Boxford | West Berkshire Villages
Boxford is attractively situated in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. it has a chocolate box feel with thatched roof houses. Boxford sits of the River Lambourn , there is a small weir in one of the private houses, which can be seen from the roadside. Unfortunately the pub has now closed.
BOXFORD | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES| AMENITIES & FACILITIES
The village has a large recreation ground and a village hall, home to the mother and toddler group and a pre- school. Boxford no longer has a school, but children are able to travel by bus to Stockcross Primary School. Whereas Boxford was a pastoral community before the First World War, only about 16% of residents now work in the Parish. the village hall is available for hire, it was built in 2014 and has two halls, a pre-school hall and a community hall. There is a wall between the two, which can be opened. It has a fitted kitchen, disabled facilities, wheelchair accessible, a car park, an area for BBQ’s, a recreation ground with a dedicated children’s play area.
BOXFORD | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES| FOOD & DRINK
There is no pub in the village, but there are pubs in the surrounding villages.
BOXFORD | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES| SPORTS
There is a tennis club.
BOXFORD | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES| SCHOOL
The school is at nearby Stockcross.
BOXFORD | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES| CHURCH
There is evidence of a church in Boxford from as early as the 11th century. Like most country churches of its time, the original St. Andrew’s was considerably smaller and simpler than it is today, comprising only a nave and chancel. The present building dates from around 1225 and was mainly built from local flint, although there are indications that the east chancel wall may be of earlier Saxon origin.
In the 15th century, rebuilding work was carried out to the nave and chancel, and above the arch to the chancelafrescowaspainteddepictingaTudorcoatofarms,partofwhichisvisibletoday. The first reference to a tower also dates from this time but it collapsed in 1667 and was rebuilt in 1692. The porch was added in the middle of the 18th century.
The church was significantly extended and remodelled in 1841, when the north aisle and vestry were added. However, by 1900 it had fallen into a bad state of repair and underwent a major restoration in 1907/8.
In 1967 the church was listed as a Grade II* building and as such is considered to be of national importance, being one of only 4% of all similarly listed buildings in England.
It is part of the East Downland Benefice.
BOXFORD | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES | TRANSPORT
The No 4 bus stops at The Bell Inn. There is also the handy bus – a volunteer service.
BOXFORD | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES| PARISH COUNCIL
The parish council is Boxford Parish Council.
BOXFORD | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES: LOCAL HISTORY
Before the advent of man, the area was covered by a warm sea, evidenced by rare microscopic sea creatures found in one of Boxford’s chalk pits, and now protected by Natural England as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Early man was drawn to settle here because of the clear water supply and river ford. Neolithic flints have been found across the Parish from Westbrook to Ownham. Earthworks at Borough Hill near Wyfield Farm are evidence of an Iron Age settlement and Romans who lived alongside the locals left many relics across the whole Parish as well as a network of roads, of which Ermin Street is the most notable. Much of the land in the Parish was subsequently owned by Abingdon Abbey, later confiscated by Henry VIII and leased, sold or gifted during his reign and that of Elizabeth I.
Up to World War I, Boxford was a largely self sufficient settlement with farmers, bakers, brewers, millers, wheelwrights, cartwrights, ropemakers etc. and many people in domestic service. Church registers and census data record the beginning of the end of the old social order following the war, with far fewer people in domestic service and many trades disappearing.
After the First World War, villagers tried unsuccessfully to raise enough funds for a lych- gate as a memorial for those villagers who had given their lives and built a modest war memorial instead. A Millennium Project refurbished this war memorial, and built the intended lych-gate together with a brick and flint wall which re-established the boundary between the churchyard and village green. Additionally, in collaboration with local school children, research was undertaken into the lives of the men named on the memorial. This was subsequently published in leaflet form and distributed to every household. Parishioners also contributed to a substantial time capsule which was buried under the large threshold stone in the centre of the lych-gate.
Boxford Barleycorn, a history of Boxford written by Elsie Huntley in the late sixties and published in 1970 by the Abbey Press, has long been out of print.
Boxford Barleycorn, a history of Boxford written by Elsie Huntley in the late sixties and published in 1970 by the Abbey Press, has long been out of print. It is a gold mine of information for those lucky few who have copies. It is therefore not surprising that 77% of respondents to Question 20 supported printing a simple history of the Parish, including a list of its historic features.
The Parish is very fortunate in that many documents of historical interest are held locally; however, few people see them.
Recently, there has been an extensive archaeological dig , discovering an amazing mosaic.
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