Page 13 - Moreton Village Only Book
P. 13

Moreton Village Only 13

                           Whilst much of the early history of
                        Moreton shows its close association with
                        Thame Park with most of the land owned
                        by the Wenmans and the Berties, there is
                        also evidence of a few properties in
                        Moreton being owned by Oxford colleges.
                        In 1860, one of the (then) seven farms in
                        Moreton was owned by Balliol College and,
                        as the Declaration Document shows in
                        1876 the Master of Balliol College declared
                        that his college owned one acre and five
                        perches (about 5,000 square yards) at
                        College Brook and that the college had
                        held the land since the late 1600’s. It is
                        believed  that this declaration was made
                        about the time that the land was purchased
                        by Isaac Mott who died in 1878.

                           One of the principal leisure activities of
                        the “gentry” of the 1800’s was fox hunting
                        which had been a pursuit of the nobles and
                        military right back to the time of William
                        the Conqueror. Being surrounded by
                        farmland, fields and copses, Moreton no
                        doubt provided prime “hunting country” for
                        the South Oxfordshire Hunt, which became
                        the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt around 1970.
                        The hunt sponsored many events on and
                        off the hunting field, one of these being
                        the annual point-to-point races held on
                        Lobbersdown Hill. Moreton’s association  Declaration in 1876 by the Master of Balliol
                        with the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt continues  College of land ownership at College Brook.
                        to this day with two Past Masters of Fox
                        Hounds (MFH) still resident in the village
                        and with the stirring sounds of the horn
                        and the hounds still often heard.  The
                        hunters themselves have changed – they are
                        as likely today to be market traders and car
                        mechanics as farmers or earls, but did John
                        Peel with his coat so grey hunt in Moreton
                        at the break of day?

                        Alan Stevens – MFH 1960-1980.

                                                              The South Oxfordshire Hunt point-to-point races
                                                              at Lobbersdown Hill – circa 1904.
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