the war Grove has grown from a small
hamlet with a population of about 500 to the
largest village in the Vale of White Horse. It
is now a
dormitary village with a population of almost 10,000 and there
is little left of the original hamlet. The village
lies about 2 miles north of Wantage, where
the Thames Valley meets the Berkshire Downs.
in the 1800’s the Wilts
and Berks Canal cut its way through the village. Parts
of the canal are still visible, providing some very pleasant
local walks. Then in 1840 the Great Western Railway opened
the Wantage Road Station on the northern boundary of Grove.
To connect this with Wantage the Wantage Tramway Company
was formed. In 1875 a single track was laid alongside
the turnpike road and provided England’s first steam-powered
passenger and goods service.
1942 the Royal Air Force occupied a
large area of agricultural land to the west of Grove.
They were followed by the US Air Force in 1943 when the
45th Air Depot Group established one of the largest and
busiest supply airfields in Europe. Its chequered history
came to a close when in 1960 the last of its buildings
and fittings were auctioned off and soon present day Grove
began to appear. Today,
little is to be found of the self supporting village which
had its own bakery and bacon factory, clockmaker, wheelwright,
smith and forge. However, there is still a village green,
annual fairs visit and May Day celebrations are kept alive.
Grove is about 2 miles north of Wantage, skirted by the A338
Wantage to Oxford road.