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History of the Parish of Kingston Bagpuize.

The Ecclesiastical Parish of Kingston Bagpuize

The Ecclesiastical Parish of Kingston Bagpuize now includes the village of Southmoor [aka Draycott Moor], [which until 1953 was ecclesiastically in Longworth parish*] and is held in plurality with parts of Fyfield with Tubney. The incumbent is the Vicar of Kingston Bagpuize, Tubney and of Fyfield. It would appear that in the past, many inhabitants of Southmoor, though then living in the parish of Longworth, used Kingston Church

Although Kingston Bagpuize is now a comparatively peaceful village, with the construction of a new bypass, it has now been joined with Southmoor and the two villages are now known as Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor. In the latter part of the nineteenth century though, the village of Kingston Bagpuize, enjoyed some fame as the home of the Old Berkshire Hunt.  The "New Kennels" diagonally opposite the Church were built by the Joint Masters, Colonel Victor Van der Wyer and Charles Duffield between 1884-1889. Victor Van der Wyer in the spring of 1884 in the most munificent manner, placed the sum of £2,000 at the disposal of the Hunt Committee to enable them to build new kennels in any part of the county of Berkshire and after consideration, the site offered by John Blandy at Kingston Bagpuize was selected.  Memories of this era remain in many people's memories and in the church yard stand the memorials of John Treadwell, Huntsman of the Old Berkshire Hunt for nearly twenty years and of Thomas Duffield, one time Master of the Old Berks Hunt, and of course the monuments within the church, to the sports loving Blandy family.

Prior to those times, apart from the occasional activities of highwayman on Kingston Hill, the village's most exciting times were probably during the Civil War.   On May 27th 1644 the Royalists held New Bridge against the Parliamentarians who retired through the village, seemingly breaking some monuments in the church, such as that of George Rainsbee and possibly that to the Latton and Williams family and then on to Abingdon, where they broke the Market Cross.   A week later, however, on June 2nd 1644, Sir William Waller marched across the Bridge unopposed, with a force of 5,000 Horse and Foot, only to be defeated later in the month at Cropredy Bridge, North of Banbury.

We wish to thank the Vicar of Kingston Bagpuize for allowing us to draw heavily on the contents of the Church Guide.

Village Millennium booklet  " A short history of Kingston Bagpuize and Southmoor" by W.R.Carmichael also gives a descriptive picture of the village and surrounds, see also the 'Victoria County History for Berkshire'.

* Longworth St Mary (part Ganfield Hundred [entirely after 1866], part [Draycott Moor] Ock Hundred; Faringdon PLU.  For Southmoor see Longworth. For further reading see 'Oxfordshire Parish Registers & Bishop's Transcripts' - 6th Edition 2001 - Colin Harris.  Available from Oxfordshire Family History Society