Bourton shown within Oxfordshire
|Population||320 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|District||Vale of White Horse|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|List of places: UK • England • Oxfordshire|
Bourton is a village and civil parish in Oxfordshire, about 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of Highworth in neighbouring Wiltshire. The western boundary of the parish is a stream that also forms the county boundary.
Bourton was part of the parish of Shrivenham until 1867. Bourton was part of Berkshire until the 1974 local government boundary changes transferred the Vale of White Horse to Oxfordshire.
Bourton seems to have begun as part of the manor of Shrivenham. Its toponym evolved from Burghton in the 14th century via Borton in the 17th century and has appeared also as Burton. In 1476 George Talbot, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury was feudal overlord of the manor of Buckand in Over Bourton. The manor had been held of the Earl by Sir William Lovel, Lord Morley, who died in that year. In 1529 the manor was recorded as being "late of Sir Francis Lovell", who was attainted in 1485 for supporting Richard III and died childless in 1487. The manor was still owned by the Crown in 1529 but was leased from 1542. From then until 1664 the Hinton family held the manor, but no subsequent record of it is known.
Page and Ditchfield state that Bourton village school was founded in 1847 along with six almshouses in the village. However Sir Nikolaus Pevsner states that the school was built in 1842. It was still open in 1906 but has since closed.
The Church of England parish church of Saint James was designed by the Gothic Revival architect J.W. Hugall. Page and Ditchfield state it was built in 1881 but Pevsner states it was built in 1860. St. James' parish is now part of a single Church of England Benefice with the parishes of Ashbury, Compton Beauchamp, Fernham, Longcot, Shrivenham and Watchfield.