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 2018: 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 September 25 – Peter Ransom – Fun with the Sun: Sundials near and far.  The UK has the highest concentration of sundials per square mile and the National Trust is a great place to start exploring them. This session will explain how to read them correctly and explore some of the very different types that you might see when you are out and about.Peter Ransom is the Chair of Council (and a Past President) of The Mathematical Association and a semi-retired freelancer. He worked with Bath Spa University’s School of Education from 2010 to 2015 and works with a variety of mathematics teachers as part of The Prince’s Teaching Institute. He was involved with the Bowland Maths initiative as project leader for the sundials case study and reckons the whole of the GCSE Mathematics curriculum could be delivered through references to them. Recently he co-authored a textbook on Core Maths and has written chapters for a textbook on IGCSE Additional Mathematics.He has enjoyed mathematics all his life and tries to pass on that enjoyment to all he meets including his three grandsons. He has been known to travel around the country with a cannonball and sword.
Tuesday October 23 – Martin Buckland -The first modern transport revolution - how they moved goods in the 1700s; canal boats, boatmen and boatwomen.’ This talk describes the very many people who can be described as ‘canal people’ and includes canal builders from ancient China and Egypt, civil engineers of the Industrial Revolution and the navvies who built the canals. There are those who worked on the boats in peacetime and wartime, the people who founded the restoration movement and the very many groups involved in restoring canals in the 21st century.  Canal theatre companies and some family histories are also mentioned. Martin has spent many years researching English canals and is heavily involved in industrial archaeology.
Tuesday November 20 – Bob Evans & Roger Thomas – Abingdon Area Archaeological & Historical Society: 50 years of uncovering Abingdon’s wonderful past. Roger Thomas and Bob Evans,  'Uncovering Abingdon's Past: Fifty Years of the the AAAHS'. Founded as a working group for rescue archaeology around Abingdon, then expanded in response to the rising enthusiasm for local history, the AAAHS looks back in 2018 on half a century of activity, often working closely with the Oxford Unit of Archaeology. Roger, a founder member and former chairman, and Bob, the current chair, reflect on what the society has achieved and the challenges it faces.

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

Tuesday 24 April 2018 – World of Wedgwood, Barlaston, Stoke on Trent
A different visit to the World of Wedgwood near Stoke on Trent has been arranged and with a comfort break at the M6 Toll Services we anticipate arriving at about mid-day when everyone will be free to take lunch, visit the renowned Wedgwood Museum or the shop, walk around the RHS Gold medal garden or just generally explore and relax until our factory tour which has been arranged for 1400. This trip should be an excellent experience.  Refreshments are available in the Tea Emporium (light lunches) or the Dining Hall which has a full menu.  All food is cooked to order so there may be a slight delay if they are busy.  There should be sufficient time to have your choice of lunch or to bring sandwiches.  We anticipate leaving for home at 1600.
Cost £ 24 per person
Replies to Helen Bush by 10 April 2018
0830 Wallingford Corn Exchange
0850 Rye Farm, Abingdon
0900 Stratton Way, Abingdon
Thursday 10 May 2018 - Audley End
Audley End is on the site of Walden Abbey, a Benedictine monastery that was granted to the Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas Audley in 1538 by Henry VIII. The abbey was converted to a domestic house, but was demolished by his grandson, Thomas Howard, first Earl of Suffolk, who built a much grander mansion in about 1610, primarily for entertaining the king, James I.  The present layout reflects the processional route of the king and queen, each having their own suite of rooms.  Charles II bought the house in 1668 for use as a home when attending the races at Newmarket.  It was returned to the Suffolk’s in 1701.
Over the next century, parts of the house were gradually demolished, and the main structure has remained little altered since.  The main front court was demolished in 1708 and the east wing came down in 1753.  Sir John Griffin, first Baron Braybrook, commissioned Capability Brown to landscape the parkland in 1762, and Robert Adam to design new reception rooms on the house's ground floor.  The third Baron Braybrooke, who inherited the house in 1825, installed most of the house's huge picture collection, and reinstated something of the original Jacobean feel to the state rooms.
The parkland includes many of the neo-classical monuments, although some are not in the care of English Heritage. The grounds are divided by the River Cam, which is crossed by several ornate bridges, and a main road which follows the route of a Roman road.  The walled kitchen garden was restored in 1999 and now looks as it would have done in late Victorian times.
Cost: £36.00 (English Heritage members £23.00)
Replies to Helen Bush by 26 April
Depart    Abingdon, Stratton Way    9.30 am
                Abingdon, Rye Farm          9.40 am
                Wallingford, Corn Exchange    10.00 am
Tuesday 12 June 2018 - Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire
This is a National Trust property near Droitwich Spa.  It is a large stately home built of red brick in 1706 in the Queen Anne style – two-stories, a long gallery and a separate orangery.   It stands in parkland that was Capability brown’s first complete landscape.  Formal gardens were designed by George London, including a Parterre at the rear of the house.  There is also an orchard.    The house was built by Thomas Vernon on the site of an earlier mansion known as Spernall Hall which he had inherited from his uncle.  Descendants of Thomas owned the house until 1962, when it was taken over by the National Trust in a state of disrepair.  It was let to tenants to start with and is now open daily.  We will arrive before lunch and leave by 3.45 pm. 
Cost £19 per person
Replies to Helen Bush by Tuesday 29 May 2018
Depart   Wallingford Corn Exchange 9.00 am
  Abingdon Rye Farm  9.20 am
  Abingdon Stratton Way  9.30 am
Thursday 12 July 2018 - Shri Swaminayaran Mandir (Neasden Hindu Temple)
This is a traditional Hindu Temple in the London Borough of Brent.  Opened in 1995, it was built and funded entirely by the Hindu community.  A masterpiece of  exquisite Indian design and workmanship, it has been the recipient of many honours, including the 2007 ‘UK Pride of Place’ award, after a nationwide online poll.
The Complex consists of the Mandir, constructed mainly from hand-carved Italian Carrara marble and Bulgarian limestone; and the adjacent Haveli (carved from wood) - a cultural centre for all who come to learn, worship and celebrate at the Temple,  A permanent exhibition ‘Understanding Hinduism’ is located on the lower floor of the Mandir.  We will visit the exhibition and have a guided tour of the Mandir (in all about 2 hours).  It is hoped that the tour will include the Midday Arti – a ritual service which takes place in the Maha-Mandap Sanctuary at 11.45 am each day.  During the ceremony there is separate gender-seating.  There is a strict dress code within the complex.  Leg wear must be at least below knee-length; and shoulders, chest and upper arms must be covered.  It is customary to remove footwear when entering any part of the complex.  Wheelchairs and a lift are available.  Please indicate if you will require a wheelchair.
After the tour we will have a traditional Indian vegetarian buffet meal in the associated Shayona Restaurant (cost not included).  There is also a Gift shop and Supermarket.  We expect to leave at about 4.00 pm.
Cost: £23 per person
Replies:  to Helen Bush by Thursday 28 June
Depart   Wallingford Corn Exchange  8.30 am
Abingdon, Rye Farm      8.50 am
Abingdon, Stratton Way    9.00 am               

Become a member

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