(July 2004) Welcome to Sibford

This month we say WELCOME to Ann and Piotr Murasik who are one of the first arrivals at the Sibford Manor development and are bearing up with great good humour under the strain of living on the unfinished building site!

Their address has been officially given as Walford Road, which, with thanks to the Sibfords Society and the Old Scholars, we are able to tell you the origin of that name.

In 1839 a committee representing the Society of Friends (Quakers), in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire was formed to seek premises for a school, ‘to afford’ as the old deed puts it, ‘a plain, useful, guarded, religious and moral education, with board, lodgings and clothing to children, both male and female’.

The house they chose was the ‘Great House‘ in Sibford Ferris, built in 1666 by Thomas Walford, in the reign of Charles II. The front part of the house on either side of the front door is virtually as it was in 1666 (the year of the Great Fire of London!)

The last of the Walfords, ‘Squire’ Walford, left in about 1800 and the house passed through several hands, until being sold by Joseph Harris along with 25 acres of land, to the Society of Friends in 1842 for the sum of £1200!