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History of Watlington

Watlington stands between the Vale of Oxford and the steep slopes of the Chilterns. The town is steeped in history and was first recorded as a Saxon settlement in the 8th Century, but the discoveries of a Bronze Age Axe and Roman Coins suggest an earlier past

In the centre is the Town Hall.  This was built by Thomas Stonor to commemorate the restoration of the Monarchy at the end of the Civil War. The Hall initially served the three posts of Market House, School and Meeting Place.

A mysterious white mark carved into the chalk lies above the town on Watlington Hill. Oddly, when approaching the town from Oxford the mark appears to extend the height of the Church Tower.

The town is skirted by the ancient Ridgeway Trail at the footway of the Chilterns making a popular stop-off for walkers, naturalists, cyclists and horse riders

There are many historic buildings in Watlington, particularly around the core of the town. Several date from the 17th Century or earlier but are concealed behind later refronting carried out in the 18th and 19th Century. Historic buildings of particular note in Watlington include St Leonard’s Church, which dates in part to the 12th Century. The 17th Century Town Hall which is a Grade II* listed building and the predominately 18th Century Hare and Hounds Hotel (The Chiltern Business Centre), 7 High Street and 46 Shirburn Street are both grand Georgian house and 15 and 17 High Street, 39 Brook Street and 42 Chapel Street are all late medieval in origin.