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Bradenham

Cropmark of ploughed out barrow near Ortho PharmaceuticalsThere are several prehistoric monuments in Bradenham parish. These include a Neolithic or Bronze Age barrow north of Ortho Pharmaceuticals, where flint artefacts of a similar date have been found on the surface, and the remains of other barrows north of Bradenham church. The latter barrows have been ploughed flat but have left the shadow of circular ditches. Several blades or flakes were also found here in a field-walking survey.

 

Grim's Ditch in Park WoodThere are several lynchets, a build up of soil on the edge of a ploughed field, in Munts and Park Wood that may be prehistoric or Roman. Grim’s Ditch also extends into Park Wood and Beamangreen Wood. This is thought to be an Iron Age boundary bank, perhaps marking out the edge of tribal territory or dividing the landscape into grazing zones.

 

The Bradenham area seems to have had an industrial tradition in the Roman period. Roman slag, the remnants of metal-working, has been found in Pimlock Wood, Park Wood and at The Coppice.

 

Windmill mound or prospect mound in Park WoodThere seem to have been many more settlements in Bradenham parish in the medieval period. These include Averingdown over the valley from the modern village and ploughing has churned up some medieval tile. Bradenham was a manor in the medieval period, but so was a place called Hanechendene, which suggests another settlement. There is a great deal of medieval settlement evidence in Park Wood, including finds of pottery and tile and personal ornaments; a thirteenth to fourteenth century house was also identified. A medieval windmill mound also survives in Park Wood. Medieval lynchets have been found in Park Wood, suggesting it was also farmed, and in Pimlocks Wood. Park Wood was later turned into a deer park, hence its name.

 

Bradenham Village. Oxfordshire County Council Photographic ArchiveThe village itself has some medieval survivals. St Botolph’s church nave dates to around AD 1100 and was possibly an even older foundation. The bells were cast in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The tower was added at the end of the medieval period, in the fifteenth century. A boundary bank, which probably dates from the medieval period, lies in the village as well. Further from the village are a medieval or post-medieval hollow-way on Naphill Common and a medieval or post-medieval woodland boundary bank at Falconer’s Hill Wood.

 

Bradenham Manor House. Oxfordshire County Council Photographic ArchiveBradenham manor house is a sixteenth to seventeenth century house, which has been dated by dendrochronology. Geophysical survey and aerial photography has also suggested some remains in the garden. It was the home of Benjamin Disraeli’s father, Isaac. Most of the other buildings in Bradenham Village, which is a National Trust village, date to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The industry of the Roman period is matched in the Victorian with remains of four charcoal burning sites north of Bradenham Hill Farm.

 

Strike Command is also mostly located in Bradenham parish. This was set up as Bomber Command in 1940 and has expanded into Strike Command since the 1960s. The site also houses NATO buildings.