Uffington

The Vale village of Uffington, just north of the Berkshire Downs. The village is well worth a visit with many fine examples of cottages built of local chalk, many of them thatched. The centre of the village, near St. Mary's Church, being perhaps the prettiest part.

St. Mary's tends to dominate the village and is known as The Cathedral of the Vale. It is a large cruciform building with an octagonal tower and is a fine example of an Early English church. St. Mary's was built in the 13th century, probably by craftsmen from Salisbury Cathedral and most of the building dates from that time.

Thomas Hughes, author of the book Tom Brown's School Days, was born at Uffington vicarage. The book, like several others written by Hughes, was based on local people and places. John Betjeman, a one-time Poet Laureate, also spent some time in the village. The old school building houses an interesting museum about the village, its illustrious residents and the local historic tourist attractions (see below).

There are good views of the Downs from the village and most people probably associate the name 'Uffington' with the famous White Horse which was cut into the hillside above the nearby village of Woolstone 3,000 years ago and can be seen from miles around. Part of the White Horse is just visible from the village but the best views are probably from the London to Bristol railway line to the north of the village. Uffington White Horse is by far the oldest of all Britain's hillside white horse figures and there have been many theories about its origin. These theories and the and many myths about the White Horse and its surrounding landscape are explored on David Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History.

Uffington is about a mile and a half north of the B4507 Wantage to Ashbury road close to the villages of Woolstone and Kingston Lisle.

Images of Uffington:
(Click to view)

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