infobox UK place
country = England
shire_district= City of Oxford
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Oxford East
Iffley is a village in
Oxfordshire, England, within the boundaries of the city of Oxford, located between the estates of Rose Hill, Cowley, and Donnington, and in proximity to the River Thames(Isis). Its most notable feature is its original and largely unchanged Norman church, St Mary the Virgin, which is home to a modern stained glass "Nativity Window" designed by John Piper. Largely untouched by modern housing developments, the village remains a desirable place to live, and this is reflected in its relatively-high house prices.Fact|date=May 2008
The scenic village of Iffley has given its name to:
Iffley College, the original name of Wolfson College
Iffley Lockon the river Thames (or rather, at this point, the Isis)
Iffley Mill, locally famous for the spectacular fire that burnt it down in 1908
Iffley Roadin east Oxford, home to the Hodgkin family, whose relatives include the Nobel Prizewinners Alan Hodgkinand Dorothy Hodgkinand the historian Thomas Hodgkin and the pathologist Thomas Hodgkinfor whom Hodgkin's diseaseis named.
Iffley Road Stadium, the Oxford Universityathletics ground where Roger Bannisterran the first sub-four-minute mile.
: "In the chronicles of Abingdon Abbey (941 – 46) the place is called Gifteleia. The Domesday survey (1086) has Givetelei. Merton College records in the 1290s call it Iftele and Yiftele; it is Yeftley to the civil servants writing up the Domesday of Inclosures, in Latin, in 1517 – 18; Lincoln College accounts, written less formally and in English, have Ifley by 1543, and it is Iffley or Iflie, according to how well people could spell, during the Civil War 1642 – 46. Clearly, the sound of the name — at a time when spoken forms were dominant — was fixed by then. Afterwards the Y survived in occasional use, but only lawyers bothered with the T..."1
The ending of the name, of this tiny town near Oxford, means "cleared ground": the Saxon term for that was "ley" — just up the road from modern Iffley, the town of Cowley preserves the Saxon ending and meaning in its name, as well.
No records of the foundation of Iffley have been found: an estimate of the date is c.1000 – 1050 AD. The reason for the founding is clear from the location: Iffley has a little hill, and so is the first place downriver from Oxford from which traffic on the Thames might be surveyed, and controlled — and where people might be safe from floods:
: "It is likely that the hill, running to 295 ft, now known as Rose Hill and Iffley, was a desirable place to live, safe from any floods. Many other villages, above and below, are set back from the river to cater for floods."1
During the 12th century Oxford townsmen built a water mill at Iffley, which was purchased by Oxford's Lincoln College in 1445: the mill burned in 1908, having survived for nearly 800 years. Products ground at the Iffley mill included malt, barley, corn, and other cereals — for a brief time during the 15th century it was a fulling mill. The mill,
: "…was notorious for its arguments between bargees and millers, who being in possession of the lock, whether it was a flash or pound lock, could preserve their head of water, and not let it flow down river, by opening the gates, as long as they wished."1
In 1156 Iffley was among the holdings of the Norman family of St. Remy, until about 1200. They established Iffley as a parish, and built the parish church, "in size and decorative splendour out of all proportion to the place."1 The manor was owned by many, thereafter. The Archdeacons of Oxford were given the right to appoint the parish priest in 1279: they held this until 1965, when the power was given to the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, the Oxford foundation which is both a college and a cathedral.
Domesday Book entry
:Description:::Place name: Iffley, Oxfordshire::Folio: 157v Great
Domesday Book::Domesday place name: Givetelei
:People mentioned: Abbey of St Mary of Winchcombe; Aelfgifu; Alnoth; Alric; Alwine; Azur; Bondi; Brian; Cynewig; Earl Tosti; Earl of Aubrey de Coucy Northumbria; Edwin the sheriff; Henry de Ferrers; Hugh; Hugh d'Ivry; Hugh de Bolbec; Queen Edith; Ralph; Robert; Roger; Rolf; Swein; Turold; Walter; Walter Giffard; William Peverel; William de Warenne; William fitzAnsculf:Date: 1086
:: 1 from "The Iffley Local History Society":: [http://www.iffleyhistory.org.uk/History/History3.htm http://www.iffleyhistory.org.uk/History/History3.htm] :: [http://www.iffleyhistory.org.uk/ http://www.iffleyhistory.org.uk/]
* [http://www.iffley.co.uk/ St Mary's Church, Iffley]
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