· 1711 W H Brakspear bought brewery in Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames
· 1769 Robert Brakspear became the landlord of the Cross Keys in Witney, Oxfordshire
· 1779 Robert joined his uncle, Richard Hayward, in running the Henley brewery.
· 1803 Richard Hayward died; Robert Brakspear became sole owner of the business
· 1812 Robert Brakspear died. The brewery moved to New Street in Henley and had 34 pub leases. Robert’s second son, William Henry, joined the business
· 1848 William became sole owner and began trading as W H Brakspear
· 1882 William Brakspear died.
· 1895 W H Brakspear became a public company; purchased Greys Brewery in Henley-on-Thames and its 54 pubs, one of which being the Fox and Hounds at Christmas Common. Further purchases of local breweries with pubs in Wokingham, Wallingford and Goring followed over the next 45 years.
· 1913 Alfred Davies inherited a business of 12 pubs which he turned into a limited company, J T Davies & Sons Ltd.
· 1942 Tony Davies took over the pub company of 64 managed pubs in London and the south east.
· 1973 Tony’s son Michael joined the business.
· 1992: Tony Davies died, having passed the business to Michael in 1985. The company acquired 18 freehold pubs from Bass, the start of the tenanted pub business.
· 2000 J T Davies bought its first stake in W H Brakspear
· 2002 J T Davies owned 30% of the pub company.
· 2002 closure of the Henley brewery; much of the brewing plant was moved to the Wychwood Brewery (now owned by Marstons) in West Oxfordshire.
· 2002 Refresh UK brews the Brakspear beers at its Witney brewery
· Today, Michael Davies is Chairman of Brakspear Pub Company, the estate being run by his son, Tom.
Red kites were driven to extinction in England by human persecution by the end of the nineteenth century. A small population survived in Wales, but there was little chance of these birds repopulating their original areas.
Between 1989 and 1994, kites from Spain were imported and released into the Chilterns by the RSPB and English Nature (now Natural England). Red kites started breeding in the Chilterns in 1992 and now there could be over 1,000 breeding pairs in the area. The reintroduction has been so successful it is not possible to monitor all the nests, so the overall size of the population can only be estimated.
Since 1999, chicks have been taken from the Chilterns to reintroduction sites in other parts of the country.
The red kite reintroduction has proved to be one of the greatest conservation success stories of the 20th century.
It is said that the signing of a truce at Christmas during the Civil War gave this idiyllic little hamlet its name. However "Christmas Common" came about or whatever your reason for visiting it is a place to return to.