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James Haughton Langston

‘Squire of Churchill’

1796        Born in Churchill
1812        Inherited Sarsden Estate
1818        Built Sarsden Rectory
1819        High Sheriff of Oxfordshire
1824        Married Julia Frances Moreton
1826        Built All Saints’ Church Churchill
1832        Elected MP for City of Oxford
1842        Financed Chipping Norton Town Hall
1854        Financed Chipping Norton Railway
1854        Built Milton under Wychwood Church    
1863        Died    

The part played in the community by the village squire, James Langston (1796-1863), is displayed on a touch screen unit.

The Sarsden estate has had many owners over the centuries.  Sarsden House itself was rebuilt by William Walter in 1689 after a serious fire, then in 1812 James Langston inherited the house when he was only sixteen!  He commissioned Humphry Repton to landscape the grounds and in 1825 his architect son George Stanley Repton remodelled the house itself and also redesigned the dower house, Sargrove House, which lies just over a mile away.  In 1826 he entirely subsidized, to the tune of at least £14,000, the building of ‘a new gothic church’, with a tower ‘exactly copied from Magdalen tower, Oxford’, in his neighbouring village of Churchill.  He was a Liberal MP, and was also favourably known as a good landlord and an active magistrate.

From Our Guest Book

  • "Such a wonderful enterprise. The locality should be proud of it."

  • "A little gem I didn't know existed."

  • "Lovely spot, so grateful this part of the old church was saved."

  • "A fascinating display in a very beautiful setting."

  • "Congratulations to all on this initiative.  So well-organised and user-friendly."

  • "A fascinating visit. William Smith was a wonderful man! "

  • "Very good new interactive displays, very comprehensive."

  • "What a lovely treat to stumble upon. Thank you for preserving a part of our Heritage"

  • "Fantastic, absolutely first class. Most interesting and informative."

  • "Beautiful setting, very peaceful & informative"

  • "Why haven't we been here earlier? We shall certainly return!"

  • "Beautiful restoration, very nicely done! Unexpected hive of information."

  • "Excellent to have this centre as a focus for Churchill's history - especially in relation to William Smith."

  • "A fine chance discovery"

  • "Great building, well restored. Charming!"