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Wiltshire Community History

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Ogbourne St. Andrew

This page is one of 261 pages covering every community in Wiltshire, and is provided by Wiltshire Council Libraries and Heritage. A project to provide a fuller picture of each community is in progress, working on the larger communities first. When these 261, which are modern civil parishes, are completed we will begin work on a further 180 villages and hamlets to provide comprehensive coverage of Wiltshire communities large and small.

From Andrews' and Dury's Map of Wiltshire, 1773:

From Andrews' and Dury's Map of Wiltshire, 1773

Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham

From Andrews' and Dury's Map of Wiltshire, 1810:

From Andrews' and Dury's Map of Wiltshire, 1810

Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham

This is a corrected and updated edition of the 1773 map that includes the recently built canals.

Map of the Civil Parish of Ogbourne St. Andrew:

Map of the Civil Parish of Ogbourne St. Andrew

Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

From the Ordnance Survey 1890s revision of the one inch to one mile map. The modern civil parish boundary has been superimposed.

From Andrews and Dury's Map of Wiltshire, 1773:

From Andrews and Dury's Map of Wiltshire, 1773

Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham

Section of the map showing the downs to the north and north-west of the village.

Thumbnail History:

The parish of Ogbourne St. Andrew lies to the south and south-west of the parish of Ogbourne St. George and forms part of Selkley Hundred. The northern boundary of the parish follows a short section of the Ridgeway and then turns eastwards to pass through the centre of Barbury Castle, an Iron Age hill fort, and along Smeathes Ridge at the top of Barbury Down. It has been assumed that the name 'Smeathe' derives from the Old English for 'smooth'. Descending south-easterly from the top of Coombe Hill, the boundary proceeds to traverse the valley formed by the river Og, which it crosses at Bay Bridge, the head of a royal fishpond for Marlborough Castle in the Middle Ages. Proceeding north-westwards again the boundary crosses downland until it cuts through the dry valley of Temple Bottom at the western limits of the parish and climbs again up Rough Hill and on to meet the Ridgeway. The acreage of the parish is measured at 5,387 acres. Most of the land of Ogbourne St. Andrew parish lies on the downs to the west of the river and in the 12th century was known as Little Ogbourne, later South Ogbourne, to distinguish it from Ogbourne St. George. In addition to Barbury Castle Farm in the north-west of the parish and a number of isolated barns, there are three settlements within the parish: these are the village of Ogbourne St. Andrew, the largest settlement in the parish; to its south and almost merging with it is the settlement of Ogbourne Maizey. Both of these villages lie immediately west of the present A346 Swindon to Marlborough road in the east of the parish. The third settlement, Rockley, lies west of these villages close to the parish's southern boundary. The geology of the parish is primarily chalk, with deposits of clay with flints overlaying the chalk of the highest land in the north-east of the parish where, east of Barbury Castle the land lies at 268 m. Flint also appears with the chalk of the lower slopes of the downs. There are alluvium and gravel deposits in the valleys of the Og, which lies below 137 m., and of the Hungerbourne. The river Og runs north-south through the easternmost section of parish, flowing from its source north of Ogbourne St. George village, to Marlborough where it joins the river Kennet. The river is a winterbourne and its valley is at its narrowest between Ogbourne St. Andrew and Ogbourne Maizey. A dry valley along the southern boundary of the parish divides approximately 2 km. west of the Og; along one of these branches sometimes flows the Hungerbourne, which rises below Barbury Castle. The Hungerbourne joins the Og at Bay Bridge; however, it is frequently dry for several years and appears only after a prolonged wet spell. The Og, on the other hand, flows during most winters. Springs rise in all three villages in the parish and at times water can be seen to emerge from tarmac roads. The road curving through Rockley by Rockley Manor, Rockley Farm and some 18th century cottages was the original road through the village until 1776 when a new road was built to the south in order to resolve the problems caused by spring water rising from the road in winter and spring. The buildings alongside the later road, including the former school, chapel, farm buildings and cottages, are primarily of the 19th century. Spring water also emerges from the foundations of some older houses and has been known to flood the cellars of Rockley Manor. Formerly many cottages used wells fed by underground springs; today water is pumped by the water authority to a reservoir in North Wood for treatment before being piped back to the houses of the village. Houses have been built on the flood plain between the Og and the Swindon to Marlborough road. However, the course of the river at Ogbourne Maizey was straightened in the mid-20th century and flooding has been alleviated. Present day arable crops in the parish are wheat and barley. Racehorse training in the parish began in the 19th century and remains an important commercial activity in the 21st century; much land is given over to gallops. There are a number of small areas of woodland in the parish, providing shelter for wildlife. The principal road through Ogbourne St. Andrew parish is the Swindon to Marlborough road, now classified as the A346, running north to south in the extreme south-eastern section of the parish. The road enters from Ogbourne St. George parish in the north and leaves again close to Bay Bridge in the south. It follows the course of the river Og and passes close to the east of the villages of Ogbourne St. Andrew and Ogbourne Maizey. This road was built and turnpiked in 1819. The new road was designed to avoid the hills over which the earlier major Swindon to Marlborough route passed. This had been turnpiked in 1762 and ran through the parish south-westwards from Barbury Castle and then south past Four Mile Clump to a junction at Old Eagle, south-east of Rockley village, where it was joined by the Wootton Bassett to Marlborough road, turnpiked in 1809 and disturnpiked in 1847. At the junction still named Old Eagle, there stood an inn of the same name; this burnt down in 1948. In the 18th & 19th centuries a road from Ogbourne St. Andrew to Barbury Castle and Wroughton led north-west from the village. In 1881 the Swindon, Marlborough and Andover Railway was opened. Its course ran through the Og valley, following the course of the turnpike road. The railway was later renamed the Midland and South-Western Junction Railway; it closed in 1964. Much of the former railway track now forms part of the Chiseldon to Marlborough cycleway, itself part of the National Cycle Network. Prehistoric, Roman, Saxon and Medieval archaeological remains have been discovered over wide areas of the parish: The Iron Age fort, Barbury Castle, lies on the Ridgeway and comprises an area of 12 acres enclosed by set of defensive banks and ditches. The parish boundary runs through the fort. At this site, and at Barbary Castle Farm to its south, Bronze Age and Romano-British pottery fragments have been found. On Coombe Down undated field systems and likely burial sites have been located; at Dean Bottom Romano-British and Bronze Age remains have been located. A full listing of archaeological sites within Ogbourne St. Andrew parish may be viewed at the Historic Environment Record website of Wiltshire Council. Prior to the Norman Conquest, lands held at Ogbourne (it is unclear whether these were in Ogbourne St. George or Ogbourne St. Andrew) were devised to an Edric by his brother Aethelwold in A.D. 946-947. It is not known if these lands lay in the present Ogbourne St. Andrew or Ogbourne St. George. The name 'Ogbourne' itself derives from the Saxon 'Oceburnan' or 'Oc[c]a's stream'. There are four Domesday survey entries relating to 'Ocheburne' and landholdings there. Of these one has been identified as relating to the manor of Ogbourne St. Andrew. The survey relates that 'Ocheburne' was held by Miles Crispin. Prior to the Norman Conquest the estate had been held by Earl Harold and it paid geld for 10 hides (c1200 acres). The survey states that in 1086 there was land for 8 ploughteams (approximately 960 acres) of which some 720 acres were in demesne. Approximately 90 people were on the estate. There was also a mill paying 30 shillings in tax, and eight acres of meadow. Pastureland on the estate was worth £15. On Miles's death the estate passed to his wife, Maud of Wallingford who, between the years 1107 and 1133 gave the estate to provide clothing for the monks of the French Benedictine abbey of Bec-Hellouin, Maud had already conveyed her manor of Ogbourne St. George to the abbey, leading to a priory being established in that parish. The next major event in the history of this manor took place in 1441 when it formed part of the grant by the Crown to the college of St. Nicholas - later to become King's College, Cambridge. Edward IV subsequently reassumed the holding of the College's estates, some of which were again granted to the College in 1461, but with the exclusion of Ogbourne St. Andrew. A parliamentary commission was subsequently set up in 1490 to determine ownership of the lands claimed by the College, and c1500 Ogbourne St. Andrew was again held by it, although a rent was payable to the opposing claimant, Charterhouse. Such rent payments in respect of both Ogbourne St. Andrew and Ogbourne St. George continued until the Dissolution. King's College was awarded an allotment of 354 acres in an Enclosure Act in 1780 and continued to hold land in Ogbourne St. Andrew until 1927 when it was sold off in individual farm holdings. In the late 13th century the prior of Ogbourne had been recorded as holding 352 acres of arable land in demesne, 8 acres of meadow and common pasture for some 1,000 sheep. In 1296 there were 25 villeins and 11 cottars on the manor, giving a total population of some 190-210 people. In the 14th century there were a number of protests by tenants who considered the lord's demands for service on the demesne lands to be excessive; in the 1330s the tenants resorted to force resulting in their being fined or imprisoned, with confiscation of lands in some cases. Nevertheless, further disturbances ensued in the course of the 14th and early 15th centuries. From the 17th century onwards the manor's demesne lands were known as Poughcombe Farm and consisted of some 221 acres of arable, cultivated on the western slopes of Coombe Hill north of the village of Ogbourne St. Andrew and to the west of Ogbourne St. George village; 78 acres of meadow and 480 acres of sheep pasture on Coombe Down, to the north of which over 400 acres of summer pasture were grazed by sheep belonging to Ogbourne St. George in the winter. There were three open fields in Ogbourne St. Andrew manor in the mid 17th century, known as East, West and South fields; these probably lay on either side of the River Og. There was pasture on the downs in the north and west of the manor. Enclosure of common lands took place in 1780 and is described below. Poughcombe Farm itself remained largely unaffected by enclosure. In the 19th and early 20th centuries the farm measured some 800-900 acres, the majority of which were devoted to pasture. The first half of the 19th century saw the farm leased together with the lands of Ogbourne St. George. The farm was divided in c1927 with the northern section named Upper Poughcombe Farm primarily devoted to pasture, having some 295 acres of down, 105 lowland pasture, and 50 acres of arable. The southern section, which continued to be named Poughcombe Farm, contained more arable land (141 acres) but was also primarily devoted to pasture. In 1780 a freehold estate of approximately 850 acres, likely to have been formed by the consolidation of copyholds within Ogbourne St. Andrew, was in existence under the ownership of Samuel Hawkes. At enclosure in 1780 this estate received an allotment of 895 acres. In 1839 the estate comprised 521 acres of pasture, 468 acres of arable and 49 acres of meadow. The latter figure included 17 acres of water meadows. The estate descended by inheritance until it was purchased in the 1930s by the company known as Whatley Brothers. Until 1969 it was worked as a dairy farm. In 1978, the estate was sold in the form of Ogbourne St. Andrew Farm, with 471 acres, and Ogbourne Down Farm, of 404 acres, to a pension fund. In addition to the mill which was cited in the Domesday survey as present on Miles Crispin's estate, numerous references to mills and millers have occurred in Ogbourne St. Andrew parish between the 13th and 16th centuries, including a watermill on Ogbourne St. Andrew manor in 1294 which apparently was replaced at a later date by a windmill. A windmill stood at the east end of the churchyard but had been destroyed by 1760. Of the other three estates noted in the Domesday survey which cannot be linked specifically to Ogbourne St. Andrew, the first is recorded as comprising 30 hides (approximately 3,600 acres) with 25 ploughteams and was held by the King. Of this land 18 hides (approximately 2,160 acres) were held in demesne. There were 6 acres of meadow and in addition there was pasture approximately 1.5 miles long and 0.5 miles wide, with an equal area of woodland. The population may be estimated at 200 to 230 individuals. A smaller estate at 'Ocheburn' had been held by Harding from pre-Conquest times. Prior to the conquest tax had been paid for 5 hides (600 acres). The land was sufficient for three ploughteams, with an area for one team in demesne. There were also 2 acres of meadow and the pasture was 2 furlongs (440 yards) long and 1 furlong (220 yards) broad. The whole estate was worth £4 and some 36 people lived on the estate. The smallest estate noted in the Domesday survey comprised 2 hides (c.240 acres) held by Turchil; this land had also been held by Turchil's father. There was land for one ploughteam and 30 acres of pasture; the estate was worth 10 shillings. Turchil is also recorded as holding a small estate in Ogbourne St. George. The village of Ogbourne St. Andrew itself lies on the west bank of the Og. Its main street was part of the formerly important Marlborough to Draycot Foliat road. In 1377 Ogbourne St. Andrew was the most populous settlement within the parish, with 69 poll tax payers (everyone aged over 14). It has been postulated that the original centre of the village may have been located west of the village street, close to the church. The older buildings of the village stand alongside the main street; these date from the 17th century. The turnpiking in 1819 of the later Swindon to Marlborough road (the current A346) led to settlement to the east of the old centre in the 19th century, with infill building along the lane from the south of the village to the main road and along the west side of the latter between Ogbourne St. Andrew and Ogbourne Maizey. There are a number of listed buildings in the village of Ogbourne St. Andrew. The church dates from the late 12th, 13th and 14th centuries; it was restored 1847-9 by William Butterfield. Poughcombe Farmhouse dates from the 18th century, with 19th century alterations; East Holm Farmhouse with Granary on the same site dates from the late 18th or early 19th centuries; a barn has an earlier date, from the 17th or 18th century. Also listed are the 17th century 'The Thatch' and the late 16th century 'Old Cottage' both of which are thatched. 'Sunrise Cottage' was formerly three cottages, of sarsen and flint construction, dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. 'The Forge' is an early 17th century, timber framed, building with later alterations. The Baptist chapel and Tresco House, the vicarage house, date from the mid to late 19th century, and the former Wheatsheaf Inn of the same period stands at the junction of the A346 and the lane leading to Ogbourne St. Andrew village. Now renamed, the Inn remains in existence as a public house and restaurant. A small number of 20th century former local authority houses stand east of the main road. In 1965 these houses were still awaiting their scheduled installation, and subsequent completion, of bathrooms and hot water systems that have now been installed. The development of the four holdings recorded at Domesday into subsequent medieval manors is not clear; however, in addition to the manor of Ogbourne St. Andrew, noted above, the following were the main manorial holdings within what is now the civil parish of Ogbourne St. Andrew: The manor of Barbury Lees was gifted to the abbey of St. Georges de Boscherville near Rouen in 1112-13 and subsequently formed part of holdings of priory at Avebury. In 1411 the lands passed to Fotheringhay College of Northamptonshire and subsequently, in 1545, to the Crown. Two years later it was granted to Sir William Sharington, who had already acquired the estates of Avebury and Lacock. After descending with Sharington's line it was sold in 1709 to John Churchill, duke of Marlborough. In 1877 Barbury Castle farm was sold to Sir Henry Meux, Bt. whose holdings in the north and east of Wiltshire were extensive. The widow of Sir Henry's son sold the farm in 1906 and it then passed through sale and purchase to a number of owners in the 20th century. By the 16th century the estate at Barbury was being leased as a single farm, Barbury Castle Farm. Some 600 sheep were grazed in 1585; in 18th and 19th centuries the farm comprised 590 acres, of which almost half was devoted to pasture. This preponderance of pasture continued into the 20th century when training gallops for racehorses were formed over part of the estate, as in other areas within the parish. Much of the farm is now given over to arable. The two small estates recorded in Domesday held by Harding and by Turchil may be related to two estates in Ogbourne Maizey which were held by Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford who died in 1314, following which the estates passed to the Crown. It is known that the overlordship of both estates was held by William Poulton in 1428. That of one estate was held by Philip Wroughton in 1462. This would become the manor of Ogbourne Maizey, the name deriving from that of the family which had held land there in the 13th century. The manor of Ogbourne Maizey descended by inheritance and sale to the Revd. William Stratton Lydiard who in 1765 sold it to George Spencer, duke of Marlborough. Subsequent sales from 1820 took place until in the late 1890s it was purchased by George Edwardes, who was impresario of the Gaiety Theatre in the Aldwych, London. In the second half of the 20th century sections of the manor were held by diverse owners, Maizey Farm having been sold as a discrete entity of 330 acres in 1950. The second estate of the earl of Gloucester and Hertford became known as the manor of East Hays. In 1760 the manor was also inherited by the Revd. William Stratton Lydiard and it then was included in successive inheritances and sales with Ogbourne Maizey manor. Until enclosure the agricultural activity of Ogbourne Maizey took place in open fields known as East, South and West fields, with a common meadow west of the village. Sheep grazing took place on the downs north and west of the village and this may have been shared with Rockley. In 1730 the boundary between the two settlements' downland sheep pasture land was established. In 1735 division of the common fields and downs took place with allocations to Ogbourne Maizey demesne farm of 339 acres and to East Hayes manor of 413 acres. Further allotments were made to copyholders. By 1760, however, all of the holdings were being worked as one farm and continued to be so into the early 19th century. In 1839 the farm comprised 460 acres of pasture, 496 acres of arable, 61 acres of pasture and 61 acres of meadow, including 6 acres of water meadows. In the late 19th century new farmstead buildings were built west of the village of Ogbourne Maizey where arable cultivation was extended and a dairy herd established. In c1937 Manor Farm, comprising some 200 acres, and Drove Farm, 300 acres of primarily downland, were worked as dairy farms. In the 1960s both farms became mainly arable with egg production and some beef cattle on Maizey Farm in 1980. A racehorse training stable was based at Ogbourne Maizey Manor in the 1890s; another stables, named Bonita, was built for trainer Major John Douglas Edwards, the younger brother of George Edwards and known as 'The Major', in 1903. Successive and notable trainers based at the stables have included Sir Gordon Richards, who had served his apprenticeship at the same stables. A small, private cemetery lies on the downs in which lie members of the Hartigan, Laye and Loudon families, associated with the stables by marriage to Norah, one of the daughters of George Edwards who continued in ownership after his death. The inscription on one tombstone reads: Beneath the clean and spacious sky Here let the sleeping horseman lie, Nor from his darlings sunder. And as the thoroughbreds flash by This turf shall quicken suddenly To hear the hoof beats thunder. Listed houses in Ogbourne Maizey include Ogbourne Maizey House which dates from the late 16th century and is constructed of banded sarsen and flint with a tiled roof. Also listed are the 17th century 'The Thatch', 'The Haven' and 'Well Cottage', all of which are thatched. The third settlement in the modern civil parish is Rockley, whose name is given as 'Rochelie' in the Domesday survey and has the meaning 'rooks' clearing or wood'. Commentators have alluded to a legend implying the arrival of ill-fortune if the still-present rooks were to leave Rockley. In 1086 the Domesday survey shows that there were two estates at Rockley ('Rochelie'), the first of which was held by Edward of Salisbury and measured approximately 120 acres. Prior to the Conquest it was held by Azor. The survey recorded that this estate had land for two plough teams and some 20 acres of pasture. The population numbered approximately 15 - 25 people. The Domesday survey also recorded that Alfred of Marlborough held an estate at Rockley. Prior to the Conquest geld had been paid on this estate for 10 hides (approximately 1200 acres). In 1086 there was land for six ploughteams of which some 800 acres were in demesne. There were three acres of meadow, and pasture measuring approximately 1320 yards mile long by 880 yards wide. The inhabitants numbered approximately 90 - 100 people. In the 12th century the over lordship of Rockley manor was held by Robert of Ewias who gave one hide (approximately 120 acres) to the Knights Templar in c1155 for the establishment of a preceptory. This land is believed to have been incorporated into the Knights' manor of Temple Rockley in Preshute. The preceptory was suppressed in 1308-1312 and the property passed to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. After Dissolution the manor of Rockley was granted in 1541 to Sir Edward Baynton. The former presence of the Knights Templar is recalled, however, in the names of Temple Farm, Temple Bottom and Temple Covert. At a site in this vicinity a large, hollowed out, sarsen stone known popularly as the 'Templars' Bath', lies on the downs; the date of the carving and the use to which the stone has been put have been the subject of discussion and controversy. In the 13th century and the first half of the 14th Rockley manor was held by the Tregoze family together with the manor of Lydiard Tregoze. In 1775 Rockley manor too was sold to the Revd. William Stratton and was subsequently passed with the manor of Ogbourne Maizey to John Tanner who conveyed part of his estate to his son William. William Tanner moved to Rockley Manor in that year was responsible for building the small school in the hamlet in 1868. Open field cultivation continued in Rockley until enclosure in the 18th century although in the 13th century a large amount of pasture land was held in severalty. The common arable was located in Dean and Temple Bottoms and is also likely to have been present in the Hungerbourne valley. Much of the meadow land also lay in the latter valley and was divided into small enclosures by the 17th century. In the 13th century the demesne farm comprises 432 acres of arable, pasture for 200 sheep, 16 oxen and 2 plough beasts & other pasture. The farm was tenanted and services owed included ploughing reaping on behalf of the estate of Marlborough Castle. These services were refused as excessive for three years c. 1255. In the 17th to the late 18th centuries the demesne was worked as three farms; by the 19th century they were in single ownership with no enclosure award having been made. In 1839 the estate measured some 1,330 acres with 637 acres of downland on either side of the Marlborough to Wootton Bassett road. Some of the downland was later converted to arable. In the late 18th century to mid-19th century 1,290 acres were leased to the Canning family as Rockley Farm but were in hand again from c1867 to 1911. At this date the land was worked from Rockley Farm and farmsteads in Temple and Wick Bottoms. At these two latter locations sarsens were also cut by masons in the late 19th century to c.1905. The western part of the manor was later worked with land in Preshute as Temple Farm. By 1920 cattle and sheep were grazing on 750 acres and there were 133 acres of arable. A farm of 450 acres was based on Rockley Manor in 1980. In 1842 some 40 acres of land attached to Rockley Manor had been leased for the purposes of racehorse training and there was a racing stable in the House grounds in 1855. The importance of Rockley as a settlement has diminished in comparison with that which it enjoyed when it lay on the major route from Swindon to Marlborough prior to the turnpiking of the current principal road in the east of the parish and when, in the 13th century it had served as a meeting place for the hundred court of Dunworth and in the 14th and 16th centuries it had been more highly rated for taxation than Ogbourne St. Andrew. In 1377 there had been 40 poll tax papers. However, by the mid 19th century the 'Old Eagle' inn was no longer in use. The present Rockley Manor dates from the 18th century with 19th century additions and was restored in the 20th century. Its construction is of stucco on stone and brick. Emparkment of adjoining land which was added to the Manor grounds took place in the late 18th century and conifer planting took place here in the 19th and 20th centuries. Other listed buildings at Rockley included the former Anglican chapel of ease dedicated to All Saints which was built in 1872, on land given by William Tanner of Rockley Manor, now deconsecrated and in private ownership. Thatched 18th and 19th century cottages are also listed and sited in the village. Some 2 km. north-west of Rockley the figure of a White Horse was cut into the downs west of the road from Marlborough to Wootton Bassett. This probably took place in the early 19th century but it is now lost. The population of Ogbourne St. Andrew parish as a whole fluctuated slightly in the 19th and early 20th centuries between the mid 400s and low 500s. By 1951, however, the population had declined below 400 and stood at 359. By 1991 it had declined further to 262. A corresponding decline in local trade and artisan presence also made itself apparent: Kelly's Directory for 1901 lists two bakers and shopkeepers, one of whom also operated a Post Office; two blacksmiths, a bricklayer, two carpenters and a beer retailer in addition to the Wheatsheaf Inn. In 1965 a Women's Institute study of the parish at the time reported that many male inhabitants were employed variously as farmworkers, stablehands, and as factory workers in Swindon; women were employed as shopworkers in Marlborough, in domestic work and as outworkers carrying out sewing for the Pelham Puppets factory in Marlborough. In both the 20th and early 21st centuries racehorse training has remained an important economic activity in the parish, with numerous gallops to be found on its downland. In 2001 population showed a small increase to 352 and, whilst the village post office and shops no longer exist, a small office development has been established. A point to point course was created on the 2,000 acres Barbury Castle Estate in the late 20th century.

The Ogbourne St. Andrew Parish History Group website www.osahg.org.uk is a good source of information about the village and surrounding area, with information about former residents and notable people, additional historical details and images.

CouncilWiltshire Council
Web Sitewww.wiltshire.gov.uk
Parish CouncilOgbourne St. Andrew Parish Council
Parish Web Site 
Parish Emailogbournestandrewparishcouncil@gmail.com

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Folk Songs from Ogbourne St. Andrew

Folk Biographies from Ogbourne St. Andrew

Folk Plays from Ogbourne St. Andrew

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The number of buildings, or groups of buildings listed as being of architectural or historic importance is 35. There is one Grade I buildings, the Church of St. Andrew; and two Grade II* buildings, Ogbourne Maisey House and Rockley Manor.

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