Marcham is 9 miles SW of Oxford and 3 miles from Abingdon, on the A415 to Witney. The land gently slopes southwards from the village towards the River Ock. Lying on light soil associated with the coral ridge which existed here some 150 million years ago, there was Marcham Brook for water and water meadows for farming but the settlement was high enough to avoid flooding.
The name 'Marcham' derives from Anglo-Saxon meaning riverside meadow where the wild celery grows and it still grows here.
There is evidence that, long before houses were built, this easily worked land was being exploited by man. Neolithic flint tools, some 4,500 years old have been found in the village. The earliest true settlement seems to have been to the west of the village alongside the A338, where excavations have revealed Iron Age and Roman occupation and also an early Anglo-Saxon cemetery.
The main settlement had moved to the present village by the late Saxon period. By the time of the Domesday Book, Marcham was held by Abingdon Abbey and important enough to have a church and was head of the Marcham Hundred, where the hundred court was held. The oldest house in the village, Hyde Farm, dates from 1290 and shows some civil war damage. There was a small skirmish around the village at that time.
Marcham was mainly agricultural until the mid twentieth century and grew slowly until that time. The population nearly doubled in the 1960s with the building of a large estate to the north-east of the existing village.
Where is Marcham?
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