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Dipping into the Wells

The story of the two Chiltern villages of Stoke Row and Highmoor seen through the memories of their inhabitants

The two adjacent villages of Stoke Row and Highmoor (formerly spelled Highmore) lie deep in the wooded Chiltern Hills in southern Oxfordshire, north of Reading and west of Henley-on-Thames. This book tells their histories: sometimes linked, sometimes separate. It ranges from the everyday trades traditionally practised in this area of rural England, many based on the local timber, such as tent-peg making and chair-leg 'bodging', to the installation in 1872 of an grandiose ornate well, presented by the Maharajah of Benares.

This book looks at aspects of the history of two adjacent Oxfordshire villages, focusing on the lives of ordinary people in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

It is lavishly illustrated with contemporary photographs as well as many more, some dating back to the 1850s.

Based, among other research, on over sixty interviews with local people, this is a popular anecdotal history, which should appeal to more than local readership.
Elizabeth A Finn    
Senior Archivist    
Oxfordshire Archives    

Chapter titles are:  1) Local Maps;  2) A General History of the Area;  3) Interesting Inhabitants;  4) Dipping into the Wells;  5) The Villages at Prayer;  6) Life at the Chapel;  7) School Days at Stoke Row;  8) School Days at Highmoor;  9) Downing a Pint;  10) The Sawmill and Star Brush Factory;  11) Earthenware, 'Bodging' and other Trades;  12) The Villages at Play;  13) The Butcher, the Baker and... the Postman;  14) The Villages in Two World Wars;  15) The Manor Houses;  16) The Farms – Animal and Arable;  17) Hilda Trevelyan and Sidney Blow;  18) Ills and Pills;  19) Transporting Goods and People;  20) The 'Gentrification' of Cottages;  21) Conclusion.

Bibliographic details:  Robert Boyd Publications: Witney.  1999.  ISBN 1 899536 35 3.  17 x 25 cm: 416 pages with 397 photographs and illustrations.

Winter 2014-15: Copies of a reprint of this book are readily available by post from the author, the sole distributor:

Angela Spencer-Harper
The Old Place
Witheridge Hill
Oxfordshire RG9 5PJ

enclosing a cheque (in sterling on a UK bank, made payable to Angela Spencer-Harper) for £19.95 (+£5.50 for p&p).  Please indicate if you would like the copy autographed, and state the name of the person you would like it dedicated to, if appropriate.