The Excavation Report for the excavations at Mud Hole Villa in 2019 has been finalised and is now available to download. It makes for interesting reading – particularly surprising is the “bone” report – not one usually at the top of the reading list. Mud Hole Villa is compared to other Roman establishments including Fishbourne Palace on account of the lavish meals consumed and suggests a possible use of the building – a hunting lodge. Was this the Michelin starred eatery of its time? The bulk of the report is devoted to the scholarly interpretation of the mosaic by Anthony Beeson to whom we are greatly indebted.
Also available to download is a review of the book “The Boxford Mosaic” by the Journal of Roman Archaeology. This majors on Anthony Beeson’s interpretation of the mosaic but also refers to the colour photographs of our talented volunteers David Shepherd, Chris Forsey and Richard Miller.
Please be aware that the Boxford children’s playground remains closed. The Village Hall Committee are waiting for some necessary repairs to be carried out before this can be re-opened, these have unfortunately been delayed due to COVID-19. Sadly they expect the playground to remain closed throughout July and August, but will post updates as soon as they can.
West Berkshire Council, have launched a new e-bulletin to tell you about the help and support that’s available from West Berkshire Council in relation to coronavirus. It will let you know where you can receive advice, where the services we provide are changing and how you can stay safe, protect the NHS and help save lives.
You can access the bulletin here, and click the link to sign up to the newsletter direct.
In conjunction with The Downland Practice we can now offer prescription delivery service through our team of volunteers for those that are self-isolating or unable to pick up their medication.
Deliveries start Tuesday 31st March – if you need to use this please contact the Downland Practice via one of the methods listed below to order: Please allow 4 working days, but ideally give the Practice 6 days notice.
1. Send a request for your medication to be delivered to your home (this need to include your address and Date of Birth so they can identify the patient) into firstname.lastname@example.org – the preferred option.
2. Send a request for your medication to be delivered to your home (this need to include your address and Date of Birth so they can identify the patient) into the practice via the website – https://www.downlandpractice.nhs.uk/navigator/ask-a-doctor-a-question/
3. For those patients who do not have access to the to the internet you can send in a written request (this need to include your address and Date of Birth so they can identify the patient) to the practice. This can be sent in by post or hand delivered.
In light of the continually changing situation with respect to COVID-19, it is important that we do our best as a community to help those who are most vulnerable at this time, and who may need help from those around them.
As a Parish Council, we will follow guidance from both the Government and West Berkshire Council as circumstances continue to evolve. However, it would be very helpful if each household could reach out to those around them, and let the Parish Council know by return if they are concerned about any of their neighbours. In this way, we can ensure that those that need it the most get the support that they need.
Should circumstances change for an individual or household, for example as a result of a period of self-isolation, if they need shopping, prescriptions collected or other assistance they can contact the Parish Clerk who will then contact relevant local volunteers
This is a situation that is affecting us all, and it is good to see how many of us are coming together as a community and showing our compassion for each other.
Please also be aware that this situation can also bring out the worst in a small minority. Some elderly members of the Parish have already been contacted by people pretending to offer services to the elderly for a small fee. Please let us know if you have been contacted. Boxford Parish Council Clerk Contact Details – email@example.com / 07811322994
The Downland Practice – we are getting regular updates from the Downland Practice, Chieveley – the latest message being :
As you will be aware the UK is experiencing the COVID-19 Pandemic. GP appointments at the surgery will be screened by a GP telephone call first and then a decision will be made if the patient needs to attend the surgery. Repeat medication requests will only be issued for 1 month at a time due to supply concerns. Telephones will be answered where possible but the surgery is experiencing unplanned staff absences. Medications can be collected from the Pharmacy. Requests for non NHS services (requests for medical records/medicals etc) will be dealt with once the surgery is able to return to normal service. Questions submitted on the website may take longer to receive a reply again this is down to what staff we have available to deal with these requests.On behalf on the GP Partners at the Downland Practice thank you for your patience.
You may have noticed that after months and months of preparation the Boxford Railway Shelter has now been taken away.
We are pleased to report that it has gone to the Restoration & Archiving Trust (charity no. 1083582) who are responsible for saving many historic railway buildings and locating them on the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway. The Trust covered all the costs of the collection and will be managing its restoration.
This is a far better outcome than watching its condition continue to deteriorate. We look forward to seeing photos of the shelter restored back to its former glory, and located where it will be looked after for many years to come. I will share the photos when we get them – Boxford Parish Council Clerk
Boxford’s community project to fully excavate the Bellerophon Mosaic in the local Roman villa will be starting soon. Also in the planning is an Open Day for members of the public to see this extraordinary mosaic for themselves. The date has been set as Saturday August 31st and the site will be open from 10am to 4pm.
The mosaic only partially uncovered in 2017 due to time constraints, was considered by experts to be the most important Roman mosaic found in the UK for the last fifty years. It depicts many scenes from Greek myths – almost like a story book or a cartoon strip on the floor. The chief character is the celebrated flying knight of Greek myth – Bellerophon, son of the god Poseidon who is frequently portrayed on the back of the winged horse Pegasus.
Volunteers return this year in the hope that the remainder of the mosaic is undamaged and when fully uncovered will perhaps reveal the owner of this modest villa. From the little we have seen so far, he must have been well educated and probably well travelled. Why did he come to Boxford and what happened to the villa are questions that still hang in the air.
Boxford’s new defibrillator is now functioning in the church porch at St.Andrew’s. In the event of an emergency, the 999 operator will advise the location and code to access the defibrillator. Thirty two people have signed up for Resuscitation Training which will take place at the Village Hall on September 12th and 19th. More money for the defibrillator, installation, maintenance and first aid training has been received and the total now stands at £2845! Well done Boxford!
The sponsored runners, Colin Hays, Nadege Fleming and Andrew Leader who took part in the Gibbet Challenge Run on 28th June to fund raise for the new defibrillator
The Parish of Boxford is attractively situated in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a few miles north-west of the market town of Newbury in Berkshire. The Parish is characterised by open chalk and flint downland fields running down to the rich soils of the wooded river valley of the Lambourn. To the south-west of the Parish there are large woodland plantations, through which the old Roman Road of Ermin Street passes.
The village of Boxford itself sits naturally protected by the surrounding woods and hills which were once covered with Box from which the village takes its name. The River Lambourn, a fine trout stream, meanders through the village and thence south-east to Newbury, where it joins the River Kennet. Nearly all the water meadows at the heart of the village are classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Part of the village of Boxford is in a Conservation Area. There are approximately 190 households in the parish as a whole, and a church, village hall, public house and recreation ground are to be found in the village itself.
This is a community website provided by Boxford Parish Council in 2008. The Parish Council wishes to thank all those who contributed to the information on the website. Whilst every endeavour has been made to ensure accuracy, it cannot be held responsible for content supplied.
Site development and hosting courtesy of Appleton Design. Photographs supplied by: Colin Hays & Mike Appleton