Finmere village tucked is into the northeast corner of Oxfordshire. It is a quiet sort of place; once it was inhabited by agriculturalists, now mostly commuters live here. People hurrying by on the new bypass probably think that nothing has happened here but they would be wrong.
Four Queens of Henry VIII and the profligate Dukes of Buckingham have owned the parish. Capability Brown laid out the gardens of Finmere’s Rectory. In the Civil War, there were skirmishes here between Cromwell’s troops and Royalists. Finmere was one of the first villages to be vaccinated against smallpox, by Rector Robert Holt who died destitute a few years later. Holt was one of several lively Rectors who dominated the village, none more so than William Jocelyn Palmer. Villagers that obeyed Palmer’s rules were well cared for: offenders were chastised and some excommunicated. During the Second World War, Finmere Airfield was home to RAF training units and more recently was used for filming scenes James Bond’s “You Only Live Twice.”
There is a sadder side to present-day Finmere. The grandest house in the village, Finmere House, has been the home to country gentlemen and doctors, and visited by Kings. But its present owner has allowed this listed building to decay and its facade is close to collapse.
Finmere and Little Tingewick Historical Society is dedicated to exploring the history of the village, through its good times and bad times. To learn more, please visit our web site.