Place:Abingdon Rural, Berkshire, England

NameAbingdon Rural
TypeRural district
Coordinates51.68°N 1.34°W
Located inBerkshire, England     (1894 - 1974)
See alsoVale of White Horse, Oxfordshire, Englanddistrict which Abingdon Rural District became upon its move to Oxfordshire in 1974

Abingdon Rural District, was an administrative area in Berkshire, England, established in 1894, from the then Berkshire section of Abingdon Rural Sanitary District (RSD). The Oxfordshire section of the same RSD became the Culham Rural District.

Abingdon Rural District Council provided many local government functions for the area around the town of Abingdon. This area did not include the town of Abingdon, which was covered by Abingdon Borough Council.

In 1974 Abingdon Rural District, along with the Borough of Abingdon, was transferred to Oxfordshire and became part of the district of Vale of White Horse, administered by Vale of White Horse District Council.

List of Parishes

Abingdon St. Helen Without civil parish 1894 - 1974
Appleford chapelry, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Appleton with Eaton ancient parish, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Bagley Wood extraparochial, civil parish 1894 - 1900 absorbed by Radley civil parish
Besselsleigh ancient parish, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Caldecott liberty 1894 - 1974 a hamlet or liberty once linked to Sutton Courtenay, now located in Abingdon
Chandlings Farm extraparochial, civil parish 1894 - 1900 absorbed by Radley civil parish
Cumnor ancient parish, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Draycot Moor hamlet, civil parish 1894 - 1971 became part of Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor civil parish
Drayton chapelry, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Frilford township, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Fyfield ancient parish, civil parish 1894 - 1952 merged with Tubney civil parish
Fyfield and Tubney civil parish 1952 - 1974 merger of Fyfield and Tubney civil parishes
Garford chapelry, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Kennington township, civil parish 1936 - 1974 formed from parts of South Hinksey and Radley
Kingston Bagpuize ancient parish, civil parish 1894 - 1971 formed part of Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor civil parish)
Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor civil parish 1971 - 1974 merger of Kingston Bagpuize and Draycott Moor civil parishes
Lyford township, chapelry, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Marcham ancient parish, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Milton ancient parish, civil parish 1894 - 1974
North Hinksey chapelry, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Radley chapelry, civil parish 1894 - 1936 absorbed Bagley Wood and Chandlings Farm in 1900, incorporated into Kennington parish in 1936
Seacourt civil parish 1894 - 1900 absorbed by Wytham civil parish
South Hinksey chapelry, civil parish 1894 - 1936 incorporated into Kennington parish in 1936
Steventon ancient parish, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Sunningwell ancient parish, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Sutton Courtenay ancient parish, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Sutton Wick township, civil parish 1894 - 1934 abolished with areas going to Abingdon municipal borough, Drayton, and Sutton Courtenay civil parishes
Tubney ancient parish, civil parish 1894 - 1952 merged with Fyfield civil parish
Wootton chapelry, civil parish 1894 - 1974
Wytham ancient parish, civil parish 1894 - 1974 absorbed Seacourt in 1900

Research Tips


  • GENUKI's collection of maps for Berkshire. For basic reference are the two online maps Berkshire Parishes (highly recommended) and Berkshire Poor Law Union areas. These locate the individual parishes and indicate the urban and rural districts to which each belonged. There are many other maps listed, some covering specific parts of the county.
  • Wikipedia's outline map of the unitary authorities, shown on many of their Berkshire pages, shows how the new divisions of government relate to the former districts. It has to be remembered that the county was reshaped in 1974 with the urban and rural districts of Abingdon and Faringdon and part of Wantage going to Oxfordshire, and the Borough of Slough (with Eton) coming in from Buckinghamshire. Every attempt is being made to indicate here in WeRelate the civil parishes, towns and villages for which these transfers occurred. Currently there are maps to be found on place pages that deal with civil parishes that transferred from Buckinghamshire into Berkshire. It is planned to provide maps within WeRelate for places that transferred from Berkshire to Oxfordshire--a much wider geographical area.
  • The extensive collection provided by Genmaps is provided free of charge online (currently offline, March 2016).
  • The Ordnance Survey has produced an up-to-date map of the boundaries of all the post-1974 districts throughout the country. This also shows the electoral constituency boundaries which are destined to change before 2020.

Online Historical References

  • Berkshire Record Office. The Berkshire Record Office [BRO] was established in 1948 to locate and preserve records relating to the county of Berkshire and its people, and anyone who is interested in the county's past. As well as original documents, catalogues and indexes, there is a library at the Record Office.
  • Berkshire Family History Society Research Centre. "The Berks FHS Centre can help you - wherever your ancestors came from. There is a Research Centre Library open to all."
  • West Berkshire Museum, Newbury, is housed in a building with an interesting past, but is currently closed for redevelopment. No information on their collections.
  • The GENUKI provision for Berkshire has been updated more recently than that for some of the other counties. A member of the Berkshire Family History Society is credited with this revision.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki on Berkshire explains the jurisdictions relating to civil affairs, parishes and probate (wills and testaments) for each parish in the county and also outlines when these jurisdictions were in existence. Alterations required to cover the post-1974 period have not been carried out for every parish concerned.
  • Brett Langston's list of Registration Districts in Berkshire will lead to specific parishes with dates.
  • Local History Online is a compilation of websites from Berkshire local history clubs, societies and associations.
  • The Berkshire section of The Victoria History of the Counties of England, in four volumes, is provided by British History Online. Volumes 3 and 4 provide an extensive history of the county, parish by parish, up to the end of the 19th century. There are local maps illustrating the text. Manors and their owners are discussed. Parishes are arranged in their original "hundreds"; the hundred for each placename in the Berkshire section of WeRelate will eventually be available.

Nineteenth Century Local Administration

English Jurisdictions is a webpage provided by FamilySearch which analyses every ecclesiastical parish in England at the year 1851. It provides, with the aid of outline maps, the date at which parish records and bishops transcripts begin, non-conformist denominations with a chapel within the parish, the names of the jurisdictions in charge: county, civil registration district, probate court, diocese, rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, church province; and links to FamilySearch historical records, FamilySearch Catalog and the FamilySearch Wiki. Two limitations: only England, and at the year 1851.

During the 19th century two bodies, the Poor Law Union and the Sanitary District, had responsibility for governmental functions at a level immediately above that covered by the civil parish. In 1894 these were replace by Rural and Urban Districts. These were elected bodies, responsible for setting local property assessments and taxes as well as for carrying out their specified duties. Thses districts continued in operation until 1974. Urban districts for larger municipalities were called "Municipal Boroughs" and had additional powers and obligations.

Poor Law Unions, established nationally in 1834, combined parishes together for the purpose of providing relief for the needy who had no family support. This led to the building of '"union poorhouses" or "workhouses" funded by all the parishes in the union. The geographical boundaries established for the individual Poor Law Unions were employed again when Registration Districts were formed three years later. In 1875 Sanitary Districts were formed to provide services such as clean water supply, sewage systems, street cleaning, and the clearance of slum housing. These also tended to follow the same geographical boundaries, although there were local alterations caused by changes in population distribution.