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 January 23 – Silvia Joinson - Violence and shenanigans: A look at Abingdon's politics through the eyes of John Creemer Clarke. An important benefactor of the Town, Creemer Clarke ran an important clothing business and helped found Trinity Church and the Cottage Hospital, and is represented on the mural in the Town.   He was involved in many aspects of Abingdon’s life and reluctantly agreed to stand for election as MP at a time when elections seem to have been much more lively, with a great deal of audience participation at local meetings. It was always a relief when there was no actual violence. Silvia Joinson is a retired history teacher and a witty presenter on Abingdon’s turbulent past. This talk is in place of Trevor Rowley’s advertised presentation about Oxfordshire Castles.

Tuesday February 20 – Dr Tim Seller - AGM & The Mysteries of Migration. Dr Tim Sellers talks about The Mysteries of Migration. Migration is a critical part of the annual cycle of many animals.  They can travel sometimes thousands of miles with the most spectacular migrations being found among the birds.  It is only recently that we have begun to understand the wide range of movements made, and the effort involved in achieving them. The phenomenon is very complex and is really part of the whole life of an individual.  Among birds, each individual has to prepare many weeks ahead for its journey, and can only rely on itself for finding its way.  In spite of these difficulties, millions of birds fly thousands of miles twice each year throughout their lives.  This talk looks at the phenomenon of migration and how birds manage their amazing feats of navigation and endurance. Dr  Seller has retired from Imperial College London, where he had been an academic member of the Zoology Department.  He has a long term interest in promoting science to the general public and has given science courses and lectures in many countries to RSPB and similar groups for over 30 years. The talk will be preceded by a very short AGM.

Tuesday – March 20 – Mark Davies – A Literary Tour of Oxford’s Waterways: From legend to pleasure.  From Chaucer’s pilgrims to Jerome’s “Three Men” and Tom Brown’s higher education, via the childrens’ classics of Alice and Wind in the Willows and the more recent ‘gyptians of Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials, the canals and rivers of Oxford feature in innumerable works of classic and lesser-known literature. An alternative, sometimes whimsical, occasionally tragic but always revealing history of Oxford, seen on a virtual cruise inspired by the descriptions of writers across the ages. Mark himself has lived on a narrowboat on the Oxford Canal for many years and is local historian and a guide, as well as an author and appears occasionally on radio and TV. Mark Davies is an Oxford local historian, public speaker, and guide with a particular interest in the history and literature of the city's waterways. He has lived on a narrowboat on the Oxford Canal since 1992, and is the author of several local interest books, most relevantly two which focus on the Oxford realities which influenced ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’

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 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


April - Wedgwood Factory, Staffordshire


May- Audley Hall


June - Hanbury Hall


July- The Hindu Temple, Neasden, London


August - Squerrys Court & Nymans Garden

September - Canons Ashby

All dates and details to be confirmed

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