Area 12: Thames Valley North
The area is notable for its Roman archaeology including cropmarks of a potential Roman road, enclosures and a possible 4th century Roman Settlement. Small areas of enclosure remain in the South of the area associated with surviving pre 1700 enclosed meadows. These are an important historical survival of earlier pre 1700 land use.
Small area of Thames Floodplain to the East of Wallingford
Present Day Historic Landscape Character
Today the area is dominated by reorganised and amalgamated fields which have modified the former areas of parliamentary enclosure. These are modern fields formed through the consolidation or amalgamation of existing, historic, enclosures into more regular holdings, usually to enable more efficient, mechanised arable agriculture. Traces of the earlier field patterns will remain fossilised in these alterations. Areas of parliamentary enclosure remain in the South of the area associated with surviving pre 1700 enclosed meadows.
Layers in the Landscape
The area is notable for its Roman archaeology including cropmarks of a potential Roman road, enclosures and a possible 4th century Roman settlement.
The church at Aston Tirrold has a Saxon origin with 12th and 13th century fabric. There is also a possible early Medieval linear bank. Other later Medieval features include a moat around Lollington Farm, Cholsey and the manor house of South Moreton, now a farmhouse which appears to date from the late 15th or early 16th century. It has a central hall and two wings but has been much altered. A moat surrounds the site. The manor house of Bray, South Moreton, is now converted into two cottages. The central hall of Tudor date remains, other parts are of the 17th century. There is also a motte castle.
Formerly in the Medieval period this area was dominated by open marshland which was part of the Thames floodplain with the nucleated historic settlement on higher ground. With the exception of one small area of pre 1700 enclosed meadow to the South of the area the marshland was enclosed through parliamentary enclosure between 1750 and 1850, and regular fields with drainage channels created. This transformed the landscape into an agriculturally productive landscape.
Historic Settlement Character
Pre 1800 nucleated settlements is found at Aston Upthorpe/ Aston Tirrod which is located at the spring line at the bottom of the chalk escarpment. North and South Moreton are located on pockets of higher ground and have a loosely nucleated form. These have undergone post 1900 expansion but the historic plan remains. Building materials include thatch, red brick and weatherboard.
Historic Farmstead Character
There are very few isolated farms. Loose courtyard farms, mostly concentrated in villages, with often large barns, stables, granaries and open-fronted shelter sheds ranged around a yard are typical of the area.