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Didcot, Berkshire

Historical Description

Didcot or Dudcote, a village and a parish in Berks, with an important junction station on the G.W.R., 6 miles W from Wallingford. There is a post, money order, and telegraph office (R.S.O.) Acreage, 1120; population, 337. There is a corn exchange in which a market is held on Tuesday. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford; gross yearly value, £399 with residence. Patron, Brasenose College, Oxford. The church is a building of stone in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, and the churchyard contains a picturesque stone cross and some fine yew trees. For Didcot New Town see HAGBOURNE.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyBerkshire 
Ecclesiastical parishDudcote All Saints 
HundredMoreton 
Poor Law unionWallingford 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Church Records

The early register of this parish, which had been missing for some years, appeared for sale in September, 1891, in the catalogue of a Birmingham bookseller, and was recovered and restored to the parish by Mr. G. F. Tudor Sherwood; it contains baptisms 1575-1678, marriages 1571-1674, and burials 1568-1679, comprised in 20 pages of vellum.


Churches

Church of England

All Saints (parish church)

The church of All Saints is a small but interesting edifice of stone, in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, picturesquely situated on high ground north of the village, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and a low western tower with short octagonal broach spire, both covered with shingles and containing 3 bells: the nave is of three bays and has arcades of wide Pointed Early English arches on low clustered piers, the central pier, against which the font is placed, being octagonal and the other two cylindrical, with caps formed by a succession of projecting flat fillets; the south aisle is Decorated, and has segmental-headed windows, with reticulated tracery; on the south side of the nave, slightly raised above the floor, on a stone base, is the recumbent effigy, in stone, life-size, of a bishop or mitred abbot of the 13th century, under a mutilated canopy, and holding a crosier, of which portions remain; it was recovered in 1875 from the churchyard on the relaying of the path, having been reversed, and used to form part of the pathway; the identity of the effigy is supposed to be that of Ralf de Dudcote, abbot of Abingdon abbey; at the south-east corner of the south aisle is a piscina, and a little bracket for the figure of a saint; the chancel has four Decorated windows, all of which, as well as the east window, are stained; the Perpendicular west window is a memorial to the Rev. John Ashworth Ashworth M.A. 39 years rector of this parish (185I-90), Catherine his wife, and to John Ashworth Ashworth, lieut, R.N. their son, and retains some fragments of old stained glass in the top lights: the reredos is of stone simply arcaded, and on the south side of the chancel is a square piscina; the pulpit is also of stone, with traceried panels; the stairs to the rood-loft remain, as also the upper doorway, over which is a curious two-light window; the north aisle is modern; there are floor stones to Francis Dandridge, gent, 1759; Robert Lydell de Dydcott, generosus, 1677; Richard Blake of Dudcott, 1709; Benjamin Banner A.M. fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, and 24 years rector here, and rector also of Whittington, Lancs. 1817; and to Thomas Collins, and Mary, his wife, 1800; in the churchyard, west of the porch, is a fine old yew, and on its east side a restored cross raised on two steps; on the exterior walls are memorials to the families of Sayer, 1721-36, with arms and mantling; and Hayward, 1759-82; to Muriel, wife of Edward Sawyer, of Didcot, 1641, and her husband, with the arms of Sawyer and Backerton; to the family of Taylor, 1719-63, and to Catherine Loder, widow, 1698; the church was restored in 1876, at the cost of Rev. J. A. Ashworth M.A. rector, 1851-90, and a friend, at a cost of £750, and in 1904 the vestry and organ chamber were restored at a cost of £840: the church affords about 200 sittings.


Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Didcot was in Wallingford Registration District from 1837 to 1974


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Didcot from the following:


Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Berkshire is available to browse.


Maps

Online maps of Didcot are available from a number of sites:


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Berkshire papers online:


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Berkshire 1532, 1566, and 1665-6 is available online.

DistrictSouth Oxfordshire
CountyOxfordshire
RegionSouth East
CountryEngland
Postal districtOX11
Post TownDidcot