Welford is a rural village and civil parish in West Berkshire, England occupying both sides of the valley of the River Lambourn north-west of the town of Newbury and south of the Oxfordshire town of Wantage. It forms a strip parish which tapers in the south where it contains the hamlet, Halfway. It has Welford Park which has annual snowdrop displays, the M4 motorway and RAF Welford.

In medieval times its Premonstratensian Abbey moved to Sulby some two miles to the east and Welford lost its market charter which was sold to West Haddon. There is clear evidence that Welford shrank considerably during the medieval period and it is notable that three of its neighbouring civil parishes — Elkington, Stanford-on-Avon and Sulby — are almost entirely depopulated.

The forthcoming series will be the second filmed at the grand country estate, which opens to the public but once a year, between January and March, to show off the display of snowdrops for which Welford Park is known.

But the crew didn't just take over Welford Park's lawns. For three months Deborah catered for the production team in the cafeteria which caters for the thousands of guests who visit the estate's snowdrops every winter. The tearoom acted as production room and the Puxley's enormous dining room acted as the green room.

Welford Park is a private home please check opening times

Welford Park was built in 1652 for the grandson of the Lord Mayor of London between 1620-1, Sir Francis Jones Kt. There followed a series of additions in the 18th and 19th century, namely some columns, a kitchen block and the really large dining room. Such dedication to gastronomy perhaps suggests Welford Park was fated to host a baking show several hundred years in the future.

It was described in a most detailed county history and geography of 1924 as a "large modern red brick building, surrounded by a deer park of 200 acres (0.8 km2). It is the property of the lord of the manor, Col. G. B. Archer-Houblon, but...the residence of Major R. P. Cobbold."[2]

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Deborah Puxley, who lives at Welford Park with her husband, who inherited the pile in 1997, and their two children, said that the Bake Off entered the equation after Welford Park's agent "got talking to someone at a party". The show's crew moved in three weeks later and took just three days to erect the tent, lay the flooring and install each contestant's little kitchen.

A silver cup dating from the sixteenth century that was found in the village is in the British Museum.[3]

In fact, the estate had a baking scandal of its own in the 14th century, when a monastery and small village stood on the land now occupied by the estate. A record was found dating from 1337 which detailed how to make a wastell loaf – a fancy type of white bread, eaten only by higher classes – and a simnel cake.

It is served by a short arm from the Grand Union Canal and has two marinas. The Jurassic Way long distance footpath passes through the village on a SW/NE axis; although it officially makes its way through the fields to the east of the village, many walkers prefer to walk along the High Street to make use of the village's facilities.

It is now administered as part of Daventry District having earlier been part of Oxendon Rural District (1894–1935) followed by Brixworth Rural District (1935–74).

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The history of the parish has been the subject of two books:

The main vestige is the wholly rebuilt manor house at Welford Park, which can be visited for its woodlands and early spring displays of snowdrops, is in the village.[2]

The Great British Bake Off has raised its bright, white marquee of destiny in picturesque piles around the country since 2010. But when the show moved from BBC Two to BBC One, so the Bake Off cast and crew set up shop in the gardens of Welford Park, in Berkshire.

What the team "really liked" about the grounds between spring and summer was that they were "changing all the time, giving a different palette of colours every week”, she told The Sunday Times.

Welford is a village and civil parish in England. It is located on the River Avon border between the counties of Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. At the time of the 2001 census, the parish's population was 1,016 people,[1] increasing to 1,043 at the 2011 Census.[2]

It is on the main A5199 road connecting Northampton and Leicester and, being halfway between the two, was formerly an important stagecoach stop. The A5199 is known as the 'Welford Road' for much of its length. It is close to the junction of the two major motor routes in England - the M1 motorway and the M6 motorway - and is 1½ miles north of Junction 1 of the A14, which connects that junction with the east of England.

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A suspicious-looking baker who was found to be cheating would have their wares tasted in court. The guilty would face a fine and maybe even the stocks. It's highly unlikely that a Bake Off contestant would ever attempt such a scam.

Welford has a village shop and post office, a hairdresser, a primary school, a garage, a coffee & gift shop and two public houses.

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Puxley's lasagne was a particular favourite, and she was allowed to sample some of the contestant's bakes at the end of a day's filming.

The Church of England parish church (to Saint Gregory) is one of only two existing round-tower churches in Berkshire, the other being St. Mary's at Great Shefford which adjoins the parish to the north-west.

The assize wasn't merely a recipe, but strict instructions on what should go into different type of breads, to avoid bakers scamming their customers by mixing in cheaper grains such as bran or selling loaves smaller than they should be.

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The M4 motorway and RAF Welford, a munitions depot used by the United States Air Force, are within the boundaries. The village was formerly served by Welford Park railway station on the Lambourn Valley Railway, but British Railways closed this line to passenger traffic in 1960 and to freight traffic to and from RAF Welford in the 1970s. The station site is now a car park for visitors to Welford Park's snowdrop displays.

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The Historic England website contains a total of 38 entries for listed buildings in the parish of Welford.[6] These are all Grade II, apart from St Mary's Church, which is Grade II*. They include:

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The marquee is raised on the grounds in April, and stands there for 10 weeks as the competition unfolds. Unlike other competitive reality TV shows, such as The Apprentice, each episode of the Bake Off is filmed over a weekend. Contestants, who arrive on set at 9am by bus, judges Mary and Paul and the rest of the cast and crew stay at nearby hotels before going back to their non-TV lives during the week.

If Mary Berry spent most of her time in the previous Bake Off estate, Harptree Court, "clinging to the Aga", the Bake Off judge spent far more time enjoying Welford's gardens, namely the one where contestants are interviewed about their performance each day.

Other amenities include a village hall, a sports field which is home to Welford Victoria F.C., a youth centre and a pocket park. There is also a spinney, which was a gravel quarry in the 19th century. To the North East of the village lie Welford Reservoir and Sulby Reservoir.

Berry reported that she and Puxley "would often walk around here when there was a break in filming, chatting and deadheading the roses".

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Welcome to Welford Primary School's website. We hope that you find lots of useful information on the site which tells you all about our school and what we have to offer our children and our community. Welford is a truly wonderful place where "Community, Opportunity & Achievement" for all is our commitment to everyone who is part of the school.

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