Bucknell is a small village two miles northwest of Bicester. In 2011 the parish’s population was recorded as 260.

After the Norman Conquest of England, William the Conqueror granted the Manor of Bucknell to Robert d’Oyly, but before the conquest it is believed that the manor was part of the possessions of Wigod of Wallingford. In 1300 the Lord of the Manor was Sir Robert d’Amory, father of Roger d’Amory.

Besides Robert d’Oyly’s land in Bucknell there were two smaller estates in the lost hamlet of Saxenton in 1086. Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, was lord of both of them and his tenants, Adam and Alfred, held 2 hides and 1.5 hides respectively. In the 13th century these estates were in the possession of the Boffin and De Ivaus families. By 1257 Thomas Boffin had given Chetwode Priory all his land in Nethercot and Steeple Aston, and it is likely that he gave the priory his Saxenton lands at the same time. Chetwode Priory was annexed to Notley Abbey (Bucks.) in 1460 and, at the Dissolution, the abbey was still receiving a rent of 12s per year from its land within the parish.

The present manor house is early 17th century, but was mostly rebuilt in the 19th century.

St Peter's Church
St Peter's Church

The parish church of Saint Peter has a central Norman tower. The nave and chancel were enlarged in the 13th century and are Early English Gothic. In the 15th century the bell stage was added to the bell tower and the Perpendicular Gothic clerestory was added to the nave.

In 1552 St Peter’s had three bells plus a Sanctus bell. In 1955 it still had three bells, but the earliest was cast in 1597. The church’s turret clock is of unknown date, but appears to be late 17th or early 18th century.

The earliest record of education in the village is when “Goody Poel the school dame” is mentioned in 1708, and by 1738 most of the village children were being taught reading, writing and the catechism by a “poor woman” paid by the lord of the manor. The succeeding lords continued to support a dame school. In 1808 the dame was a Quaker and the children were taught reading and knitting. There were 12 pupils in 1808, 20 in 1854 and 12 in 1869 when the school is last recorded.

A Sunday school was opened in 1802, supported by the parishioners. In 1808 35 children were learning to read and write. 46 children were recorded in 1833 when there was also a day school, attended by 30 children. 20 of those 30 were paid for by Mrs T. Tyrwhitt-Drake, wife of the tenant of the manor house. Bucknell Church of England School was built to replace Mrs Tyrwhitt- Drake’s school in 1861 by the Revd. William Master. In 1867 they started running evening classes in the winter for adults and the older boys. The school never had more than one teacher. It was reorganised as a junior school in 1926 and closed in 1948.

Trow Pool water tower.
Trow Pool water tower

The Trigger Pond pub dates from the 17th century. The earliest part of the building is from 1637 and the later part has a date stone stating 1693.

Just outside the village to the west is Trow Pool water tower. It was built in 1909 for Major Hunloke, who then held Bucknell Manor. It served the village and the manor estate until the 1950s when mains water reached Bucknell. The M40 motorway was built through the parish and opened in 1991. It passes next to the water tower, which has now become a landmark for motorway traffic.