Charlbury Society


Formed in 1949, the Charlbury Society grew out of the first Charlbury Historical Exhibition. Its aims are to foster an understanding of the history of Charlbury and encourage interest in the character and appearance of the town. It does this through talks, supporting the Charlbury Museum, and arranging outings to places of interest.

Individual membership £8.50
Family membership - two adults at same address - £17.00

For further information, contact the Treasurer, Peter Bennett (01608 810197), or the Secretary, Susan Merry (01608 811022; email:


Meetings are normally held in the Memorial Hall at 8.00 pm (AGM 7.30 pm) on the second Friday of each month, from October to May. Topics of past talks have ranged from discussing how to look at old buildings, to historic costumes, to the impact on the local countryside from proposed development.

This year's programme of very successful and popular talks has now finished. A new programme will start in the autumn of 2018, so keep an eye out for details nearer the time.

Members and under 18s free. Non-members £3


The Society also organises visits to places of interest both locally and further afield.

Visit to Croome, Worcestershire
Tuesday 12 June

This year's summer outing will be to Croome, a National Trust property in Worcestershire. Croome Court was built in the 18th century for the 6th Earl of Coventry and both the house and parkland were designed by Capability Brown. As well as the house and parkland to explore, there are secrets to discover about the Second World War airbase where over 2,000 service personnel and scientists tested radar. Some of the wartime buildings have been turned into a visitor centre and museum.

We leave Charlbury at 9.30am and aim to return by 6pm.
Cost is £10 for National Trust members, £20 for non-members.

Numbers are limited to 36. Book early to avoid disappointment!
Bookings with full payment by cheque, made payable to 'Charlbury Society', should be sent to Anne Lawson-Porter, Rose Cottage, Hixet Wood, Charlbury or handed in at any of the next two Charlbury Society meetings.

For more details about the property, see

The Museum

The Museum is housed in part of the Corner House and houses a wealth of objects and records relating to the history of the town. The curator is Celia Faulkner.
The exhibition for 2018 is on the history of the Wychwood Forest and the work of the Wychwood Project. The museum reopens for the season on Easter Saturday, 31 March.

Click below for link to Charlbury Museum:


. Have you ever considered what Charlbury was like in the past?
. Was Charlbury a mainly rural or urban community?
. How were people housed?
. What possessions did they have?
. How did they earn a living?

The Charlbury Society Historical Research Group have for the last five years been looking for clues to the answers to these questions in the wills and inventories that survive from the town and some surrounding villages. These are stored either in the History Centre in Oxford or in the National Archives at Kew. Some are fragile and many are hard to read. So the group of volunteers learnt how to read old handwriting and how to transcribe the documents into an accessible and usable format.

The project is now in its final stages. The documents cover three centuries, from the 1550s to 1857, and offer a fascinating glimpse into changing social conditions and expectations over these years. The documents should form an invaluable resource for historical research into the history of the town. Through their work, some members of the group have started their own research into some of the families who lived here, into old maps and field names and other topics which have caught their interest.

We could not have progressed with this undertaking without generous grants from Charlbury Town Council, Charlbury Overseas & Community Projects (The Beer Festival), ChOC (Charlbury's Own Cinema)and the Charlbury Motor Fire Brigade Fund; these have made it possible for us to obtain copies of the documents held by The National Archives and The Oxfordshire History Centre. We are extremely grateful for their help.

If anyone has a particular interest or skill that would relate well to this work and would like to be involved then please contact Geoffrey Castle on 01608 811122 or email .

If you would like to enquire about seeing any of the transcribed wills, please contact Barbara Allison (

Geoffrey Castle
Barbara Allison
Joint co-ordinators

Last updated: Thu 2 Aug

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