infobox UK place
country = England
population= about 10,000
region= South East England
postcode_district = OX10
Wallingford is a small
market townand civil parishin the upper Thames Valleyin Oxfordshire, England.
Wallingford sits on the western side of the
River Thames. Across the river is the village of Crowmarsh Gifford. The two are linked by Wallingford Bridge, a notable 900 ft long medieval stone bridge across the Thames and adjacent.
Character and local government
The centre of Wallingford has the feel of a typical old market town, with a large open town-square around the
war memorial, the 17th century arcaded town halland the church of St Mary-le-More, and flanked by numerous shops. There are some picturesque alleyways and a number of historic inns. Although only a small town, Wallingford has three ancient churches and a modern Roman Catholic church. It once had fourteen. Other amenities include the Wallingford Museum, the [http://www.cornexchange.org.uk/ Corn Exchange] theatre, the Cholsey and Wallingford steam railway, a number of public parks (one with a castleruin), a [http://www.bluesandbeer.co.uk/index.htm blues] festival and the annual BunkFestfolk festival. In recent years, the town has been used as a location for filming, including Midsomer Murders. Wallingford is run by a town council consisting of sixteen councillors. It is also part of the South Oxfordshiredistrict. The current mayor is Alec Hayton.
Wallingford grew up around a strategically important crossing point on the
River Thames. The place has been fortified since at least Saxon times, when it was an important fortified borough of Wessexwith the right to mint Royal coinage. Known as a ' burh', it was enclosed with substantial earthworks by King Alfred the Greatin the 9th century to protect the population against the Vikings. These can still be seen around the centre of the town and are probably the best preserved such fortifications in England. Thereafter, Wallingford became the chief town of Berkshire and the seat of the county's Ealdorman. During the Norman conquest of Englandin 1066, the Saxon lord Wigodallowed William the Conqueror's invading armies to cross the Thames unopposed from west to east in order that his army might march on Berkhamstedwhere he received the English surrender before marching on London. At that time, the river at Wallingford was the first point at which the river could be forded. The town subsequently stood in high favour with the Normans. The Domesday Bookof 1085 lists Wallingford as one of only eighteen towns in the kingdom with a population estimated at over 2,000 people.
:"See main article:
Wallingford Castle". Wallingford Castlewas built soon afterwards and became a key strategic centre for the Empress Matilda's party during the civil war that had begun after her father's death. The place was besieged a number of times and the Treaty of Wallingfordending the conflict was concluded there in November 1153. The town was granted a Royal Charterin 1155 by the new king, Henry II, being the second town to receive one in England. The castle was a regular royal residence until the Black Deathhit the town badly in 1349. The castle declined subsequently (much stone being removed to renovate Windsor Castle) but it became a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War. It was the last holdout of the Royalists in Berkshire, and the castle withstood a 65-day siege. Oliver Cromwellsubsequently ordered the destruction of what was left of the castle and little now remains. Some of the castle rubble was used to construct a tower for the church of St Mary-le-More.
Wallingford had flourished as a trading centre throughout most of the
Middle Ages, and Wallingford Prioryproduced two of the greatest minds of the age, the mathematician Richard of Wallingfordand the chronicler John of Wallingford. However, after the opening of Abingdon Bridgeat Abingdon in 1416, the town went into economic decline. This was only revived in the 18th century when the legal writer and Wallingford resident, William Blackstone, established two turnpikeroads through the town. The brewing industry was important with two breweries and 17 maltings in the town. This link was effectively ended with the demolition of Paul's Malt in 2001.
Wallingford was connected to the railway network in 1866 by the "Wallingford and Watlington Railway". Poor traffic receipts meant that the planned extension to
Watlingtonwas never built, and Wallingford remained at the end of a branch line from Cholsey. The line was sold to the Great Western Railwayin 1872, and the line became known as the "Wallingford Bunk". It closed to passengers in 1959 and the last goods traffic into the old Wallingford Station ran in 1965. However, part of the line has been preserved as the Cholsey and Wallingford Railwaycite web | url = http://www.cholsey-wallingford-railway.com/ | title = History | publisher = Cholsey and Wallingford Railway | accessdate = April 8 | accessyear = 2007] .
There are frequent buses to Reading and
Oxfordby Thames Travel, services X39 and X40. Other local services are provided by Thames Travel [http://www.thames-travel.co.uk/timetables.htm] and Heyfordian [http://www.heyfordian.travel/bus_services/] .
The main employers based in Wallingford are primarily on the Hithercroft Trading Estate (established in the 1970s), and include Habitat, [http://www.rowsehoney.co.uk/ Rowse Honey] , [http://www.youngsters.co.uk/ Youngsters] ,
Royal Mailand Fugro.
port and leisure
A.F.C. Wallingfordis the local football club. Other sports clubs include the rugby club [http://www.wallingfordrfc.com/ Wallingford RFC] , [http://www.wallingfordhc.co.uk/ Wallingford Hockey Club] , [http://www.wallingford.rowing.org.uk/ Wallingford Rowing Club] , [http://www.communigate.co.uk/oxford/wallingfordcc/ Wallingford Cricket Club] and the [http://portcullis.totaltennis.net/home/home.asp/ Portcullis Tennis Club] .
There are 3 local primary schools in Wallingford.
Wallingford Schoolis the secondary school in the area, located to the north of the town.
Wallingford has an informal
flagicon|USA [http://www.sustainablewallingford.us/ Sustainable Wallingford, Seattle, U.S.A.]
and formal town twinning links with:
Bad Wurzach, Germany.
Famous residents and associated persons
:"For residents, constables and prisoners at the castle, see
In the town:
* Kevin Bailey, poet
Evelyn Barbirolli, oboeist
William Blackstone, legal writer
Charlie Brooker, comedy writer and presenter
* John Buckley, sculptor
Agatha Christie, mystery writer
Gary Elkins, football player
Edgar Field(1854–1934), England footballer and winner of the FA Cupin 1880
Dulcie Gray, actress
Max Mallowan, archaeologist
James H. McClure, mystery writer
Ann Packer, athlete
Moses Roper, former slave
Paul Rotha, documentary film maker
Gladys Bronwyn Stern, novelist
* Simon Watson Taylor, actor, translator and surrealist
Thomas Tusser, poet
John of Wallingford, chronicler
Richard of Wallingford, mathematician and clockmaker
* Richard of Wallingford, organiser in the Peasant's Revolt
William of Wallingford, builder of Wallingford Screen at St Albans Cathedral
Rex Warner, writer
Peter Cathcart Wason, psychologist
* Charles West, mystery writer Wallingford used to return two Members of Parliament (cut to one in 1832 and none in 1885), and had some well-known MPs (often not resident) including:
William Seymour Blackstone, builder of Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford
Thomas Browne (High Sheriff of Kent), Chancellor of the Exchequer
John Cator, timber merchant
Thomas Digges, astronomer
Sir Charles Dilke, 1st Baronet, promoter of The Great Exhibition
Edmund Dunch, member of the Kit-Kat Club
* Sir John Fortescue,
Chancellor of the Exchequer
George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield, astronomer
* Sir Thomas Parry,
Comptroller of the Householdto Elizabeth I
George Pigot, Baron Pigot, British governor of Madras
Robert Pigot, Lieutenant General in the American Revolutionary War
Edmund Plowden, lawyer who defended religious freedom
Francis Sykes, builder of Basildon Park
Nathaniel William Wraxall, writer:"For more details, see Wallingford (UK Parliament constituency)"
# Bullen, L. (1989) "The Poor Man's Guide to the History of Wallingford". 2nd rev. ed., Wallingford Magazine
# Dewey, J. and Dewey, S. (1977) "The book of Wallingford, an historical portrait", Barracuda Books, ISBN 0-86023-033-3
# Griffin, S. (2000) "Wallingford in the English civil war, 1642-1646", Stuart Press
# Hedges, J.K. (1881) "Wallingford History", Wm Clowes, London
# Rodwell, K.A. (1975) Wallingford, in: "Historic Towns in Oxfordshire: a survey of the new county", Oxfordshire Archaeological Unit, No.3, The Unit, ISBN 0-904220-02-8Specific
* [http://www.wallingfordtown.co.uk/ Wallingford Town Council]
* [http://www.wallingford-oxon.net/ Welcome to the Historic Town of Wallingford]
* [http://www.visitwallingford.co.uk Visit Wallingford]
* [http://www.berkshirehistory.com/villages/wallingford.html Royal Berkshire History: Wallingford]
* [http://www.sustainablewallingford.org/ Sustainable Wallingford]
* [http://email@example.com/history Wallingford History Gateway]
* [http://www.wallingfordmuseum.org.uk/ Wallingford Museum]
* [http://www.wallingfordchristianassembly.org.uk/ Wallingford Christian Assembly]
* [http://www.wallingfordhc.co.uk/ Wallingford Wildcats]
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