Grove

Since 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.

Location map:

Early 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.

In 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.

Images of Grove:
(Click to view)

Grove 1
Grove 2
Grove 3
Grove 4

 

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