Woodford cum Membris
Until the coming of the railway in the late 19th century three hamlets made up the civil Parish of Woodford-cum-Membris, namely Woodford Halse, Hinton and West Farndon. The Parish was typical of many in rural England. Its history was bound up in the land, its tenure and husbandry. The first mention of the Parish is found in documents relating to the land and in early ecclesiastical records.
There is mention of the three hamlets in the Domesday of 1086 and in the Assize Rolls of 1202 where the right of the Parish Church to eight acres of land in West Farndon is mentioned. Another entry in the same year mentions flooding at Hinton.
Some of the Spencer fortune was made in the Parish when Sir John Spencer bought the manor of Hinton in 1510 and sent sheep from Wormleighton to graze there.
According to the ‘Book of Musters’ for 1545-6 the Parish sent two ‘bilmen’ as part of the militia raised by the Hundred of Chipping Warden. Many ‘Field Orders’ of the 17th and early 18th centuries are in the County Records Office.
The open fields in the Parish were enclosed; Hinton in 1753, Woodford Halse in 1758 and West Farndon in 1761. Each hamlet had its Lord of the Manor; William Henry Chauncey for West Farndon and Valentine Knightley for Hinton. Francis, Duke of Bridgewater was Lord of the Manor of Woodford Halse and the whole Parish but was not awarded any land.
The coming of the railway in 1895 brought about 500 men to the village to work on its construction and local men who had been unemployed obtained work. It was completed in 1898 and on 25th June that year the first coal train came through and the first passenger train on 15th March, 1899. The railway brought men from far and wide to live in the village and an estate was built to accommodate them. Under the ‘Beeching’ plan the line was closed and the last train ran to London on 3rd September 1966.