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Kidlington is a large village and civil parish between the River Cherwell and the Oxford Canal, 5 miles 8 km north of Oxford and 7 1⁄2 miles 12 km southwest of Bicester The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 13,7231


  • 1 History
  • 2 Railways
  • 3 Amenities
  • 4 Economy
  • 5 Music
  • 6 Sports
  • 7 References
  • 8 Sources
  • 9 External links


Kidlington's toponym is derived from the Old English Cudelinga tun: the tun settlement of the "Kidlings" sons of Cydel-hence The Domesday Book in 1086 records Chedelintone, and by 1214 the spelling Kedelinton appears in a Calendar of Bodleian Charters

The Church of England parish church of St Mary the Virgin dates from 1220 but there is evidence of a church on the site since AD 1073 St Mary's has fine medieval stained glass and a 220-foot 67 m spire known as "Our Lady's Needle" It is a Grade I listed building2

The tower has a ring of eight bells Richard III Chandler of Drayton Parslow in Buckinghamshire cast the seventh bell in 1700 Abraham I Rudhall of Gloucester cast the tenor bell in 1708 and the fifth bell in 1715 Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the treble, second, third, fourth and sixth bells in 1897,3 the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee

Behind the church there are archaeological remains of a three-sided moat, and a causeway has recently been discovered which may be of Roman origincitation needed St Mary's Rectory is Tudor

Beside the church are the almshouses, 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 brook 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 listed in Domesday grew 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 the Second World War, this land was built up in an estate known as Garden City

There was once a zoo in Kidlington where the Thames Valley Police headquarters is now This short-lived attraction was in existence from 1931 until 1937, when the animals were transferred to Dudley Zoo

In the 1920s and 1930s Kidlington was subject to ribbon development along the main now A4260 road through the village Since 1945 many housing estates have been built behind this on both sides

In the 20th century Kidlington grew to be a contender for largest village in England as well as Europe with a population of 13,7231 compared with 1,300 in 1901 Kidlington residents have so far resisted proposals to become a town, though it clearly qualifies for such status against any criteria 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

In June 2016 the BBC reported mysterious weekly coachloads of sightseers in Benmead Road, Kidlington, seen posing for photos in front gardens and against parked cars, with no apparent reason for their interest4 In November 2016, after analysing results of a Chinese-language questionnaire given to some of the tourists, the BBC found that "looking for the true sense" of Britain was one reason for the visits5 An investigative journalist determined that, in fact, Chinese tour operators charge $68 extra for Chinese language tours of nearby Blenheim Palace; tourists who do not want to pay to visit Blenheim are dropped off in Kidlington, which they find charming, but which tour operators select because it is too far from Blenheim to enable tourists to walk to the Palace and pay the cheaper £25 price for public tours in English6


A railway station on the Oxford and Rugby Railway near Langford Lane was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1852 The station was named Woodstock Road although it was nearly 3 miles 5 km from Woodstock and less than 1 mile 16 km from Kidlington The Oxford and Rugby Railway was part of the Great Western Railway, which in 1890 added a branch line to a new Blenheim and Woodstock railway station at Woodstock and renamed Woodstock Road "Kidlington" British Railways closed Kidlington railway station in 1964 The station building remained in 1983 Speculation, from the 1980s onwards, was that a new station might be built on land between Flatford Place and Thorne Close on Lyne Road

Oxford Road Halt, on the former Varsity Line, 15 miles 24 km south of the centre of Kidlington, was opened by the London and North Western Railway in 1905 and closed by its successor, the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1926 Chiltern Railways built a new Oxford Parkway railway station close to the site of the former halt, as part of the Project Evergreen3 development programme, opening on 26 October 2015, with frequent half-hourly services to London Marylebone taking one hour7

Lady Anne Morton's almshouses Church of England parish church of St Mary the Virgin Former Kidlington railway station


Kidlington has about 50 shops, banks and building societies, a public library, a large village hall and a weekly market There are seven public houses, two cafes, and four restaurants The public houses are concentrated along the main A4260 road through the village North to south these are: the Highwayman Hotel originally the Anchor, then the Railway Hotel, finally the Wise Alderman, before being renamed again in 2009,8 the Black Horse, the Black Bull, the Red Lion, as well as the King's Arms in the Moors, and the Six Bells in Mill Street The Squire Bassett was converted into a Nepalese restaurant and renamed the Gurkha Village in 2012

There is a secondary school Gosford Hill and a handful of primary schools to deal with the expanding population Recently Gosford Hill School has started a narrowband radio show for its pupils

Kidlington has a Women's Institute9


The headquarters of the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Thames Valley Police and the county St John Ambulance are all in Kidlington, as is the UK head office of the European publishing company Elsevier Oxford Airport, renamed London Oxford Airport in 2009, is also in Kidlington; since 1962 it has had a pilot training school that has trained thousands of pilots for many airlines in more than 40 countries There are several industrial and business parks and a large motor park in the north of the village

Significant to the village's development is the existence of London Oxford Airport Opposite the airport is the Langford Locks industrial estate and Oxford Motor Park which has showrooms for makes including Honda, Nissan and Toyota 10 Businesses including Eurocopter, Guylian Chocolates and Essentra Components11 all have premises in the village

Campsfield House, an immigration detention centre run for the UK Government, is next to the industrial area near the airport


Kidlington has possessed a brass band continuously since 1892, with earlier foundations dating back to at least the 1850s The current band, Kidlington Concert Brass, was founded by the merger of Kidlington Silver Band and Oxford Concert Brass in 1992 It presents regular local concerts and has competed nationally in the highest grade for many years

Kidlington Amateur Operatic Society KAOS was founded in 1977, and presents concerts of varied choral material in the village several times annually in addition to staging regular productions of musicals


Kidlington Football Club was founded in 1909 Its first team plays in the Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division and its reserve side plays in Hellenic Division Two Kidlington FC also runs an under-18 youth team that plays in the Allied Counties League All three teams play and are based at Kidlington FC's ground in Yarnton Road The pitch is floodlit and has spectator terracing and seating for 150 spectators The 2010–11 season saw Kidlington reach the final of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup for the first time in its history where it was beaten by Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium12 Kidlington FC previously played at other sites in or just outside the village13

Kidlington Royals Football Club is the only Sunday football team in Kidlington, playing in the Premier Division of the Upper Thames Valley League It was founded in 2004 and plays its home games at Bletchington Sports Ground just outside Kidlington It is regardedby whom as one of the best Sunday League sides in Oxfordshire,citation needed being made up of players who play at a high level of Saturday football, including the Blue Square football conference, Southern League and the Hellenic Premier Division In April 2012 it reached the final of the Oxfordshire FA Sam Waters Challenge Cup It lost 3-2 after extra time to Highfield14 The club reached the final of this competition again in 2013

Kidlington Old Boys Football club was formed in 1999, and currently plays in the Oxfordshire Senior League Division 1 It plays its home games at Exeter Close15

The Gosford All Blacks was founded on 15 May 1956, taking its name from the New Zealand All Blacks team which was touring that season Despite its name, the club is based in Kidlington16 Gosford's first team plays in the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Premier League When first founded, the club used the Gosford Hill School pitch and facilities The King's Arms, the Moors, became its headquarters In May 1959 the club moved to Langford Lane and in December 1962 became the youngest club to acquire its own clubhouse The neighbouring airport donated one of its hangars, which the members transformed into a clubhouse Gosford All Blacks was county rugby shield holder for the 2011–12 season

Kidlington Cricket Club was founded in 1837 and used to play in the Oxford Times Cherwell Cricket League17 However, in January 2009 the League voted to expel Kidlington CC for alleged rule breaches18 As of the 2010 season, the club now plays in the Oxfordshire Cricket Association OCA league

From 1976 until 1998, Kidlington was the home base for motor racing team Tom Walkinshaw Racing, founded by Scottish racing driver Tom Walkinshaw TWR raced a variety of cars including the Rover Vitesse, Mazda RX-7, Jaguar XJS and Holden Commodore as well as being the factory backed Jaguar team in both Sports car racing and Touring car racing TWR would win numerous championships including the World Sportscar Championship and both the European and British Touring Car Championships as well as a number of high profile races including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Spa 24 Hours and the Bathurst 100019


  1. ^ a b "Area: Kidlington Parish: Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics" Neighbourhood Statistics Office for National Statistics Retrieved 24 September 2013 
  2. ^ Historic England "Church of St Mary  Grade I 1291046" National Heritage List for England Retrieved 14 April 2015 
  3. ^ Bull, Andrew 28 January 2008 "Kidlington S Mary V" Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers Central Council for Church Bell Ringers Retrieved 14 April 2015 
  4. ^ http://wwwbbccouk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-36706591
  5. ^ http://wwwbbccom/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-37820663
  6. ^ Bilefsky, Dan 5 December 2016 "British Villagers Are Baffled by Flocking Chinese Tourists" New York Times Retrieved 6 December 2016 
  7. ^ Chiltern Railways: Oxford - London rail link given the go-ahead
  8. ^ The Highwayman Hotel
  9. ^ Oxfordshire Federation of Women's Institutes
  10. ^ 1 Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Essentra Components
  12. ^ Kidlington Football Club
  13. ^ Kidlington FC - a brief history
  14. ^ Kidlington Royals Official Website
  15. ^ Kidlington Old Boys Football Club
  16. ^ Gosford All Blacks RFC: History
  17. ^ Oxford Times Cherwell Cricket League
  18. ^ Oxford Mail 15 January 2009
  19. ^ Bathurst 1985 - Tom Walkinshaw Bio and TWR Story


  • Compton, Hugh J 1976 The Oxford Canal Newton Abbot: David & Charles pp 37, 117, 150 ISBN 0-7153-7238-6 
  • Crossley, Alan; Elrington, CR eds; Baggs, AP; Blair, WJ; Chance, Eleanor; Colvin, Christina; Cooper, Janet; Day, CJ; Selwyn, Nesta; Townley, Simon C 1990 "Kidlington" A History of the County of Oxford Victoria County History 12: Wootton Hundred South including Woodstock pp 179–213 
  • Emery, Frank 1974 The Oxfordshire Landscape The Making of the English Landscape London: Hodder & Stoughton pp 141, 166, 167, 182, 184 ISBN 0-340-04301-6 
  • Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus 1974 Oxfordshire The Buildings of England Harmondsworth: Penguin Books pp 670–672 ISBN 0-14-071045-0 
  • Wing, William 1881 Annals of Kidlington Oxford 

External linksedit

  • Kidlington Voice Online
  • This is Oxfordshire website: Kidlington & District Historical Society
  • Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Kidlington
  • Kidlington Recreational Trust Social Club
  • Gosford Hill School
  • Kidlington Concert Brass website
  • Kidlington Amateur Operatic Society website
  • Kidlington Royals Football Club Official Website

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