The Yarnton Memorial - the story so far

Over the years many people from the village have asked the question: Why haven’t we got a war memorial? After all, most of the surrounding villages have got one.  In the Great War (World War I, 1914-18) Yarnton lost fourteen men killed in action (as well as many wounded). The population of Yarnton at the time was approximately 309 – so the large percentage in terms of dead and wounded had a significant impact on the village.  In World War II (1939-1945) Yarnton lost four men killed in action (as well as wounded), the population at the time being approximately 637.  Yet again the small farming community of Yarnton was profoundly affected by these events.

However, as time went by the above events seemed to fade into the background.  It was not until recently that the subject of erecting a war memorial came to the fore, prompted by the fact that in November 2018 it would be the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I. The vicar of Yarnton at the time, the Reverend Nathan Jarvis, formed a small committee of like-minded villagers who thought that the village should have a memorial.  The committee at the time consisted of Nathan Jarvis, Paul Tweddle, Greg Morris and Robin Hearn.  The committee learned that the Co-op (Funeral Care) could help with funding some of the money towards the cost.  After discussions the Co-op agreed to fund the majority of the money - £4224.  However, this still meant that the committee had to raise a significant amount to complete the task.  A site was agreed on – the small green opposite the Royal British Legion in Rutten Lane.  Planning permission was obtained from Cherwell District Council. However, the present committee decided that there was a more suitable site on the same small green and re-applied for planning permission, but these things take time!

About eighteen months ago the committee lost Greg Morris (work commitments) and the Reverend Nathan Jarvis who moved to pastures anew. This left Paul Tweddle and myself to carry on. It was around this time that I asked a friend of mine, Ted O’Brien, if he would like to join the committee and help complete this project. Ted had always been a keen advocate of Yarnton having a war memorial, and in the last year Ted and I have taken over the task of getting things brought to a successful conclusion.  This has involved fund raising, dealing with various authorities, as well as collaborating with Brian Stovold, Ann Rivers and Barbara Dunn and the team at the Co-op.  I must thank the above for their generosity in time and effort. I would also like to acknowledge all of those who have given so generously to this project: village organisations, as well as very handsome donations made by individual villagers – you know who you are – thank you all.

The war memorial stone is dark Indian Granite.  It will stand five feet tall and is obelisk in form.  Underneath the plaque that bears the names of the fallen there is a legend carved into the stone:

‘Lest we forget’

‘The village did not forget’

In time I hope this memorial will become an integral part of the village, and also serve as a permanent reminder of the past – as well as a beacon of hope to a peaceful future.

A service will be held on Sunday 11th November 2018 at 11 a.m. at the memorial – All villagers welcome. Robin Hearn


Community Orchard

We are in the final stages of presenting the Yarnton Community Orchard project. The idea was conceived at Yarnton Parish Council to encourage village residents to help activate and manage the project for present and future generations who live in our village.  It has been a complex journey, including gathering local residents’ opinions, checking potential sites for gas, electricity and water utilities, and the need to gain expert help from an orchard expert to survey the site, plan the planting outline, choice of trees and give advice on apple tree varieties.

The open grassy site opposite the Village Hall, which is divided into three parts demarked by two paths running through the area, has been chosen as most suitable.  Two areas would be used to create the orchard and the third left as an open amenity area.   Up to 35 apple trees can be grown in these two areas and the plan concentrates on heritage apple trees which are local to Oxfordshire and the surrounding shires.  They have been specially chosen for quality eating taste, fresh juicing, cooking and also storage (lates).  They are a mixture of early, mid and late fruiting trees to extend the season.  
The planting plan takes into account the established surrounding trees such as the damson, cherry, oak, whitebeam (which are to be kept), neighbouring gardens and walls, correct pollination, and shade and light levels across the sites.
The table below is the list of trees that have been suggested for this project, along with their origin and whether they are early,mid or late season fruiting.

The Community Orchard is to be an integral part of the village, and we hope it will provide enjoyment and bring villagers together in a variety of ways.  Suggested usages include:

  • ·        
  • ·         Blossom Picnics in April/May
  • ·         Community Harvesting Day in July-November
  • ·         Juicing Day in October/November (Kidlington has an apple press they can loan)
  • ·         Wassail Ceremony in early/mid January
  • ·        

At later dates when the area is more established we also hope to introduce a wooden bench, wildflower areas and bat boxes if appropriate.

Apple trees are different sizes and have slightly different associated costs, so the price of each has been averaged to £30.  The Parish Council is paying for all extras such as stakes, tree shelters, tree wraps, mulch and the professional services for advice and planting plans needed for this project. If you are interested in sponsoring a tree please let us know by contacting Lynne Whitley (Parish Clerk) either by email at  [email protected] or letter (Yarnton Village Hall, The Paddocks, Yarnton, Kidlington, OX5 1TE) with preference of which tree if you have one. Once Lynne has confirmed to you that we still have trees available, payment of £30 will be required.  We already have a list of people who expressed an interest earlier in the year in sponsoring a tree,  who will be given the first choice of trees.  Please note it will be strictly first-come, first-served with the trees as there are no double-ups. If you don't have a preference we will allocate a tree for you. Received advice is that planting can be carried out up until late November, so time is of the essence to ensure everything is organised and the site ready for planting the trees.

Enthusiastic people are needed to form an ‘Orchard Committee’ so if you are willing to give a bit of time, have gardening experience or wildlife knowledge we'd love to hear from you!

If you have any questions please contact Fiona Mawson, Yarnton Parish Councillor, tel. 07779 268835, email [email protected]

List of trees available for sponsorship:


Beauty of Bath, Historic Oxon. & UK - Jennifer, Oxon. - Davisdon Seedling, Oxon. - Devonshire Quarranden, Historic Oxon. & UK

Mid Season

Deddington Golden, Oxon. - Eynsham Dumpling, Oxon. - Autumn Pearmain, Historic Oxon. & UK. - Keiling Apple, Bucks. - Peggys Pride, Oxon. - Gloucester Underleaf, Gloucs. - Reinette Rouge Etoile, Historic Oxon. & UK. - Long Reinette, Bucks. - Seargent Peggy, Oxon. - Lord Lambourne (BR), Beds. - Christmas Pearmain, Historic Oxon. & UK. 


Wyken Pippen, Warks. - Monarch, Historic Oxon. & UK. - Kidds Orange Red, New Zealand - Bramley’s Seedling, Historic Oxon. & UK - Hornmead Pearmain, Historic Oxon. & UK - Roundways Magnum - Bonum,Wilts. - Kings Acres Pippin, Historic Oxon. & UK - Amersham Hanger, Bucks. - Blenheim Orange, Oxon. - Oxford Hoard, Oxon. - Oxford Conquest, Oxon. - Eden, Gloucs. - Deddington Pippin, Oxon. - Ashmeads Kernel, Gloucs. - Leathercoat, Historic Oxon. & UK - Corse Hill, Gloucs. - Norfolk Royal Russet, Historic Oxon. & UK - London Pippin, Historic Oxon. & UK - Rosemary Russet, Historic Oxon. & UK - Hambledon Deux Ans, Hants.


Cherwell Local Plan 2011-2031 (Part 1) partial Review Oxford's Unmet Housing Need

Further progress in addressing the implication of the above proposals has taken place recently at meetings on 28th September and 5th October at which Yarnton Parish Council was represented.  Here is a brief overview of those two meetings;

28th September -  Preliminary Hearing by Government Inspector Mr. Paul Griffiths

The meeting, chaired by Mr. Paul Griffiths, was attended by approximately 120 persons having vested interest in the plan. This included Cherwell DC, Oxford City Council, Oxford CC, Parish Councils, Legal Representatives and other organisations representing public groups. The purpose of the meeting was to address 2 Agenda items identified by Mr. Griffiths as follows:

  1. ‘On the working assumption that Oxford has an unmet need of 15000 homes, is the apportionment of 4400 homes of Oxford's overall unmet need to Cherwell soundly based?’
  2. ‘Assuming the figure of 4400 is soundly based, and bearing in mind paragraph 83 of the (previous version of the) NPPF, can Oxford's unmet housing be an 'exceptional circumstance' that justifies an alteration to the Green Belt boundaries?’

With regard to item 1, there was considerable discussion regarding the accuracy of the figures. Validity of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment calculations of 2014 was brought into question by many speakers with regard to being untested and out of date. With Oxford not due to declare its Local Plan until March 2019, serious doubt was cast as to their real need in terms of numbers. With a new government formula for the calculation of housing needs being introduced in January 2019, it was more appropriate to recalculate the current needs. On behalf of Yarnton PC and residents, concern was expressed regarding the number of dwellings planned in the Yarnton/Begbroke area and the devastating effect it would have on residents and their daily lives. Your PC also voiced the opinion that to go ahead with such a far reaching plan based on suspect figures was not good  practice and to the detriment of our residents. There was a significant consensus of opinion that the apportionment of Oxford's Unmet Housing Need was not soundly based.

With regard to item 2, the vast majority of speakers vigorously opposed the use of the Green Belt and saw the 12 exceptional circumstances listed by CDC as little more than fabrication to justify the proposal. This view was supported by Yarnton PC who pointed out the huge percentage reduction in Green Belt area in the proposal for Yarnton/Begbroke. The exceptional circumstances claimed were identified as not being justified.

The Inspector, Mr. Paul Griffiths, indicated that he hoped to have reached his conclusion at the end of October 2018.

5th October - Meeting hosted by Cherwell District Council

The purpose of this meeting was to prepare work on the production of development briefs for the proposed residential site allocations. Participants included: Site Developer/Promoters, Key Stakeholders, Parish Councils and organisations with a vested interest in the proposals.

Yarnton Parish Council's participation was on the basis that ,whilst being acutely aware of strong local objection to the plan, it was likely to be more productive in the long term, should the plan be approved by the Government Inspector.

Developer's presentations outlined their proposals for all 7 proposed sites, including PR8 Land East of the A44 and PR9 Land West of Yarnton. There were numerous questions from Kidlington, Gosford and Water Eaton Parish Councils, including Yarnton PC who raised issues including: The appearance of the proposed estates should be Garden Village orientated, height of buildings, adequate provision for the management of sewage and surface water and that realigned boundaries of Green Belt should be clearly defined with both meaning and purpose. Yarnton PC representatives, Parish Clerk Lynne Whitley, Councillors Graham Thompson and Fred Jones, had the opportunity to meet with the developers for site PR9 to establish contact details for the future should the need arise.

Yarnton Parish Council


Yarnton History - Sophia Jane Lay, nee Hastings

Take a look in the Stories subsection of Yarnton Village for fascinating images and information about Sophia Jane Lay, who died in August 1972, and who lived at one time at Windmill Hill Farm in Yarnton.  These were sent by her grandson Terry Pearson.


Parish Council Annual Audit 2018

The report relating to the Annual Audit can be found under the Parish Council subheading Council Minutes