Charney Bassett is an attractively compact village on the River Ock, well
away from any main roads, in more or less in the centre
of the Vale.
In the centre of the village is a small
triangular green and the village pub and the remains of
what was probably an ancient preaching cross, although only the
stump remains. This is now the village war memorial.
The name Charney is thought to be derived from Churn
or Charn, believed to be the Celtic name for Ock and the
'ey' indicates an island settlement in the marsh. It is
thought that Bassett may be from either Ralph Bassett,
a local C11/C12 landowner, or a corruption of Bass, the
name of an early copyhold tenement in the village.
The village church is St. Peter's Church. It is built
on the foundations of a Saxon church and it is thought
that there could have been a Christian community locally
since the seventh century. The Saxon church was rebuilt
by the Normans but little of the original Norman church
remains now. The present building seems to have gradually
evolved with various improvements and alterations carried
out in the C14, C16 and C18 centuries.
Charney Manor was built as a grange and belonged to the
Benedictine Abbey of Abingdon. It is now owned by the
Society of Friends and is used by them as a Meeting House,
and also a guest house and conference centre.
Near the church is the Grade II listed C19 Charney
Watermill. It is thought that a mill has been on this
site since the 12th century. The present mill has been
undergoing restoration by the Vale of White Horse Industrial
Archaeology Group since around 1975 and has all its machinery
Charney Bassett is about 2.5 miles east of Stanford in the Vale.