Garsington is a sprawling hill-top village lying on part of the Midvale Ridge. The village centre is at the top of the hill and from there roads lead off in various directions, all going down the hill. The village's position provides superb views all round - to the Chilterns to the east, Oxford to the west and the Berkshire Downs with Wittenham Clumps to the south.

The village has become well-known for Garsington Opera which is held each summer in the grounds of Garsington Manor, where opera-goers are served champagne on the croquet lawn before the early evening performances.

Garsington Manor is a Tudor building, built about 1625, and is thought to be one of the most beautiful of the smaller period houses throughout Oxfordshire. It is set in superb grounds which are open to the public two or three times a year. The garden incorporates two yew hedges which are said to be the highest in England. Apart from now being known as the home of the opera, the manor is also associated with Lady Ottoline Morrell, the Bloomsbury Group socialite, as at one time the manor was her home.

The parish church of St. Mary is on the edge of the village and its hill-top situation make it a prominent landmark, visible from miles around. The Norman tower of the church is the oldest part dating back to 1160, the nave and chancel having been added later in the 13th century. For the history and full information about St. Mary's Church click here.

Garsington is some 5 miles south-east of Oxford, just off the B480 Oxford to Watlington road.


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