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The long and intriguing Ock Street with its varying widths runs westwards from the Square, finally turning South over Ock Bridge. It contains a number of buildings of architectural note, which housed a number of important people and businesses. Links to documents providing more information are given below.
Abingdon Listed Buildings from Ock Street and The Square
Abingdon Baptist Church by Michael G Hambleton
The Lamb Inn by Manfred Brod
Memories of Ock Street by Jeanette Colgan
Abingdon Monumental Works by Sue Peyman-Stroud
A Short History of Morland Brewers
Carswell Fountain by Jackie Hudson
Joseph Argyll by Sandra Lewis
Charlotte Cox: A Crimean War Nurse from Ock Street (By Anne Smithson with an illustration by Marjorie Stephen)
Where the artist William Watkin Waite lived in Ock Street by Jessica Brod
In 2018, Abingdon’s archaeological society celebrated its 50th anniversary. An exhibition about the Society and its work was held in Abingdon Museum to mark the occasion.
Below, you can see four panels from the exhibition, illustrating different aspects of the archaeology of Abingdon. Click on each panel for a high-resolution image.
Abingdon has an extremely rich archaeological heritage, reaching back to the first hunter-gatherers in the area around 200,000 years ago. The panels look at four different topics, each reflecting excavations and discoveries by the Society.
A feature article about the archaeology of Abingdon can be found here [https://www.abingdon.gov.uk/feature-articles/archaeology-abingdon]
Meetings Programme 2023-24
Description: This talk will address the historical origins of the current war. The main focus will be on the twentieth century, where the origins lie, but some references will be made to before and after the Soviet period.
Biography: Dr Zbig Wojnowski is an Associate Professor of Soviet History at St Antony's College, University of Oxford. His research has focused on interethnic relations and imperial dynamics in the USSR. Zbig's book entitled 'The Near Abroad: Socialist Eastern Europe and Soviet Patriotism in Ukraine' examines how the flow of people and ideas across borders shaped Ukrainian and Soviet identities after the death of Stalin. He has also published on identity politics in Crimea, the role of popular culture in the Ukrainian national project, and the impact of de-Stalinisation in the USSR’s Central Asian peripheries.
Biography: Mike Evans has lived on the Fitzharry's Estate for twenty years. Before he retired he was Head of the Historic England Archive in Swindon, responsible for over 12 million photographs and other records documenting the archaeology and architecture of England.
Thursday 16th May 2024 (The Lambrick Lecture 2024)
The annual Lambrick Lecture is kindly supported by George and Camilla Lambrick, in memory of Georges's mother, Gabrielle Lambrick. Gabrielle was a highly-respected local historian of Abingdon, and in 1968 she also helped to found what is now AAAHS.
Description: The causes and processes of the transition from late Roman Britain to what followed in the 5th and 6th centuries are complex and controversial. Dorchester has some of the best evidence in the region for these changes, though this is itself far from straightforward. Key data from the Discovering Dorchester Project excavations (2008-2018) will be summarised alongside other evidence, both old and more recent, from the environs of the town.
Biography: Paul Booth was a Senior Project Manager at Oxford Archaeology for 30 years before his retirement in 2019. Amongst many other tasks he directed fieldwork for the Discovering Dorchester Project training excavation in the Dorchester allotments for the duration of that project. He has interests in a wide range of aspects of Romano-British archaeology, including settlement forms, burial, ceramics and coinage, often with a regional emphasis. He is particularly interested in the late Roman period, and his primary current concern is the post-excavation analysis of the Dorchester site.
Martin Buckland: Cowley Concrete - A vanished Abingdon Industry
Cowley Concrete started in a garden shed in Cowley in the early 1920s but soon moved to Abingdon, Radley Road, where more plentiful gravel supplies were available to meet the increased demand for the products. The company expanded over the years until finally closing down in 1970 having been taken over by Ameys some years earlier. There will be many illustrations of their products and of the pioneer pre-stressed concrete beam production process. There are several examples of their products to be seen locally.
Martin Buckland has been interested in Industrial Archaeology from the age of 4 when watching Great Western trains with his Dad at Iver where he was born. Nearly seven decades later he is involved with the Great Western Society at Didcot Railway Centre in the education team and as a tour guide. He leads walks in Abingdon along the historic and new sections of the Wilts & Berks Canal and he has recently added ‘The Rivers of Abingdon’ walk to the list. He volunteers at the Abingdon Museum in the education department explaining what life was like living on a narrow boat to primary school pupils. He is also a member of several local history societies.
Please note: This talk will be preceded by a short Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Thursday 19th October 2023
Simon Townley: Chipping Norton and Area: Recent Work by the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire
Simon Townley has been County Editor of the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire (old county boundary) since 1996, and has worked on the histories of numerous towns and villages including Witney, Henley, Bampton, and Benson. This illustrated talk will focus on Chipping Norton on the edge of the Cotswolds, which forms the subject of the VCH's next volume (publication due 2024), and which was laid out as a planned 'new town' around the mid twelfth century, set on a hillside above the pre-existing church and Norman castle. The talk looks at its development from those early beginnings through to the twentieth century, exploring aspects of its buildings, economy and social history.
Chipping Norton market place c.1800 (Chipping Norton town Council) Chipping Norton church and the adjacent castle site (Historic England 24482_025)
Thursday 16th November 2023
Andy Hood: The Roman Villa at Cholsey - Recent Excavations
Excavations at Celsea Place, Cholsey revealed multiple phases of archaeological activity, spanning the Bronze Age to Anglo Saxon period. Roman settlement within the site included a previously unknown ‘farmstead’ villa, which appeared to have been occupied throughout the Roman period. This talk will present the findings of the investigations, specifically the excavations within and around the villa, and it will attempt to situate the site within the wider contemporary landscape.
Andy Hood has over 20 years’ experience in commercial archaeology. He has managed archaeological projects throughout England and Wales and he has written numerous grey-literature, as well as publication reports. He is currently an Associate Director at Foundations Archaeology, with both fieldwork and office-based responsibilities.
Aerial photo of Cholsey excavation phase 1 Open Day at Cholsey excavation
Thursday 21st December 2023
Thursday 18th January 2024
West Gallery Music is a largely-forgotten genre of church music which flourished all over the English-speaking world from the early 1700s to the mid-nineteenth century. It was a tradition of vernacular music-making, performed and often composed by people of humble origins operating outside the mainstream of contemporary art music. Dave will describe its origins, development, gradual decline and present-day survivals with reference to local churches and communities, illustrating his talk with sound recordings.
Description: Pembroke College archivist, Amanda Ingram, takes us through the history of Pembroke College, from its foundation in 1624 to its 400th anniversary this year. She will explain the development of the College site and reveal some of the significant characters from Pembroke’s past. We will also hear about Pembroke’s connection to Abingdon which began with one of the College’s founders, Thomas Tesdale.
Biography: Amanda Ingram has been the Pembroke archivist since 2007. She was also archivist for St Hugh’s College but, in 2023, became dedicated to Pembroke. Amanda qualified in 2005 and has also worked at Kew Gardens and Freemason’s Hall in London.