Upton is a small village of approximately 170 houses within the Vale of the White Horse in Oxfordshire. The village lies on a spring line on the edge of the North Wessex Downs, designated in 1972 as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, between the villages of Blewbury, East and West Hagbourne, Harwell and Chilton.
From its mention in the Domesday Book (“a land of nine ploughs”), for many centuries Upton consisted of a number of farms, served by local labourers and craftsmen with the principal landowners living elsewhere. The enclosure award (circa 1760) fixed patterns on the landscape that survive today in the form of hedgerows, tracks, paths and lanes.
A serious fire in 1933 destroyed a number of the historic houses and farms in the centre of Upton. Some remain, but many of the village’s houses were built in the 20th century. The village retains its Anglican church and a Methodist chapel, along with the George and Dragon pub, although the village shop closed in the 1990s and the Post Office finally closed in June 2008. Upton also has a village hall and children’s playground, both sited within a large recreation ground. A memorial Chestnut tree stands on the small village green.