Oxfordshire was brought into existence during the Anglo-Saxon period, the original county being confined to the north bank of the Thames. However, local government reorganisation in 1974 meant that the Vale of White Horse district was transferred from Berkshire to Oxfordshire, and the county boundary was thereby extended southwards into the vale and downland area on the south side of the Thames. The area which we have defined as the Vale of White Horse includes the present-day Vale of White Horse District Council area, together with a handful of locations on the north side of the river. Around thirty different locations have been included, some of these being small towns or villages such as Wantage and Faringdon, while others are rural villages such as Clifton Hampden, Uffington and Blewbury.
Stanley C. Jenkins, who was educated at Witney Grammar School, the University of Lancaster and the University of Leicester, has written over 20 books and some 750 articles on local, transport and regional history. Having worked as an English Language teacher at Oxford Air Training School for several years, he returned to Leicester University to retrain as a museum curator in 1986, and was subsequently employed by English Heritage as the Regional Curator for South Western England. He is Curatorial Advisor to the Witney & District Museum, and is also working as a curator for the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust, which is at present building a military museum at Woodstock.