- Harwell, Oxfordshire
Infobox UK place
region= South East England
Vale of White Horse
Harwell is a large
villageand civil parishin the English county of Oxfordshire(formerly in Berkshire). It lies near The Ridgewaylong-distance footpath, halfway between Abingdon, Oxfordshire and Newbury, Berkshireand two miles from Didcot. Harwell has a population of about 2,400.
There are currently two
public houses in the village, the White Hart and The Crispin. The two pubs are both located on the same corner of the High Street and back on to each other. Formerly there were five: The Crown is now a nursing home, while The Chequers and The Kicking Donkey have both been converted to private houses.
The village supports two shops, Bobs the Butcher's and White Horse News (which doubles as an off licence). Two other general stores have closed in the village over the last 20 years, and the village bakery. At one point the village even had a brewery. This is now a private house and located opposite the White Hart public house.
t Matthew's Church
The village church is St Matthew's and is part of the
Church of England. It was mainly built in the 13th century. It is a Grade 1 listedbuilding and was formerly dedicated to St Mary. The nave roof dates from 1220, and the screen dividing the chancelfrom the body of the church also dates from the 13th century. The church is notable for the quality and age of the peal of 8 bells housed in the belfry, and 1 sanctus bell, all dating from 1611 to 1932. These are the oldest set of bells that are still in use in the Worldfact|date=June 2007. The tenor weighs 16 cwt. There is a single-handed clock on the tower's west face. In 1975, a two floor extension was built on the north wall which now contains a parish office. A new church hall was built in 1994.
port and leisure
There are a good number of clubs and societies in the village. These include an excellent Royal Legion, a lively Scout Group, an earnest Girls Brigade, a growing Horticultural Society, Harwell Feast Committee,
Harwell Rugby Club, Football clubs, and others.
The Harwell Feast is a celebration held on the Monday of the May
Bank Holidayeach year. The celebrations include a parade of decorated floats and people through the village. The recreation ground is turned over to various fund raising stalls and demonstration from sheep dog handling to vintage cars. Either a cow or a couple of pigs is roasted to supply the meat for the feast.
Airfield and Atomic Energy Research Establishment
Before 1946, Harwell was probably best known for its
cherryorchards. In 1937, an airfield was built between Harwell and Chilton and named RAF Harwell. The airfield was used during World War IIto launch glider-borne troops for the Normandy invasion.
In 1946, this airfield was taken over to become the new
Atomic Energy Research Establishment, the main centre for atomic energyresearch in the UK, and become known as Harwell Laboratory. It was the site of Europe's first nuclear reactorin 1946, and once housed five nuclear reactors, all of which have been shut down. Two have been completely dismantled, and it is anticipated that the other three will be decommissioned by 2022.
Other parts of the airfield were later used for other scientific organizations, including the
Science and Technology Facilities Council's Rutherford Appleton Laboratorywhich runs the ISIS neutron sourceand is part of the Diamond Light Source synchrotronjoint venture. The Atomic Energy Research Establishment part of the airfield site is now officially called "Harwell International Business Centre"; locally it is referred to as the "Site". The former airfield site as a whole is now known as the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.
* [http://www.harwellparish.co.uk/ Harwell Village Parish Council website]
* [http://www.parishes.oxford.anglican.org/harwell/ St. Matthew's Church website]
* [http://www.berkshirehistory.com/villages/harwell.html Royal Berkshire History: Harwell]
* [http://www.ukaea.org.uk/sites/harwell_site.shtml UKAEA Harwell]
* [http://www.cclrc.ac.uk/ CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory]
* [http://www.diamond.ac.uk/ Diamond Light Source]
* [http://www.harwell-rfc.com/ Harwell Rugby Club]
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