Waterperry, Waterstock, Tiddington & Albury
Waterperry, Waterstock and Tiddington are three small villages close to the county border with Buckinghamshire between three and seven miles west of Thame. Waterperry and Waterstock are beside, but on opposite sides of, the River Thame although the river is not apparent if you visit either village.
Waterperry has just a single road, with a mixture of 20th century houses and ancient cottages which are mostly of the 17th and 18th century. The road leads through the village to Waterperry House and Waterperry Gardens. The name of the village comes from Pereium, probably meaning pear orchard.
Waterperry House is a 17th century mansion, remodelled early in the 18th century and again around 1820. The house has extensive grounds, and until 1971 housed the Waterperry School of Horticulture. Now it is used extensively by the School of Economic Science as a residential centre for retreats, study days, study weekends and weeks.
Waterperry gardens are now a horticultural business and include nurseries, orchards, plant centre and teashop. Gardening courses are still taught here.
The parish church of St. Mary the Virgin at Waterperry has Saxon origins. It comprises a nave of three bays, chancel, south aisle and south porch. The west tower, with its weather-boarded bellcote, is of wood and is supported on oak pillars within the church.
Waterstock village is on a minor road north of the A418 and is approached from either direction along a narrow road through open farming land. The single street is flanked by small cottages built of stone or local brick and some attractive larger thatchedd houses. Waterstock's name is derived from the Old English for "Waterplace".
St. Leonard's church is the parish church in Waterstock. The earliest record of the church dates from about 1190 but it was rebuilt at the end of the 15th century. Since then there has been a lot of rebuilding with thorough restoration in the 19th century. The oldest part is the tower with its recently restored unusual little bellcote.
Waterstock House, the manor house, was demolished in the 1950s, but the stables still exist and are the home of the Waterstock Equestrian Centre. By the entrance to Waterstock House is the Pump House dated 1898, a small building reminiscent of a Saxon tower. Many of the villagers used to collect water from it until as recently as 1951 when the village's mains water supply was installed.
Some scenes from the popular TV series Midsomer Murders have been filmed in the village of Waterstock.
Tiddington is a small rather uninteresting village straddling the busy A418. The village is mainly a mixture of 20th century houses, although there are a few dating from the 16th to 18th centuries.
The hamlet of Albury lies to the east of Tiddington and it is here that the parish church of Tiddington and Albury, St Helen's, can be found. Originally St. Helen's was a Norman church, but this was demolished in 1828 and the new church was built. Historically Tiddington was a manor and hamlet of the parish of Albury, although for most of its history it has been a larger place than Albury.