Uffington, Oxfordshire

Uffington, Oxfordshire

Uffington is a village and civil parish in Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire), best known as the location of the Uffington White Horse hill figure.

Location and character

The village is one of chalk-block houses and thatch, nestling under the White Horse Hills. The parish church of St Mary is known as "The Cathedral of the Vale" and has the rare feature of a hexagonal tower. The village is located at gbmapping|SU305892, in the middle of the Vale of the White Horse, otherwise known as the Ock Valley. Like most parish in the Vale, Uffington parish is long and thin, orientated north-south, so that it encompasses both low-lying arable land as well grazing land on the Berkshire Downs. The River Ock forms most of its northern boundary. The western boundary runs up across Dragon Hill, Whitehorse Hill, Uffington Down and the gallops on Woolstone Down before turning north again as the eastern border across Kingston Warren Down and Ram's Hill, almost to Fawler and partially along the Stutfield Brook. The parish once included Woolstone.

Local government

Uffington lies within the district of the Vale of White Horse, but also has its own parish council. The village has been twinned with Le Chevain in France since 1991.

White Horse and other prehistoric features

:"See main articles: Uffington White Horse, Dragon Hill, Uffington Castle and The Ridgeway"One of the United Kingdom's best-known archaeological sites, the 'White Horse' is a 374 feet (110 m) long Bronze Age hill figure, cut out of the turf on White Horse Hill on the Berkshire Downs, just above the village of Woolstone. It is generally thought to have been a religious totem of some kind, associated with the people who later became known as the Atrebates. In this capacity, it was probably associated with the adjoining 'Dragon Hill', a small natural hillock with an artificially flattened top. Above these stands Uffington Castle, an Iron Age hill fort (overlying a Bronze Age predecessor) where some of this tribe may have lived. There are also a number of associated burial mounds and there are others further south. Just to the south of the hill fort, the ancient trackway thought to be 'Britain's oldest road', and known as the Ridgeway, runs through the parish. Ram's Hill appears to have been a Bronze Age cattle ranching and trading centre.


Despite popular Victorian theories, Uffington was not the location of the Battle of Ashdown in 871 and the White Horse was not created as a memorial by King Alfred's men. The place does, however, appear in mid-10th century boundary charters. Abingdon Abbey owned the manor throughout the Middle Ages and King Edward I visited their grange there. By the 17th century, the area was dominated by the Earls of Craven from Ashdown House and the church suffered during the Civil War because of their Royalist sympathies.

Famous residents

*Sir John Betjeman lived in the village during the 1930s.
*Thomas Hughes (1822-1896), author of "Tom Brown's Schooldays", was born in the village. The tiny village school mentioned in the book, still exists, now as a museum dedicated to Thomas Hughes. The large village hall is named the "Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall".


Uffington has a wide range of sporting activities, most of which happen at uffington sport and social club, fawler road. (01367820565). In the football season UUFC (uffington united football club) run two teams and are always looking for more players. for more info visit www.nbfl.co.uk or turn up on saturday afternoon 2pm onwards or wednesday night 7.30pm onwards. there is also a cricket club and tennis club. all support welcome.

External links

* [http://www.berkshirehistory.com/villages/uffington.html Royal Berkshire History: Uffington]
* [http://www.berkshirehistory.com/churches/uffington.html Royal Berkshire History: Uffington Church]
* [http://www.berkshirehistory.com/archaeology/white_horse.html Royal Berkshire History: The Uffington White Horse]
* [http://whitehorsedc.moderngov.co.uk/mgParishCouncilDetails.asp?ID=308&J=1 Vale of White Horse District Council: Uffington Parish Council]

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