South Moreton

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South Moreton
South Moreton church.jpg
St. John the Baptist parish church
South Moreton is located in Oxfordshire
South Moreton
South Moreton
 South Moreton shown within Oxfordshire
Population 350 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SU561881
Civil parish South Moreton
District South Oxfordshire
Shire county Oxfordshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Didcot
Postcode district OX11
Dialling code 01235
Police Thames Valley
Fire Oxfordshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Wantage
Website Welcome to the South Moreton website
List of places
UK
England
Oxfordshire

Coordinates: 51°35′20″N 1°11′28″W / 51.589°N 1.191°W / 51.589; -1.191

South Moreton is an Oxfordshire village and civil parish in England about 3 miles (5 km) east of Didcot and 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Wallingford. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred the parish to Oxfordshire and from the former Wallingford Rural District to the new district of South Oxfordshire.

History[edit]

Moretune in the Domesday book is ambiguous but four of the five manor houses are identifiable: (1) Saunderville is still known as 'The Manor', and is a moated manor house with horses grazing in the railed paddocks, seen to advantage from the encroaching railway; (2) Huse or Bray is a recently renovated low building nearby, again with a paddock in front of it, at the T-junction at the East end of the village; (3) the only trace of Adresham is the terrace upon which it once stood, opposite the village school - there is a 1950s house on the site; (4) Fulscot is half a mile west of the village, and is still a self-contained manor farm community. The largest house in South Moreton is none of these, but The Hall, very close to the Huse, and the last farm in the village.

Much Victorian history of the village is recorded in The Rector's Book, handwritten around 1905 from memories stretching back to 1845, and now deposited in the Berkshire County Archives at Reading.[citation needed]

At the time of the South Moreton Inclosure Act, 1818 c.18,[2] the dominant landlord was Henry Hucks Gibbs, 1st Baron Aldenham and many of the inclosures were allotted to him.[3] Later in the century a London butcher of the name of Hedges (by coincidence, also the surname of another powerful and extensive Wallingford-based family) used Rich's Sidings of the new Great Western Railway, two miles to the west by Didcot station, to supply much of the London meat trade; Hedges amassed a large fortune and much local land, including the inclosures at Hall Farm and Fulscot Manor, both of which are still owned and farmed by his descendants.[citation needed]

Character & Amenities[edit]

South Moreton has a public house, a school, and a chapel, but not a shop or a village hall, and the church is closed except for three services a year. There are a few large old houses on the High Street, some newer cottages at the east of the village, modern social housing to the West, and some seventeenth century cottages in between, many thatched.

Both Moreton Cricket Club and the North & South Moreton Women's Institute are both based in North Moreton.[citation needed]

Public transport[edit]

Two Oxfordshire County Council bus routes serve South Moreton. Route 95 links the Moretons and other local villages with Didcot three times per day, six days per week.[4] The current contractor operating route 95 is Thames Travel.[4] Route 131 is a market day service that links the Moretons and other villages with Wallingford once a week on Friday.[4] It is currently operated by White's Coaches[4] of Berinsfield.

The nearest railway station is Didcot Parkway.

Churches[edit]

The Church of England parish church of Saint John the Baptist at Bethesda, with its arguably Saxon doorway, stands by ancient earthworks at the South-Western outskirts of the village, by a ford on the old pilgrim route from the Downs to Dorchester.[5] The Church holds services on Principal Feast days and on certain other occasions only. Weddings, Funerals and Baptisms can also take place by arrangement (telephone 01235 850267). The parish is a member of the Churn Benefice, along with the neighbouring parishes of North Moreton, Aston Tirrold, Aston Upthorpe, Blewbury, Hagbourne, and Upton.[6]

South Moreton has a Strict Baptist Chapel.[citation needed]

Public house[edit]

The Crown Inn[7] is on the High Street and offers home-cooked food seven days a week. Families with young children are very welcome. The village darts team meets in the pub once a week. It was closed for some years around 1990, but reopened successfully as the last pub to be rebuilt by Wadworth Brewery before the statutory limits on breweries owning public houses.[citation needed] However it declined in the 2000s and closed in 2011. It reopened on 21 September 2012 and the current licencee is Mrs Claire Hollis [8]

South Moreton School[edit]

Gothic Revival Lodge (built 1825 as the previous village school) at the junction of the High Street with Church Lane (left) and Clement's Green (right)

South Moreton School, 200 yards east of Gothic Lodge on the High Street, is a County Primary School.[9] Many children nowadays arrive from the neighbouring villages by car, creating regular traffic jams in the village during school terms.[citation needed]

The former Post Office[edit]

The village post office and shop closed in 1993 after the opening of Tesco supermarket 2 miles (3 km) away.[citation needed]

Future plans[edit]

In 2003 there was a campaign against the further expansion of Didcot in the direction of North and South Moreton, and as a result housing sites were approved in the opposite direction.[citation needed]

In 2011 Network Rail published a plan to demolish and rebuild Fulscot Bridge at Christmas 2013, closing the main road between Didcot and South Moreton for up to five months. After a successful campaign by the local community charity OXCCARTS, Network Rail announced that it would instead jack up the existing bridge, taking only about a month.[10]

The former Women's Institute Barn was demolished in March 2012 for rebuilding as a private House, leaving South Moreton without a Village Hall, although the School Hall is sometimes available for community functions.[citation needed] The parish council meets rarely, but has ideas to improve social facilities including the playground and perhaps a village hall.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Area: South Moreton CP (Parish): Parish Headcounts". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  2. ^ An Act for inclosing lands in the Parish of South Moreton in the County of Berks. 58 Geo III Cap. 18, Berkshire Record Office D/EX 1215/1 1818
  3. ^ South Moreton Inclosure Award and Map
  4. ^ a b c d "Oxfordshire Bus Services and Frequencies" (pdf). Oxfordshire County Council. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Victoria History of Berkshire
  6. ^ "St John the Baptist, South Moreton". Churn Churches. 
  7. ^ The Crown Inn
  8. ^ Facebook page
  9. ^ South Moreton School: primary school
  10. ^ Didcot Herald, 7 March 2012[citation needed]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]