Pyrton is an attractive small village within Pyrton parish which originally extended for about 12 miles from Stonor in the Chilterns to the low-lying land to the north west of the village. Strip parishes such as Pyrton have a narrow elongated shape and were typically formed during the Anglo-Saxon and early medieval period. The name Pyrton is of Old English origin and means "pear-tree farm".

St. Mary's Church in Pyrton dates from 1856 although parts of the original 12th century church still remain. There has been a church on the site since 987. In early Spring the churchyard is pretty with snowdrops but the real colour appears in late March when the churchyard is covered in daffodils and is well worth a visit. The church is running a "living sanctuary" project where they are keeping a record of significant sightings of flora and fauna. For the history and full information about St. Mary's Church click here.

Adjacent to the church, but hidden from view, is the 17th century Pyrton Manor, an attractive Elizabethen-style brick building with stone quoins and dressings. In 2004 refurbishment of the house, outbuildings and estate cottages was started, together with extensive external landscaping. Nearby is the moated site of a medieval manor house.

The tiny village of Shirburn straddles the main road, but don't blink or you might miss it as you concentrate on the sharp bends in the road at that point! Off the main road there are a few houses and on the main road there are even fewer!

The main interest in this village is Shirburn castle, a fortified manor house built in 1378 with four towers and a gatehouse and surrounded by a moat. Unfortunately the castle is now empty and in need of substantial repair. Until recently it was occupied by the Earl of Macclesfield - Richard Timothy George Mansfield Parker - but he was evicted from the castle after a family dispute which was settled in the High Court.

All Saints Church is now a redundant (though still consecrated) church. It is situated within the grounds of Shirburn Castle and is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. There is limited access to the church, which currently is restricted only to weekends. For the history and full information about All Saints Church click here.

Pyrton is just off the B4009 between Watlington and the M40 motorway. The tiny village of Shirburn is nearby on the B4009.


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