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Long Wittenham

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Oxfordshire  /  Abingdon  /  Long Wittenham
Long Wittenham is a village and small civil parish about 3mi north of Didcot, and southeast of Abingdon. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it from Berkshire to Oxfordshire, and from the former Wallingford Rural District to the new district of South Oxfordshire.GeographyThe village is the start of the inside a loop in the River Thames, on slightly higher ground than the flood plain around it. About to the east, across the river, is the Roman town of Dorcic – now Dorchester-on-Thames. To the south-east are neighbouring Little Wittenham which has a much smaller population but much larger area and within which parish is Wittenham Clumps, also called the Sinodun Hills.HistoryThe village is supposedly named after a Saxon chieftain, named Wikki, but there is evidence of earlier settlement. Bronze Age double-ditch enclosures and middle Bronze Age pottery were identified in the 1960s, and early Bronze Age items, such as an axe and spearhead, have been found in the Thames. Later settlement evidence is more extensive: Iron Age and Roman presence is indicated by trackways, various buildings (enclosures, farms and villas), burials (cremation and inhumation), and pottery and coins. There is also evidence of possible Frankish settlement: a 5th-century grave that contained high-status Frankish objects. This early habitation was first revealed in the 1890s, in the first ever use of cropmarks to discern archaeological remains.
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