Gifford is on the eastern bank of the River Thames opposite
the historic town of Wallingford, the two being connected
by Wallingford Bridge. Since 1987 the village has been
bypassed by the busy A4074 Reading to Oxford road and
now the Wallingford bypass also bypassed the village,
so there is now less through traffic.
are several large employers in the village however, for
Oxfordshire District Council, HR
Wallingford (which provides world-leading analysis,
advice and support in engineering and environmental hydraulics)
and the Centre
for Ecology and Hydrology, which is the UK's Centre
of Excellence for research in the land and freshwater
name 'Crowmarsh', not surprisingly, means literally a
marsh frequented by crows, whereas 'Gifford' is derived
from the name of Walter Giffard who was granted the manor
after the Norman Conquest. Walter Giffard eventually became
the Earl of Buckingham. In 1139 the first of a series
of wooden forts were built in Crowmarsh by King Stephen
in opposition to Wallingford Castle, which supported his
cousin Matilda, during the civil war. These were dismantled
under the terms of the Treaty of Wallingford of 1153.
parish curch in the centre of the village is the Church
of St Mary Magdalene which is partly Norman.
1701 agriculturist Jethro Tull invented a revolutionary
seed drill in Crowmarsh Gifford and his cottages can still
be seen on the northern side of The Street. Nearby is
Mongewell Park which recently was the site of Carmel College,
a Jewish co-educational boarding school. Carmel College
closed in June 1997.