St Mary's parish church
Longworth shown within Oxfordshire
|Population||566 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference||SU3999|
|District||Vale of White Horse|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|Website||Longworth Village on the Web|
Longworth is a village and civil parish about 7 miles (11 km) west of Abingdon-on-Thames and a similar distance east of Faringdon and south of Witney. Longworth was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire. The 2011 Census recorded the parish population as 566.
The parish is bounded by the River Thames to the north, the A420 road to the south, and by field boundaries to the west and east. The land slopes generally from the A420 in the south to the river in the north. The exception is Harrowdown Hill near the northeast corner of the parish, which at 325 feet (99 m) high is the highest point in the parish.
The tower has a ring of five bells. Richard Keene of Woodstock cast the third, fourth and tenor bells in 1662. Henry III Bagley of Chacombe, Northamptonshire cast the second bell in 1746, presumably at his foundry at Witney. James Wells of Aldbourne, Wiltshire cast the treble bell in 1807. St Mary's has also a Sanctus bell that was cast in about 1890 by an unknown founder. The five bells are currently unringable.
Bus route 63 links Longworth with Oxford from Monday to Saturday via the villages of Southmoor, Hinton Waldrist, Appleton, Eaton and Cumnor. It is currently run by Thames Travel under contract to Oxfordshire County Council.
There is a pub, the Blue Boar in the village. The Lamb and Flag about 1 1⁄4 miles (2 km) southwest of the village was in the parish until boundary changes in 2011 transferred it to Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor. The Blue Boar is late 17th-century and has a thatched roof.
On the Blue Boar pub sign, the white boar and the white rose on the pennant are the symbols of King Richard III. The blue boar was the personal badge of the De Vere family who were the Earls of Oxford. It is claimed that when Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, any White Boar pub signs were quickly repainted as Blue Boars, as an acknowledgement that the white boar was dead and the blue boar prevailed.
Blue Boar RFC
The club played its first game of rugby in March 1977, as a result of a challenge by staff of Blackwells Bookshop in Oxford. The occasion proved so enjoyable that the following season several more matches were arranged against local sides and the club affiliated to the Oxfordshire Rugby Football Union. In succeeding seasons the number of fixtures and strength of opposition increased, and in May 1981 the club was elected to the Rugby Football Union.
In September 1980 the club made its first tour of Cornwall. It made further visits to the Duchy in 1987, 1988 and 1989. It made its first foreign tour in 1981, when a party of 35 players and supporters went to Brittany and enjoyed themselves so much that they returned there a year later. In 1991 the club was the first English RFU club to make an official tour of Hungary, which was hosted by the Hungarian Rugby Union.
The club reached the final of the Oxfordshire Knockout Cup Plate competition in the 2003–04 and 2008–09 seasons.
Economic and social history
Sir Henry Marten, a 17th-century judge of the Admiralty Court, and his son, Henry Marten, the regicide, lived at Longworth House.The Old Rectory at Longworth was the birthplace on 7 June 1825 of the novelist R. D. Blackmore, author of Lorna Doone, whose father was briefly curate-in-charge of the parish.
Harrowdown Hill is where biological warfare expert David Kelly died in 2003 during the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction controversy. This gave rise to a public enquiry concluded by the Hutton Report, and to the title of Thom Yorke's song Harrowdown Hill, which questioned the UK Government's handling of the matter.
- "Area: Longworth (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- Historic England. "Church of St Mary (Grade I) (1048616)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- Davies, Peter (1 April 2016). "Longworth S Mary". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- Archbishops' Council. "Longworth: St Mary, Longworth". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- Longworth Primary
- The Blue Boar
- Historic England. "The Blue Boar public house (Grade II) (1284516)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- Blue Boar RFC
- Historic England. "Tithe Barn (Grade II*) (1387458)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- Historic England. "Barn at Longworth House (hospital) (1006289)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- Page & Ditchfield 1924, pp. 466–471.
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1891). "Marten, Henry (1562?-1641)". Dictionary of National Biography. 28. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Winn 2010, p. 45.
- "David Kelly laid to rest". BBC News. 6 August 2003. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
Sources and further reading
- Page, WH; Ditchfield, PH, eds. (1924). A History of the County of Berkshire. Victoria County History. 4. assisted by John Hautenville Cope. London: The St Katherine Press. pp. 466–471.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1966). Berkshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 171–172.
- Winn, Christopher (2010). I Never Knew That about the River Thames. London: Ebury Press. p. 45.
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