Power Flush Wantage

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Wantage is a historic market town and civil parish in the English ceremonial county of Oxfordshire. Historically part of Berkshire, it has been administered as part of Oxfordshire’s Vale of White Horse district since 1974. The town is located on Letcombe Brook, approximately 8 miles (13 kilometers) south-west of Abingdon, 24 miles (39 kilometers) north-west of Reading, 15 miles (24 kilometers) south-west of Oxford, and 14 miles (23 kilometers) north-west of Newbury.

In 849, King Alfred the Great was born there.

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    Wantage was a small Roman settlement, but the origin of the toponym is unknown. It is generally assumed to be derived from an Old English phrase that means “decreasing river.” In the 9th century, King Alfred the Great was born at the royal palace in what was originally known as Wanating. Wantage is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. It was worth £61 and belonged to the king until Richard I gave it to the Earl of Albemarle in 1190. In 1246, Henry III granted the town weekly trading rights for the first time. Markets are now held on Wednesdays and Saturdays twice a week. During the English Civil War, Royalist troops were stationed in Wantage.

    Lord Wantage rose to prominence as a local and national benefactor in the nineteenth century.

    He was a key figure in the establishment of the British Red Cross Society.

    In 1877, he paid for Count Gleichen’s marble statue of King Alfred to be erected in Wantage Market Place, where it still stands today.

    He also gave the town the Victoria Cross Gallery.

    This contained paintings by Louis William Desanges depicting deeds that resulted in the award of several VCs, including his own during the Crimean War. It is now a shopping center. Wantage is home to the Community of Saint Mary the Virgin, which was founded in 1848 by the vicar of Wantage, William John Butler; it was once one of the world’s largest communities of Anglican nuns. Wantage used to have two breweries, but Morlands of Abingdon took over. The town made headlines in 1988 after a Brass Tacks program called “Shire Wars” exposed the drunken violence that ravaged the town and surrounding villages at the time.



    Wantage is located in the Vale of the White Horse, at the foot of the Berkshire Downs escarpment. There are gallops at Black Bushes and nearby villages, including East Hendred, Letcombe Bassett, Lockinge, and Uffington, as well as racing stables. Wantage is bounded on the west by Belmont and on the east by Charlton. Grove to the north is still almost detached and has its own parish. Wantage parish encompasses Chain Hill, Edge Hill, Wantage Down, Furzewick Down, and Lattin Down, and extends from the northern edge of its housing up onto the Downs in the south. The Edgehill Springs are located between Manor Road and Spike Lodge Farms, and the Letcombe Brook runs through town. The Vale and Downland Museum is located in Wantage. A large market square with a statue of King Alfred is surrounded by shops, some of which have 18th-century facades. It is surrounded by quieter streets, one of which leads to the large Church of England parish church. Wantage is Thomas Hardy’s “Alfredston” in Jude the Obscure. 

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