infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 51.8233
longitude= -1.2914
official_name= Kidlington
shire_district= Cherwell
shire_county = Oxfordshire
region= South East England
post_town= KIDLINGTON|postcode_district = OX5
postcode_area= OX|dial_code= 01865

Kidlington is a large village and civil parish in the Cherwell District of Oxfordshire, England. It is 8 km (5 miles) north of Oxford (although only one mile from edge to edge) and 27 km (17 miles) south of Banbury, between the River Cherwell and the Oxford Canal.

Kidlington is a contender for Largest village in England (as well as Europe) with a population, including contiguous Gosford and Water Eaton (in Gosford and Water Eaton parish), but not neighbouring Yarnton or Begbroke, of over 17,500 (compared to 1,300 in 1901). Kidlington parish had a population of 13,719 according to the 2001 census (2006 est. 14,000). It has so far resisted proposals to become a town. Following a peremptory change by the Parish Council to Town status, the change was voted down in a ballot of the local electorate by 98%, and reversed. Speculation continues regarding when population pressure will cause a re-evaluation of Kidlington's Village status.

Kidlington was originally called Cudelinga tun, derived from the tun (Anglo-Saxon word meaning settlement) of the Kidlings or sons of Cydel-hence. The Domesday Survey in 1086 mentions Chedelintone and by 1214 the spelling Kedelinton appears in a Calendar of Bodleian Charters.

On the north-east edge of the village lies St Mary The Virgin church, a grade one listed building dating from 1220, with a Tudor rectory, fine medieval stained glass and a 220 ft spire known as 'Our Lady's Needle'. The tower contains a peal of eight bells which is still in regular use. There is evidence of a church existing on the site from 1073. Behind the church there are archaeological remains of a three-sided moat, and a causeway has recently been discovered which is possibly of Roman origin.

Alongside the church is The Almshouse, built by Sir William Morton in 1671 in memory of his wife and children, whose names are inscribed above the windows. Sir William was a Royalist Commander during the Civil War and lived in nearby Hampden Manor in Mill Street. Other famous residents of Hampden Manor include Sir John Vanbrugh who lived here during the building of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock. The square tower water closet in the front garden of Hampden Manor was built by Vanbrugh. It drains into a stream that now runs underground along Mill Street into the nearby River Cherwell. Thomas Beecham formulated his medicine whilst living in a cottage near the Manor, where he worked for a time as a gardener for John Sydenham.

The settlement mentioned in Domesday grew steadily from an ancient village adjacent to the church. Here there are as many 18th-century (Georgian) buildings as modern houses. Until the Enclosure acts in 1818, a large section south of the village was unenclosed common land, and the village was widely known as Kidlington-on-the-Green. Just prior to World War II, this land was built up in an estate known as Garden City.

In the 1920s and 1930s Kidlington became a victim of Ribbon development along the main (now A4260) road through the village. Since 1945 many housing estates have been built behind this on both sides.

Kidlington has about 50 shops banks and building societies, a library, a large village hall, and a regular weekly market. There are seven public houses, two cafes, and four restaurants. The Pubs are concentrated along the main A4260 road through the village. North to South these are: The Wise Alderman, The Black Horse, The Black Bull, The Red Lion, and The Dogwood (formerly The Dog, later The Squire Bassett), as well as the Kings Arms in The Moors, and The Six Bells in Mill St.

The village is home to the headquarters of the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Thames Valley Police, the county St. John Ambulance, and the major European publishing company Elsevier which has its UK head office here. Also Oxford Airport, which has since 1962 had a pilot training school that has trained thousands of pilots for many airlines in over 40 different countries. Local radio station Fox FM's "Flying Fox" helicopter is also based there. There are several industrial and business parks and a large motor park in the North of the village. Campsfield House, one of ten controversial Immigration Detention Centres run by the government, is also there.

There is a secondary school (Gosford Hill) and a handful of primary schools to deal with the expanding population.

The most famous resident of Kidlington is Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

A railway station, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was built in 1852 near Langford Lane but closed in 1964 despite being on the main Cherwell Valley Line and the smaller village of Tackley to the north retaining its station. The building remained in 1983. Speculation in the 1980s onwards was that a new station might appear on the empty piece of land between Flatford Place and Thorne Close on Lyne Road.

There used to be a large zoo in Kidlington where the Thames Valley Police headquarters is now.

uburbs of Kidlington

If a village can be said to have suburbs.

* Gosford
* Garden City
* Water Eaton

External links

* [ Official Parish Council website]
* [ This is Oxfordshire website: Kidlington & District Historical Society]
* [ 'Kidlington: Introduction', A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12]
* [ Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Kidlington]
* [ Kidlington Freecycling Group]


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