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An Outline History of Stanford in the Vale

Browse Chapters:
Domesday Stanford
Medieval Stanford
Reformation and Tudor Stanford
Civil War Stanford
Early Modern Stanford
19th Century Stanford
The First World War
The Inter-War Years
The Second World War
Post-War Stanford
Church and Chapel
Schools and Libraries
Civic Administration
Health and Social Services, and Young People
Village Halls
Fairs, Festivals and Fetes
Clubs and Societies
Acknowledgements & Further Reading
Additional articles:
BBC Domesday 1986
Church Green Fire 2005
Coat Of Arms
Virtual Tour 2003


This history of Stanford was rewritten from the original web page produced by Teddy Cuff and James Brooks, as the Stanford in the Vale Archaeological Research Project has made many new findings, both through documentary research and archaeological fieldwork. Many people gave their time, advice, knowledge and resources to assist the original web page production on various aspects of Stanford’s history:

Richard Avenell, Mick Barnard, George & Martha Belcher, Sue Booys (Kidlington), Philip Carter, Hugh Coddington (Oxford), Hilda Coleman, Kisty Creighton, John Crook, Ray & Irene Davidson, Jean Dudley, Geoff Eltham, Mrs. G. Flippance (Faringdon), Bill & Margaret Grant, the late Thomas Greenwood, Brigadier Jock Hamilton-Baillie, Barbara & Gareth Hateley, Hubert & the late Violet Howse, Jasmine Howse (Upper Wolvercote), Maurice Hull, Father Frank Isherwood (Diocese of Portsmouth), Anne Jones, Dora Kinnear (Faringdon), Eileen Langford, Nona Lewis, Doris Marshall, Rev. Rosanna Martin (Chilton), Ian Mead, Ann & Doug Miles, Jackie O'Hagan, Rosemary Packer, Chick Parker, Lance Parry (Marlborough), Colin & Suellen Pedley, Stuart Pepler (Goosey), Cliff Puffett (Gainfield), Andrew Pyke (Culmington), Jean Rome, Andrew Rosevear (Wantage), Marjorie Sandels, Geoffrey Scott OSB (Stanbrook Abbey), Val Scriven (Buckland), June Silverton, Eric Simmons, Colin Smith, John Smith, Geoffrey & Caroline Somerset, Clive Spillage (Shellingford), Ted Spinage, Alan Stoyel, John Tobin, Bob Turner, Kevin Unsworth, Gladys & Pete Varney, Sue Ward, David & Janet Warren, Mike Webster (Marlborough), Alan & Lindsey Weeks, Rev. Michael Wenham, John & Seija Wentworth, Anne Wickenden, Linda Williams, Mike Williams, Mary Wyatt, Paul Wynn, Ben Buxton (acquiring and/or checking much of the materials), Roger Griffin (technical assistance) and many others.

We would also like to acknowledge the following people and organisations who have contributed their time, both to this document and to the fieldwork from which the archaeological information has been gathered, and so changed our view of Stanford’s past:

Dr Katie Tucker, Dave Grant, Briony Lalor, Giles Carey, Nick Watson, Alex Bellisario, Adam Fellingham, Paul Smith (Oxfordshire County Archaeologist), The University of Winchester Department of Archaeology Staff and Students, The University of Southampton Department of Archaeology, Oxford University Institute of Archaeology, Stanford in the Vale and District Local History Society, and the landowners of the village who have allowed access to undertake fieldwork on their land.

Extensive use was made of the Centre for Oxfordshire Studies; Central Library, Westgate, Oxford; the National Monuments Record (NMR) office, Swindon; and the Historical Environment Record (HER), Oxford and Berkshire. Anyone interested in more details about Stanford's history is advised to consult Stanford in the Vale History Society’s index and library of publications. The mention or not of named individuals in this history, particularly from contemporary times, should not be taken as an indication of their relative importance in the life of Stanford. As a general rule, we have tried to adhere to mentioning only the first chairperson or founder of the various groups in the village today, although we readily acknowledge that such groups are the sum totals of all their members. Many individuals have given a great deal to the life of this village, and although this is not the place to try to identify who they are, we gratefully acknowledge their largely unsung contributions.

We apologise for any errors or omissions in our parish history, and would welcome any further information.

Selected Bibliography and Further Reading


  • Hayden, E.G. (1908) Islands of the Vale. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 276 pp. (see pp. 165-190)
  • Howse, V.M (no date [1966]) Stanford in the Vale: a parish record Part 1. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, pp. 1-27 + i-xlv. [reprinted 1985]
  • Howse, V.M (no date [1966]) Stanford in the Vale: a parish record Part 2. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, pp. 29-95 + xlvii-Iii. [reprinted 1985]
  • Howse, V.M (no date [1966]) Stanford in the Vale: a parish record Part 3. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, pp. 97-130 + liii-cxxx. [reprinted 1985]
  • Howse, V.M (no date [1966]) Stanford in the Vale: a parish record Part 4. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, pp. 131-222 + cxxxi-cxlvii. [reprinted 1985]
  • Howse, V.M (no date [1967]) Stanford in the Vale: a parish record Part 5. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, pp. 223-289 + cxlix-clxxvi. [reprinted 1985]
  • Maine, L.G. (1866) A Berkshire village. Its history and antiquities. Oxford & London: James Packer and Co., 103 pp.
  • Spinage, C. (1993) Rambling about Stony Ford. The Blowing Stone, 12(3): 26-29.
  • Page, W. (ed.) (1924) The Victoria history of the counties of England. A history of Berkshire, Volume lV. London: St. Catherines Press, xxi + 551 pp. [reprinted 1972] (see pp. 478-485)


  • Gelling, M (1974) The place-names of Berkshire. Part 2. English Place-name Society, 50 (see pp. 398-399)
  • Stebbing, N. (1978) The Vale of White Horse: land and people. Oxford: Oxfordshire County Council, Department of Museum Services, 32 pp.

Roman Britain

  • Frere, S.S. (1990) Roman Britain in 1989. I. Sites explored. Britannia, 21: 303-364 (see p. 334; also ibid, 19: 454 (1988); 20: 297 (1989))
  • Miles, D. (1982) Confusion in the countryside: some comments from the Upper Thames region. pp 53-79, in D. Miles (ed.) The Romano-British Countryside: studies in rural settlement and economy. BAR British Series, 103: ix + 462 pp.

Domesday Personalities

  • Golob, P.E. (1985) The Ferrers earls of Derby: a study of the honour of Tutbury 1066-1279. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Cambridge. (not seen)
  • Hart, C.R (1992) Hereward 'the Wake' and his companions. pp. 625-648, in The Danelaw. London: The Hambledon Press, xviii + 702 pp. (see pp. 640-641)

Agriculture and Rural Society and Industry

  • Bond, J.; Gosling, S.; Rhodes, J. (1980) The clay industries of Oxfordshire: Oxfordshire Brickmakers. Woodstock, Oxon.: Oxfordshire County Council [Department of Museum Services, i + 33 pp.
  • Brooks, J. (1982) The deserted medieval villages of North Berkshire. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Reading. (not seen)
  • Cottis, J. (1984) Agrarian change in the Vale of White Horse, 1660-1760. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Reading. (not seen)
  • Cottis, J. (1989) Peasant farming in the Vale of the White Horse, 1660-1760. Berkshire Old and New; No.6: 32-40.
  • Dils, J. (1986) Migration in North Berkshire 1590-1620. Oxfordshire Local History, 2: 110-119.
  • Foreman, W. (1983) Oxfordshire mills. Chichester, Sussex: Phillimore & Co., Ltd., xv + 143 pp.
  • Gash, N. (1934) The rural unrest in England in 1830 with particular reference to Berkshire. B.Litt. Thesis, Oxford University. (not seen)
  • Hammond, N. (1974, 1993) Rural life in the Vale of the White Horse, 1780-1914. West Hanney: Rectory Orchard Books, iii + 166 pp.
  • Hobsbawm, B.J.; Rude, G. (1969, 1973) Captain Swing. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books Ltd., xxv + 380 pp. (see p. 110)
  • Mavor, W. (1809) General view of the agricuture of Berkshire. London: Richard Phillips.
  • Orr , J. ( 1918) Agriculture in Berkshire. A survey made on behalf of the Institute for Research in Agricultural Economics, University of Oxford Oxford: Clarendon Press, ix + 208 pp. (see pp. 14-16)

Transportation and Communication

  • Dalby, L.J. (1971, 1986) The Wilts and Berks Canal. Oxford: The Oakwood Press, 120 pp.
  • Rosevear, A. (1993) Roads across the Upper Thames Valley, RUlV I: Ancient roads across the Vale of White Horse. Wantage: privately published, 18 pp.
  • Rosevear, A. (1993, 1994) Roads across the Upper Thames Valley, RUlV 3: The turnpike network in the Upper Thames Valley. Wantage: privately published, 21 pp.
  • Rosevear, A. (1993) Roads across the Upper Thames Valley, RUlV 5: The Wallingford: Wantage and Faringdon Turnpike. Wantage: privately published, 34 pp.
  • Rosevear, A (1993, 1994) Roads across the Upper Thames Valley, RUlV 11: Coach & waggon services across the Upper Thames Valley. Wantage: privately published, 49 pp.
  • Rosevear, A. (1993, 1994) Roads across the Upper Thames Valley, RUlV 12: Response of the turnpikes to the coming of the railway -the extension of the Great Western Railway to Steventon & Oxford Wantage: privately published, 15 pp.
Among the many works on the railways (none directly concerning Stanford), see those by O.S. Nock published by Ian Allan Ltd. (London): The Great Western Railway in the Nineteenth Century (1962) and The Great Western Railway in the Twentieth Century (1964), and A. Vaughan, published by John Murray (London): Grub, water & relief: Tales of the Great Western, 1835-1892 (1985) and Grime & glory: Tales of the Great Western, 1892-1947 (1985), and his reminiscences as a signalman at Challow Station and Uffington: Signalman's morning (1981), Signalman's twilight (1983) and Signalman's nightmare (1987), as well as his A history of the Faringdon Branch and Uffington Station (1979, Oxford Publishing Co. (Oxford)).

Health and Social Services

  • Railton, M (1994) Early medical services: Berkshire and South Oxfordshire from 1740. Polmood Publications, xii + 244 pp. (nothing specifically on Stanford, but includes Faringdon Union and Workhouse)

Religion, Church and Chapel

  • Butler, W. (1981) 100 Years of the Oxford Diocesan Guild Thatcham, Berks.: The Oxford Diocesan Guild, 123 pp. (see p. 101)
  • Clarke, B.F.L.; Colvin, HM (1952-57) The rebuilding and repair of Berkshire churches during the seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Berkshire Archaeological Journal 53: 65- 99 (see pp. 97-98); 54: 58-118 (see p. 89); 55: 73-79.
  • Duffy, E. (1992) The stripping of the altars. Traditional religion in England c. 1400- c. 1580. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press.
  • Goddard, J. (no date [1926]) Village chapels of the Vale of the White Horse. Faringdon: Committee of the Faringdon Group of Congregational Churches, 8 pp.
  • Hutton, R (1987) The local impact of the Tudor reformations. pp. 114-138, in: Haigh, C. (ed.) The English Reformation revised. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Keyser, C.E. (1914-15) Notes on the churches of Stanford-in-the-Vale, Hatford and Shellingford and the chapels of Goosey and Baulking. Berk, Buck & axon Archaeological Journal, 20: 1-9, 33-37,65-72,97-102.
  • Scott, G. (1990) Catholicism in West Berkshire, 1559-1800. Transactions of the Newbury District Field Club, 14: 43-55.
  • Sharpe, F. (1971) The church bells of Berkshire. Second edition. Bath, Kingsmead Reprints, viii + 404 pp. (see pp. 252-253, 359-361)
  • Summers, W.H (1905) History of the Congregational churches in the Berks, South Oxon and South Bucks Association, with notes on the earlier nonconformist history of the district. Newbury: W.J. Blacket, vii + 331 pp.(see pp. 234-235)

Civil War

  • anonymous (1989) Visitation of the plague to Stanford-in-the-Vale, in 1645. Blowing Stone, 8: 14-17 (by M Prentice from information supplied by V. Howse)
  • Dils, J.A. (1989) Epidemics, mortality and the Civil War in Berkshire, 1642-6. Southern History, 11: 40-52.
  • Firth, C.H (1890) A chronological summary of the Civil War in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Berkshire, 1642-1646. Proceedings of the Oxford Architectural and Historical Society, New Series, 5: 280-292.
  • Hartmann, C.H (1964) Faringdon in the Civil War. Faringdon: privately published, 14 pp.
  • Hayhurst-France, C. (1995) The Civil War at Faringdon. Faringdon: Faringdon and District Promotion Group, 6 pp.
  • Money, W. (1886-95) The Civil War in Berkshire, 1642-1646. Newbury District Field Club Transactions, 4: 73-86.

20th Century

  • Bowyer, M.J.F. (1988) Action stations. Military airfields of Oxfordshire. Wellingborough, Northants: Patrick Stephens Limited, 160 pp.

Village Societies and Clubs

  • Kelly, M (1993) Stanford F.C 1966-1993 in the North Berks League. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, 24 pp.
  • O'Hagan, J.A. (1996) St. Denys Handbell Ringers, Stanford in the Vale. Reverberations, 29: 39-45.

Memoirs and Biographies

  • Battiscombe, G. (1978) Reluctant pioneer: the life of Elizabeth Wordsworth. London: Constable.
  • Overton, J.H; Wordsworth, E. (1888) Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln. London: Rivingtons.
  • Porter, v. (1995) Tales of the old country vets. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles, 184 pp. (see pp. 163-181)
  • Slater, A.W. (ed.) (1964) Autobiographical memoir of Joseph Jewe11, 1763-1846. Camden Miscellany, 22: 113-178.
  • Wordsworth, E. (1912) Glimpses of the past: London & Oxford: AR Mowbray & Co., Ltd., viii + 218 pp.


  • Brooks, J.; Heard, N. (1986) The Muster Certificates for Berkshire, 1522. Introduction & Part Two. Oxford: Oxford Polytechnic, 28 + 92 pp. (Faculty of Modem Studies Occasional/ Paper, no.3)
  • Clanchy, MT. (ed.) (1973) The Roll and Writ File of the Berkshire Eyre of 1248. London: Selden Society, cxxi + 614 pp.
  • Haines, W. (1888) Stanford Churchwardens' Accounts (1552-1602). The Antiquary, 17: 70-72, 117-120, 168-172, 209-213.
  • Howse, V.M (1982) Stanford in the Vale, Berkshire parish registers. Oxford: Oxford Family History Society. (microfiche)
  • Howse, V.M (1987) Stanford in the Vale Churchwardens' Accounts, 1552-1725. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, 305 + xxiii pp.
  • Howse, V.M (1990) Stanford in the Vale Churchwardens' Accounts, 1753-1906. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, 180 + xxi pp.
  • Howse, V.M (1994) Stanford in the Vale early title deeds:, 1331-1509. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, i + 10 + xi pp.
  • Howse, V.M (1994) Stanford in the Vale Elizabethan terriers. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, i + 97 + xi pp.
  • Howse, V.M (1995) Stanford in the Vale parish registers. Volume 2. Oxford: Oxfordshire Family History Society. (microfiche)
  • Morgan, P. (ed.) (1979) Domesday book: Berkshire. Chichester: Phillimore & Co. Ltd.
  • Mortimer, I. (ed.) (1995) Berkshire glebe terriers 1634. Reading: Berkshire Records Society, xxx + 260 pp.

Miscellaneous sources

  • biographical sources (Dictionary of national biography; Who ~ who; etc.)
  • census returns
  • newspapers (Faringdon Advertiser; Faringdon Folly; Faringdon Free Press; Jackson's Oxford Journal,' The Morning Post," North Berks Herald; Reading Mercury; etc.)
  • parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials
  • Parish Council records
  • parish newsletters ( 1969- )
  • post office and business directories
  • Oxfordshire County Museum, Woodstock
  • Vale and Downland Museum, Wantage

V. Howse's collection of papers was deposited in the Berkshire Records Office, Shire Hall, Reading, after her death in 1994, and is already catalogued. Her collection of old photographs and slides of Stanford, with accompanying text, was deposited in her lifetime in the Department of Western Manuscripts, Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Neighbouring and Local Parishes

  • Drummond, J.M (1989) Childrey: a village in the Vale of White Horse. Childrey: privately published, 116 pp.
  • Gantlett, C. (no date [pre-1990]) The chequered pathway: Cecil Gantlett reminiscing over 80 years. Shellingford: privately published, 12 pp.
  • Goodrich, P.J. (1927) A history of Hatford. Oxford: privately published, 47 pp.
  • Howse, J.S. (1967) Denchworth through the centuries. Stanford in the Vale: privately published.
  • Howse, J.S. (1975) Charney Bassett through the centuries. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, 75 pp.
  • Howse, V.M (1968) Goosey. A parish record Parts 1 and 2. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, 111 + lvi pp.
  • Howse, V.M (1972) Pusey. A parish record. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, 97 pp.
  • Howse, V.M (1976) Hatford A parish record. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, 62 pp.
  • Howse, V.M (1978) Shellingford A parish record. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, 125 pp.
  • Howse, V.M (1985) West Challow. A parish record. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, 95 pp.
  • Howse, V.M (1989, 1991) Sparsholt. A parish record Parts 1 and 2. Stanford in the Vale: privately published, 139 + 97 pp.
  • Ody, M (1985) The length of the road. recordings. Wantage: privately published, 132 pp. (Charney Bassett, 1924-30)
  • Wright, A.S.N. (1966) The history of Buck/and in the County of Berkshire. Oxford: privately published, 72 pp.

This is a twice-yearly publication, edited and published by Phil Morris, 71 Van Diemans, Stanford in the Vale, Oxon. SN7 8HW, which contains articles dealing with the history of Stanford and surrounding villages. Some of the more recent articles have dealt with the history of St. Denys Church, and The United Reformed Church, Stanford; problems of 'pub catering' at the Horse and Jockey in the Second World War; discussion about Richard III's relationship with Stanford, and various first-hand accounts of life in the village during the mid-twentieth century.

The editor invites articles, especially from young persons. Copies are available from Stanford Papershop & Post Office, 'The Horse and Jockey', and Wantage Library, price £1.00. Back numbers are available for £1.50 (inc. p&p) from the editor - address above.