of the villages on Oxfordshire, Chilton has been in existence
since before the Domesday survey and its present church
since a few years after that time. Also like many other
villages, many changes have taken place over the centuries,
most of them probably within the last 100 years.
Chilton once boasted racehorse training establishments.
But unlike in some other villages, these are now gone.
The unofficial emblem of Chilton has been the rook since
the beginning of time, perhaps because they nested in
the elms that used to be round the churchyard. Now what
is thought to be one of the largest colonies of rooks
in South Oxfordshire still nests in sycamores on the nearby
former airfield, now owned by the UKAERA. The atomic research
establishment has been decommissioned but Chilton is now
the home of the Rutherford
Appleton Laboratory, whose scientists use their spectacular
microwave dish to gather information on outer space, the
Harwell International Business Park and the new Diamond
synchrotron light source, a new scientific facility
housed in a futuristic doughnut-shaped building which
covers the area of 5 football pitches. Right next to the
A34 is a large garden centre.
Parish Church of All Saints' has a C12 nave with a
13th century south aisle and a C14 chancel. The 6 bells
date from 1633 to 1892 with a tenor weighing in at 8 cwt.
They have recently been restored after having been silent
for many years due to structural problems.
Chilton is in the Berkshire Downs
just off the A34 about 4 miles south of Didcot.