Chalgrove

The 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.

Location map:

A 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 Chalgrove Brook.

St. 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.

To 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 ejector seats.

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.

Images of Chalgrove:
(Click to view)

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