village and positioned in between Little Oxenden and Great Oxenden on a slip road off the main road*. Yet again, as in previous experiences, the church is locked – however this does draw my attention to the particularly nice heart-shaped keyhole and handle detail.

Despite being locked out, I photograph more historical ‘graffiti’ – initials that have been carved into the archway entrance; the oldest I could find, that was still legible dated from 1631. I particularly like the added decorative boxes by both TS and John(?) Loke in 1707. I had wondered whether there was a reason behind these carvings as I discovered that many church wardens would carve their initials somewhere within a church (pews, windowsills etc), however IW when I asked him, suggested that this was graffiti and it would have been tolerated at the time as the church was a focal point for the whole community.
*Another connection between our individual research – your church at Warkworth now isolated due to the castle being demolished, and this church also in an isolated position as Little Oxenden is a deserted medieval village, therefore buildings start to become disconnected from their origins.



  1. Banbury also has a library in a telephone box! – right outside St John’s church. Really interesting links emerging within our individual research to bygone times, village communities and individual characters


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s