The Minster Lovell Hall Ruins in Witney sit at the end of a narrow, dead end lane where parking is not permitted and no turning is possible. Keep going on the main road, past the wash meadow and then the Old Swan pub, until you reach the top of the village, where you will find a small car park on the road and a road going towards your right. Park your car here, then walk down this small road on the right, which will take you towards the St Kenelm’s church (which is roughly 2-5 minute walk). You have to walk through the churchyard to find Minster Lovell Hall ruins just behind it. The streets of the village are very narrow so please do not block access for emergency vehicles or entrances to private properties.
Despite it mostly being a ruin, a big portion of the structure is still intact. You can walk through an arched passageway into the great hall, which has beautiful carvings on the vaulted ceiling. There is also a lot “writing” on the walls, I presume by visitors. The rest of property is now mainly an outline of its foundation walls, which Ay loved walking on, exclaiming “I have never balanced on small rocks before”.
Just beyond the ruins, located on a small farm is the medieval dovecote, which was also built in the 15th-century. There were a couple of donkeys in the little enclosure, who “ee hawed” at us, much to Ay’s delight!
On the other side and infront is the stream/River Windrush which provides for an idyllic stroll. I hear you can swim/ paddle here in summer, so this one is to look out for in summer. Its a popular spot for picnics too. Although technically not a park, I have also included it in the “parks with splash area” as you can access and enjoy the river. One of you also told me on FB that it is a great area for crayfishing too and the little shop in minster lovell sells childrens nets too.. WOW!
The paths out continue to the dovecote and then the Crawley Circular. We ventured out for a bit but it was very muddy, so turned around after about 10 minutes. There were plenty of dog walkers and walkers around
A bit of History:
Minster Lovell Hall was built in the 1430s by William, Baron of Lovell and Holand – one of the richest men in England at the time. It was later home to Francis, Viscount Lovell, a close ally of Richard III. After several changes of hands, the hall was abandoned and eventually demolished in the 18th century, leaving the extensive remains of what stands today.
There are many legends associated with Minster Lovell Hall. Some People believe Francis’ ghost haunts these ruins. Many visitors also report a sudden feeling of melancholy that disappears moments later or hearing a lady crying. There is also another legend that says the ruins are haunted by a knight in armour who rides around on a white horse. I did not hear anything apart from Ay screaming around with delight!
Currently Minster Lovell Hall is protected by English Heritage, as a Grade I listed building.
🗺 Address: Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire, OX29 0RR
🚘 FREE limited parking (please see above)
🚻 No toilet
🍕 No refreshments on site but a famous pub nearby
🦽 Buggy will be difficult to manoeuvre around
🐕 Dogs on leads welcome
North Leigh Roman Villa, is just 4 miles from this site. We couldn’t visit today but it is definitely on our list
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