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 2017-18: 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 26 September 2017 – ‘The Reluctant Exiles: Polish Resettlement Camps in Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds 1946 -1970’ by Dr Hubert Zawadzki. 

The Second World War and its immediate aftermath brought thousands of Polish servicemen and civilians to Britain. Of the numerous Polish resettlement camps across Britain in 1946-70 fourteen were situated in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. The talk will explain why such camps were established and will set their story in the wider context of international politics. Hubert himself lived in various Polish resettlement camps in Britain until the age of eleven, the last one near Chipping Camden. His talk, illustrated with many photographs, will give an insight into what life was like in the camps

Tuesday 24 October 2017 – 'The Impact of the Civil War on Wallingford' by Judy Dewey

Wallingford was a royalist stronghold throughout the main period of the Civil War from 1642-46, acting as a southern bulwark to the king's court at Oxford. It was also the last stand for the royalists,enduring a final siege of 12 weeks in 1646 when almost all other places had surrendered.The talk will consider Wallingford's role in the war, but will also look at the more personal aspects of life at the time for the inhabitants and the repercussions that followed.

Tuesday 21 November 2017 – 'From story seller to story teller': Mark and Nicki Thornton 

After more than a decade of running Abingdon’s independent bookshop, Mostly Books, Mark and Nicki Thornton have more than their fair share of stories to tell. Now Nicki’s children’s novel ‘The Firefly Cage’ will debut in 2018 taking her right back to the beginning of the publishing journey where stories are born. In this revealing and insightful look at the publishing trade, discover just what it takes to get a book onto the shelves and the challenges of making your living writing and selling books.

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

Wednesday 30 August - Crossrail, Brunels at Rotherhithe & Docklands Museum: This will be a rare opportunity to see the very latest archaeological finds from the Crossrail development. We begin with the iconic Brunels in Rotherhithe and visit Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail at the Museum of Docklands. We meet our Blue Badge Guide on Rotherhithe riverside at 10.30am to start the day with morning coffee (included in the ticket price). To build the world’s first river tunnel Marc & Isambard Kingdom Brunel invented the tunnelling shield - an iron box divided into 36 cells each containing a worker with a shovel! We visit the Grand Entrance Hall open after 145 years and the Engine House to tell the dramatic story of flood, death and disaster to triumphal opening of what was considered at the time to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. We transfer by coach to the Docklands for lunch. The Museum has both a café and a restaurant and right next door is one of the largest and most beautiful Wetherspoons you’ll have come across. Lunch here will give you a bit of time to walk along the Quayside to see the roof garden above the Canary Wharf Crossrail station. The Archaeology of Crossrail is a one off special exhibition displaying 350 of the oldest and oddest finds will take us on a journey through prehistoric forests and marshes from Mesolithic man to the modern capital. We will have time to buy tea on site before heading home at 4.30pm.

Cost £ 43.00 per person                                           

Replies to Helen Bush by 16 August

Depart: Abingdon, Rye Farm 7.50 am, Abingdon, Stratton Way 8.00 am (As we have to be at Rotherhithe for 10.30 am, we will only pick up in Abingdon for this visit)

Tuesday 19 September - Dyrham Park: This spectacular late 17th-century house is set in a dramatic and ancient deer park on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment near Bath. A Baroque house, it still has many original contents in the Dutch style, including paintings, ceramics, tapestries and Delftware. The Victorian kitchen gardens are also included. The elegant formal garden is a recent restoration of the original that was lost. Adjacent to the garden is the parish church of St Peter, parts of which date back to 1280. There is some walking, and stairs to reach the upper floors and kitchens. Refreshments are not included, but there is a good tearoom.


Cost: £18 per person (Please take your National Trust card)


Replies to Helen Bush by 5 September


Depart: Wallingford, Corn Exchange 9.00am, Abingdon, Rye Farm 9.20am, Abingdon, Stratton Way 9.30am


Thursday 19 October - Basingstoke Milestones Museum: This is a living museum with old cars, trucks and buses in the cobbled streets. Old pennies can be bought at the entrance to purchase sweets in the sweet shop. As well as a post office, penny arcade and other shops, life in the Victorian era is depicted, along with room settings from the 30s to the 70s. Everything is under cover. There will be a lunch break in Basingstoke before leaving to go to the museum at 1.30pm and we will leave the museum at 4.15pm.


Cost: £26 per person


Replies to Helen Bush by 5 October


Depart: Wallingford, Corn Exchange 10.30am, Abingdon, Rye Farm 10.50am, Abingdon, Stratton Way 11.00am


Wednesday 15 November - Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont Street, Oxford: We shall assemble at the Information Desk in the Front Hall at 11.00am. Once divided into small groups, we shall be taken on a general tour of the museum. Afterwards we shall be free to go round on our own. Coffee/lunch are available either upstairs in the restaurant or downstairs in the cafeteria (cost not included). Please note transport is not included.


Cost: £8


Replies to Helen Bush by Wednesday 1 November


Tuesday 13 February 2018 at 2.30pm - Oxford Town Hall & Museum: This visit includes a one hour guided tour of the Town Hall, cream tea and a self-guided tour of the Museum. Your guide will take you through the Council Chamber, where Oxford's city council meets today, to the Court Room, which was in use until the 1980s and down to the Medieval Cellar with its vaulted ceiling. Learn about Oxford's Medieval Jewish heritage and see the Great Mace and more of Oxford's treasures along with the buildings' other rooms. Your ticket will include 10% off at the Gift shop.


Cost: £10.00 per person (Members will have to use public transport for this visit)


Replies to Helen Bush by 1 November 2017


Thursday 22 March 2018 - Legal London: We will meet our Blue Badge Guide at 10.30am at The Inn of Court Pub in Holborn for morning coffee and biscuits included in the tour fee. During the morning, we are on foot with our expert Tour Guide to explore a part of London that remains hidden to most. Lawyers have been coming here betwixt commerce in the City and Royalty in Westminster for 600 years to study, live and worship, much as they did at the ancient collefes of Oxford and Cambridge. Indeed, the Inns of Court are laid out as a series of quadrangles with lodgings and workspaces known as Chambers. We'll discover the last remaining Inn of Chancery where wool was weighed to be taxed before the Great Fire of London and beautiful Lincoln's Inn where the chapel bell still tolls for the death of a bencher inspiring John Donne's words 'Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee'. We break for free time for lunch with plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants nearby. In the afternoon, a short coach tour includes the Old Bailey before tracing the history, traditions and peculiar practices of English law. Our tale calls on a colourful cast of characters, from the inimitable Bronson to the dear old Rumpole. These are all the elegant locations for BBC's popular Silk series. To round off our day we visit The Royal Courts of Justice and break for time to buy refreshments before returning to the coach to head home at 4.45pm. The walking is gentle and flat.


Cost: £42 per person


Replies to Helen Bush by 8 March 2018


Depart: Abingdon, Stratton Way 8.30am, Abingdon, Rye Farm 8.40am, Wallingford Corn Exchange 9.00am



Become a member

Download our membership form (PDF / 0.0947265625MB) download