The Abingdon Association

A visitor looking at Chastleton House, Oxfordshire

The Abingdon & District Association draws its membership from the area between Oxford and the Berkshire Downs. Our programme aims to add value and fun to supporting the National Trust.

A programme of summer coach trips and holidays allow members to enjoy some of the National Trust places further away with most visits taking place in the summer months. We also visit historic towns such as Bath and Brighton out of season.

Our talks programme, which takes place through the winter, enables us to keep in touch with one another and entertains us while the National Trust’s places are closed.

The success of our programmes enables us to fund and support a number of National Trust places and wider appeals. Amongst them are, Priory CottagesGreat Coxwell Barn, Greys Court, Basildon Park and Chastleton House.

What's On

TALKS FOR 2019: These take place in Trinity Church Hall, Conduit Road, Abingdon OX14 1DB at 2.30pm,with refreshments available from 2pm.The talks are free to members with a donation of £3 requested from non-members.The opportunity to join the Association is always available on the door, making the talks free and the possibility of joining the outings as well.For more information about these talks,please contact Ruth on 01235 524119 or email

Tuesday January 22nd 2019, James Mather will talk about the Treasures Beneath Our Feet and Finding The Watlington Hoard. This is about his hobby of responsible metal detecting, and features some of the more exciting(and unusual) items he has found and recorded over the past 25 years, including the Watlington Viking Hoard acquired by the Ashmolean/ The Nation for £1.35m. This is an exceptional find and generated world-wide publicity when it was discovered. James will also bring along a number of "Hands-On" Finds, which attendees always appreciate. He has given a number of well received talks and appeared on local radio and National TV. 

Tuesday February 19 2019 starts with a very brief AGM and then Ruth Weinberg will talk about Abingdon’s Water Supply. Hidden around Abingdon, there are clues as to how the town found and used its water. Abingdon managed with very local water from its springs, wells and streams until 1880 before which there were no known attempts to create a public supply. After 1880, the council’s records tell the story of a continuous search for more and more sources of clean water to meet an ever-growing demand, a search that did not end until the 1950s when water was supplied from Oxford. This talk will tell a fascinating and little-known story about one of life’s essentials and how this ancient town. Ruth has been researching this aspect of Abingdon’s history for a few years and is a member of the Archaeological & Historical Society.

Tuesday March 19 2019, Trevor Rowley discusses Oxfordshire Castles. Oxfordshire is not a county normally associated with medieval castles, however there are well over one hundred in the county. The Thames Valley castles of Oxford and Wallingford are of particular importance and marked the first phase of the Norman Conquest of England. They were followed by castles such castles as Deddington which were involved in the redistribution of land from Saxon to Norman lord. In the twelfth century dozens of baronial and lordly castles were built by the new Norman elite and evidence of these is to be found throughout the county. In the later Middle Ages many of these castles were abandoned, but a few such as that at Broughton and Sherborne survived into the era of the country house and are still occupied today. Trevor Rowley is a historian and archaeologist who has published extensively on Landscape history and the Normans his latest book is An Archaeological Study Of the Bayeux Tapestry, Pen and Sword (2016). He was Deputy Director of Oxford University's Department for Continuing Education and is an Emeritus Fellow of Kellogg College.

VISITS: Closing dates for visit applications are always two weeks prior to the visit date. For more details about visits, please contact Mrs Helen Bush on 01235 534561, email


Contrasting stories of rags to riches in London districts just a stone’s throw apart. Visit the atmospheric streets of Spitalfields and discover the story of banking in the square mile with a coach tour.

We meet our Blue Badge guide at 10.30 am for morning coffee and biscuits near Liverpool Street station.

For centuries the City was a closed shop with only Livery Company members able to ply their trades. Outsiders, whether from Deptford or abroad, had to settle outside the walls. Huguenots fleeing France, brought silk weaving to Spitalfields just outside the City. Their grand Georgian houses, some of the best preserved in the country, would go on to house successive waves of new arrivals from the English countryside as well as the four corners of the Globe. We’ll see a soup kitchen for the Jewish poor, Hawksmoor’s Christ Church and the sites of some of the Ripper murders.

We’ll break for free time to buy lunch in and around Spitalfields Market. In the afternoon enjoy a fascinating coach tour telling the story of banking plus a visit to the beautiful City of London Art Gallery. We will hope to arrive back in Abingdon by 7.00pm

Depart:  Boundary House - 8.10am; Stratton Way - 8.15am;  Wallingford - 8.35am

Cost £ 39.00 per person

Tour Leader: Barry Stayte 01235 521372 (0789 663 2761 on the day)

Replies: to Helen Bush by 7 February

WINCHESTER - Thursday 14th March 2019  

A day in Winchester, once the capital of England, is planned for the 14th March, for those who want to explore the city in more detail than on the morning visits in 2001 and 2009.  You will be able to see more of the attractions that the medieval city has to offer. The coach stops just a short distance from the City Mill, a National Trust property at the bottom of High Street.   Nearby is the Information Office in the Guildhall where you can get various leaflets to help plan your day. There is plenty to do in Winchester even if it includes a bit of shopping and eating. There will also be a street market that day. I hope you will not be disappointed.    We will leave for home at 3.45pm.

The medieval Cathedral (and eating place) is worth a visit but there is an entry fee.  Jane Austin's final resting place is in the Cathedral.  Building started in 1079 on the Norman Cathedral and the nave was remodelled between 1350 and 1410.  It was damaged in the Civil War in 1642-1648 and the west window was restored in 1660.  The City Museum is worth a visit and entry is free - it is in the Square just off the High Street along Minster Street. The Great Hall and King Arthur's Round Table is further up the High Street on the left and it is also free.

At the top of the High Street in Romsey Road you will find the Peninsula Barracks Housing two museums, the Royal Green Jackets and the Gurkha Museum.  Entry is £5 for each and there are concessions too.  There is an excellent eating place at the entrance to the Barracks and the whole area is very grand.  The Royal Hampshire Museum and the West Gate Museum are also in the vicinity.

Depart: Wallingford Corn Exchange 8.45am; Bridge Street - 9.05am; Abingdon Stratton Way - 9.10am

Cost: £21 per person

Tour Leader: Gill Ward. 01235 532226  (07806 666406 on the day)

Cost: £21 per person

Tour Leader: Gill Ward. 01235 532226  (07806 666406 on the day)


Become a member

Abingdon & District NT Association 2018 Membership Form (PDF / 0.59765625MB) download