Clifton Hampden

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Coordinates: 51°40′01″N 1°12′36″W / 51.667°N 1.210°W / 51.667; -1.210

Clifton Hampden
Clifton Hampden Church.jpg
Parish church of St. Michael & All Angels
Clifton Hampden is located in Oxfordshire
Clifton Hampden
Clifton Hampden
 Clifton Hampden shown within Oxfordshire
Population 641 (parish, including Burcot) (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SU5495
Civil parish Clifton Hampden
District South Oxfordshire
Shire county Oxfordshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Abingdon
Postcode district OX14
Dialling code 01235
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Henley
Website Clifton Hampden in Oxfordshire
List of places
UK
England
Oxfordshire

Clifton Hampden is a village and civil parish on the north bank of the River Thames, just over 3 miles (5 km) east of Abingdon in Oxfordshire. Since 1932 the civil parish has included the village of Burcot, 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Clifton Hampden.[2]

Manor[edit]

The toponym was originally simply "Clifton", meaning "tun on a cliff" in Old English. There is no documentation for the "Hampden" part of the name from before 1726.[2]

In the Anglo-Saxon era Clifton belonged to the Bishop of Dorchester. After the Norman conquest of England William the Conqueror transferred the see to Lincoln, with its properties including Clifton.[2]

Parish church[edit]

The Church of England parish church of St. Michael and All Angels was a chapel of Dorchester parish until the 19th century. The oldest parts of the church include the arcade of the south aisle, which was built in about 1180. Elsewhere in the church are three 13th century Early English lancet windows. The south aisle ends in a Decorated Gothic chapel that was added in the 14th century. The Perpendicular Gothic arcade of the north aisle is later. In 1843–44 the church was rebuilt to the designs of George Gilbert Scott, who ornamented the chancel as a memorial to the benefactor who funded the restoration.[3]

Economic and social history[edit]

By the early part of the 13th century the parish was being farmed with an open field system. In the 15th century it was a three-field system and the fields were called East, Down and Ham. In 1726 the same fields were called Upper, Middle and Lower, respectively. The land was inclosed in 1770.[2]

From at least the early part of the 14th century there was a ferry across the Thames between the village and Long Wittenham.[2]

Thatched cottages at Clifton Hampden.

Several cottages in the village survive from the later part of the 16th and early part of the 17th centuries. By 1726 the village had three public houses. By 1786 there was one called the Fleur de Lys, and this was still in business by 1864. The Plough beside Abingdon Road was a public house by 1821;[2] it still trades under the same name but is now a restaurant.

In 1736 the Parliament passed the first of several Acts to turn the main road between Abingdon and Dorchester into a turnpike. The section through Clifton Hampden ceased to be a turnpike in 1873.[2] In 1922 the Ministry of Transport classified it as the A415 road. In 1928, Oxfordshire County Council built a new bridge for the A415 beside the 15th century one.

In 1822, the Thames Navigation Commissioners built the 0.5 miles (800 m) long Clifton Cut, a navigation that bypasses a shallow and difficult stretch of river.[2] It ends with Clifton Lock, 0.5 miles (800 m) above Clifton Hampden ferry. In 1867, the ferry was replaced by Clifton Hampden Bridge, a brick structure designed by Sir G.G. Scott.[4] This was a toll bridge until 1946, when Berkshire and Oxfordshire county councils took it over. The Barley Mow just on the far side of Clifton Hampden Bridge is in Long Wittenham parish. In 1889 the novelist Jerome K. Jerome featured the village and the Barley Mow, in his book Three Men in a Boat.[5]

Round Clifton Hampden, itself a wonderfully pretty village, old-fashioned, peaceful, and dainty with flowers, the river scenery is rich and beautiful. If you stay the night on land at Clifton, you cannot do better than put up at the "Barley Mow."

In 1844, the Great Western Railway opened an extension from Didcot to Oxford. The GWR opened a station on the main road between the village and Culham. The station is closest to Clifton Hampden but it is in Culham parish and the GWR called it Culham.

The Church of England school was built in 1847 and affiliated to the National Society for Promoting Religious Education. It had only one schoolroom until 1909, when an infants' room was added. In 1934 the school was reorganised as a junior school, with senior pupils being schooled in Dorchester. Since 1951 it has been a Church of England voluntary controlled primary school.[6]

The village hall was built in 1896.[2] It was in this hall that Radiohead used to practice when they formed, at which point they were first called "On A Friday".

RNAS Culham[edit]

In 1941,[2] the Fleet Air Arm opened Royal Naval Air Station, HMS Hornbill, between Culham railway station and Clifton Hampden village. Most of the airfield is in Clifton Hampden parish, but HMS Hornbill was generally called RNAS Culham. The Admiralty closed the airfield in 1956[2] and transferred it to the UK Atomic Energy Authority in 1960. The former airfield is now the Culham Science Centre,[7] an 800,000 square metre scientific research site that includes two nuclear fusion experiments: JET and MAST. The START Nuclear Fusion Experiment was also conducted on the site until MAST succeeded it in 1999.

Amenities[edit]

Clifton Hampden has a village shop and post office[8] and a GPs' practice,[9] Clifton Hampden and Burcot have a Women's Institute.[10]

Clifton Hampden Cricket Club plays in Oxfordshire Cricket Association Division Three.[11] The village also has a longbow archery society.[12]

A pedigree herd of alpacas, the "Lost City Alpacas", is kept at the village.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Area: Clifton Hampden CP (Parish): Parish Headcounts". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lobel 1962, pp. 16–27.
  3. ^ Sherwood & Pevsner 1974, p. 549.
  4. ^ Phillips 1981, p. 65.
  5. ^ Jerome 1889[page needed]
  6. ^ "Clifton Hampden Church of England Primary School". Clifton-hampden.oxon.sch.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Culham Science Centre". Culham.org.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "Clifton Hampden Stores". Clifton Hampden Stores. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "Clifton Hampden Surgery". Clifton Hampden Surgery. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Your Nearest WI". Oxfordshire Federation of Women's Institutes. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Oxfordshire Cricket Association". Oxfordshire Cricket Association. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  12. ^ "Clifton Hampden Longbow Society". Clifton Hampden Longbow Society. 11 October 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  13. ^ Lost City Alpacas, UK.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]