Oddington after World War II

A large part of Oddington had for centuries been owned by a Lord of the Manor who owned the Oddington Estate. In 1791 it was acquired by the Sawyer family of Heywood, Berkshire, who were absent landlords.

Within the parish, which extended out to Islip, Wendlebury, Weston-on-the-Green and Charlton-on-Otmoor, were seven tenanted farms. Over the centuries most of the population had been employed on these farms and lived in rows of cottages. Into the 20th century the need for labour on the farms diminished and the cottages were allowed to fall into disrepair. Some, leading up to the church, were demolished in about 1929. There still remained a long row of thatched cottages facing on to the village green. Most were still occupied in the early 1950’s but were in a poor condition. As residents died or were re-housed their cottage became unoccupied. The last residents left in about 1960 and all of the cottages were demolished.

Services in the village were minimal and up until about 1960 a number of families relied upon getting their water from the well on the village green. It was common for cottages to have a privy at this time, bathrooms not being installed in some cases until the late 1950’s. There is still no mains drainage.

In the early 1950’s the Sawyer Estate commenced the sale of their farms, which led to the end of their long period as Lords of the Manor. The new owners continued to farm the land but as time went on the need for labour further diminished. By the 1970’s people were employed away from the village.

The 1990’s saw farms being sold, with the land going into the ownership of other farmers in the parish to form large, more viable holdings. The farm houses, which were in the main fine stone houses built in the 18th century, became the property of people moving in to the village from other areas. A new estate of six luxury houses was built in a farmyard, which added to the changing character of the village. In the space of little more than 50 years Oddington had changed from being a tight-knit farming community to a desirable place for relatively wealthy people.


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