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Uffington, Berkshire

Historical Description

Uffington, a parish, with a village, in Berks, on the Wilts and Berks Canal, and on the G.W.R., and in the White Horse Vale, under the White Horse Hill, 4¼ miles S by E of Great Faringdon, and 7 NW from Wantage. It has a station, called Uffington Junction, about a mile N of the village, and a post and money order office under Faringdon; telegraph office at railway station. Acreage, 2929; population of the civil parish, 557; of the ecclesiastical, 555. There is a parish council of six members and a chairman. Uffington took its name from the Saxon king Offa, and gives the title of Viscount to the eldest son of the Earl of Craven. A description of the town is given in the opening chapter of " Tom Brown's Schooldays." White Horse Hill, in this parish, bears on its summit the figure of a galloping horse, cut 2 or 3 feet deep through the turf to the chalk, and covering nearly an acre of ground. It is ascribed to Alfred the Great, but is more probably the work of the ancient Britons. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Oxford; gross value, £257 with residence. The church is an ancient cruciform building of stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, transepts, S porch, and a central octagonal embattled tower with pinnacles. It contains several interesting tombs and memorials, and there are some ancient yew trees in the churchyard. There are Baptist and Congregational chapels and a public reading-room.

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 parishUffington St. Mary 
HundredShrivenham 
Poor Law unionFarringdon 

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


Church Records

The register dates from the year 1655.


Churches

Church of England

St. Mary (parish church)

The church of St. Mary is known to have been in course of erection in the time of Faricius, 19th abbot of Abingdon, 1105, to which monastery it was an appendage; of this not a stone remains: the present edifice, known as the Cathedral of the Vale, is a cruciform structure of stone in the Early English style, 1216-30, with beautiful interior details, consisting of spacious chancel, nave, transepts, south porch and central octagonal embattled tower with pinnacles and containing 5 bells and a clock: there was originally a spire, destroyed by lightning Dec. 2nd, 1740: all the windows of the chancel, except a Decorated insertion on the south, are triple and double lancets with excellent shafts and mouldings, and there are sedilia and piscinæ: the east window is stained: on the east side of each transept are recesses, two projecting from the north and one from the south transept; these were originally small chapels and have gable roofs and angular-headed lancet windows, unique and evidently coeval with the rest of the edifice; each also contains a piscina: the south porch has a groined vaulted roof and a parvise, and its original oak door exhibits excellent Early English iron scroll work: there is also a small eastern porch to the south transept and another on the south side of the chancel: in the nave is a good six-foiled circular window: in the north transept is a canopied monument to Edward Archer esq., .ob. 1603, over which is a beautiful triple lancet stained window: in the south transept is a recessed monument with a recumbent effigy to John Saunders esq. of Woolstone J.P. ob. 29 April, 1638, and to Margaret (Evelyn) his wife; beneath is a brass to John and Ann Saunders, ob. 26 December, 1599: on the north wall is a marble table; recording the repair of the church, "long-ruined," by Richard Saunders and Thomas Locky, churchwardens, in 1678; and there are memorials in the north aisle, with arms, to John Saunders of Woolstone, gent. ob. 26 January, 1674, and Martha and Ann, his wives, and to others of this family: the church also contains various memorials to the Warren, Garrard, Mundy, Chamberlain and Watts families: in 1902 a carved oak reredos was erected at a cost of over £70, and a lectern of carved oak was presented by Mrs. Lucy Craddock, of Faringdon, in memory of her husband, who died in 1901: there is a large brass in the north aisle to the memory of Thomas Hughes, author of "Tom Brown's School Days": the churchyard has some fine yew trees, and includes a memorial to John Briscoe, 40 years parish clerk, who died 14 January, 1863:, there are 500 sittings.

Baptist

Baptist Chapel

There is a Baptist chapel.

Congregational

Congregational Chapel

There is a Congregational chapel, erected in 1879, with 110 sittings.


Civil Registration

Uffington was in Faringdon Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Wantage Registration District from 1937 to 1974


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Uffington from the following:


Land and Property

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


Maps

Online maps of Uffington 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.

DistrictVale of White Horse
CountyOxfordshire
RegionSouth East
CountryEngland
Postal districtSN7
Post TownFaringdon