Milcombe Village History
Bronze Age – The earliest evidence of human activity in Milcombe is the find of this palstave (axe-head), which dates from the middle bronze age, around 3,000 to 3,500 years ago – the same period as the King Stone at Rollright. (pictured right).
In 1085 William the Conqueror commissioned a survey to discover the resources and taxable values of all the boroughs and manors in England. Milcombe gets a short mention:
Ælfric holds of the king 3 ½ hides in MIDELCUMBE. [There is] land for 2 ploughs. In demesne he has 1 ½ ploughs, with 2 slaves, and 2s. from part of a mill, and 15 acres of meadow. [There is] pasture 2 furlongs long and 1 furlong broad. There 3 villans with 1 bordar have half a plough. It was and is worth 30s.
Nineteenth Century The Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72) John Marius Wilson
MILCOMBE, a chapelry in Bloxham parish, Oxford; near the river Swere, 4 miles WNW of Deddington, and 5½ W of Aynho r. station. Post town, Banbury. Acres, 1,380. Real property, £2,277. Pop., 241. Houses, 56. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Oxford. Value, £136. * Patron, the Vicar of Bloxham two turns, and the Rector of Wigginton one turn; subsequently, Eton College three turns, and the Rector of Wigginton one turn. The church is chiefly of the 13th century, has a tower, and was recently restored. There are a Baptist chapel, and town lands, £37.
Between 1750 and 1860, seven million acres of farmland in England was removed from common ownership and ‘Enclosed’ for private use.
Villagers who had depended on access to their common land endured a transition from susbsistence farmers to landless labourers.
Some worked on the land as employees in the new larger-scale farms, but most moved to the rapidly expanding towns, providing a workforce for the emerging factory system.
In 1793 the villagers of Milcombe were deprived of 1,135 acres by an Act of Enclosure of ‘land and grounds, lying within the hamlet and liberties of Milcomb, in the county of Oxford’.