Culham is an example of a shrunken village. The manor house and church are meagre remains of a medieval settlement. The medieval village lay to the west of the modern village of the same name. Little more remains today, other than the outlines of a series of streets, hut platforms, and trackways that lead to river’s edge. There is not enough evidence to say for sure what caused the villages decline, The Black Death, A series of poor harvests after wet summers in the 14th Century, a change to sheep farming that caused mass un-employment are all possibilities. The remaining village (According to the 2001 census has a population of about 400 people) is known round the world through the nearby research centre which bears its name. Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, CCFE is home to two major nuclear fusion experiments, JET and MAST. When JET was built, the European Commission set up the European School in Culham to provide an international education for the children of Euratom scientists who would come to work at JET.
On the High Street (Google and other mapping people insist on calling it “The Burrycroft”) is a Culham Parochial School, at the moment Culham Village school is at risk of being closed down,
The School building was built in 1850, and the school has been part of Culham Village life for about 160 years.
Walking along the Thames path starting at Culham Cut Occupation/Foot bridge down stream towards Culham Lock with fields to the left, and the river to the right is a nice easy walk;
Culham Lock is one of the two deepest on the river, the other being Sandford lock, this is due to the way the land south of oxford lays,
The Little hut at Culham Lock
Just down stream of the lock is this bridge; To the South is Sutton Courtenay.
This post will be continued in part two.