Glimpse history through old images and historic books of Long Wittenham, Berkshire.
Roye England Modelmaker
Roye England spent the 1950s making scale models of dilapidated English cottages, ready for his model village. He was the creator and founder President of the Pendon Museum of Miniature Landscape and Transport at Long Wittenham, near Oxford, which is still enjoyed by visitors today.
When Roye England died in September 2011, the Independent newspaper published an obituary of the Anglicised Australian.
While this newsreel focuses on his creative use of everyday objects to construct his models, today’s viewers will be surprised by the broken windows of an empty and derelict traditional thatched roof cottage – it would be worth a small fortune today.
Hair Thatching (1958): British Pathé
Long Wittenham History in Books
Two old books give us an insight into local life in the 19th century.
“The English Counties Delineated – Or, A Topographical Description of England”
By Thomas Moule
Published in 1837
LONG WITTENHAM, one mile west of Little Wittenham, contains 107 houses, and 496 inhabitants. It is a vicarage, value £122 12s 6d, in the patronage of Exeter College, Oxford. Wittenham Hill, on the banks of the Thames, is the site of a Roman fort, supposed to have been destroyed by the Danes; the mit is now cultivated.
Kelly’s Directory of Berkshire
Published in 1883
Pages 12 & 13
LONG WITTENHAM is a village and parish 4 miles south-east from Abingdon, 5 north-west from Wallingford, and south-east from Culham railway station, in the hundred of Ock, union and county court district of Wallingford, rural deanery of Abingdon, archdeaconry of Berks and diocese of Oxford, situated on the river Isis.
The church of St. Mary, which is of Norman, Early English, Decorated, Late Perpendicular and Elizabethan styles, was restored in 1850 and the chancel rebuilt by Exeter College, the impropriators of the great tithes: the tower is 75 feet high; in the chancel several members of the Prowse family are interred.
The register dates from the year 1561 to 1629: from this date to 1726 the register books are missing, said to have been destroyed by accident.
The living is a vicarage, yearly value £200 with residence, in the gift of Exeter College, Oxford, and held since 1830 by the Rev. James Charles Clutterback M.A., formerly fellow of that college.
The glebe is 94 acres.
There is a charity (of £50 10s. a year), the rent of 25 acres of land, which is given in coals to the poor.
The Manor House is occupied by William Goddard esq.
The chief portion of the land is copyhold or held on lease under the President and fellows of St. John’s College, Oxford, who are lords of the manor and chief landowners.
The soil in the southern part of the parish is the upper green sand, the remainder gault clay covered with drift gravel, nearly all arable, bearing chiefly wheat, barley and roots.
The area is 2,280 acres; rateable value, £3,701; the population in 1881 was 562.
Parish Clerk, William Thatcher.
POST OFFICE – Mrs. Sophia Holmes, sub-postmistress. Letters are received through Abingdon at 9 a.m. dispatched 6 p.m. The nearest money order office is at Dorchester & telegraph office at Culham Railway station.
INSURANCE AGENT. – Guardian, Fire & Life, H. B. Bush.
National School, for 117 children; Miss Mary Ann Wilson, mistress; Miss Kate Bradbury, infants’ mistress.
CARRIER – George Thatcher, Mon, Wed. & Sat. to & from the Fighting Cocks’ at Abingdon.
Clutterbuck Rev. Francis Capper M.A. [curate]
Clutterbuck Rev. James Charles M.A. Vicarage
Goddard William, Manor house
- Almond Mary (Mrs.), Barley Mow
- Helcher Richard, beer retailer
- Bush Harry Latten, estate agent
- Chambers Davil, Hough Inn
- Fason John, blacksmith
- Eason Thomas, baker
- Green William, grocer
- Hewett Emily (Mrs.), wheelwright
- Hewett Henry, farmer