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‘A Country fit for Heroes to live in’ – Prime Minister Lloyd George, 1918

New homes rewarded the returning soldiers of 1919 when local authorities became major landlords, with subsidies and powers to compel land purchase.  Wheatley’s housing stock rose by 30% (100 homes) in the 1920s, half of them the Wheatley Urban District Council black-and-white faced ‘Tudorbethans’ on the new London Rd [‘The Cut’] and The Avenue.  The … Continue reading

The Holton Park Archive

Kevin Heritage of Wheatley Park School has created an excellent website chronicling the history of the Holton Park Estate, now the site of Wheatley Park School.  It covers eras from Roman and Saxon times to the present day, and contains many fascinating documents and images. Of particular interest are two videos, of which part 2 features a … Continue reading

Wheatley Hospitality (3)

Hostelries, Hospitals, and Hotels all offer shelter.  The Good Samaritan took the injured man to an inn.  During the Civil War, 1642-6, The Bell and other inns nursed and buried casualties at parish expense.  When the King reinforced bridge defences, Wheatley homes and inns quartered soldiers for a quartermaster’s billet (chitty), redeemable after victory.  During World War II an … Continue reading

Wheatley Hospitality (2)

The George and Crown were our oldest inns.  The King and Queen (the William and Mary sign of 1980 now shows Charles and Henrietta) and the White Hart were close behind.  Mail was delivered and collected at the White Hart, 1650-1750, before the Crown took over, 1750-1860.  Railways and telegraph wires on poles replaced mail … Continue reading

Wheatley Hospitality (1)

Travellers depended on Wheatley for shelter, hospitality and fresh horses. It was a ‘service station’ for two main roads and it has a memory of 20 inn names.  The London to Oxford road passed over Shotover (Old Road), replaced by a new road in the 1700s along the present A40 valley. The London to Worcester road … Continue reading

Fred Naish’s Memories of the Crown

The Crown Hotel was in business and popular for the people living at the lower end of the Village. It was very exciting when the Fair Ground Showmen brought the Switchbacks and other Sideshows on the scene causing much excitement. Doctor Barnes who lived opposite The Crown, smoking his favourite cigar, would gather several children … Continue reading

Wheatley Windmill

There has been at least one windmill on Wheatley’s southern horizon since 1671, when a local rate book mentioned that it was ‘in a ruinous condition’. A mill is marked on Michael Burghers’ map dated 1676. Co incidentally, Samuel Goode, miller of Wheatley, who died in 1678, was probably bankrupt, for his executors refused to … Continue reading

The Round House and Stocks

Wheatley’s best known landmark is its six-faced, pyramid lock-up of 1834. This ‘round house’ or ‘keep’, a temporary holding place for those arrested before they were taken before the Justices, was built on the parish stone pits where parish ‘paupers’ earned their living (work fare) by breaking stones for parish roads. In its day it … Continue reading

Wayside Inns

The old White Hart, Wheatley, 1822, drawn by James Buckler. It is on the site of the present Oxford House, High Street, opposite The Bell. The signboard names the landlord as George Crookes. Buckler also sketched the Manor House and 1795 chapel on Bell Lane. (Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, MS Top Oxon a.69, fol. … Continue reading

Memories of Wheatley – December 1999

History is the overlap of memories. Richard Dumbelow of Wheatley, born in 1477 during the Wars of the Roses, lived for over a century, well into the reign of Elizabeth Tudor; as he died, Sybell Pangbourne was born in Holton in 1583 and lived to well over a hundred, until 1699. Some villagers greeting the … Continue reading

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