Kingston Blount has for many Centuries been a more populous Village than the Mother Village of Aston. The name means the King’s ‘Tun’ (or ‘Vill’) and no doubt derives from a period before the Conquest when it was probably a Royal Vill. It acquired its 2nd name of Blount from the Family Name of the Lords of the Manor from 1237 until the early 15thC. Later it was sometimes called Kingston Yorke or Kingston Hungerford after Families holding the Manor in the 15th & 16thCs. It stands near the Eastern Boundary of the Parish between the Ancient Trackways called the Icknield Way & the Lower Icknield Way and is one of the String of Villages that sprang up on the Spring Line below the Chiltern Hills. It probably once had a large Green, but Kingston Green now consists only of a small piece of rough Grass on the West side of the Village. This was the Common Land that was left unenclosed by the Inclosure Award of 1835. The Village is built around a Square of which the Lewknor-Chinnor and the Sydenham-Stokenchurch Roads form 2 sides. The ‘Red Lion‘ recorded in 1833 once stood at the Junction of these 2-Roads. The Village expanded considerably in the 18th & 19thCs and in 1852 was described in Gardner’s Directory as ‘Large & Respectable’. In 1958 it had 3-Shops, a Post Office, 3 Public Houses – the ‘Royal Oak‘, the ‘Cherry Tree‘ & the ‘Shoulder of Mutton‘ – a Youth Club & a Sports Field.
OS Map 1919 Sth Oxon XLVII.4 (Aston Rowant; Kingston Blount, Crowell)
Many of the old Timber-framed Houses with Tiled or Thatched Roofs survive. There must have been at least 2-Manor-Houses in Kingston, but their Site is not known. The Manor-House of Kingston Narnett’s Fee is mentioned in 1631, when Robert Chapman, Gent, was living there. He sold it to Andrew Crooke, and it was for this House presumably that Andrew Crooke returned 4 Hearths for the Tax of 1665. There are 2 Records of the ‘Blounts‘ Medieval Manor-House. In 1300 Hugh le Blount impleaded the Tenant, William, Bishop of Wells, for pulling down a Chapel, worth 8 Marks, a Kitchen & Bakehouse, each worth 100s, and in 1317 he and his wife Nicola were living there when they undertook a Journey to London at the expense of John de Stonor with whom they had Legal Business to transact. It is possible that ‘Moat Manor‘ represents one of the Manor-Houses. It is a Timber-framed Building with Brick & Flint filling; is L-shaped and has an overhanging Upper Storey on the Northside; the West Gable-end has herring-bone Brick filling and consists of 3-Storeys, whereas the rest of the House is of 2-Storeys. In the 19thC, the House was divided into 3-Cottages. Another 16thC House is ‘Old Croft‘ near Pleck Lane. It is a Timber-framed Structure with Brick filling, some of the Bricks being arranged in herring-bone pattern and with Shingled Tiles covering part of the front. The House has a central Chimney-stack with a group of 4 Brick Shafts. In the High Street, there are several 16th & 17thC Cottages: some are built of Brick & Flint, others are Timber-framed with Brick filling, and many have fine Box Hedges which add to their attractive appearance. ‘Lavengro‘, a 2-Storeyed House, once 2-Cottages and used in the 1940s as a Butcher’s House & Shop, is an interesting example. Its centre Block consists of 17thC Timber-framing with infilling of colour-washed Brick; its 16thC East Wing is also Timber-framed, but is filled with herring-bone Brick and is lower in height and its 18thC West end is constructed of Chequer Brick. Until just recently the East Wing had contemporary Leaded Casement Windows & panelled shutters; it retains Stone fireplaces on both floors. There is a central Chimney-Stack with a group of Square Shafts.
Richard Davis’s Map Of Oxfordshire 1797
18th & early-19thC prosperity is reflected in the Buildings. The Cherry Tree Public House, for example, which was Licensed at least by 1794, if not earlier, is a late-18thC house of 2-Storeys constructed of Chequer Brick; it has offset Eaves of Denticulated Brick, a Slate Roof, Sash Wwindows, and a 6-panelled Doorway. The Door is in the angle formed by the main building and its Wing projects to the North-west. Another 18thC building is a Chequer-brick Cottage of 2-Storeys lying next to the School. It has eaves of Denticulated Brick, flanking Chimneys, Casement Windows of 3-lights and a plain central Door with a Brick panel above. Town Farm, once owned by the Belsons and known as Belson Farm in 1832, also dates from the 18thC.
The Chief 19thC additions to the Village were the Methodist Chapel (1859), the Congregational Chapel (1861), the Anglican Chapel (1877), and the School. Outside the Village John Brown built Kingston House in 1855. In the 20thC, a number of Council houses have also been built on the Outskirts of the Village. Five pairs were built before WW2 & 20 Red-Brick ones were erected in 1953-55.
One of Kingston’s Hamlets, Kingston Stert, lies 1¾ miles to the North of the Village and in 1958 consisted only of a few Cottages and of Kingston Villa. The name Stert is said to mean ‘a Tongue of Land‘, and the place, it seems, developed in the 17thC when Kingston was itself expanding. Kingston Stert was mentioned in 1645 and occurs in the Register in 1696, when it was the home of Thomas Munday, a substantial Yeoman Farmer. It had a Public House, the ‘Barley Mow‘, in 1881, but this no longer exists. Kingston’s other Hamlet of Linley, or Kingston Lilly, as it was sometimes called, has long been a ‘deserted’ Hamlet and its precise Site has not yet been discovered, although it is likely to have been on the Hill near Gurdon’s Farm (Stokenchurch). In the 13thC, it had its own Chapel, and the Prior of Wallingford Priory held 2 Virgates of Land there to support the Serving of a Chantry in the Chapel 3 times a week.
Wakelins Cottage dates from the mid-15thC and was originally a Wheelwrights Shop owned by Amos Wakelin. The Cottage is situated on the edge of the Village with far-reaching Views towards The Ridgeway.