THE Offords are to get a recreation ground – 60 years after the idea was first mooted – after a landowner ­donated the site.The two-hectare area, opposite the Horseshoe Inn, has been owned by Edmund Thornhill’s family for two centuries.

THE Offords are to get a recreation ground – 60 years after the idea was first mooted – after a landowner ­donated the site.

The two-hectare area, opposite the Horseshoe Inn, has been owned by Edmund Thornhill’s family for two centuries.

The initial plan is to provide a football pitch and, while there are no plans for a ­pavilion, “we have set up the thing in such a way that we can do something later,” said Liam Small, chairman of the recently ­combined parish council of Offord D’Arcy and Offord Cluny.

“After many years of discussions and dashed hopes of a recreation field, it is hard to believe that we have succeeded,” he said. “I have been on the parish council for 23 years, and it has seldom left the agenda of the old separate councils.”

The land is provided under the terms of a developer contribution agreement with Thornhill Estates relating to another development in the parish.

“Edmund Thornhill has taken personal control of this application because he has always wanted to provide a positive benefit to the villages, primarily because of his family’s historic connections,” Mr Small said.

Mr Thornhill, whose family has owned most of the hamlet of Diddington, where he lives, for almost 300 years and land in Yorkshire for rather longer, three years ago personally funded the £200,000 cost of safety improvements to the A1 junction at Diddington.

The Offord estate came into the Thornhill family 201 years ago.