Meeting 10th November 2015

Illustrated Talk by Anne Gould:

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"A Gallop through Abingdon's History"

Tuesday 10th November 2015 at 7.30 pm

Venue: Sutton Courtenay Village Hall

Anne Gould gave a comprehensive picture of Abingdon’s long and eventful history from its early development to the twentieth century.  

Roman farmhouse

Throughout the talk interesting details emerged e.g. the Romans thought the local sheep were scrawny, producing poor quality wool and meat so they imported their own breed of sheep to replace them; or that at one time Abingdon had 18 pubs in Ock Street alone!  

The influence and importance of the large, wealthy Benedictine Abbey was emphasized, not just in Abingdon, but also in Sutton Courtenay and other areas.  Despite Henry VIII having stayed in Abingdon several times, the Abbey suffered during the dissolution of the monasteries and was left in ruins.

Abingdon was an important town, attracting visits from various kings and queens over the centuries; Henry I and Queen Matilda came to Sutton Courtenay and Abingdon to benefit from the medical skills of monks from the Abbey.  The Black Death, wars, severe weather and near starvation all had their impact on the town. During the Civil War, 1642-6, Abingdon was held at different times by both Royalists and Parliamentarians, resulting in battles when many were killed and the destruction of the market cross.

MG cars

The talk also covered the rise and fall of industries in the town as well as the buildings that survive from different periods. 

It was enhanced by many illustrations of events, people and buildings that have played a role in Abingdon’s history.


Anne Gould (left) with SCLHS Chair, Mary Thompson

Note: Thanks to Anne Gould for the use of the above slides from her talk.

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