Welcome

View of the central part of Radley from the church tower - one of a series of photographs taken in April 2016
View of Radley from the church tower, April 2016

Radley History Club is based in the village of Radley in Oxfordshire on the River Thames between Abingdon and Oxford. The Club meets each month (except for August) in the parish church of St James the Great. It seeks to:

  • research and record local history
  • offer an interesting series of monthly talks about the history of the local area
  • arrange visits to local sites of historical interest

Formerly in Berkshire, Radley has a history dating back thousands of years to Neolithic times. From late Saxon times until 1538 the village was part of Abingdon Abbey’s extensive landholdings. The Abbey founded the current church around 1300 and the timber-framed vicarage dates from the 13th or 14th century. Two of the fine thatched cottages in Lower Radley (once the main part of the village) date from the 16th century. Until recently the village was primarily agricultural, with most of the population working the land. Today most of the farm buildings have been put to other uses and very few residents have connections with farming. Radley today is perhaps best known for its station on the Oxford–Didcot railway line and for the public school, Radley College.

Radley Heritage Walk

Discover the history of Radley by comparing old photos with what you see now. Pick up a free Heritage Walk leaflet from various sites around the village, including the Bowyer Arms, where the walk starts. The leaflet features 24 points of interest and includes a map.

The walk is in two halves, both starting at the pub. One half includes St James the Great church and the ancient ‘Radley Oak’ in the grounds of Radley College. The other explores some of the old farmhouses and cottages of Lower Radley, and the River Thames.

Find out more and download a copy of the leaflet

Front cover of Radley Heritage Walk leaflet

Meetings

Meetings with a speaker are held at 7.30 pm on the second Monday of the month (apart from August) at Radley Church. See the Events Calendar for details of forthcoming meetings – for more details of a particular meeting, click on the title of the talk.
More about the Club’s meetings and how to join the Club

Non-members are welcome at our speaker meetings. There’s no charge but a suggested donation of £2.50 would be much appreciated. 

Publications

The findings of research projects carried out by the Club over the last 20 years are detailed in various books and booklets. Copies of the Club’s publications are available to buy online and from Radley Village Shop.

Postcards produced by the Club featuring scenes around Radley are also available to buy from the Village Shop.

Archives

The Club has an ever-expanding collection of archives – photographs, maps, documents, books, audiovisual and transcriptions of wills.

Oral history

Included in the Club’s archives is its extensive and growing library of audio recordings of interviews with people from Radley or connected to the village in some way. The Club’s latest oral history project, Radley during Covid, seeks to record people’s memories of this major event in our lives. Learn more about the project and the Club’s library of recordings.

World War Two Memories

This collection of short accounts – some about the experiences of individual Radley residents and some about life on the home front – draws heavily but not exclusively on the Club’s library of oral history recordings. Learn more and read the accounts


Front cover of 'Radley Manor and Village: a thousand year story'

RADLEY MANOR AND VILLAGE
a thousand year story

Published November 2019
About the book and how to buy a copy

“it is engrossingly written and should hold the attention of historians and students of the community”
From a British Association of Local History review


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