St. Mary the Virgin parish church
|Childrey shown within Oxfordshire|
|Population||510 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|Website||Childrey Village Website|
Childrey is a village and civil parish about 2.5 miles (4 km) west of Wantage in the Vale of White Horse. The parish was part of the Wantage Rural District in Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred the whole of the Vale of White Horse from Berkshire to Oxfordshire.
Childrey was originally an island in a marsh, relating it to nearby villages of the Hanney, Goosey and Charney. Its toponym is derived from the Old English Cille-rīþ, meaning "spring - stream". Its spelling evolved through Celrea in the 11th century, Chilree in the 13th century and Chelrey in the 13th to 15th centuries before reaching its current form.
In the parish west of Hackpen Hill on the Berkshire Downs is a bowl barrow 90 feet (27 m) in diameter and 4 feet (1.2 m) high. In the 19th century the barrow was excavated and one cremation was found.
Before the Norman conquest of England the manor of Frethornes was held by an Anglo-Saxon freeman called Brictric. The Domesday Book records that by 1086 it was held by a Norman, Turstin Fitz Rou. The manor's name comes from the de Frethorne family, who were tenants of the manor by 1166 and remained so until 1357. In 1514 and subsequently the manor was recorded as being held of Baron FitzWarin and his heirs, who held the manor of Wantage. An annual payment of four bushels and two pecks of wheat from Frethornes to the manor of Wantage was still payable in 1771.
The manor of Mautravers was held by an Anglo-Saxon freeman called Edmund before the Conquest, and afterwards by Roger de Lacy. The manor got its name from several generations of lord of the manor who were all called John Mautravers or Maltravers, and who held it from the late 12th to the late 14th centuries. The earliest known John Mautravers held the manor by 1194 and died in 1201.
A later John Mautravers supported Roger Mortimer de Chirk in his rebellion against Edward II in 1321–22. The rebellion was defeated and Mautravers' lands, including his manor at Childrey, were seized. They were restored to him in 1327 and he was summoned to Parliament as Baron Maltravers in 1330. However, in March of that year he was involved in the execution of Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent, for which he forfeited his estates again. This time Maltravers was condemned to death but he escaped to the Continent.
In Maltravers' absence Childrey was granted to John de Nevill of Hornby. De Nevill died heirless and Childrey was in 1336 granted to John de Ufford, but he too died without an heir. In 1348 Childrey was granted to Agnes, wife of John Maltravers, and he was again restored to all his estates in 1352. After Maltravers died in 1364, Agnes devoted the manor to the support of three chaplains at a chantry at St. Mary the Virgin parish church, Lytchett Matravers, Dorset. In 1371 the three chaplains granted the manor to the vicar of Lytchett Matravers, and his successors retained the manor until Edward VI's abolition of chantries in 1547.
The Domesday Book records that in 1086 one William Leuric held the manor of Rampayns, which consisted of 12 hides. His lands passed to the Scroop family. The manor's name comes from the de Rampayn family, who held it from about 1230 to 1329. It then passed through the Achard, Lynt, Walrond, Kentwood and Waryng families. 
Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Waryng married her second husband William Fettiplace, with whose descendants the manor then remained until the 19th century. John Fettiplace inherited the manor in 1657 and after the restoration of the English Monarchy was created Sir John Fettiplace, 1st Baronet, of Childrey. The baronetcy became extinct on the death of Sir George Fettiplace, 5th Baronet in 1743, whereupon the manor passed to his sister Diana. She was married to John Bushel of Cleeve Prior, Worcestershire, but their son Thomas took the surname Fettiplace. His son Charles died in 1805 leaving the manor to his nephew Richard Gorges. He too took the surname Fettiplace but he died the following year, leaving the manor to his sister. The manor then passed through the families of Dacre, Farmer and Schoolcroft Burton, and in 1924 was owned by a Mr. Dunn.
Church of England
The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary the Virgin was originally late Norman, built either late in the 12th century or early in the 13th, but the only surviving original features are the south doorway and the font. The chancel was rebuilt late in the 13th century. The north and south transepts were added in the 14th century, the Perpendicular Gothic west tower in the 15th and the south porch in the 16th century. One window and a tomb recess are surviving original Decorated Gothic features of one of the transepts, but both transepts now have Perpendicular windows that were inserted later.
The tomb recess in the north transept contains a fine effigy of a knight. The south transept is the larger of the two and is the family Fettiplace chapel. St. Mary's is notable for its numerous monumental brasses, including one to William Fynderne (died 1444) and his wife which at 52 inches (1.3 m) long is the largest in old Berkshire. St. Mary's parish is part of the Benefice of Ridgeway, along with the parishes of Kingston Lisle, Letcombe Bassett, Letcombe Regis, Sparsholt and West Challow.
Childrey has also a Methodist church.
Samuel Aldworth, a yeoman of Childrey, was apprenticed to the notable clockmaker John Knibb of Oxford in 1673. After his seven-year apprenticeship he remained in his master's service until 1689, when he was made a freeman of the City of Oxford and established his own clockmaking business in the city. In 1697 Knibb's elder brother, the distinguished clock and watchmaker Joseph Knibb, sold his business in London and retired to Hanslope in Buckinghamshire. Aldworth moved to London in his place and became a brother of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. In 1703 Aldworth was granted a licence to marry Elizabeth Knibb of Collingtree, Northamptonshire. In later life Aldworth retired to Childrey, where he continued his work. One longcase clock dated 1725 is signed Sam Aldworth at Childrey From London. Aldworth died in about 1730.
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Childrey has more features than many of the surrounding villages. As well as its churches it has a village shop, primary school, duck pond, park, stables and farm store. Childrey had a post office until its closure in June 2008. The last public house in the village, The Hatchet, closed in 2016.
Childrey Football Club won the North Berks League Division Three title in the 2008–09 season and was promoted from Division Two in the 2009–10 season. Childrey now plays in Division One of the North Berks League, the highest division in the league, for the 2010–11 season.
Challow and Childrey Cricket Club is based in nearby East Challow, and represents both villages.
The pavilion in the local park was redeveloped during in because the old one had become dated after many years of use. The new pavilion was formally opened on 16 May 2009 by jockey and local resident Mick Fitzgerald.
The village is about 2 miles (3 km) south of the site of the former Challow railway station on the Great Western Main Line. The Great Western Railway opened the station in 1840 and British Railways closed it in 1964. The B4001 road passes through Childrey, meeting the A417 road about 2 miles (3 km) to the north, next to the railway.
- "Area selected: Vale of White Horse (Non-Metropolitan District)". Neighbourhood Statistics: Full Dataset View. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
- Page & Ditchfield 1924, pp. 272-279.
- Pevsner 1966, p. 115.
- Pevsner 1966, p. 114.
- Archbishops' Council (2010). "Benefice of Ridgeway". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- Beeson & Simcock 1989, p. 85.
- Beeson & Simcock 1989, p. 123.
- Beeson & Simcock 1989, p. 176.
Sources and further reading
- Beeson, C.F.C. (1989) . Simcock, A.V, ed. Clockmaking in Oxfordshire 1400–1850 (3rd ed.). Oxford: Museum of the History of Science. pp. 85, 176. ISBN 0-903364-06-9.
- Page, W.H.; Ditchfield, P.H., eds. (1907). A History of the County of Berkshire, Volume 2. Victoria County History. Archibald Constable & Co. p. 93.
- Page, W.H.; Ditchfield, P.H., eds. (1924). A History of the County of Berkshire, Volume 4. Victoria County History. pp. 272–279.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1966). Berkshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 114–115.
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