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Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal:

Banburyshire’s Ancient Sites

Landscape image, ‘The King, transfixed’
‘The King Stone’

A guide to Banburyshire’s ‘Ancient Sites’ – the standing stones, earthworks, historic features, and sacred sites, that are part of the landscape of North Oxfordshire and the surrounding hills. Each site has a dedicated page with descriptions, pictures, maps, and links to other sources of information.

Landscape image, ‘A Frosty Dawn at Rainsborough Camp’
‘A Frosty Dawn at Rainsborough Camp

This section of the Banburyshire Rambles Journal brings together some of my ‘best’ photos and my past walks to document one of a little known gems in this part of the world; the large number of standing stones, earthworks, Medieval churches, and other ancient sites and trackways in north and north-west Oxfordshire.

For a more detailed explanation of the guide and its purpose, goto the About the Guide page.

A list of recent updates to the Banburyshire Ancient Sites collection:

Banburyshire Rambles Journal: ‘The Rollright Stones Circle, The Three Færies, and The Whispering Knights’, 14th March 2019. Banburyshire’s Ancient Sites, 23rd April 2023:

Updated: The Rollright Stones

‘The Rollright Stones’ are not a single feature. It is made up of three distinct sites which span 1,500 years of history. [the four pages which make-up ‘The Rollright Stones’ have been redesigned & updated]

Banburyshire Rambles Journal: ‘Spring on Tadmarton Heath’, 7th March 2015 Banburyshire’s Ancient Sites, 21st April 2023:

Updated: Tadmarton Heath & ‘Tadmarton Camp’

Crossed by ancient local and regional trackways, Tadmarton Heath is an historic landscape that covers the wide flat top of this notable local hill. [page has been expanded with a new maps and additional information]

Banburyshire Rambles Journal: ‘Danesmoor and the Irondowns, from Thorpe Mandeville’, 15th November 2020 Banburyshire’s Ancient Trackways, 15th April 2023:

Updated: ‘Welsh Lane’

Welsh Lane, or Welsh Road, was a ‘drove road’ following Medieval or earlier tracks connecting north-west towards Coventry and Kenilworth and south-east to Buckingham and Aylesbury [page has been updated with a new route maps and images]

Banburyshire Rambles Journal: ‘Akeman Street, near Sturdy’s Castle’, 19th February 2013. Banburyshire’s Ancient Trackways, 15th March 2023:

Updated: ‘Akeman Street’

A major Roman military road from St. Albans to Cirencester, Akeman Street passes the southern edge of North Oxfordshire from Bicester to Asthall – with much of that route made up of off-road or minor road sections across rolling countryside. [page has been updated with a new route map and images]

The Portway, between Upper Heyford and Souldern Banburyshire’s Ancient Trackways, 1st March 2023:

Updated: ‘The Portway’

Early Medieval in origin, The Portway runs from the crossing of the Thames at Wallingford, past Oxford, northward along the eastern side of the Cherwell valley into Northamptonshire – heading past Daventry to Watling Street, and possibly Leicestershire beyond. [page has been updated with new maps and images]

Purple haze (a borage crop on Madmarston Hill) Banburyshire’s Ancient Sites, 27th February 2023:

Updated: ‘Madmarston Hill’

A Celtic settlement possibly involved in iron production, later usurped by a large Romano-British settlement in the vale below. Today Madmarston Hill is a prime example of how the slow destruction of our ancient monuments by agriculture, portends a greater fate for us all. [page has been updated with new maps and images]

Landscape image, ‘A frosty Salt Way at Swalcliffe’, 7th December 2010 Banburyshire’s Ancient Trackways, 13th August 2022:

Updated: ‘Salt Way’

‘Salt Way’ was a minor Roman route to take salt from Droitwich to the Roman towns of the South Midlands, and on down to the Chilterns. Its use as a regional road carried on into Medieval times. [page has been updated with new information, mapping, and images]

Landscape image, ‘The old lane, west from Great Rollright crossroads’, 14th March 2019 Banburyshire’s Ancient Trackways, 11th August 2022:

‘The Cotswold Ridgeway’

An ancient route, running through the heartland of the Dobunni and later Hwicce tribes, that linked Banbury Lane at the top the the Thames Valley and Crickley Hill on the Cotswold escarpment with many ancient sites along the way.

Landscape image, ‘Banbury Lane climbs Thenford Hill’, 26th February 2016 Banburyshire’s Ancient Trackways, 11th August 2022:

Updated: ‘Banbury Lane’

Some revisions to the ‘Banbury Lane’ page, with more detail about the route, new mapping, and more links to background information.

Landscape image, ‘Climbing Whichford Hill, looking north toward Sibford Heath’, 9th July 2013 Banburyshire’s Ancient Trackways, 29th July 2022:

Updated: ‘The Jurassic Way’

For some time I’ve been hoping to update and extend ‘The Jurassic Way’ page, with more detail about the route as a whole. As the local buses have now been ‘reorganised’ (i.e. cut) it seemed a good time to do so. Details of the new bus services are included, as well as new maps and images.

Landscape image, ‘Minster Lovell Hall’ Banburyshire’s Ancient Sites, Beltane 2022:

Minster Lovell Hall

Minster Lovell Hall has a surreal quality; especially if the weather adds to the atmosphere. It’s a classic ‘ruin’, but at the same time you can see that centuries of less reverent visitors have scrawled graffiti over many parts of it (a practise common before modern times). And while today it seems a backwater, the history of the site ties it to some major events in history.

Landscape image, ‘Banbury Lane Bridge’, 3rd September 2012 Banburyshire’s Ancient Sites, Beltane 2022:

The Cherwell Bridge, Banbury Lane

Many people don’t know it’s there: A Medieval stone bridge; buried beneath a Victorian brick bridge; that most travel over every day without a thought. It is one of the oldest standing structures in the town, and directly related to the story of the town’s historic development.

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