Bletchingdon is a village and civil parish 2 miles north of Kidlington and 6 miles southwest of Bicester in Oxfordshire, England. Bletchingdon parish includes the hamlet of Enslow just over 1 mile west of the village; the 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 910. The earliest known document to mention Bletchingdon is in the Domesday Book of 1086, which records it as Blecesdone. A charter written about 1130 records it as Blechesdune; the Feet of fines records it as Blechesdon in 1197. A document called the Placitorum abbreviato records it as Blechindon in 1279, it is derived from the Old English Blecces dūn meaning "Blecca's hill". In recent centuries "Bletchington" has been an alternative spelling. In the 19th and 20th centuries Bletchington railway station at Enslow was spelt with a "t". A local business based on the site of the former station trades as "Smiths of Bletchington". Etymologically this is misleading. Natives of the parish colloquially abbreviate it to "Bletch"; the Domesday Book records that in 1086 Robert D'Oyly held a manor of eight hides at Bletchingdon and his tenant was one Gilbert.
Gilbert was an ancestor of Roger d'Amory, Lord of the Manor of Bletchingdon until he died in prison in 1322. In about 1139 Robert d'Amory gave 50 acres at Bletchingdon to Godstow Abbey, Walter Pery gave the abbey one yardland and 10 acres at Bletchingdon. Godstow retained this estate until it surrendered all its property to the Crown in the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. Before 1151 Ralph Fitzniel and his mother Agnes gave half a hide at Bletchingdon to the Knights Templar preceptory at Cowley; the preceptory moved to Sandford-on-Thames. In the reign of Edward II the Templars were suppressed and in 1513 the Knights Hospitaller held the same half hide at Bletchingdon. By 1187 Ralph d'Amory had granted two virgates at Bletchingdon to Osney Abbey. In the 13th century other benefactors gave lands at Bletchingdon to the abbey, in 1291 they were assessed as part of its Hampton Gay estate. In the 14th century Bletchingdon manor house was the chief seat of Roger mentioned above and his wife Elizabeth de Clare, foundress of Clare College, Cambridge.
Bletchingdon's medieval manor house was rebuilt by Sir Thomas Coghill in about 1630. It was fortified and garrisoned by 200 Royalist troops in the Civil War, before being surrendered to Parliamentarian troops in 1645. John Coghill sold it to Viscount Valentia in 1716; the present house at Bletchingdon Park is a Palladian country house next to the parish church, designed by James Lewis and built in 1782 for Arthur Annesley, 5th Earl of Anglesey. It is a Grade II* listed building; the Church of England parish church of Saint Giles includes traces of Norman architecture. Its Early English Gothic chancel is later, built in the 13th century. Charles Buckeridge designed the north aisle, added in 1869; the church was restored to Buckeridge's designs in 1878. It is a Grade II* listed building; the west tower has a ring of six bells. Robert and William Cor of Aldbourne, Wiltshire cast the tenor bell in 1710. Edward Hemins of Bicester cast the second bell in 1738. Matthew III Bagley of Chacombe, Northamptonshire cast the fifth bell in 1774.
James Barwell of Birmingham cast the third and fourth bells in 1877. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the treble bell in 1998; the church has a Sanctus bell cast by James Barwell in 1877. St Giles' is now part of the Benefice of Akeman, which includes the parishes of Chesterton, Hampton Gay, Middleton Stoney and Weston-on-the-Green. Bletchingdon village is on a road that in the Middle Ages was the main route linking London and Worcester; the section of that route through Bletchingdon is now classified as the B4027 road. An open field system of farming prevailed in the parish until 1622. In the 13th and 14th centuries there were two fields: West Field. By 1539 it had been reorganised as a more efficient three-field system with the creation of South Field formed out of Breadcroft and part of East Field. In 1622 Bletchingdon's common lands – about 500 acres of arable land and about 600 acres of heath – were enclosed by agreement between the Lord of the Manor, the Rector and the tenants; this is the earliest recorded instance of enclosure in Oxfordshire by common consent, it predates by more than a century the first use of an inclosure act in Oxfordshire, at Mixbury in 1729–30.
Bletchingdon village was built around a green, but the houses on the north side were demolished when Bletchingdon Park was extended. The earliest known record of a pub in the parish dates from 1616. By the 1670s there was one called the Crown. In 1703 Bletchingdon had three pubs: the Red Lion and the Swan; the Red Lion survived until 1951. The village's last surviving pub was The Blacks Head Inn, it is a 16th-century building, enlarged in the 17th and 18th centuries and ceased trading in 2015. In 1788 the Oxford Canal reached Enslow, bringing much cheaper coal from the English Midlands to the area. From 1845 the Oxford and Rugby Railway was built through Enslow, where Bletchington railway station was built. British Railways closed the station in 1964; the parish has a Church of England primary school. The village has a silver band, which in 2005 qualified for the National Brass Band Championships in Harrogate for the first time; the Band again qualified for the finals of the 2012 championships in Cheltenham.
The nearest railway station is now Tackley on the Cherwell Valley Line, 2 miles northwest of Bletchingdon. Thames Travel bus route 250 serves Bletchingdon, linking the village with Oxford vi
The River Cherwell is a major tributary of the River Thames in central England. It rises near Hellidon in Northamptonshire and flows south through Oxfordshire for 40 miles to meet the Thames at Oxford, it adds a significant discharge to the Thames—when entering Oxford, the Thames's discharge is 17.6 m³/s, but after leaving and consuming the Cherwell it has increased to 24.8 m³/s. The river gives its name to the Cherwell local government district and Cherwell, an Oxford student newspaper. Cherwell is pronounced near Oxford, in north Oxfordshire; the village of Charwelton takes its name from the river, but lies on the river's upper course in Northamptonshire, suggesting that the pronunciation was used more widely. The Cherwell is the northernmost tributary of the Thames, it rises in the ironstone hills at Hellidon, two miles west of Charwelton near Daventry. Helidon Hill north of the source forms a watershed: on the south side, the Cherwell feeds the River Thames and thence the North Sea at the Thames Estuary.
South of Charwelton, the River Cherwell passes between the villages of Woodford Halse. Two miles further on, the River Cherwell swings westward for a few miles, passing below the village of Chipping Warden through Edgcote, site of a Romano-British villa; the river passes from Northamptonshire into Oxfordshire at Hay's Bridge on the A361 Daventry to Banbury road. In total the river drains an area of 943 square kilometres. Half-a-mile north of the village of Cropredy, the River Cherwell turns southward again; the Oxford Canal enters the river valley here and more or less follows the Cherwell on its route to Oxford until it reaches Thrupp near Kidlington. The canal was projected to connect the Coventry Canal to the River Thames, the Act of Parliament authorising it was passed in 1769. A few years earlier, Oxford merchants had proposed canalising the River Cherwell upstream from their city to Banbury. Construction of the Oxford Canal began near Coventry but the canal didn't reach Banbury until 1778, it was a further twelve years before it was completed, the first boats reaching Oxford in January 1790.
The River Cherwell skirts the east side of Cropredy itself and passes under Cropredy Bridge, site of a major battle of the English Civil War in 1644. The battle was a protracted encounter with riverside skirmishes concentrated along a three-mile stretch of the River Cherwell between Hay's bridge and a ford at Slat Mill near Great Bourton. King Charles's forces beat the Parliamentarian army. On Cropredy Bridge is a plaque bearing the words "Site of the Battle of Cropredy Bridge 1644. From Civil War deliver us." The bridge was rebuilt in 1780 and this plaque is a facsimile of the original one. Cropredy's church contains relics from the battle, local tradition holds that local people hid the church's eagle lectern in the River Cherwell in case marauding soldiers damaged or stole it. South of Cropredy Bridge, the river runs through fields used for the annual Cropredy Festival, a three-day music event run by the band Fairport Convention, it passes the site of a former water mill. A sufficient head of water to power the mill was created by a millpond.
There may have been more rudimentary mill works upstream but this is the first major mill along the river's course. After a few miles the River Cherwell passes under the M40 motorway and enters the industrial hinterland of Banbury, passing the site of another water mill. From here, a main line railway runs alongside on the west side; this line was built by the Great Western Railway and links London and Oxford with Birmingham and the north. South of this point, the railway follows the Cherwell valley; the town of Banbury grew up alongside the River Cherwell. A Roman villa at nearby Wykham Park dates from around the year 250 but it was the Saxons who built the first settlement west of the River Cherwell. On the opposite bank is the Saxon settlement of Grimsbury, now absorbed into Banbury. Banbury Castle was built in 1135 on the west bank of the Cherwell commanding the river; the castle was rebuilt many times. In the English civil war the castle became a Royalist stronghold and was besieged during the winter of 1644–1645.
A second siege lasted until April when a surrender was negotiated. Following a petition to the House of Commons in 1648, the castle was demolished. There was a substantial water mill on the River Cherwell near the castle; the brick-built mill building and the miller's cottage have been modernised and extended to serve Banbury as a theatre and arts centre. South of Banbury, the valley of the River Cherwell widens out. On the west bank is a large housing estate built in the 1970s named Cherwell Heights and a mile south the ancient village of Bodicote on higher ground to the west of the river. Downstream of Banbury, most of the villages in the Cherwell valley are set back from the river on higher ground to avoid flooding. After Bodicote, the river passes an industrial estate at Twyford Mill before reaching King's Sutton, a village noted for the splendid lofty spire on its church which overlooks the river. At Kings Sutton it is joined by both the Sor Brook and Mill Lane brook. Two miles further on, the Cherwell reaches the settlement of Nell Bridge and passes under a main road leading to the village of Aynho, a mile to the east on a low hill overlooking the river.
Shortly after Nell Bridge
South East England
South East England is the most populous of the nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It consists of Berkshire, East Sussex, the Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire and West Sussex; as with the other regions of England, apart from Greater London, the south east has no elected government. It is the third largest region of England, with an area of 19,096 km2, is the most populous with a total population of over eight and a half million; the headquarters of the region's governmental bodies are in Guildford, the region contains seven cities: Brighton and Hove, Chichester, Portsmouth and Winchester, though other major settlements include Reading and Milton Keynes. Its proximity to London and connections to several national motorways have led to South East England becoming an economic hub, with the largest economy in the country outside the capital, it is the location of Gatwick Airport, the UK's second-busiest airport, its coastline along the English Channel provides numerous ferry crossings to mainland Europe.
The region is known for its countryside, which includes the North Downs and the Chiltern Hills as well as two national parks: the New Forest and the South Downs. The River Thames flows through the region and its basin is known as the Thames Valley, it is the location of a number of internationally known places of interest, such as HMS Victory in Portsmouth, Cliveden in Buckinghamshire, Thorpe Park and RHS Wisley in Surrey, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Windsor Castle in Berkshire, Leeds Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, Brighton Pier and Hammerwood Park in East Sussex, Wakehurst Place in West Sussex. The region has many universities. South East England is host to various sporting events, including the annual Henley Royal Regatta, Royal Ascot and The Derby, sporting venues include Wentworth Golf Club and Brands Hatch; some of the events of the 2012 Summer Olympics were held in the south east, including the rowing at Eton Dorney and part of the cycling road race in the Surrey Hills.
At Eartham Pit, Boxgrove near Halnaker in West Sussex in December 1993, the oldest human remains in the UK – a tibia bone and a pair of lower incisor teeth – were found. An Acheulean hand axe was found. Bones of a Megalosaurus were found at a slate quarry at Stonesfield in Oxfordshire and named in 1824: it is now at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. In 1822 an Iguanodon was found at Whitemans Green near West Sussex; the Meonhill Vineyard, near Old Winchester Hill in east Hampshire on the South Downs south of West Meon on the A32, was the site of where the Romano-British grew Roman grapes. The Ridgeway runs through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and is Britain's oldest road; the post office at Shipton-under-Wychwood in Oxfordshire, in the Cotswolds, is the oldest still in use in England, built in 1845. The first British Grand Prix was held in 1926 at Brooklands, the world's first purpose-built motor circuit built in 1907 by Sir Hugh F. Locke-King, the land owner. Much of the Battle of Britain was fought in this region in Kent.
RAF Bomber Command was based at High Wycombe. RAF Medmenham at Danesfield House, west of Marlow in Buckinghamshire, was important for aerial reconnaissance. Operation Corona, based at RAF Kingsdown, was implemented to confuse German night fighters with native German-speakers, coordinated by the RAF Y Service. Bletchley Park in north Buckinghamshire was the principal Allied centre for codebreaking; the Colossus computer, arguably the world's first, began working on Lorentz codes on 5 February 1944, with Colossus 2 working from June 1944. The site was chosen, among other reasons, because it is at the junction of the Varsity Line and the West Coast Main Line; the Harwell computer, now at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley, was built in 1949 and is believed to be the oldest working digital computer in the world. John Wallis of Kent, introduced the symbol for infinity, the standard notation for powers of numbers in 1656. Thomas Bayes was an important statistician from Tunbridge Wells. Sir David N. Payne at the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre invented the erbium-doped fibre amplifier, a type of optical amplifier, in the mid-1980s, which became essential for the internet.
Henry Moseley at Oxford in 1913 discovered his Moseley's law of X-ray spectra of chemical elements that enabled him to be the first to assign the correct atomic number to elements in periodic table. Carbon fibre was invented in 1963 at the RAE in Farnborough by a team led by William Watt; the Apollo LCG space-suit cooling system originated from work done at RAE Farnborough in the early 1960s. Donald Watts Davies, who went to grammar school in Portsmouth, took over from Alan Turing in developing Britain's early computers, invented packet switching in the late 1960s at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. Packet-switching was taken up by the Americans to form the ARPANET. The
Banbury is a historic market town on the River Cherwell in Oxfordshire, England. The town is situated 64 miles northwest of London, 37 miles southeast of Birmingham, 25 miles south-by-southeast of Coventry and 22 miles north-by-northwest of the county town of Oxford, it had a population of 46,853 at the 2011 census. Banbury is a significant commercial and retail centre for the surrounding area of north Oxfordshire and southern parts of Warwickshire and Northamptonshire which are predominantly rural. Banbury's main industries are car components, electrical goods, food processing, printing. Banbury is home to the world's largest coffee-processing facility, built in 1964; the town is famed for Banbury cakes -- oval in shape. The name Banbury derives from "Banna", a Saxon chieftain said to have built a stockade there in the 6th century, "burgh" meaning settlement; the Saxon spelling was Banesbyrig. The name appears as "Banesberie" in Domesday Book. Another known spelling was'Banesebury' in Medieval times.
During excavations for the construction of an office building in Hennef Way in 2002, the remains of a British Iron Age settlement with circular buildings dating back to 200 BC were found. The site contained around 150 pieces of stone. There was a Roman villa at nearby Wykham Park; the area was settled by the Saxons around the late 5th century. In about 556 Banbury was the scene of a battle between the local Anglo-Saxons of Cynric and Ceawlin, the local Romano-British, it was a local centre for Anglo-Saxon settlement by the mid-6th century. Banbury developed in the Anglo-Saxon period under Danish influence, starting in the late 6th century, it was assessed at 50 hides in the Domesday survey and was held by the Bishop of Lincoln. The Saxons built Banbury on the west bank of the River Cherwell. On the opposite bank they built Grimsbury, part of Northamptonshire but was incorporated into Banbury in 1889. Neithrop was one of the oldest areas in Banbury, having first been recorded as a hamlet in the 13th century.
It was formally incorporated into the borough of Banbury in 1889. Banbury stands at the junction of two ancient roads: Salt Way, its primary use being transport of salt, it continued through what is now Banbury's High Street and towards the Fosse Way at Stow-on-the-Wold. Banbury's medieval prosperity was based on wool. Banbury Castle was built from 1135 by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, survived into the Civil War, when it was besieged. Due to its proximity to Oxford, the King's capital, Banbury was at one stage a Royalist town, but the inhabitants were known to be Puritan; the castle was demolished after the war. Banbury played an important part in the English Civil War as a base of operations for Oliver Cromwell, reputed to have planned the Battle of Edge Hill in the back room of a local inn, the Reindeer Inn as it was known; the town was pro-Parliamentarian, but the castle was manned by a Royalist garrison who supported King Charles I. In 1645 during the Civil War, Parliamentary troops were billeted in nearby Hanwell for nine weeks and villagers petitioned the Warwickshire Committee of Accounts to pay for feeding them.
The opening of the Oxford Canal from Hawkesbury Junction to Banbury on 30 March 1778 gave the town a cheap and reliable supply of Warwickshire coal. In 1787 the Oxford Canal was extended southwards opening to Oxford on 1 January 1790; the canal's main boat yard was the original outlay of today's Tooley's Boatyard. Peoples' Park was set up as a private park in 1890 and opened in 1910, along with the adjacent bowling green; the land south of the Foscote Private Hospital in Calthorpe and Easington Farm were open farmland until the early 1960s as shown by the Ordnance Survey maps of 1964, 1955 and 1947. It had only a few farmsteads, the odd house, an allotment field, the Municipal Borough of Banbury council's small reservoir just south of Easington Farm and a water spring lay to the south of it; the Ruscote estate, which now has a notable South Asian community, was expanded in the 1950s because of the growth of the town due to the London overspill and further grew in the mid-1960s. British Railways closed Merton Street railway station and the Buckingham to Banbury line to passenger traffic at the end of 1960.
Merton Street goods depot continued to handle livestock traffic for Banbury's cattle market until 1966, when this too was discontinued and the railway dismantled. In March 1962 Sir John Betjeman celebrated the line from Culworth Junction in his poem Great Central Railway, Sheffield Victoria to Banbury. British Railways closed this line too in 1966; the main railway station, now called Banbury, is now served by trains running from London Paddington via Reading and Oxford, from London Marylebone via High Wycombe and Bicester onwards to Birmingham and Kidderminster and by Cross Country Trains from Bournemouth to Birmingham and Manchester. Banbury used to be home to a cattle market, situated on Merton Street in Grimsbury. For many decades and other farm animals were driven there on the hoof from as far as Scotland to be sold to feed the growing population of London and other towns. Since its closure in June 1998 a new housing development has been built on its site which includes Dashwood Primary School.
The estate, which lies between Banbury and Hanwell, was built in between 2005–06, on the grounds of the former Hanwell Farm. Banburyshire is an informal area centred on Banbur
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis
Kidlington is a large village and civil parish between the River Cherwell and the Oxford Canal, 5 miles north of Oxford and 7 1⁄2 miles southwest of Bicester. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 13,723. Kidlington's toponym is derived from the Old English Cudelinga tun: the tun of the "Kidlings" of Cydel-hence; the Domesday Book in 1086 records Chedelintone, by 1214 the spelling Kedelinton appears in a Calendar of Bodleian Charters. The Church of England parish church of St Mary the Virgin dates from 1220 but there is evidence of a church on the site since AD 1073. St Mary's has fine medieval stained glass and a 220-foot spire known as "Our Lady's Needle", it is a Grade I listed building. The tower has a ring of eight bells. Richard III Chandler of Drayton Parslow in Buckinghamshire cast the seventh bell in 1700. Abraham I Rudhall of Gloucester cast the tenor bell in 1708 and the fifth bell in 1715. Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the treble, third and sixth bells in 1897, the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
Behind the church there are archaeological remains of a three-sided moat, a causeway has been discovered which may be of Roman origin. St Mary's Rectory is Tudor. Beside the church are the almshouses, built by Sir William Morton in 1671 in memory of his wife and children, whose names are inscribed above the windows. Sir William was a Royalist Commander during the Civil War and lived in nearby Hampden Manor in Mill Street. Other famous residents of Hampden Manor include Sir John Vanbrugh who lived here during the building of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock; the square tower water closet in the front garden of Hampden Manor was built by Vanbrugh. It drains into a brook. Thomas Beecham formulated his medicine whilst living in a cottage near the manor, where he worked for a time as a gardener for John Sydenham; the settlement listed in Domesday grew from an ancient village close to the church. Here there are as many 18th century Georgian buildings as modern houses; until the Enclosure acts in 1818, a large section south of the village was unenclosed common land, the village was known as Kidlington-on-the-Green.
Just prior to the Second World War, this land was built up in an estate known as Garden City. In the 1920s and 1930s, Kidlington was subject to ribbon development along the main road through the village. Since 1945 many housing estates have been built behind this on both sides. Oxford Zoo was once located in Kidlington; this short-lived attraction was in existence from 1931 until 1937, when the animals were transferred to Dudley Zoo. In 2018, an elephant sculpture was installed on a roundabout at the southern end of Kidlington to commemorate the zoo and an elephant that lived there. In the 20th century, Kidlington grew to be a contender for largest village in England with a population of 13,723. Kidlington residents have so far resisted proposals to become a town, though it qualifies for such status against any criteria. Following a peremptory change by the Parish Council to Town status, the change was voted down in a ballot of the local electorate by 98%, reversed. In June 2016, the BBC reported weekly coachloads of sightseers from China arriving on Benmead Road, who were seen posing for photos in front gardens and against parked cars, with no apparent reason for their interest.
The story attracted worldwide interest with Kidlington locals offering interviews about their experience. In November 2016, after analysing results of a Chinese-language questionnaire given to some of the tourists, the BBC found that "looking for the true sense" of Britain was one reason for the visits. An investigative journalist determined that, in fact, Chinese tour operators charge $68 extra for Chinese language tours of nearby Blenheim Palace. Tourists who do not want to pay to visit Blenheim are dropped off in Kidlington, which they find charming, but which tour operators select because it is too far from Blenheim to enable tourists to walk to the Palace and pay the cheaper £25 price for public tours in English. Kidlington railway Station was opened as Woodstock Road Station, on the Great Western Railway, near Langford Lane in 1852 and was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel; the Great Western Railway added a branch line between Kidlington and Woodstock in 1890, a new Blenheim and Woodstock railway station at Woodstock and renamed Woodstock Road Station as Kidlington Station.
British Railways closed Kidlington railway station in 1964. The station building remained in 1983. From the 1980s onwards it has been Oxfordshire County Council policy to have a new station on land between Flatford Place and Thorne Close on Lyne Road; the policy is as yet unfulfilled. At Water Eaton, 1 1⁄2 miles south of the centre of Kidlington, there was a railway halt at Oxford Road on the former Varsity Line; the halt was opened by the London and North Western Railway in 1905 and closed by its successor, the London and Scottish Railway in 1926. In October 2015 Chiltern Railways and Network Rail opened a new Oxford Parkway railway station near the site of the former Oxford Road Halt with trains every 30 minutes to London Marylebone via Bicester Village and High Wycombe in one direction, to Oxford in the other direction. Kidlington has about 50 shops and building societies, a public library, a large village hall and a weekly market. There are seven public houses, two cafes, four restaurants.
The public houses are concentrated along the main A4260 road through the village. North to south these are: the Highwayman Hotel (originally the Anchor the
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K