Wittenham is a small village on the southern bank of the
River Thames on the road between Long
Wittenham and Brightwell-cum-Sotwell,
about three miles north-east of Didcot.
The attractive parish church, St Peter's, was mostly rebuilt
in 1862, although the 14th century tower is original.
Adjacent to the church is Barn Cottage, a former stable
but now a house probably dating from mid C17, with C20 alterations.
Next to Barn Cottage is The Manor House, a mid C18 red
brick house with C19 additions and alterations. The house
has grey brick headers. Elsewhere in the village are several
other attractive old houses, many of them listed and the
whole village is within a conservation area.
Nearby, and just over a footbridge over the Thames, is
Day's Lock which is well known locally for the Annual
Pooh Sticks World Chamionships. The event is inspired
by A.A. Milne's tale about Winnie the Pooh and raises
funds for charity. It involves dropping a stick into the
river and seeing how long it takes to get to the finish
line. Teams from across the globe take part in the event.
the village are the Wittenham Clumps which stand on top
of the Sinodun Hills. 'Sinodun' is a Celtic name, Seno-Dunum,
meaning 'Old Fort'. In the Iron Age, the hill fort at Castle
Hill dominated the region, providing protection for
the local villagers and their animals. The
only obvious sign of the fort now is the ditch around
the base of the hill. In the clump of trees at the top
of the hill is the Poem Tree in which Joseph Tubb carved
a poem in 1844-45.
Both Castle Hill and Round Hill offer superb view over
the Thames and the village of Dorchester and beyond, and
from Round Hill there is a good view of the village. The
Wittenham Clumps and the nearby Little Wittenham Wood
are part of a nature reserve managed
by the Northmoor
Trust who established it in 1982. The reserve is part
of an estate of 300 hectares which includes a conservation
farm and a new woodland dedicated to forestry research.