Digital Archive: Journal No 3

  • Foreword by Jack Howard-Drake
  • Introduction by Kate Tiller
  • Patterns in the landscape – farming and community before 1850
  • Village government
  • Decade of change 1850-1860
  • Decade of decisions: the 1870s
  • Growing up in Milton and Shipton one hundred years ago
  • Life and work in Shipton and Milton 1880-1914

Introduction to The Wychwoods Local History Society Journal No 3

This is a portrait of Milton and Shipton under Wychwood between 1800 and 1914. It is based on the work of an extramural evening class, which met in the Wychwood Primary School during 1984-6, and which was organised by Oxford University Department for External Studies.

The task was to explore the multitude of original sources available for the 19th century and, concentrating on a range of tithe and enclosure awards and maps, rate books, tithe surveys, commercial directories, school log books and School Board minutes, early Ordnance Survey maps, railway plans, land tax assessments, trade union minute books, friendly society records, and census enumerators’ returns, to draw out some of the main themes in the development of the two villages.

The period proved to be one of great change and adjustment. Many questions were raised, not all of which has it been possible to answer here. Constrictions on space have not allowed all our findings to be included, whilst some possible sources remain to be explored. Some of the conclusions we have reached will no doubt be debated by readers. One of the rewards of working on the history of these Wychwood villages has been the sense of being part of lively and active research, informed by great local knowledge. This was true of the class meetings, which produced the findings presented here, and of the unfailing interest and support shown by members of the Wychwoods Local History Society. I hope this volume will add information and ideas to the ongoing discussion of Wychwoodslocal history.

The area studied consisted of the townships of Shipton and Milton, both part of the ancient parish of Shipton until Milton became a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1895. Shipton and Milton lie in West Oxfordshire, some four miles north of Burford and six miles south of Chipping Norton.

My thanks arc due to the following class members for their contributions and enthusiasm: Chris Burn-Murdoch (chp. 1), Wendy and Jim Pearse (chps. l & 3), Margaret Ware (chp. 2), Ronald McKenzie (chp. 3); Margaret Seager (chp.4), Joan Boddington (chp. 5) and Geoffrey Giles (chp. 6).

I also drew on the work of Sally Sutton, Norman Frost, Rosemary and Geoffrey Hitchcox and Duncan Waugh. From the Wychwood Local History Society Sue Jourdan, Joan and Jack Howard-Drake and Sue Richards gave much valuable advice. Mr. Clifford of Wychwood County Primary School kindly lent the school log books.Miss Shirley Barneand her staff at Oxfordshire Record Office, and Dr.Malcolm Graham and his staff at Oxfordshire Local History Library patiently produced many of the source materials. Last, but not least, Shirley Hermon and Melanie Steiner of OUDES prepared the typescript and the maps.

Kate Tiller
Rewley House, Oxford

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