|Here are some
excerpts from the review by James Bond, an historical geographer.
He reviewed nine millennial Oxfordshire village histories in the
2002 summer edition of the journal Oxfordshire Local History, Vol.
7 No. 1.
" West Hagbourne's cover in particular is a lovely period
piece - a Helen Allingham painting of c.1900 showing a cruck-framed
cottage on the square, which is also illustrated by a couple of
good early photographs in the text ...
This volume has a particularly evocative collection of views of
its older cottages before 'modernisation' ...
A simple test of the topographical awareness of any study is often
the number and quality of its maps. In range and clarity, West Hagbourne
scores particularly well ...
Only Benson and West Hagbourne attempt a balanced
chronological coverage of their village from its origins. West
Hagbourne provides a time-chart setting the village against
the background of national events ...
West Hagbourne covers manorial descent most thoroughly …
and provides lists of incumbents ...
West Hagbourne is particularly strong in recording local memories:
some poignant, like the tale of a Hagbourne labourer reputedly sacked
for picking up a windfall apple, who emigrated to New Zealand; and
some amusing, like the conviction that Hitler's decision not to
invade Britain was largely due to the formation of the village's
unit of the Local Defence Volunteers ...
A notable feature … is the placing of families in particular houses;
this is done in West Hagbourne, which employs the imaginative
device of tracing the journey of the census enumerator of 1851 …
… each book reviewed here is a very creditable effort, and they
will remain of value long after many more costly millennium celebrations
have been forgotten."