Analysing the English Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum

Large Oxfordshire settlements and their related OXCMS social history collections

Alison Petch,
Researcher 'The Other Within' project

Please see Large Oxon settlements/ PRM for information about the PRM collections from the place.


Place: Important market town in the Vale of the White Horse district, south west Oxfordshire. It was previously the county town of Berkshire until 1974 when the Vale of the White Horse was transferred to Oxfordshire, some residents still dispute this.
Population in 2001: 31,300
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abingdon%2C_Oxfordshire

Collections: A total of 1,733 objects were given from Abingdon, from a variety of sources, over 300 of which are from the Morland collection (the brewing family based in the town. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morland_Brewery for more information about the brewery and family). The Pitt Rivers Museum itself has some of the ethnographic collections from the Morland family, previously in the Abingdon Borough Museum, when Abingdon was part of Berkshire, but no objects from England except unprovenanced model steam engine and cross bow string. Many of the OXCMS Morland collection seem to be toys and games. D.R. Barrett gave 149 of these objects in 1984, a mixed collection. There are many other donors, and mixed objects in this colletion.
Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: Banbury is in the north of Oxfordshire and is now the second largest settlement in the county. It is famous for its Cross, and for the cakes (oval cakes, with fruit not unlike the more famous Eccles cake). Until the middle of the nineteenth century it was a small market town but today Banbury is a rapidly growing settlement, stimulated by its position close to the M40 motorway. Its medieval prosperity was founded on the wool trade.
Population in 2001: 43,867
See also

Collections: A total of 2,494 objects were donated from Banbury. This is a very mixed collection from a variety of different sources.
Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: Bicester is a market town in Cherwell district and is one of the fastest-growing towns in the county. It has two railway stations and it is close to the M40 which has made it popular with commuters. Bicester was recorded in the Domesday book and its name is supposed to be derived from a name meaning 'The Fort of the Warriors'.
Population in 2001: 28,672
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicester

Collections: 68 objects only were obtained from Bicester and donated to OXCMS. These are from a variety of sources including Dorothy B. Dew / George James Dew (7).
Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: Burford is in the Cotswolds, to the far west of Oxfordshire. It is a popular centre for tourists who admire its fine houses along the main street. Its name is said to mean fortified town and ford.
Population in 2001: 5,972
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burford

Collections: A total of 57 objects were donated from Burford from a variety of sources, many are either tools or vessels.
Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: A town west of Witney in West Oxfordshire. It is one of the newest towns in Oxfordshire, it was farmland until the nineteenth century and grew rapidly during the Second World War, due to its proximity to RAF Brize Norton.
Population in 2001: 11,805
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carterton%2C_Oxfordshire

Collections: Only one object has been donated to OXCMS from Carterton, a swivel hook from V.G. Matthews in 1975.
Please search database [when available] to check.

Chipping Norton

Place: This market town is in the north west of the county, it is the highest town of the county at 700 feet above sea level and is usually described as being the 'gateway to the Cotswolds'.
Population in 2001: 5,972
See also http://www.chippingnorton.net/

Collections: 557 artefacts were donated from Chipping Norton. 185 of these were donated by Basil Packer, most of these relate to photography. These might have been the materials used by Frank Packer (1876-1967) who was a photographer for seventy years in Chipping Norton, his son Basil was a photographer as well. Frank Packer starting photography in Chipping Norton around 1907 and the business continued until the 1980s, when the collections were donated to OXCMS
147 were given by people sharing the same surname (Meades) who might have been related. 59 of these were given by Miss Meades, many related to textiles and clothing. Others were given by Emily Meades (52), M.G. and O.M. Meades (36).
Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: Once part of Berkshire, this is in South Oxfordshire, close to the boundary with Vale of the White Horse and is one of the fastest growing towns in Oxfordshire. It was an important railway town.
Population in 2001: 25,231
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didcot

Collections: A total of 124 objects were donated from Didcot. Several were electrical equipment donated by Mrs A. Tanner. Mr Jones donated a wooden box used for natural history specimens, in schools, in 1975.
Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: A market town in the Vale of the White Horse to the south west of the county. Its name, according to wikipedia means fern covered hill.
Population in 2001: 6,187
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faringdon

Collections: A total of 11 objects are in the Faringdon collections at the OXCMS, these are from a number of sources.
Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: Village in the Vale of the White Horse, formerly part of Berkshire. It is very close to Wantage, and has expanded greatly since the second world war.
Population in 2001: 7,845
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grove%2C_Oxfordshire

Collections: A total of 138 objects were donated from Grove. 42 of these were donated by Harold Adams (a mixed collection), the rest come from a variety of sources
Please search database [when available] to check.

Henley on Thames

Place: Town beside the River Thames in the far south east corner of Oxfordshire. Famous for its annual rowing regatta.
Population in 2001: 10,646
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henley-on-Thames

Collections: A total of 64 objects were donated from Henley in the OXCMS collections, over half of these were donated by J. Bullock (trophies)
Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: Large village in the Cherwell district of Oxfordshire, just north of Oxford. It is said to be one of the largest villages in England.
Population in 2001: 13,719
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidlington

Collections: A total of 110 mixed artefacts were donated from Kidlington, from a variety of sources.
Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: The county town of Oxfordshire, it is the home of the University of Oxford, and the Pitt Rivers Museum. It has been described as the 'city of dreaming spires' and has been a centre for tourism since at least the nineteenth century. Its name apparently comes from the Anglo-Saxon 'Oxenaforda' (the ford of the Ox). There are many books written about Oxford.
Population in 2001: 134,200
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford

Collection: Many items from Oxford in the OXCMS social history collections have more detailed provenances, see OXCMS villages file. A large number of individuals are associated with these collections which are very varied as well. A total of 5,257 artefacts were donated from Oxford and they are of very varied types, Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: Market town right on the Buckinghamshire border, close to the M40 motorway. It is the home of the Oxfordshire County and Thame Show.
Population in 2001: 10,886
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thame

Collection: There are 137 objects from Thame in the collection. 110 of these were donated by R. Arnott, all are connected to footwear, including shoes and tools.
Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: Market town in the south of Oxfordshire, in South Oxfordshire. Historically it was part of Berkshire until 1974. It is on the River Thames.
Population in 2001: 6,496
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallingford

Collection: A total of 135 objects were donated from Wallingford to OXCMS. 112 of these were donated by Doris E. Baker (a mixed collection).
Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: Wantage is a market town in the south of Oxfordshire, in the Vale of the White Horse district. It was historically sited in Berkshire until boundaries were changed in 1974. It was the birthplace of King Alfred the Great and is sited at the foot of the Berkshire Downs.
Population in 2001: 9,767
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wantage

Collections: A total of 1,960 artefacts were donated from Wantage. Again this is a very varied collection from a number of different sources. Please search database [when available] to check.


Place: Market town in West Oxfordshire, the town has expanded rapidly in recent years. It was famous for the blankets made in the town since the Middle Ages.
Population in 2001: 22,765
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witney

Collections: A total of 1,066 artefacts were donated from Witney. There are a variety of different kinds of objects in the collection, given by many individuals.
Please search database [when available] to check.