Monday, March 21, 2011

"A good place for drowning"

We find it is always worth exploring a new area to find hidden gems - country churches, old buildings, bus stops, post boxes etc. Sandford on Thames sprawls up the hill from Sandford Lock and the old centre of the village is nearer the river.

Near the lock is a development on the old mill site of up-market newish properties, many with a river view of the reach below the lock. The Kings Arms was once "The Ferry" - as a ferry took passengers and horses and carts to Abingdon. Jerome K Jerome once described Sandford as a "good place for drowning", indeed the adopted son of J. M Barrie drowned in 1921 near the lasher weir (site of the old lock).

Built in 1826 for mill workers these cottages around the village green had flat roofs made of tarred paper. They were occupied by workers until 1982 when the mill closed. The mill race continues to flow beside the lock.

St Andrews Church

The post office closed in 1987 but was in the white cottage opposite the church. Today there is a post box at the top end of Church Lane.

Inscription over south door - written by Rev Charles Forebench in 1646

The graveyard of the church is very well kept and peaceful - we spent a while just absorbing the sun and calm atmosphere

I loved the bench and garden that has been created alongside, behind what was once the church hall and "plant". This is now a private residence walled off from the church grounds.

Lewis Carroll was a famous visitor, in the guise of Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson - he preached on several occasions at the invitation of his friend Rev W H Rankin. His first visit on Whit Sunday 1862 is commemorated by the "Alice Sermon" on the theology of his two famous works!

Sadly, St Andrews was locked - God was away for the day! There is a comprehensive guide of the church here - clickety click

Old pub on main road
On the main road through the rest of the village stands an old pub building - possible once The Fox. A bus stops nearby that terminate at Oxford Station - number 106, hourly.


  1. I suppose if one had to drown it's as good a place as any.

  2. This was the Fox Inn until it closed in 2009.
    It was a pub for over 150yrs, shame really but now its my home and i love it.


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