Place:Botley, Berkshire, England

TypeVillage, Suburb
Coordinates51.75°N 1.298°W
Located inBerkshire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inOxfordshire, England     (1974 - )
See alsoNorth Hinksey, Berkshire, Englandparish in which Botley is located
Abingdon Rural, Berkshire, Englandrural district in which North Hinksey was located until 1974
Vale of White Horse, Oxfordshire, Englandadministrative district in which North Hinksey was located after 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Botley is a village in the civil parish of North Hinksey, just west of the Oxford city boundary in the English county of Oxfordshire. It adjoins the intersection of the A34 and A420 to its north and was in Berkshire until 1974.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Botley, aside from central offices and a modest row of stores, is a residential suburb of Oxford. Generally house prices are above average for the Oxford area, from average in its east (similar to much of Dean Court), to very expensive towards where the settlement adjoins Cumnor Hill, in its south.

It lies, apart from a small section which is southeast, southwest of the junction between the A34 (Oxford ring road) and the A420 westward to Swindon.[1]

The contiguous neighbourhood Dean Court adjoins Botley to its west, in the Cumnor civil parish. The other settlements which merge into this settlement are North Hinksey and Cumnor Hill.

Elevations range from 56m on the Hinksey Stream marking much of the eastern border to the western border which ranges from 80 to 120m AOD from north to south. The southern point is a border of Cumnor Hill and adjoins Matthew Arnold School (Oxford).


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Botley was first settled in the Saxon era. Its toponym comes from Old English, meaning a woodland clearing of a man called Bota. It has since inception fallen within the parish of North Hinksey, and so was historically in the county of Berkshire, as marked in its northern half by the Vale of White Horse district boundary on the map. Because the main road west out of Oxford has passed through Botley since the 16th century, development since then was centred here rather than in the village of North Hinksey itself, slightly further south east. From the 1880s the centre of the village began to be called Old Botley, in distinction to the New Botley development along Botley Road in Oxford. The name Old Botley is preserved in a street set back from the main road. The major development which began in the 1930s took place to the west, beyond the current ring road.

To the north of Botley was the lost village of Seacourt. The site of the former village is in neighbouring Wytham parish, but it is commemorated in Botley in the names of Seacourt Tower and the Seacourt Bridge public house.

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.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Botley, Oxfordshire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.