A Brief History of Eastleach

The following brief history of our village can be viewed on a document on the wall of the Victoria Inn, Eastleach

Eastleach Turville was designated as leach at the time of the Domesday survey and the prefix (East) was not used consistently until after the middle ages.

The parish was often called Leach or Eastleach St. Andrew in the middle ages.

The Roman road called Akerman Street recorded by that name in 1287 and mentioned as the Foss Way in 1691 crossed the Parish in 1773. The stretch of the road in the parish was used as a route from Coln St Aldwyns to Witney.

Eastleach Turville village grew up on a hill overlooking a crossing point of the River Leach.

Clapper Bridge over River Leach, Eastleach
Clapper Bridge over River Leach, Eastleach

Greenbury House at the end of the hill preserves a name that was first recorded in 1303 and presumably refers to an earth work built to command the crossing across the River Leach.

Kingshill - formally Greenbury House
Kingshill – formally Greenbury House

The first cottages were built around a series of pasture closes and small greens, much of the development apparently taking place in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

Several of the cottages are from early 18th century, including some which stand on the lane running round the north side of the village possibly that was called Pudding Lane in 1709.

A larger number of cottages date from the later 18th century and early 19th, and others, on the main street were built in the late 19th century by Sir Thomas Bazley the Lord of the Manor.

Sir Thomas Bazley
P Sir Thomas Bazley

On the south side of the street are dwellings dated 1875 and there is a row by the turning to Southrop which incorporates a small clock tower.

Clock Tower, Eastleach
Views of the clock tower, Eastleach
Eatsleach Clock Tower
Eatsleach Clock Tower

Fifty two inhabitants of Eastleach Turville were recorded in 1086 and 28 people, some of them from the part of Williamstrip which was linked to Eastleach were counted in 1327. At least 44 people were assessed for the poll tax in 1381.

About 1775 the population was estimated at near 400 and it stood at 370 in 1801.

The history of the parish has been dominated by the Hathrop estate, which included two of the farms from 1624 and almost the whole village and parish from the 1770s.

Bazley later Sir Thomas, owner of the estate from 1867,  whose home was known as Ravens Hill, provided a number of improvements for the villagers, including a water supply pumped up from the Leach to stand pipes, street lamps put up in 1897, and a reading room which remained in use as the village hall from 1976.

The Village Hall - Eastleach
The Village Hall – Eastleach

A single innholder was recorded in the parish in 1755 and the Victoria Inn, occupying a cottage on the north side of the main street was recorded from 1856.

Eastleach Turville - Victoria Inn
Eastleach Turville – Victoria Inn

Details taken from a document displayed in the Victoria Inn, Eastleach