Woodford’s Time Line

There is not much known about the area around Woodford in pre-historic and Roman times, although there was a major settlement in the Bronze Age and Iron Age at Borough Hill, near Daventry and a Roman town at Towcester (Lactodurum).

Woodford’s history stretches back to Saxon times although in villages not far away evidence of Roman and prehistoric finds has come to light too.

Sealed Knot Civil War Re-enactment on the Sara Field

Sealed Knot Civil War Re-enactment on the Sara Field

Since then Woodford has been a farming community; it has witnessed some of the critical events in British history and it has been a busy railway junction.

Now, Woodford Halse is a community of over 3500 people of many nationalities, ages and beliefs with a range of local industries.

Standing on one of our modern housing estates or looking at the range of industry on the Great Central Way estate it could be easy to forget how Woodford has changed down the ages but signs of Woodford’s historic past are all around us.

Woodford turns out to support charity fund raising at the annual "regatta".

Woodford turns out to support charity fund raising at the annual “regatta”.

Here are just some of the dates from Woodford’s past tracing its history from the three manors of Woodford, Hinton and Farndon right up to the present day.

(This table is based on information from Brenda Courtie’s “The Story of Woodford cum Membris”, available in the Woodford Public Library.):

Date Event
2nd / 3rd C
Possible Roman settlement near West Farndon
1086
The manors of Woodford, Hinton & Farndon mentioned in Domesday Book, when Woodford Manor was held by Hugh de Grentesmaisnil.
12thC
Earliest parts of the current St Mary’s Church date from here.
11??
First recorded rector of Woodford Church : William de Woodford served until 1201.
1469
In the Battle of Edgcote, Edward IV’s army of up to 10,000 men defeated a similar number of Lancastrian troops near Chipping Warden. (An Information Board at Trafford Bridge on the Culworth to Wardington Road describes the battle.)
1510
Sir John Spencer buys the Manor of Hinton to provide more grazing for his sheep.
1645
King Charles 1st spends June 12th hunting in Fawsley Park before joining his troops to march to Naseby where he was decisively beaten two days later.
1753-1760
Open fields around Woodford, Hinton & West Farndon enclosed by Parliament, ending the old “ridge & furrow” cultivation.
1787
A Moravian Commuunity in Woodford
1808
Methodists meeting in Farndon
1867
Sir Henry Dryden’s school opens and by ten years later has 114 children on its books.
1878
Restoration & rebuilding of St Mary’s Church
1898
Construction starts on 240 dwellings and shops for railway workers on what is now Sidney Road, Percy Road, Castle Road & Station Road. Construction of the Hinton Gorse Hotel – now the Social Club.
1899
First train services from Woodford Halse to Brackley on the Great Central Railway.
1906
Kelly’s directory lists 33 shops, dealers & licensees in Woodford including three pubs.
1911
St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church opened (now a private house)
1921
Woodford’s cinema, “The Hippodrome”, opens.
1935
Tests nearby at Lichborough show the possibility of detecting aircraft with radio waves. A memorial beside the road there explains the experiment that led to radar.
1965
Parish Council acquires land from British Railways Board to create the SARA Field
1966
Last passenger train from Woodford Halse
1977
Development of Great Central Way industrial estate
1981
Planting of the woodland on the old railway embankment
1986
Woodford is recorded in the “Digital Domesday” project. (Now On-Line)
1994
The Memorial Hall opens as a village community & medical centre.
2016
The old railway embankment and riverside land (“Great Central Woodland”) acquired for the community by the Parish Council.