St. Mary's parish church
Longworth shown within Oxfordshire
|Population||848 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|District||Vale of White Horse|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|Website||Longworth Village on the Web|
Longworth is a village and civil parish about 7 miles (11 km) west of Abingdon-on-Thames and a similar distance east of Faringdon and south of Witney. It is located in the historic county of Berkshire, however, since 1974 for administration purposes the village is located in the Vale of White Horse district of Oxfordshire. The hamlet of Newbridge is located within the parish of Longworth. There is a non-denominational primary school in the village.
Longworth parish stretches between the River Thames in the north and the A420 road in the south. Harrowdown Hill, in the north of the parish near the Thames, is where biological warfare expert David Kelly died (or committed suicide) during the Second Gulf War WMD scandal; this gave rise to a public enquiry concluded by the Hutton Report, and to the title of a popular song, 'Harrowdown Hill' by Thom Yorke, which expressed doubts about the British government's handling of the issue.
Sir Henry Marten, a 17th-century judge of the Admiralty Court, and his son, Henry Marten, the regicide, lived at Longworth House. The Old Rectory at Longworth was the birthplace on 7 June 1825 of the novelist R. D. Blackmore, author of Lorna Doone, whose father was briefly curate-in-charge of the parish.
Geography and transport
Longworth has two bus services. RH Transport services route 63 links Longworth with Oxford from Monday to Saturday via the villages of Southmoor, Hinton Waldrist, Appleton, Eaton and Cumnor. Grayline route 43 links Eaton with Abingdon-on-Thames via Longworth on Mondays and Thursdays.
Longworth has two public houses: the Blue Boar in the village and the Maybush Inn at Newbridge about 1 mile north of the village. The Lamb and Flag 2 miles south of the village was in the parish until boundary changes in 2011 moved it into Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor.
The thatched part of the Blue Boar was built in 1606 during the Great Rebuilding of England and the two-storey part was added about 50 years later. It is not clear however whether it has always been a pub.[clarification needed] As it is on the main route out of the village to the River Thames it was popular in the 19th century as a resting stop for horse, cart and drover. The current owner rescued it from dereliction in the late 1970s and has extended and modernised it while retaining the beams and open fires. It is the only one of five original licensed premises surviving within the village boundary and is now a gastropub.
On the Blue Boar pub sign, the white boar and the white rose on the pennant are the symbols of Richard III. The blue boar was the personal badge of the De Vere family who were the Earls of Oxford. Legend has it[clarification needed] that when King Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, any White Boar pub signs were quickly repainted as Blue Boars, as an acknowledgement that the white boar was dead and the blue boar prevailed.
Blue Boar RFC
The club played its first game of rugby in March 1977, as a result of a challenge by staff of Blackwells Bookshop in Oxford. The occasion proved so enjoyable that the following season several more matches were arranged against local sides and the club affiliated to the Oxfordshire Rugby Football Union. In succeeding seasons the number of fixtures and strength of opposition increased, and in May 1981 the club was elected to the Rugby Football Union.
In September 1980 the club made its first tour of Cornwall. It made further visits to the Duchy in 1987, 1988 and 1989. It made its first foreign tour in 1981, when a party of 35 players and supporters went to Brittany and enjoyed themselves so much that they returned there a year later. In 1991 the club was the first English RFU club to make an official tour of Hungary, which was hosted by the Hungarian Rugby Union.
The club reached the final of the Oxfordshire Knockout Cup Plate competition in the 2003–4 and 2008–9 seasons.
- "Neighbourhood Statistics: 2001 Census: Key Statistics: Parish Headcounts: Area: Longworth CP (Parish)". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2008-06-05.
- "David Kelly laid to rest". BBC News. 2003-08-06. Retrieved 2008-06-05.
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1891). "Marten, Henry (1562?-1641)". Dictionary of National Biography 28. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Ford, David Nash. "Sir Henry Marten (1602–1680)". Berkshire History. Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 2008-06-05.
- Christopher Winn: I Never Knew That about the River Thames (London: Ebury Press, 2010), p. 45.
- Grayline: Ancillary Services[dead link]
- The Blue Boar
- Blue Boar RFC
- Page, W.H.; Ditchfield, P.H., eds. (1924). A History of the County of Berkshire, Volume 4. Victoria County History. pp. 466–471.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1966). Berkshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 171–172.
Media related to Longworth at Wikimedia Commons