Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor.
A Snapshot of an English Village ~ Exloring the history of an Oxfordshire village.
This website is a local and family history web site for people from, or interested in, the area of 'the Golden Ridge villages' of Kingston Bagpuize, Southmoor [aka Draycott Moor], Longworth & Hinton Waldrist.
It concentrates mainly on the history of the villages of Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor, and surrounding villages, in Oxfordshire, England. Here you can browse through some of our vast collection of local historical material, which includes photos, old documents and the memories and stories of local people.
Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor in Oxfordshire, England is as a whole, not as picturesque as some local villages, which have not had the disruption over the years as this village has received.
Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor is conveniently situated situated in lovely surroundings for visitors to Oxford, with the city centre being 10 miles away. The towns of Abingdon, Witney, Faringdon and Wantage are also close by. The M40 and M4 motorways are 15 and 25 miles away respectively and the centre of London is 57 miles away. There are plenty of tourist attractions in the area, including the historic university city of Oxford, Blenheim Palace, the Ridgeway footpath and the Thames towpath.
Kingston Bagpuize is best known for its hops, its pigs, the old A420 which once roared its way through our village, for the various fruit it once grew, and the nick-name 'Kingston Bagpipes' which seems to have arisen from the time of the 2nd World War when we had an airfield and base camps for RAF and then USAF airmen.
In earlier times, except for a few inns and cottages straddled along the main road, the main village lay to the south, below the old coaching road running between London and the West Country.
It was inevitable that as time progressed that this once quiet road became first a very busy thoroughfare and later the A420, a major trunk road which used to roar through the centre of our village. This split to village in half as it was so dangerous to cross and there were no zebra crossings.
The earlier village had dwellings built alongside the road, many of which still remain.These properties at first housed wheelwrights, a forge, inns and later garages and later many bungalows and houses. The village has now been relieved by a by-pass and the A420 now ploughs its way north of the village, although splitting the direct access roads from the village to Longworth and Hinton.
In parts of the two villages several thatched cottages can still be found, and we boast 32 or more Grade II Listed Buildings, some Elizabethean reminding us of the much older village and of the people that once walked our lanes and pathways and worked our fields.
The employment in these villages, within living memory, has changed from almost purely agriculture to become a dormitory for many city and town workers. In the past, many types of fruit, apples, pears, quinces, raspberries and strawberries and other soft fruits, were grown here on a large commercial basis, and we also had a turkey farm. Although we now do not have the very large pig farm that once employed many residents, pigs are still reared here. Our surrounding farms have beef, pigs, lambs, and hops. Kingston Bagpuize was also known for The Old Berkshire Hunt which had its home here for many years.