To any passer-by it must be very difficult to imagine that this tiny “main road” village has a history so long and intricate, so much so that if they had visited this parish a few centuries ago they would have found themselves in a bustling town. But due to the ravages of time, and the changing face of the English countryside, the Charwelton of today presents a very different picture.
Charwelton derives its name from the river Cherwell which rises from a pond at Cherwell Farm. Originally the Cherwell ran from the arched cellar of the old farm house on the site; however since the demolition of the house the pond seems to hold the spring of the Cherwell. In 681 the village was known as Ceruelle, changing to Cearwellan (Welle Stream). In the Domesday Book it was known as Cerweltone and in 1110, Cerweltona.
The parish of Charwelton was once owned by three monasteries – Thorney (near Peterborough), Bittlesden (Buckinghamshire) and Bec in Normandy. Two of these had houses in Charwelton – Bittlesden, which owned the manor next to the church, and Thorney, which held the manor house on the site of the present Charwelton Hall which now stands close to the village.