List of street names in Harwell and Western Valley Parishes.
Please use the comment form at the end of the page to add more information or send corrections. This is very much work in progress. Thanks to Harwell Parish Council for access to minutes, and for additional information gained during my time on the parish council. Eventually the table will be split, and only the Harwell parish names will be updated. i.e. this page will not be updated to include the names allocated to the Valley Park development.
|traditional if shown on 1804 map or earlier|
Harwell parish (as from April 2023): West of A34
|Applewood Close||2021||The developer used the marketing name of “Applewood”.|
|Armstrong Close||2020||The [Parish] Council agreed to ask the Vale to give the name “Armstrong Close” to the small housing development in Orchard Way, to remember the former headmaster of Harwell Primary School, Michael Armstrong.||Harwell News #224|
|Barrow Lane||traditional||Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map, unnamed. See also The Barrow. Southern end, adjoining Talbot’s Lane/Grove Road may have been called Broken Barrow or Broken Barrow Lane.||OHC
M4/D3/11/5 & 15
|Barrow Road||traditional||Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map as Abingdon Path Road. Private Road No.8 (or 5?). See also The Barrow. North end , may have been called Upper Barrow|
|Blenheim Hill||shown on OS1883 and 1912 25” Ordnance Survey Map||OS1883
|Broadway||traditional||Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map, extending as Public Road No. 3, east towards Upton
OS1883 and OS1912 show Broadway as part of what is now Reading Road.
|Broadway Close||~1959||One resident reports that their house was haunted and suspected the houses were built on the site of an old cemetery.||Comment at the end of this page.|
|Burr Street||Called Burr Street Lane in Brewery records 1841.
Shown on OS1883 and OS1912. Generally known as Didcot Road until road signs erected (date? 1960’s). May have been Bustard Lane.
|Chilbrook||1962||Shown on some maps as Chillbrook.||P62/V0109/FUL|
|Church Lane||traditional||Named in Fletcher’s 1981 Harwell Trail, map of Harwell in c1320
Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map and OS1883, unnamed. Named on OS1912.
|Cow Lane||traditional||Shown and named in Fletcher’s 1967 Map of Harwell in 1600
Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map as a footpath, unnamed, turning into Hill Mead (??) Road – Public Road No.5 (for new Hill Mead, see Grove Rd north/Fiddler’s Orchard)
|Day’s Corner||Location rather than a street. Where Wellshead joins the Wantage Road. Names because the Day family used to live in the area and own several of the houses.|
|Didcot Rd||traditional||Shown as a Turnpike Road, west of the village on 1804 Enclosures Map. Extends east of the A34, though GWP to the boundary of the parish, when it becomes Wantage Rd.|
|Drewitts Corner||A Harwell family?|
|Gaveston Road||1970||Probably named after Piers Gaveston, Edward II’s favourite, who was awarded the manors in Harwell
Gaveston’s wife, Lady Margaret Clare placed a memorial window to him in Harwell Church
Proposed Jan 1970 as an historical name, by Harwell PC
|V4a1000 page 6|
|Green Road||Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map as Hagbourne Road Public Road No.6|
|Grove Road||Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map as Talbots Lane Road (Foot Path) Public Road No.4
Grove Road in OS1883 from the Abingdon Rd to the edge of the village, when it becomes Talbot’s Lane
Village end (at east end of Grove Rd, near High Street) called Talbot’s Lane in OS1883, OS1912 and OS1960 and in footpath amendment orders 1971
|Hengest Gate||1980’s||Either named after Hengist who with his brother Horsa, according to tradition, led the Jutish invasion of Britain and founded the kingdom of Kent.
Or named after the Slingsby Hengist, a British military glider designed and built by Slingsby Sailplanes Ltd. Like other British troop carrying gliders in WWII , it was named after military figures whose name began with H, in this case the Jute invader Hengist.
However, the spelling has changed.
Harwell News#19, 1983 says “The housing development to the rear of Almshouse Farm being developed by Penta-Hill Ltd has been named Hengest Gate. This name was associated with the parish in the distant past and appears in the Saxon Charter granted by King Edgar in 985 A.D.Wording from the Charter, describing the Anglo-Saxon bounds of Harwell, is ‘Starting from Harundun Way, it goes to the people of Middleham, to Sutton lake; from Sutton lake to the people of Leofsige, to the twisted ditch; from the twisted ditch to the bramble-thorn; from the bramble-thorn to Hengest Gate in the old down, to the people of Brihtwold; from the people of Brihtwold then to Harandun.‘
|Harwell News #19 1983|
|High Street||traditional||Named in Fletcher’s 1981 Harwell Trail, map of Harwell in c1320
However, History of Harwell 1923 notes that the almshouses “stand on the east side of the main road about midway between the Didcot and Reading roads.” implying that High St is a more recent, with the Didcot Rd and The Reading Rd meeting in the middle of the village.
Sometimes called Harwell Street, and may have included Wantage Road.
|Jennings Lane||traditional||Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map and OS1883, unnamed. Named on OS1912 and OS1960
Becoming, east of the village, Clive Way, Private Road No.4
Might have been called Vinegar Lane, or spelt as Jenyns Lane. Was also Brook Lane.
|Kings Lane||traditional||Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map, unnamed.
King Street on OS1883 OS1912 and OS1960. May have been Dobson’s Lane. Property deeds for a house (1914-26) in the lane refer to Dobsons Lane/Kings Lane. Deeds for cottages in the lane (1926) refer to King’s Lane, Formerly Dobson’s Lane
M4/D3/10 & 20
|Loder Road||1970||Proposed Jan 1970 as an historical name, by Harwell PC
Presumably named after Francis Loder, significant landowner on 1804 Enclosures Map
|Orchard Way||1960’s||Already existing in 1970. Proposed Jan 1970 as an historical name, by Harwell PC – to be retained only for the loop of the existing estate.|
|Reading Road||East. Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map, as The Broadway Public Road No. 3,
West: Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map as Turnpike Road
|School Lane||Shown on OS1883, unnamed. shown as Free School Lane on OS1912 and OS1960.||OS1883
|Steps Lane||In 1902 Deeds Pillar House is described as adjacent to Steps Lane. The OS1883 map shows a path running parallel to the High Street all the way from Burr Street to Church Lane.||OHC M4/D3/10
|Talbot Close||2015||Reviving the name Talbot. Grove Road was once Talbot’s Lane.|
|The Barrow||historic||Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map, unnamed.
OS1883 and OS1912 call what is now Barrow Lane, The Barrow.
Oxfordshire Historic Environment Record MOX10578:
“Mrs M Chitty reported local information that barrow existed about 70 years ago north of minor road from Milton Hill to Harwell. Close to angle between it and track to NW called ‘The Barrow’. Now under housing estate in 1963”
|The Cleave||Some of what is now The Cleave, shown on 1804 Enclosures Map, unnamed. The footpath running past the site was called The Cleave, and the parish council wanted that name to be used for the development.||PC minutes 1963, quoted in Harwell News #17, 1982.|
|The Croft||1960’s||Named after an orchard which was there.||PC minutes 1963, quoted in Harwell News #17, 1982.|
|The Driftway||traditional||Track from Blenheim Hill to E Hagbourne. Shown on OS1883||OS1883|
|The Holloway||traditional||Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map as The Hollow way Road Public Rd. No.2|
|The Styles||1970||Proposed Jan 1970 as an historical name, by Harwell PC||HPC1970|
|The Winnaway||traditional||Named as Winnow Way in Fletcher’s 1967 Map of Harwell in 1600
Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map as Winnow Way Private Rd. No.2.
Called Winnow Way until early 20th century (winnowing means removing the chaff).
Track from Reading Rd to Campus called Winaway on OS maps since 1883, and current.
Technically The Winnaway is only the service road to the housing at the north end of Winaway.
It had WWII nickname of Burma Road, probably because it led to the Harwell aerodrome
OS1883History of the Winnaway
|Townsend||Townsend was the old road to Sutton Courtney.|
|Tyrrells Close||1960||Presumably named after Timothy (or Maria) Tyrell, significant landowner on 1804 Enclosures Map.||P59/V0005/O|
|Wantage Road||Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map as Turnpike Road|
|Wellshead||traditional||Named in Fletcher’s 1981 Harwell Trail, map of Harwell in c1320
Shown on 1804 Enclosures Map, unnamed
OS1912 and some modern maps show it as Wellshead Lane.
Name of Wellshead (no Lane) confirmed by PC in ~2010 although OS maps still show it as Wellshead Lane.
|Westfield||1970||Proposed Jan 1970 (as West Field) as an historical name, by Harwell PC||HPC1970|
Grove Road North / Fidler’s Orchard
|Boot Lane||2019||The Boot is said to be the name of an old Harwell pub|
|Chequers End||2018||The Chequers was a Harwell pub in Wantage Road.|
|Crispin Place||2018||The Crispin was a Harwell pub in Burr Street, next to the White Hart, now a private house|
|Crown Fields||The Crown was a Harwell pub in the High Street, now a nursing home|
|Fidler’s Orchard||2018||Tithe Map of 1841 shows a Fidler’s Orchard north of Talbot Lane (now Grove Road) close to the new development. Plot 108|
|Ham Corner||2018||A house west of Harwell and north of the current King’s Piece, was called Ham (1805-74 OS Cassinni series) and then Ham House in all later maps|
|Hill Mead||2018||see Cow Lane|
|Hoopswell||2018||Fletcher’s (1967) map of Harwell in 1600 shows the stream running north from Talbots Lane/Grove Rd called Hoopswell Brook. Also on the Harwell Awards Map 1802||Fletcher67|
|Queen Gardens||2018||The Queens Arms was a Harwell pub in Burr Street, Renamed to the Kicking Donkey. Now a private house.|
|White Hart Way||2018||The White Hart was a Harwell pub; now called the Hart of Harwell|
|Teasel Bank||2018||Known to be present on the site before building started. Dipsacus fullonum||BLOOR|
|Hawthorn Garden||2018||Known to be present on the site before building started. Crataegus monogyna||BLOOR|
|Ash Crescent||2018||Known to be present on the site before building started. Fraxinus excelsior||BLOOR|
|“Harwell roads were not officially named until December 1954, when the AERE Administrative Steering Committee, chaired by Schonland, resolved to name the main routes running East-West across the site as ‘Avenues’, and two others as ‘Roads’ (eg DIDO Road). The roads running north from an Avenue would be even-numbered ‘Streets’ (Second, Fourth etc) and those running south would be odd-numbered (First, Third Street etc). It was decided to name the Avenues after famous nuclear scientists, such as Rutherford and Curie, with the exception of Library Avenue.”||HANCE page 50|
|Becquerel Avenue||Henry Becquerel discovered radioactivity||HANCE|
|Curie Avenue||Marie Curie isolated radium and polonium in pitchblende||HANCE|
|Fermi Avenue||Enrico Fermi constructed the first nuclear reactor||HANCE|
|Maxwell Avenue||James Maxwell developed the theories for electromagnetism||HANCE|
|Rutherford Avenue||Henry Rutherford changed one element into another||HANCE|
|Thomson Avenue||Joseph Thompson discovered the electron in 1897||HANCE|
|Faraday Avenue||Michael Faraday invented the dynamo and the electric motor||HANCE|
Western Valley parish: East of A34 (GWP)
|Barbery Drive||2023||Was the Meadow View development|
|Blissett Close||2015||A Harwell family – lived in “The White City”|
|Candytuft Way||2016||A rare Oxfordshire plant.
Wild Candytuft Iberis amara Vulnerable
|Cherry Tree Road||2015||[Houses NOT in Western Valley: Even 38-50]|
|Cornflower Close||2015||[Houses NOT in Western Valley: Even 2-16, Odd 9-21]|
|Cottongrass Road||2016||A rare Oxfordshire plant. Two types:
Common Cottongrass Eriophorum angustifolium Vulnerable
Broad-leaved Cottongrass Eriophorum latifolium Least Concern
|Didcot Road||traditional||Shown as a Turnpike Road, west of the village on 1804 Enclosures Map|
|Fen Violet Drive||2016||A rare Oxfordshire plant.
Fen Violet Viola persicifolia Critically Endangered
|Foxglove Way||2015||[Houses NOT in Western Valley: Even 2,4]|
|Gentian Mews||2016||A rare Oxfordshire plant. Three types:
Autumn Gentian Gentianella amarella Near Threatened
Early Gentian Gentianella anglica European Protected Species
Chiltern Gentian Gentianella germanica Vulnerable
|Greenwood Way||2015||Named after Eric Greenwood, chief test pilot of the Gloster Aircraft Company who, for a short time, lived in Harwell. More about Eric Greenwood.|
|Holly Lane||2015||[Houses NOT in Western Valley: Even 10-16]|
|Hopkins Way||2015||Named after Henry or Richard Hopkins significant landowner on 1804 Enclosures Map|
|Hornsby Fields||A Harwell family, related to Palmer|
|Keats Drive||2015||Named after John Keats significant landowner on 1804 Enclosures Map|
|Marigold Crescent||2016||A rare Oxfordshire plant.
Corn Marigold Glebionis segetum Vulnerable
|Mezereon Spur||2016||A rare Oxfordshire plant.
Mezereon Daphne mezereum Vulnerable
|Miles East||2015||Miss Miles and Miss East were primary school teachers just after WWII teaching reception classes in the Village Hall. Miss M.E.East retired as deputy head of Harwell School in 1977, after 29 years of service.||V4a100 page 94
Harwell News #3, Sep 1977
|Palmer Close||A Harwell family, related to Hornsby|
|Pennyroyal Place||2016||A rare Oxfordshire plant.
Pennyroyal Mentha pulegium Critically Endangered
|Sir Chetwode Close||2015||Named after Sir John Chetwode (Bar), significant landowner on 1804 Enclosures Map|
|Speedwell Arch||2016||A rare Oxfordshire plant. Three types.
Heath Speedwell Veronica officinalis Near Threatened
Breckland Speedwell Veronica praecox Introduced since 1500
Marsh Speedwell Veronica scutellata Near Threatened
|The Poplars||2015||[Houses NOT in Western Valley: Odd numbers]|
|1804 Enclosures||More details here.|
|BLOOR||Blenheim Hill Planning Application P14/V1663/FUL, Preliminary Ecological Assessment, Appendix 2 Species List|
|Fletcher67||Anthony Fletcher. Elizabethan Village, Longman 1967|
|Fletcher81||John Fletcher and Jan Whittaker, The Harwell Trail. Booklet. Private publication 1981.|
|HANCE||Harwell. The Enigma Revealed. Nick Hance. 2006|
|Harwell News||Full archive on parish council website.|
|HPC1970||Minutes of Harwell PC meeting 7 Jan 1970, including a map|
|OHC||Oxford History Centre|
|OHER||Oxfordshire Historic Environment Record|
|ORPR||Oxfordshire Rare Plant Register: The Oxfordshire Flora Group (Formerly The Rare Plants Group) A list of Oxfordshire rare plants in alphabetical order April 2015|
|OS1883||Berkshire XV Surveyed: 1875 to 1877, Published: 1883|
|OS1900||Berkshire XV.SW Revised: 1898, Published: 1900 (very little change since 1883)|
|OS1912||Berkshire XV.10 (Harwell; West Hagbourne) Revised: 1910, Published: 1912 There’s a copy of the 1912 OS map in the gallery.|
|OS1931||Berkshire XV.SW Revised: 1931 to 1932, Published: 1931|
|OS1960||SU48NE – A Surveyed / Revised: Pre-1930 to 1959, Published: 1960. All street names the same as 1912, and no new ones.|
|V4a1000||Village for a thousand years. Book produced for the village millennium in 1985. Full text (copyright Parish Council) is on a dedicated website.|