Blewbury

Blewbury is surely the Queen of the spring line villages along the foot of the Berkshire Downs, and the pity is that motorists miss most of it as the most attractive parts are off the main road!

Driving through Blewbury along the former turnpike road, you see a pleasant enough village with several fine old houses. But the real charm of the village can only be discovered by turning off the main road, and is best discovered on foot. There is a network of footpaths centred on the church which take you past a lake, across hidden grassed areas, through the ancient churchyard. One path passes between ancient thatched cob walls which used to be common in many of the villages in this area.

Location map:

The settlement was probably established here because a number of springs arise at the foot of the downs. Some springs feed a small lake where watercress used to be cultivated. Tributaries feed the Mill Brook which leads to the Thames at Wallingford. Blewbury Mill is said to be where blotting paper was discovered.

St. Michael's Church was rebuilt towards the end of the C11. Over time, a chancel, central tower, transepts, aisles, a Lady Chapel, and a tower were added. Many interesting remnants of earlier orderings can be found throughout the church, such as the stairs and piscina belonging to the altar that once stood on the rood loft. The churchyard is kept as a "Living Churchyard" and is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including some beautiful fritillaries.

The village's facilities include a village hall, a village shop and post office (run by volunteers), an antique shop, a garden machinery shop, a car repair garage, a riding centre, a wine warehouse, a Church of England primary school and a Methodist chapel. At one time strings of race horses were a common sight in the village but they have moved nearer the gallops on the downs.

The village has two pubs: The Red Lion and The Barley Mow.

Blewbury is on the A417 about half way between Streatley and Harwell.

Images of Blewbury:
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