About Volume XVIII

VCH Volume: 
Oxfordshire XVIII - Benson, Ewelme, and the Chilterns (Ewelme Hundred)
The 15th-century almshouses at Ewelme

This volume was published in July 2016 and is now available both online and to buy.

Ewelme Hundred comprised 14 ancient parishes in the south-east of the county. Together they occupied a varied landscape which extended from the clay vale around Benson (with its nucleated villages and large open fields) up onto the Chiltern uplands, with their woodland, wood pasture, and dispersed settlement.

In the Anglo-Saxon and early medieval period the area was dominated by an important royal estate centre at Benson, whose dependent territories stretched across the Chilterns to Henley. In more recent times Benson developed into a coaching stop on the Oxford-London road, and is now the site of an important RAF Station. Ewelme is best known for its attractive 15th-century complex of church, grammar school, and almshouses (co-founded by Chaucer's granddaughter Alice de la Pole), which feature some of the earliest brickwork in Oxfordshire. Nettlebed was an early centre for brick- and tile-making, and Chalgrove was the site of a Civil War battle.

Parishes included: Benson; Berrick Salome; Brightwell Baldwin; Chalgrove; Cuxham (with Easington); Ewelme; Great Haseley; Nettlebed; Newington; Nuffield; Swyncombe; Warborough; Warpsgrove.

Texts in Progress: