The Playing Fields

From the Millennium History

The first sports field was located in the field behind Town Farm and the Kings Head, adjacent to the old B4031. The Sports Pavilion was built on land belonging to the Kings Head. The lease, between Chesham and Brackley Breweries Ltd and Finmere Sports Club, was signed on 30 October 1957 for a peppercorn annual rent of two shillings. In 1972, the Parish Council learnt that the sports field was to be lost. It agreed to approach Merton College to lease approximately five acres in Water Stratford Road but by 1974 the matter had not been resolved.

Within the village, there is an urgent need to secure a village playing field area…from which the Sports Club will operate, together with a clubhouse building and small children’s play area which would serve the village as a whole. (Finmere Village Plan 1974, Oxfordshire County Council)

The problem was solved that year, when the Parish Council agreed a lease with the Mixbury Charity for a plot of twelve acres (5 hectares) for ninetynine years. The next year, an estimate for levelling and seeding of £700–800 was agreed and an estimate for the pavilion sought. This was not built and the village hall still serves as an improvised pavilion. The revived Sports Club is now seeking funds for new facilities.

Additional Notes

The Mixbury Charity was probably donated the field in Finmere by Roundell Palmer. He in turn was left the field by his father, William Jocelyn Palmer, Rector of Finmere and Mixbury:

I do hereby give and bequeath my said freehold close in the Parish of Finmere called the Old Yard and submitted in the apportionment map of the Commissioners for the Commutation of the Tithes to my son Roundell Palmer, his heirs and assigns for ever. (PRO prob 11/2181; transcribed by Anita Bilbo)

Old Yard from the Tithe Commutation Map