The way of life in the Claydons was about to change with the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and increasing numbers of the population found alternative employment on the railways, Calvert brick works and other sources of income.
However the majority stayed on the land.
The small tenant farms supplied milk in churns to the railway for the London market, and work remained tough. Most farms had only about 12-20 cows mostly hand milked twice a day.The average size of the farm would be only a few acres, so became increasingly uneconomic as the century progressed. The small farms with their land retained an open and spacious feel to the village. This land was to provide spaces for limited development in the second half of the century, but much still remains an essential feature of both villages
It was in 1900 that the Verney family made two important contributions to the community when Lady Joan Verney opened the newly built public library. In 1909 the Verney family built the village school, designed with a strong Arts and Crafts influence
In 1905 the family built a Arts and Crafts style house, the Emerald in East Claydon for Sir Edmond Verney the Liberal MP.
The map of 1902 illustrates how few buildings had been built in Botolph Claydon compared to the present day.
In 1913 the library was extended and the Parish Council ran it as a Village Hall.
The impact of the Second World War on the two villages is difficult to evaluate. Whilst a number of men were recruited into the services, and many lost their lives, because of the need to provide food many were in reserved occupations on the land.
Unlike other areas, there was no great drive to plough up the land to produce arable crops, corn, barley etc due to the heavy nature of the clay soils. It was in 1941 that the first attempt was made to plough land on Bernwood Farm but this was not sucessful, and would have to wait for improvements and more powerful agricultural equipment in the second half of the century.