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

Radley Manor and Village: a thousand year story

by Richard Dudding with Joyce Huddleston, Clare Sargent and Christine Wootton
Published November 2019
ISBN 978-0-95686325-6-8
192 pages
£15.00 plus £3.25 p/p for UK delivery (total £18.25)

The book was researched and written as a collaboration between Radley History Club and Radley College’s archivist. It tells the history of Radley’s manor and its relationship with the village from around the time of the Norman Conquest to the present day. It explores the changing role of the manor, the people who held it, how they lived and the power they exercised, as well as how the lives of ordinary villagers were affected by the manor.

Each chapter, divided mainly by time period, starts by describing relevant national events, enabling the reader to understand the local story as part of the bigger picture. The book also traces the themes which arise over the full thousand years, such as the impact of landownership. The changing fortunes of Radley’s landowners and tenants are described in depth – with some colourful characters adding drama to the story!

The illustrations and maps help to guide the reader through the story. A glossary, footnotes, tables and family trees help ensure that terms and relationships are explained and that the story is rooted firmly in evidence. Eighteen of the book’s 44 maps and images are in colour.

The book should be of interest both to local people and those researching wider manorial history.

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Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Early Origins: Abingdon Abbey, c. 1050-1500
Chapter 3 Transition: From the Abbey to the Stonhouses, 1500-1560
Chapter 4 The High Period, 1560-1795: The Stonhouse Family
Chapter 5 The High Period, 1560-1795: Buildings and Grounds
Chapter 6 The High Period, 1560-1795: The Lord and his Village
Chapter 7 The Manor in Decline, 1795-1914
Chapter 8 Epilogue: 1914-2019
Annex A The Two ‘Radley Parks’
Annex B Evidence from Probate Inventories 1540-1700
Annex C Stonhouse and Bowyer Family Trees

The following is an extract from a review of the book published by the British Association of Local History

“To encompass a thousand years of village history in under 200 pages is no mean feat. The authors have succeeded in doing this succinctly and simply within a structure that is accessible to anyone interested in their local village. The book also provides useful information for the historian studying the relationship between an English manor and its village. Radley is an excellent case study for local historians showing how the governance of a village has changed from the feudal age to post-reformation, and the system of agriculture moved from communal sharing to enclosed larger farms. Most of all, this book will suit those interested in the history of all aspects of Radley over the last thousand years, the leading families, their houses, estates, fields and parks, tenant farmers and villagers. It is evident that much well-constructed research has gone in to the writing of this book which makes it a solid source for history students. The authors have a strong affinity with Radley—it is engrossingly written, and should hold the attention of historians and students of the community.”

Read the full review

Launch of book at Radley College