Powerflush nearby to Carterton
Carterton is the second-largest town in West Oxfordshire, located 2 miles (3 kilometers) south of the A40 and 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) south of Witney. The parish’s population was 15,769 according to the 2011 Census.
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The Moleyns family owned much of what is now the northern part of town since at least 1369, but William Lord Moleyns was killed at the siege of Orléans in 1429, and the land passed to the Hungerford family.
During the medieval period, the main road through Carterton was one of the most important in the country, carrying trains of Cotswold wool over Radcot Bridge and on to Southampton for export to Europe’s weaving center.
The Duke of Marlborough purchased the land in the 1770s.
The current settlement pattern dates back to 1894, when a portion of the estate was sold to Homesteads Limited, whose director was William Carter. The land was divided into 6 acre plots and sold for £20 per acre, with bungalows starting at £120. Many of the settlers were retired soldiers or people relocating from towns. Carterton quickly established itself in the market gardening world. Covent Garden Market sold black grapes from Frenchester Nurseries as well as the famous Carterton tomatoes.
Carterton, which by the late twentieth century had grown to become one of Oxfordshire’s largest towns, was founded soon after 1900 as a smallholder colony on agricultural land in the northern part of Black Bourton parish. William Carter of Branksome (Dorset) was the founder, a speculator who, through his London-based company Homesteads Ltd, purchased estates in several counties in order to establish smallholdings and entice people back to the land. In Oxfordshire, he bought the 740-acre Rock farm north of Black Bourton village from W. C. Arkell in 1900, part of an estate sold by the Duke of Marlborough in 1894. By late 1902, there were 16 houses, and the new settlement, already known as Carterton, was listed in a local trades directory the following year.
Aftereffects of the Second World War
Carterton’s later development was closely linked to the construction of the nearby RAF Brize Norton airbase in 1937. Brize Norton’s character was profoundly altered by this development, as it became the Royal Air Force’s largest operating base. Brizewood, a small group of substantial two-story houses for RAF personnel, was built east of Swinbrook Road around 1938, and was expanded in the 1950s with uniform bungalows for American servicemen. Carterton was a “busy and expanding village” by 1953, and its rapid population growth was causing severe housing problems: the plight of a significant number of caravan dwellers prompted an article in the Lancet in 1962, though many residents objected to the town’s portrayal and denied that it was typical. By then, it was claimed that there were more civilians than servicemen living in mobile homes, some of them single women, and the “shack-like houses of the early settlers,” their “meagre appearance eloquen” elsewhere on the “busy village main street.”
A few scattered “Robin” hangars, built hastily during WWII to allow aircraft to be housed away from the airfield itself, were converted to other uses during the same period, with one on Alvescot Road surviving in the early twenty-first century as part of a motor repair garage. Rock Farm and its stone-built converted agricultural buildings survived as a small group at the intersection of Lawton and Arkell Avenues, along with William Wilkinson’s pair of model labourers’ cottages set back from the Alvescot road between modern housing. In 1967, an ambitious scheme for controlled expansion and regeneration of the town center was launched, with a ring road (Upavon Way) to serve new housing, divert traffic away from the center, and limit future growth. New RAF housing was to provide over 1,450 dwellings, with private enterprise providing another 300, and local governments providing shops and other much-needed facilities near the central crossroads. After numerous delays and controversy, a scaled-down scheme for the town center was launched in 1975, and Upavon Way opened soon after.
By 1976, over 2,000 houses had been built since the 1960s, mostly on large estates in the north-east, with concrete exteriors, and 850 more were planned. Settlement had spilled over the parish boundary into Brize Norton by then, though there had been no northward expansion beyond the parish boundary, and southward expansion was hampered by the airfield perimeter. The RAF built a large transit hotel within the airfield precinct in 1970 to serve military personnel and their families. The number of people living in mobile homes was still a source of contention in 1980, when there were nearly 250 permanent or temporary pitches spread across several sites, and some sites were closed and replaced by council houses in the early 1980s. In the mid-1980s, the town’s eastern part continued to grow, primarily for housing.
By 1997, the town center had been transformed: shops of various styles lined the four main streets, interspersed with a few older structures such as the Beehive Hotel and the former Emporium, and the crossroads was dominated by a tall domed tower built in 1996, surmounting new shops and offices. On the site of the earlier building on Black Bourton Road, a large Co-operative Society supermarket of flamboyant design was erected in 1998, and in 2000, work began on a major expansion programme on the town’s eastern edge, to include another 1,200 houses, a shopping center, leisure facilities, and a new access road. A number of early settlers’ houses were also preserved among the modern structures, though by 2004, several had been recently demolished or were semi-derelict and under threat from developers, sparking mounting local outrage.