B480 is an attractive alternative route between Oxford
and Henly-on-Thames which passes through some lovely South
Oxfordshire countryside and through many attractive villages.
One of these villages is Chalgrove,
except that the B480 actually bypasses the village which
means that Chalgrove is pleasantly clear of through traffic!
The original village spreads out along the High Street,
with a pleasant mixture of old cottages and newer buildings,
whilst the newer development is mainly in the roads on
either side. In places away from the High Street
there are still indications of the original village, especially
near the church.
small brook runs along the High Street for the length
of the village and forms an attractive feature, complete
with ducks. Many of the properties along that side of
the road have individual bridges across the brook for
access. The brook is apparently man-made and was created
in the 19th century, forming an artificial loop to the
Mary's Church was possibly built at the instigation of
Edward II who gave the living at Chalgrove to Thame Abbey,
but the present church dates from the 12th century. In
the chancel there is an almost complete set of medieval
wall paintings which tell the story of Christ from King
David to the Day of Judgement. Off the High Street on
the other side is a small Methodist church.
the north of the village is Chalgrove
Airfield and the site of the Battle of Chalgrove Field
where Charles I's forces defeated the Roundheads. Chalgrove
airfield was formerly the second world war RAF Chalgrove
and was used by the US Army airforces as the base for
the photo-reconnaissance mission of the Ninth Air Force.
It is now used by the Martin-Baker company for testing
Chalgrove Manor is the second oldest building in Chalgrove after St. Mary's Church. The building dates from the late 14th / early 15th Century and was restored during the 1980's. Chalgrove Manor was used as a location in the popular television series Midsomer Murders.
Chalgrove is approximately three
miles north-west of Watlington,
just off the B480.