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Radley has an interesting history dating back to ancient times. The Radley History Club carries out research into past events in Radley and the lives of its inhabitants, and has published a definitive history of the village in their recent book, The History of Radley, published in 2002. More information can be found on their website (follow link below). Archaelogical excavations have been carried out at Barrow Hills, most recently in the 1980s; and, more extensively, over the past 25 years, at Thrupp on the southern edge of the parish. These have revealed evidence of human habitation dating back to the stone-age (palaeolithic) era.



School house Radley Oak Church




Click on an image for historical information relating to the subject in the title.
Railway   Radley Vicarage


The Bowyer Arms
History Links
Henry Taunt photographs of Radley taken at the turn of the 19th century.
Abingdon and Area Archaeological and Historical Society
Radley History Club
Archaeological, Palaeontological and Ecological information about Thrupp (pdf 7.1 MB)


The following books contain information about the history of Radley and are acknowledged as sources of some of the material used on these pages.


Radley Farms and Families 1600-2011
Paperback, 209 pages
Christine Wootton
Published by Radley History Club, 2011
ISBN 9780954276195

Gone for A Soldier: Radley Service Men 1885 – 1920
Limited edition, hardback, 169 pages, with colour and black and white illustrations.
Martin Mawhinney
Published by the author, 2010
ISBN 978184426821-4

The History of Radley CE Primary School 
Christine Wootton
Published by Radley History Club, 2008
ISBN 9780954276157


Radley Church and Parish
(Radley History Club Occasional Publication No. 4)
John Homewood et al.
Published by Radley History Club, 2007, 2009
ISBN 0 9542761 4 0

The Silvester Family of Sunningwell and Radley at the Smithy, The Bowyer Arms and Sugworth Farm
(Radley History Club Occasional Publication No. 3)
Christine Wootton
Published by Radley History Club, 2007
ISBN 0 9542761 3 0

Radley Vicarage
(Radley History Club Occasional Publication No. 1)
Published by Radley History Club, 2005
ISBN 0 9542761 1 0

The History of Radley
Patrick Drysdale, Rita Ford, Patricia Groser, Marian Orchard, Ann Parkes, Kay Williams.
Published by Radley History Club, 2002
ISBN 0 9542761 0 8

Rural Life in the Vale of the White Horse 1780~1914
Nigel Hammond
Published by Countryside Books, Newbury, 1974
ISBN 0 9500218

The Oxfordshire Village Book
Nigel Hammond
Published by Countryside Books, Newbury, 1983
ISBN 0 905392 22 1

British Railways Past and Present: No 15, Oxfordshire
Laurence Waters and Tony Doyle
Published by Past and Present Publishing Ltd, 2nd edition, 1994
ISBN 1 85895 059 7

Oxfordshire Railways in Old Photographs, A Second Selection
Laurence Waters
Published by Sutton Publishing Ltd, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 1991
ISBN 0 86299 852 2

Barrow Hills , Radley 1983-4: excavations, an interim report 
R Bradley, RA Chambers, CE Halpin
Oxford Archaeological Unit, 1984

Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/ourvillage/history/

Radley School House

Radley School House The red brick section of Radley Primary School dates back to c1871, while the school house itself is much older. Prior to 1897, the school and the land on which it stood was owned by the Bowyer family and leased to the Church for 26 shillings (£1.30) per year. In …

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The Radley Oak, January 2005

The Radley Oak

The Radley Oak stands in the grounds of Radley College adjacent to the public footpath leading up to Lodge Hill. With a girth of 28 feet (8.5 metres) it is certainly more than 300 years old, though, since the bole is hollow, its true age cannot be determined with any certainty. However the tree …

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History of the Railway

Since it was built in 1844, the railway through Radley has had an important influence on the village and its surroundings. Radley Station was established in 1873 to serve Radley College and the branch line (now dismantled) to Abingdon.     GWR railway boundary marker at what is now the entrance to Lower Radley …

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The Vicarage

The vicarage dates back to the 13th century, with 15th century modifications. It was originally a hunting lodge used by the Tudor kings, Henry VII and Henry VIII, and is the oldest ‘occupied’ vicarage in England. It still possesses much of its original character with many wooden beams and low ceilings and an impressive 15th century …

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History of the Bowyer Arms

The village pub, the Bowyer Arms, was built around the middle of the 19th century on the site of an earlier farmhouse. The name derives from the Bowyer family who, at the time, owned the Radley Hall Estate and many properties in and around the village, having inherited them from the Stonhouse family …

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