camera icon, links to background image information
Banburyshire Rambles Journal:

Background Images

Landscape image, ‘Irondowns Sunset’, 19th May 2022
‘Irondowns Sunset’, 19th May 2022

This page lists the background images that decorate the pages of the Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal.

When decorating the background of pages with pretty pictures the content always gets in the way. This index allows you to view them as a list.

camera icon Alternately click the little camera icon at the top-left of each page to go directly to the image page; or use hot-key+Z to jump straight to it. Each page gives information about the image, and allows a copy to be downloaded (most are 1366x768 pixels, and a few 1920x1080).

Landscape image, ‘The Hawk Stone and Wychwood’

No.3. ‘The Hawk Stone and Wychwood’

The stone is captivating, but in this location it becomes something more – with the backdrop of a long bend in the Evenlode valley and Wychwood draped over the ridge beyond.

Beltane (1st May) 2018.

Landscape image, ‘Thor’s Stone & Taston Wayfaring Cross’

No.21. ‘Thor’s Stone & Taston Wayfaring Cross’

They are a strange pair: A large megalith protruding from a retaining wall; and a weathered, battered old stepped stone cross in the middle of the road.

Beltane (1st May) 2018.

Landscape image, ‘The Devil's Den’

No.24. ‘The Devil's Den’

Stopping for lunch at ‘The Devil's Den’ to try and fix my failing backpack.

2nd May 2019.

Landscape image, ‘The Hawk Stone’

No.26. ‘The Hawk Stone’

The location is beautiful, but get up close to the stone itself and you can see the ‘deep time’ etched into its surface.

20th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘The Old Way Through the Woods’

No.27. ‘The Old Way Through the Woods’

An older way, missed by the modern hard roads network, linking together the ancient routes across the downs.

Beltane (1st May) 2018.

Landscape image, ‘Storm brewing over Catesby’

No.28. ‘Storm brewing over Catesby’

Down through the village of Hellidon and onto the old gated road, the sun shown down on my back and the land all around – while over the rise, in the direction I was heading, the sky turned black.

29th April 2016.

Landscape image, ‘Sun breaks the cloud on Madmarston Hill’

No.29. ‘Sun breaks the cloud on Madmarston Hill’

A grey day, walking around Madmarston Hill to pick-up Salt Way back into town; turning to take one look behind before plodding over the hill down into Broughton the sun broke the clouds, illuminating the valley beyond.

2nd January 2012.

Landscape image, ‘Halse Copse’

No.31. ‘Halse Copse’

The understorey is glowing green as the mid-Spring light streams in from above; and as far as you can see through the thicket the woodland floor is tinged with the purple-blue of newly sprouted bluebells. The coming of HS2 will change all that, though.

11th May 2018.

Landscape image, ‘On Ridgeway Lane near Longhole Bridge’

No.32. ‘On Ridgeway Lane near Longhole Bridge’

‘Ridgeway Lane’ is an absolute gem of a walking route, a three mile long green lane from Hunningham Hill crossing the broad valley to Upton – shown here just approaching the bridge over the Grand Union Canal (and the route of HS2).

5th May 2018.

Landscape image, ‘Kingsash and Jones’ Hill Wood from Cobblershill’

No.33. ‘Kingsash and Jones’ Hill Wood from Cobblershill’

Along the southern flank of the Misbourne valley beyond Missenden, the long ridge rises steadily for five miles through the beechwoods past Dunsmore to Coombe Hill – with, unfortunately, a grandstand view of the HS2 excavations, and the much-famed Jones’ Hill Wood.

18th May 2018.

Landscape image, ‘Cubbington Woods and the Leam Valley from Offchurch’

No.34. ‘Cubbington Woods and the Leam Valley from Offchurch’

Looking north from the high bank of the River Leam in Offchurch the valley opens out, with Cubbington Woods on the horizon – which will be spanned by HS2’s proposed 10-metre high Leam Viaduct and embankment, diving into a cutting in the hillside just below the woods.

17th February 2019.

Landscape image, ‘A Sea of Fog and the Dawn’

No.36. ‘A Sea of Fog and the Dawn’

Viewed from Bretch Hill, Crouch Hill nestles in a sea of fog as the sun rises behind it one Winter’s morning.

20th January 2016.

Landscape image, ‘Akeman Street, near Sturdy’s Castle’

No.37. ‘Akeman Street, near Sturdy’s Castle’

The raised bank of the old Roman road, ‘the agger’, is still visible hereabouts, as Akeman Street crosses the open landscape between Kirtlington and Stonesfield.

19th February 2013.

Landscape image, ‘The Arbury Hill watershed’

No.38. ‘The Arbury Hill watershed’

Arbury Hill is the Central England watershed – with rivers draining to The Thames, The Severn, and The Wash from opposite sides of the large rounded hilltop.

29st April 2016.

Landscape image, ‘Banbury Lane Bridge’

No.39. ‘Banbury Lane Bridge’

The name ‘Bridge Street’ in Banbury does not refer to the railway bridge; it refers to the stone Medieval bridge which carried ‘Banbury Lane’ over the River Cherwell.

3rd September 2012.

Landscape image, ‘A Tomb with a View’

No.40. ‘A Tomb with a View’

Besbury Lane Bowl Barrow sits on top of a ridge, the perfect viewpoint over a broad sweeping bend of the Evenlode valley, with Wychwood draped over the ridgeline beyond; for that reason alone it’s worth a visit!

20th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘Churchill Churchard’s Megaliths’

No.41. ‘Churchill Churchard’s Megaliths’

Stolen from the past in the Nineteenth Century; the boundary and retaining wall of Churchill’s ‘modern’ church were sourced by dismantling an ancient stone circle reputed to have stood in Sarsgrove Woods.

Beltane (1st May) 2018.

Landscape image, ‘Churchill Standing Stone’

No.42. ‘Churchill Standing Stone’

Buried in the hedgerow alongside the road, it is sometimes difficult to spot, though no one is sure whether this short stubby stone is an ancient monolith or not.

20th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘Kiddington Wayside Cross’

No.43. ‘Kiddington Wayside Cross’

Worn-away by time, this small late-Medieval cross stands beside the road most often in the shade – though occasionally lit when the sun finds a gap in the trees.

10th October 2014.

Landscape image, ‘Lyneham Long Barrow Portal Stone’

No.44. ‘Lyneham Long Barrow Portal Stone’

The portal stone stands seemingly alone in the field; until you realise the large scrub behind is all that remains of the structure that it was once attached to.

20th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘North Leigh Roman Villa’

No.46. ‘North Leigh Roman Villa’

Close to where Akeman Street crosses the River Evenlode, the Romans built a large villa which once dominated the landscape – though today, little remains of either.

20th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘The King Stone’

No.47. ‘The King Stone’

Though chipped away at by Eighteenth Century souvenir hunters, the King Stone remains, enigmatically, trying to see Long Compton.

14th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘The King’s Men Circle’

No.48. ‘The King’s Men Circle’

Even on a drab day, The King’s Men still have an air of mystery around them – their original shape and layout lost in the mists of time.

14th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘Sarsden Wayside Cross’

No.50. ‘Sarsden Wayside Cross’

Though probably restored from its original form a few centuries ago, it still makes a lovely spot to sit and have a break after the climb up into Sarsden.

Beltane (1st May) 2018.

Landscape image, ‘The Roundabout’

No.51. ‘The Roundabout’

Though ploughed, quarried, and afforested, traces of this Iron Age settlement still remain to be seen.

20th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘Wyck Beacon Barrow’

No.52. ‘Wyck Beacon Barrow’

On the windswept hill, with views for miles across the local landscape, many might miss the large round barrow that sits on top of the hill – or think it part of the trigpoint unceremoniously planted on top.

21st February 2018.

Landscape image, ‘The Dancing Færies’

No.53. ‘The Dancing Færies’

Echoing to Shakespeare’s classic tale of supernatural play in an enchanted place, the three ‘færies’ dance a jig beside The King’s Men.

14th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘The King, transfixed’

No.54. ‘The King, transfixed’

Rooted to the spot, within his circling spikes like a prisoner in the dock, The King stands mute against the oncoming storm.

14th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘Salt Way crosses the Cherwell valley’

No.55. Salt Way crosses the Cherwell valley’

Salt Way can still be seen in the landscape today. The line of dark trees that run across from the left, behind Kings Sutton church, into the village, then right along the line of houses.

28th March 2016.

Landscape image, ‘The Wroxton Fingerpost’

No.58. ‘The Wroxton Fingerpost’

When you get up close to ‘The Wroxton Fingerpost’, if you really think about it, it’s telling you a story which – in the modern context – seems to make no sense.

10th December 2021.

Landscape image, “You can go anywhere from Shutford Five-Ways”, 31st August 2013

No.60. “You can go anywhere from Shutford Five-Ways”

It was a phrase my Grandad always said to me: “You can go anywhere from Shutford Five-Ways”. The junction where five, possibly Roman roads met west of Banbury. Robert Johnson “went down to the crossroads”; this is 25% worse!

31st August 2013.

Landscape image, ‘Irondowns Sunset’, 19th May 2022

No.61. ‘Irondowns Sunset’

Walking along Salt Way I notice that my shadow is surrounded by a reddish hue; I step through a gap in the wide hedge to see the deep red sunset over Bretch Hill.

19th May 2022

Landscape image, ‘Ash, Hazel, and a Mabon Sunset’

No.62. ‘Ash, Hazel, and a Mabon Sunset’

The first day of Autumn, though the leaves are still in their Summer greens, and as the sun dips away preceding the dusk the birds are chirping in their roosts, while in the ash tree a blackbird sings ‘lights out’.

21st September 2021.

Landscape image, ‘Bush Hill stile’, 18th May 2013

No.63. ‘Bush Hill stile’

It’s a wonderul location: A scrubby hilltop; overlooking the source of Sor Brook; and beyond the line of the Edgehill escarpment with Nadbury camp embedded in it.

18th May 2013.

Landscape image, ‘The Millstream Bridge Arches’, 5th August 2022

No.64. ‘The Millstream Bridge Arches’

A stone Medieval bridge which carried Banbury Lane over the River Cherwell. Difficult to see, but every now and then the vegetation is cut-back to reveal the full structure.

5th August 2022.

Landscape image, ‘A frosty Salt Way at Swalcliffe’

No.65. ‘A frosty Salt Way at Swalcliffe’

Possibly the best section of Salt Way to walk: on this day, walking from Sibford to Epwell and then following to Roman route back to Banbury, made even more stunning by double-digit negative temperatures!

7th December 2010.

Landscape image, ‘Welsh Lane, Crossing Danesmoor’, 11th April 2019

No.68. ‘Welsh Lane, Crossing Danesmoor’

This was one of my favourite locations in the area; and ancient valley of criss-crossing trackways and two Medieval battlefields.

11th April 2019.

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