The Bint Family and the Eaton area







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This Bint family  lived in the Appleton, Eaton area near Cumnor to the South West of Oxford all of which were in Berkshire until 1974 when  a number of major changes took place. A large area to the north west as far as Abingdon was transferred to Oxfordshire, and Slough (formerly in Buckinghamshire) became part of Berkshire.

Long Leys Farm, Henry Bint's workplace, was very close to Bablock Hythe Ferry. That old river crossing took its passengers and livestock from Eaton to the village of Northmoor in Oxfordshire. 

In ancient times it would  have been a way of linking that part of Oxfordshire with religious sites further south, such as  the White Horse complex, Avebury and Stonehenge. In later times, while the crossing was in regular use it gave Berkshire folk access to nearby Standlake and Stanton Harcourt.


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Bablock Hythe ferry in 1859





Eaton (meaning land by a river) is mainly a farming hamlet. It received its Charter in 968 from King Edgar. In 1968  millennium celebrations took place in which all former and current residents and their families took part.

In 1086 it was noted for its fisheries.

In 1554 Eaton Manor and its lands were conveyed by Christopher and Catherine Ashton to Sir Thomas White, the founder of  St John’s College, and became college property. 



Northmoor is a parish separated from Berkshire by the Isis, which is crossed at Newbridge, 1½ miles south-west, by a stone bridge of 5 arches; and at Bablocke-Hythe, 1½ miles north-east, by a ferry; it is 5 miles south from Eynsham station on the East Gloucestershire railway, 6½ south-west from Oxford, 6½ south-east from Witney and 9 north-west from Abingdon in the Mid division of the county, hundred of Chadlington, petty sessional division of Bampton east, union and county court district of Witney, rural deanery of Witney, archdeaconry and diocese of Oxford.     Kelly's 1891


This entire district is bounded on the West by Standlake, on the North by Stanton Harcourt, and on the East and West the River Tames     - Northmoor 1901 census

Parish records of Northmoor show at least one Bint family living there in the early 18th century. John Bint son of Christopher Bint Jnr and Mary was baptised in 1719. Jane Bint - a widow- was buried in 1729.



1994: Mollie Harris, in her tribute to Fred Thacker's 'The Stripling Thames' wrote:  

 -When I was young, 'Bab' - as it was called locally - was a quiet river crossing with a very large flat wooden ferry-boat which carried cars, farm vehicles and passengers backwards and forwards. It was the only way at that point to cross over from the Oxfordshire side into Berkshire, to reach Cumnor village and beyond.
There has been a ferry of some sort there for at least six hundred years. I remember riding across the river on it. I can't remember how much the ride cost, probably a penny.
There were only six people on the wooden barge-like contraption, and I thought that a man operated the ferry by levering it across with a paddle attached to the chain.

But if the ferry was loaded up with heavier things then (I think) that a man worked it by turning a huge handle which was connected to heavy chains fixed from one side of the river bank to the other. Today the old ferry is no more; apparently it was smashed in a very bad storm some years ago, although you can still see part of the equipment outside the pub - the Ferryman Inn.

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The ferry looking towards "the Chequers" in 1880


When boats came along, the chains were in some way lowered on to the river bed so that they could pass through.
Mind you, that was long ago, so I hope my memories are correct!
Of course, there has been an inn there for centuries - in my young days it was called The Chequers - but in fairly recent times it closed for about five years.
Then it was bought by a young man called Peter Kellard. Now it has been completely refurbished, but keeping many of the old interesting features. Peter told me that there is now comfortable accommodation there, and they serve a wonderful variety of meals to residents and to passing boat people and travellers.
Today, if anyone wants to cross over to "t'other side" of the river, they are taken across in a small boat powered by an outboard motor. The owner of the inn is trying to get a proper ferry crossing for vehicles - but so far without success. (1994)




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Another ancient site near Long Leys Farm was the Physic Well. Its now a stone-circled muddy pool, but was quite well known and regularly used for its healing powers till the end of the seventeenth century when  visited by sickly or hung-over Oxford students. Its water today apparently still has a turquoise colouring - hinting of possible mineral properties. 

"In the Long Leys, on the way down to Bablock Hythe is what is called "Physic" Well which in 1612 was much frequented by scholars of Oxford in search of a pick-me-up. It was here that the great cowslip grew that had three hundred heads."

PHYSIC WELL on the Leys  -  22 June 1667

This month about the middle, the well at Comnore in the high way going down

to Bablackhyth was discovered and frequented.  It will never be famous because

there is not water to supply a multitude. Much resorted to by scholars; the water

was brought to Oxford.  

Extracts from Anthony Wood's diaries pertaining to Cumnor.



The Physic Well at Cumnor in 1916



Appleton, a village and a parish in Berkshire. The village stands near the Upper Thames, 5 miles NW of Abingdon station on the G.W.R., and has a post and money order office under Abingdon, which is the telegraph office. The parish includes also the township of Eaton. Acreage, 2077 ; population, 532. The Fettiplaces had an old seat here, which is now reduced to a fragment, with remains of a moat The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford; net yearly value, £330 with residence, in the gift of Magdalen College, Oxford. The church is a plain stone building in the Early English style, the chancel being 15th century. The tower contains a fine peal of ten bells. The nave was restored in 1883. The church has a Jacobean tomb of Sir J. Fettiplace, and a brass of a skeleton (1518). There is also a small Wesleyan chapel. The manor house is supposed to have been built in the reign of Henry II.       Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5

The Domesday Book records that in 1086 Miles Crispin was the feudal overlord of Appleton and Eaton. There was also a second landholding at Appleton of which the overlord was Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. The Domesday Book records that Appleton had the most valuable fishery in Berkshire, valued at £1.4s.2d.


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The map above shows the area where the Eaton Bint families lived. West of Bablock Hythe is the village of Northmoor which is less than two miles from Standlake where some of Henry's family settled in the early 20th century.


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In prehistoric times one of Britain's most important religious sites was only one and a half miles to the west of Bablock Hythe Ferry. 

This was the Devil's Quoits, a large henge with many standing stones. It had gradually deteriorated and was down to three stones in Victorian times. 

Once the centre of considerable Bronze Age activity and surrounded by a number of barrows (records show this to rival Avebury , as a prehistoric cultural centre) it was finally lost with the building of Stanton Harcourt Airfield in World War 2.

Archaeological excavations were carried out in 1972-3 and then again in 1988 and these showed that once there were more than 30 stones in a 75 metre diameter circle with a two metre ditch and outer henge bank surrounding them.  

The stone circle is now thought to be between 4000 and 5000 years old and is partly a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The stones were formed from a local conglomerate stone. 

In a most unusual plan, the Devil's Quoit henge has recently been reconstructed as accurately as available plans and materials permit.

The massive henge earthwork was rebuilt in March 2002.

In 2005 eight of the original stones were erected and twenty-one new stones, sourced from a local quarry, were placed in the most likely locations of those missing.

In September 2008 it was opened as a fully restored monument thanks to the painstaking excavations and enthusiasm of Oxford Archaeology and the cooperation of site owner Hanson.


Henry Taunt at the Devil's Quoits in1880



Stanton Harcourt is in Oxfordshire and only two miles from Bablock Hythe Ferry.


Stanton Harcourt is a parish and village standing amid fine woodland scenery near the river Windrush and separated from Berkshire by the Isis, which is crossed at Bablocke-Hythe, 2 miles east, by a ferry; it is 3 miles south-west from Eynsham railway station, 2 south-east from South Leigh railway station, both on the East Gloucestershire railway, 9 west from Oxford and 4 south-east from Witney, in the Mid division of the county, hundred of Wootton, petty sessional division of Bampton East, union and county court district of Witney, rural deanery of Woodstock, archdeaconry and diocese of Oxford.     Kellys 1891



Stanton, meaning "farmstead by the stones", was probably named after the prehistoric stone circle known as the Devil's Quoits,


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Stanton Harcourt  around 1900



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