We welcome you to join us on a brief tour around the outskirts of Hook Norton and at the same time to look for a little of the past history in this area Here we are at the top of Oatley Hill looking down towards the village It is very difficult to imagine what the area would have looked like prior to the Enclosure Act of 1774 when the whole 5,340 acres of the parish was open land except for a small area adjacent to the village What roads there were would have been in a very poor condition The largest landowner in the parish in 1774 was the Bishop of Oxford: 1,995 acres By 1844 Nill Farm and Manor Farm, two of his holdings, had been sold Between Oatley Hill and the village were The Marshes Numerous villagers cultivated their one- and two-acre plots here, marked out by merestones transporting their produce to the village prior to the Enclosure The planting of hedges created boundaries but caused many problems regarding water supplies to individual fields By the 1850s around 145 miles of hedgerow had created 585 fields In 1873 there were 41 farmers in the parish but only eight were farming over 100 acres By the 1980s, more changes to the look of the countryside Hedges are going and the number of fields in the parish has dropped from 585 to 160 During this time, the population of Hook Norton parish varied between 1,000 and 1,500 After the strong winds of Oatley Hill, we hope to find more sheltered locations and our journey starts as we leave the village on the Banbury road It seems odd to think that in 1957 the Midland Red Bus Company were asking for the road to be lowered here so that their double-decker buses could use this road when in 1966 the bridge and railway were gone for ever This building is now being used by Mr Philip Busby as a repairs garage With Hubert, the hairdresser, at the other end It was previously connected with Penguin Swimming Pools and Gleed’s Motorcycles Here we find Mr Ray Manning grooming one of his pedigree Herefords from the Mandalay herd which he started four years ago with two cows and two calves from a Welsh farm In the past two years he has won many first prizes at shows all over the country From Mr Manning’s we look towards Crushill Farm where Mr Peter Smart has a herd of dairy cows The farm buildings were built in 1964 and the house to the left behind the trees in 1977 in a field called The Shoulder of Mutton Before the present road was made up, the lower track to the right

was part of the old gated road to Banbury known as Moors Lane By the side of this road is Horse Pool Field whose name goes back to 1774 It is said that there was a pool here where animals being driven on the old road could stop to drink From the old road we turn right to The Moors Mr W H Baker owned this around 1900 and Mr Littleboy, manager of the Brymbo Ironstone Works, lived here in 1914 and later moved to The Paddocks He had the electricity laid across from the kiln site to his dwelling and he was said to have owned the first motor car in Hook Norton The centre part of the house was a 17th century cottage, originally with a lower roof To the left is an Edwardian addition and a barn stood on the site of the extension to the right The King-Smiths lived here in the 1940s and he opened one of the first garages in Banbury in the Warwick road He bought The Lynches nearby to prevent the trees being felled The present land with the house is about 15 acres It was probably a small-holding originally Another view of the front of the house This stream comes under the Banbury road to join the Rop in Hook Norton This bridle road which goes past Crushill Farm is probably an old pack road coming out by Nill Farm onto the old Banbury road and then to Swalcliffe It was still in use in this century as a short route for wagoners to the railway station When these six cottages were no longer needed for workers at the Brymbo Ironstone Works they were sold as a whole for £900 the purchaser then selling to each tenant for £250 Prior to 1960, nearly every dairy farm would have had a roadside stand where churns of milk were left for collection We think that this one outside Manor Farm buildings is the only one left in the area At present there are only five milk producers in the parish, and the collection is by bulk tank Mr and Mrs Hughes Senior who moved into this house for retirement two years ago The hill on the left of the entrance to Manor Farm is known as Butter Hill as it comprises several small fields each of which has the word “butter” in its name We are now at Manor Farm, previously known as Lampitt’s Farm

when it consisted of at least 317 acres, owned by William Lampitt in 1807 It was church property till the 19th century and has a date stone of 1791 on the corner of the house This view shows later extensions to the left In 1870 George Busby received a long-service prize of a pound for 37 years working for John Bury here Walter Bury was here in 1907, followed by the Richardsons Mr and Mrs Frederick Hughes were here from 1938 till their retirement two years ago Their son Marcus is the present occupier A photo of The Manor which we believe to have been taken in the 1920s We are on Butter Hill and look across the Banbury road The hill we see is locally called Council Hill It did not belong to the council It is really a corruption of Counser’s Hill, the name of the 16th century owner who lived in the village at Priestfield House Adjoining was a six-acre field called Cherry Orchard with cherry trees mainly in the hedgerows that were cut down in the early 1950s In 1844 the purchaser was responsible for the upkeep of the church chancel In the 1930s the owner paid £1,500 to clear himself from future responsibility Just above Cherry Orchard is Withycombe Farm Looking in the opposite direction towards Old Cradle Farm On the corner of the Hook Norton-Wiggington Heath crossroads is the family-run Waterfowl Sanctuary started by Mrs Mabel Warner in 1981 Stroke them This is Mrs Warner’s grand-daughter with a mouse and a chicken And here is Mrs Warner with a handful of ducklings Unusual blue-eared pheasants Carrying on up the hill in the Tadmarton direction, and just before we get to the crossroads

we find this stone wall which is all that remains of two cottages This house called Highways, adjoining the road to Swalcliffe Grange, was built in the early 1930s on the site of a previous one, which was a slated four-bedroomed house It had a barn attached, there was a settle in the kitchen and a large cellar It is said to have been an alehouse and known as “Whack-em-all” because their team was successful at shin-kicking The name could also had connections with beating the bounds as it is just in Wiggington parish Until recently the Brown family of Banbury Cake fame farmed here with a large dairy herd This is the newly-built trough of Stourwell This is the start of the River Stour that makes its way through Traitor’s Ford and Shipston on Stour to join the Avon about one mile southwest of Stratford near Luddington Looking along the Stour valley, we see Swalcliffe Common Bacon Farm, and Lower Nill Farm We return to the Wiggington Crossroads to take the right-hand turn towards Lodge Farm and The Gate Hangs High The dwelling on the corner was originally two cottages About a hundred yards along on the left we look into Bolton’s pit In 1900 horses and carts were taking out sand from here for local builders And, on the right, before we come to Lodge Farm is the site where Hook Norton Camp was formed by the Saxons during the Battle of Hook Norton about 914 A.D At this time the Danes from Leicester and Northampton fell upon this part of the country with plunder, destruction and great slaughter Close by is this small field which was the pound, which probably went with The Fox and Hounds nearby From the same spot we see this house built around 1890 which was the farmhouse belonging to Lodge Farm William Hall and Jack Hiatt farmed from here in the earlier part of this century The original red-brick house was stone-clad about 1969 We are now at Lodge Farm and the first house recorded here in 1646 stood on the site of this present building It was later known as Turpin’s Lodge as it was said to have had connections with Dick Turpin The Duchess of Warwick and her successors held a Free Warren here from the 13th century And this lilac bush has survived from the days of the previous house This building nearby, recently converted to a dwelling, has a date of 1746 in the gable An interesting old fireplace at this end has been preserved It could have been used by the many farm workers when the Nill, Lodge and Bacon farms were farmed together This is the 1746 datestone and the square opening beneath which could have been an entrance for owls to catch mice in the barn This recent photo shows the building before conversion to a dwelling for the present Turpin’s Lodge Riding Centre

A painting of the 1646 house which was later converted to The Fox and Hounds public house By the end of the century it was converted again, this time to three cottages which were finally demolished in the late 1960s when they became unsafe It had a cellar under part of the house, with access from indoors and out A quantity of very early clay tobacco pipes were found under the stone-flagged floor The lilac bush is still on the corner Drovers would have put their animals in the nearby pound Another old photo in which it is described as a yeoman house built to an L-plan and is the most complete illustration of this uncommon form which is unusual in so isolated a situation This shows the 18th century extension on the right with an internal doorway to the existing dwelling There was a datestone near the top of the front door The cottages were occupied by farm workers till 1955 A close-up of the rescued datestone Looking from the Banbury road we see the site of Lodge Pool among the trees It is situated between Lodge and Nill Farms and has recently been cleaned out and stocked with coarse fish The house at Bacon Farm is an eighteenth-century one which has been sold off from the land And the present owner started renovations and extensions about 1980 The farm is well known for flint and fossils and at one time was considered as a likely site for stone quarrying The overflow from Lodge Pool is an interesting feature in the garden From the house we get a view of the edge of Swalcliffe Common The old stone barn still retains its wooden threshing-floor a thing of the past seldom seen today An aerial photo of about 1950 when pig farming was taking place by Mr Mortimer who bought Bacon Farm in 1942 He lived here till 1952 when he bought Lodge Farm from where he worked both farms till his death in 1976 Here we see Oscar Hall, who farmed here in the early part of this century, with his threshing gang He had a wooden leg which he made himself and, with a specially adapted one, went ploughing all day with two horses and a single furrow plough Stosh White, the pig killer, giving a demonstration to Oscar This is the front side of Nill Farm House, built in 1777 At one time it was known as Rectory Farm In 1844 the farm was 648 acres

In 1859 R Pearce had an auction sale when he left here which included 27 carthorses, 9 wagons, 18 ploughs and various implements The bricks above the stone suggest that the walls were raised when a thatched roof was replaced by tiles The west side of the house with a later addition to the right A view through the old stone arch of the way to the 3-seater privy, which was quite usual in days gone by The dovecote suggests a manor or religious house The room below was known as the men’s room Also on the farm was a sawpit, a blacksmith’s shop and a carpenter’s shop In 1844 there were two 5-bay barns with threshing floors, one of which is still in existence An unusual window over the stable door The roadside view of the house with the geese on the lawn John with his mother outside Nill front door in 1917 And here she is with the rest of the Goffe family at the west end of the house about 1910 when there were iron railings around the garden Across the road from Nill Farm, we are on our way to Lower Nill where we see a new dwelling and a large expansion of buildings We are now at Lower Nill Farm This house built in the late 19th century and now uninhabited was probably the first on the site, as it was previously known as Lower Barn The Collins family lived and farmed here in the 1920s and 30s Adjoining the house is the barn At one time it was known as Windmill Farm because it once had an unusual post-windmill against the barn wall which was used to grind corn It is now an intensive poultry farm Looking back towards the main road we see Blenheim Cottage which originally was much smaller and known as Lower Nill Cottage The limestone fields around here are remembered for the numerous skylarks circling over in the 1920s These Nill Farm Cottages have had a garage and a bedroom extension at each end Across the road is the footpath that leads to Hollybush Corner at the east end of the village

A large stone footpath marker stood here until quite recently Remains of several have been noted around the district It is possible that these were footpath markers before the Enclosure The footpath crosses the road and becomes a bridleway to Swalcliffe This was originally a very small 18th century dwelling with around 11 acres called Whitehills In 1981 it was renamed Larkfields to save confusion with Whitehills Farm just below And since then the house has been considerably enlarged Mrs Agnes Rogers was here for over 40 years, leaving in 1979 A previous occupant was Billy Pickering, a well-known local character In 1883 a railway worker was charged with stealing six hens from here and given two months hard labour Leaving the village on the Gate Hangs High road we come to Redlands Farm where Mr Leslie Gasson started farming in 1921 Here he is by the bulk milk tank which holds 9,000 litres The Gasson family are also breeding Charolais calves for beef as well as Frisian replacements for the 250-strong dairy herd A bit further along on the left, we find silage baling in progress Whitehills Farm was bought by Mr Tom Williams in 1949 It included 32 acres, a barn, stable and implement shed For some years he carried on a market garden business here his son having a house built here in the late 1970s There were ironstone workings in this area early this century The Gate Hangs High Crossroads, in times past the principal road to Banbury There were gates across the Sibford and Banbury roads here at this time This was part of an old route from Brailes – Wales, I’m sorry Much livestock passed here on its way to Banbury market, and drovers would have called at the inn Landlords early this century included George Andrews, Frederick Pinfold, Horace Scrooby and Dennis Rogers The present landlord is Stuart Rust The House was taken over by the Hook Norton Brewery about 1900 London Ellis, who slept rough, often visited here The field on our left has been known as Scotch Hedge Ground In 1518 William Scotte occupied land in the region of the Gate Inn which in 1885 was known as Scott’s Lodge The name was probably changed when the road gates were removed Hence “this gate hangs high and hinders none” It is now just after 10 a.m Later the car park in front of the Gate will be full Mrs Pinfold with Olive and Ivy outside the Gate before 1923 Frederick Pinfold in the orchard behind the Gate with his ferrets on his shoulders Mrs Pinfold with her pony and trap and an early car on the left

and the Hook Norton Brewery sign below the bedroom windows which says “Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd, Celebrated Ales and Stouts” A picture of the Gate in the 1960s before the alterations on the left and when the porch opened to the front This is where the bridle road from Belle Isle crosses the Sibford Ferris road on its way to Swalcliffe Common Just below the bridleway in this corner of the field was the one and a half acre area of the pound Stray stock was impounded here until 1856 In 1969 Mr K Taylor, owner of the adjoining land, bought the site from Hook Norton Parish Council for £114 3s We are now looking at the opposite side of the Sibford road and the bridleway to the Whichford direction past Belle Isle Farm To the left of it, near the road, is the site of a stone quarry In the same field there was a lime kiln early this century Faggots and gorse were being used for firing between the layers of stone The Stewart firm started digging stone here in the late 30s for around ten years Lorries brought stone up a steep incline to the roadway Banbury Rural District Council started filling the quarry with refuse in 1954 This farmhouse built in 1775 by Nathaniel Austin Apletree was named Belle Isle in remembrance of the small island in the English Channel taken by us from the French The house was extended in 1942 by W T Hicks of Hook Norton The barn is a grade two listed building, the only one so classified in the Hook Norton parish The stable is built with unusual layers of ironstone and limestone In the apex is a datestone with 1776 and Nathaniel Apletree’s initials The end of the barn has another stone decorated with a crest of the Austin family from whom he received a legacy in 1775 The Dutch barn was erected in 1938 by Bolton & Poor at a cost of £108 Mr Harold Stewart of Sibford bought Belle Isle Farm, 115 acres, in 1935 for £1,600 He dug stone on it till around 1947 when he sold it to Mr David Dyer for £6,000 Leaving Belle Isle we take the road to Temple Mill and first come to Gibraltar Corner John Hopkins of Temple Mill built a small farmhouse here in the 1780s Also barn and stables, all thatched, on his 60-acre allotment

He named it Gibraltar Farm, probably in honour of the siege of Gibraltar in 1782 Looking towards the site of a cottage, all that remains of the buildings There was a well just outside the cottage door The last occupant here was a Mr Tarver who kept pigs but left when they had swine fever early this century From the roadside, another view of the remains of the two-up and two-down farm dwelling It was said that in 1930 the 60-acre farm was on offer for £450 The buildings were still in use and corn was being thrashed in the rickyard till the early 1950s On the lower side of the road belonging to this farm was a large row of buildings for implements and beyond that the farmhouse garden From the Temple Mill-Sibford Ferris road we look down to Gibraltar and adjoining is the site of the now overgrown Temple Mill quarry which was in use from the early ’20s until 1939 Limestone from here was much in demand for road-widening mostly in the direction of Shipston on Stour and Stratford Around 20 men were employed here by Harold Stewart Explosives were used, then the stone broken down to required sizes and forked by hand onto lorries Temple Mill had two overshot waterwheels grinding corn until around 1945 Water from the top mill ran below ground to feed the lower one The water came from the River Stour and from the Tyne Hill and Handywater area Large flocks of sheep from over a wide area were brought here for washing prior to shearing up to the 1940s The present mill house was built by Daniel Sabin in 1891 and the adjoining mill by William Sabin in 1830 In 1260 it is possible that it was known as Martin’s Mill It is presumed to have had connections with the Knights Templar In this gully between the road and the garden is water from a nearby spring which was considered as a supply for Hook Norton in the 1930s One of the Foden steam lorries which was used at Temple Mill quarry until 1935 The fires had to be lit at 6 a.m to get up steam for work at 7 Later Bedford and Ford lorries were used when petrol was 11 pence a gallon The Mill House of 1891 under construction Between Gate Hangs High and the Firs Garage we look across to Croft Farm The first of three bungalows here was built around 1930 by Mr Jackson and Mr Charlie Hewitt well known for providing Hook Norton’s first electricity supply They dug a well here 90 feet deep without finding water An Oxford firm was called in who dug further, and still without success Mr Jackson ran a poultry farm here His sale of poultry and equipment on September 2nd 1939 the day before war was declared was a financial loss This bungalow known as Ramthorne Lodge was built in the late 1960s In 1260 the whole of the area around here was known as Thremthorn

meaning “three thorns” which later became Ramthorn Mr Jack Wood and his wife moved into this bungalow in 1955 after the death of her parents who had it built in 1952 The garage was founded in 1960 when the first petrol pumps were installed Plans for a new showroom were put forward in 1966 a workshop in 1970, and new access in 1974 They took on the Fiat agency from 1967 til 1985 and in 1978 this was one of the first garages to hold a Daihatsu four-wheel drive franchise This barn was converted by Mr Joe Bishop to a dwelling in 1975 Its name, Coleman’s Elm, was first mentioned in 1688 Above the original barn doors is the datestone of 1846 with the initials D E W Going towards the village on the road that was known as Mill Way in the early 18th century we come to the old route to The Moors on the right The land adjoining between here and Thistley Leas was known as White Barn Allotments, in use till around 1930 At one time there was only a barn here, and then known as White’s Barn It was brought by Mr and Mrs Harris senior in 1955 who brought back its original name of Thistley Leas There are now two dwellings and extra buildings here A load of silage bales just going into Thistley Leas farmyard Hayway, a name that has been in existence since 1718 is a route much used in the past for villagers to bring home the produce that they’ve grown on the common meadows It is a right of way to the bottom of Oatley Hill for the hamlet of Ascott Also up here is Fanthill Farm House a 17th-century dwelling recently modernised and privately occupied A Mr Whitton was farming here in 1900 A little nearer the village, and on the opposite side of the road, is Wyton’s Barn Back on the Whichford road we come to Oatley Hill In 1853 John Lowe from Whichford was paid £1 2/6d for digging 54 yards of stone, about 80 tons, in this area In the 1920s Berry’s Bus from Cherington travelled up and down this hill on its way to and from Banbury every Thursday It was always overloaded so able-bodied passengers were expected to dismount when ascending and descending the hill At the top of the hill is Oatley Hill Farm In 1881 the 225 acres were being farmed by the Pettipher Bennett family who were here for some 50 or 60 years

They were followed by Jim Cullen and Tom Hiatt The house, and most of the buildings, is now in the private ownership of Mr Geoffrey Holt And here we see Mrs Holt, an artist, just outside the front door on the south side of the house An interesting part of the old buildings Unfortunately, a nearby beech tree fell recently and damaged this roof From the top of Oatley Hill we look north and firstly see Upper Cowpasture or Starveall From the beginning of this century three brothers farmed here consecutively Mr George Bishop moved to Fodge from here in 1915 and his brothers Will and then Frank followed him here Next to farm here was Mr Dick Coleman in the early 1930s It is interesting to note that Mr Edmund Whitton, a well-known local name, was here in 1871 Nearer to us is Middle Cowpasture Mr Samuel Gibbs was here in 1907, followed by his son Ted and Mrs Hone in the 1930s The name Cowpasture existed before the Enclosure and was considered an area of good grassland where villagers brought their cows to graze There was a small cottage adjacent to the house, a spinney and a three-quarter acre of an osier bed This farm was 121 acres and owned by Mr Charlie Bishop, and sold by his daughter in 1978 On part of Cowpasture Farm is this recently-built large dwelling We next come to Havoty Stud, the home of Mr Jack Wood built in 1973, with Lower Cowpasture just behind This is part of Mr Wood’s large herd of Charolais cattle, mainly pedigree which he started around 15 years ago Next is Lower Cowpasture, now renamed Oatley View Around 1979 an extension was built on the east side of the house by the present occupier, Mr Jim Wood The farm was originally around 63 acres Frederick Pinfold moved here from the Gate in 1923 and his son Edgar followed him, and died here in 1976 An aerial photo of Lower Cowpasture in the late 1960s when Edgar Pinfold was farming here

The small building on the extreme right went with two small four- and five-acre fields The double hedgerow in the front was an old entrance route from the highway to this small holding in the past Lower Cowpasture Farm House in the 1920s and members of the Pinfold family Fred Pinfold on the mowing machine and a useful pair of cart horses in the 1930s Edgar on the horse rake about the same time We now come down to Sugarswell Farm The name has been in existence since 1260 Before the Enclosure and the land divided into quarters it was of sufficient importance to give its name to the quarter in which it lay William Hiatt was here in 1907 One of the German bombs fell close by in 1940 Mr and Mrs Nolan Wood are the present occupiers There is a datestone under the roof of 1839 with the initials J M M The original house has been extended and at one time was known as Shoker Well Their crop of strawberries will soon be ready for picking Looking across to Fodge Farm Mr George Bishop left here for Sibford in 1925 and was followed by Lincoln Austin and Mr Thomas Wire Mr Charlie Bishop bought the 70-acre farm in 1933 for £1,700 and it was sold to Mr Dennis Rogers in 1953 for £6,000 And now looking at Six Ash Farm, which in 1871 was 75 acres Mr John Hiatt was here in 1907, and Mrs William Hiatt in 1928 Mr Tom Hiatt in 1935 Mr Joe Bishop came here in 1947 and at present Mr Peter Hiatt is here Some of Peter Hiatt’s young racehorses From inside the field opposite Coleman’s Elm Barn we see a worn-down footpath marker for a footpath leading to the Brailes area Leys Farm has a 17th-century house which has featured in two television films It has been extended at some time and recently re-roofed Mr Will Tustin came here in 1891 for a period of 50 years followed by Mr John Sabin, still in residence in 1993 which is 102 years with two occupants Five interesting round stone pillars supporting the roof of what used to be the cattle shed The old barn had a thatched roof till 1930 when it was replaced by the present one John and Phyllis Sabin with their dog Moss on the granary steps

Sharp’s Hill, the name probably came from a previous occupier It’s a wooded area of around 11 acres where stone was dug in the last century and into the 1920s Early on, local farmers hired out their horses and carts to draw out the stone for road repairs In the 1920s Brailes Rural District Council were employing men to dig stone at 4/6d per square yard which is about one and a half tons It was white stone on top and hard blue beneath In 1928 there were large trees here that were felled and bought by Mayo’s Timber Merchants of Shipston on Stour This plot of land was bought in 1946 by the Blanco family for £250 We are now at Traitors’ Ford which we believe at one time was known as Traders’ Ford and used by travellers on this Jurassic Way which runs from the Avon to the Humber Now looking back in the opposite direction Stone was dug here on the right and there were also three lime kilns the sites of which can just be seen Firing took several days Then the lime was shovelled out into horsedrawn carts to be delivered to farms as fertilizer Two cottages stood in this spinney on our left and were demolished at the end of the last century This land belonged to the Weston Park Estate and it is probable that their employees lived here and worked at the kilns In the Great Rollright direction, we come to the bottom of Green Lane and the site where the bridleway from Oatley Hill crosses the road for Ascott and a deep hollow known as Oakham Close to Ascott we look into Oakham where it is said that a secret sect from Hook Norton once came to worship The bridle road came along the top and down the right-hand side of the field Looking back down the steep incline of Green Lane, typical of many of the minor roads in this area which needed experienced carters with their horse-drawn loads We now come to Whichford Hill Crossroads 785 feet above sea level where until the early 1970s was a fine avenue of elm trees which were victims of a Dutch elm disease These new trees were planted in 1973 And on the other side of the crossroads, the water tank erected in 1966 There was much opposition to it being placed in so conspicuous a position but over the last 27 years the growth of trees and hedgerow has made it much less noticeable We now show two photos of horses moving heavy loads in the 1920s

Firstly we see two loads being drawn by a filler and four tracehorses on each and here we see all the tracehorses doubled up on the steeper parts for each load Great experience was also needed on the downhill journey knowing what skids and what locks were required to hold back the loads The Whichford Hill trees, probably in the 1950s The County Council were requesting the removal of trees on the corner to improve visibility in the 1960s, which was granted When the mast along the Rollright Road was erected there was another request for the removal of three trees which were obscuring its contact with Birmingham but this was refused Despite a tree preservation order, Dutch elm disease eventually took its toll This is a photo taken in mid-March 1966 which shows that there was cause for concern at its siting so near a corner The trees and hedges which have been allowed to hide the tank have further obscured the view on a sharp corner Previously hedges have been kept low for good visibility The mast along the Rollright Road We take a left turn for Court Farm, which was also known as Upper Berryfields The house was built in 1728 Previous occupiers this century have been numerous the present ones being Mr and Mrs Slade who have been here the longest, about 18 years The date of 1728 on the west side of the house appears to be on a stone of an earlier date which had masonic connections It is interesting to note how the windowsills have dropped over the years The windows were filled in till the present owners had the stone removed The Timms family were here in the last century and a Mrs Timms was killed by a bull here From Court Farm we look down to Lower Berryfields and with Hook Norton village on the left Court Fam House on a sale catalogue of 1973 with 110 acres Below Court Farm is the route to Lower Berryfields There was a house here in 1672 Mr Joseph Townley and his wife are here at present He followed his father of the same name Frank Horn, Hook Norton’s retired butcher, delivered meat by pushbike to lone farms such as this when a boy From the Chipping Norton direction and just past the old railway line we see the junction of these two roads The one on the left was the main road to Hook Norton The one on the right having been made during the last century

Moving toward Hook Norton, we see where the parish boundary crosses the new road to pass Duckpool Farm on its left hand side Approaching Hook Norton and the top of South Hill we see the entrance to the Heath Allotments In 1908 the gross yearly income was £27/5/- In 1932 Mr Fred Quartley rented the Small Heath for 5/- an acre The fields are now let as a whole with a present income of £1016 The Heath Allotment Charity Award of the 24th September 1774 was to benefit the parish and liberties of Hook Norton and Southrop This is the Small Heath, six acres and a cart track on the left led to the Big Heath, 34 acres Early this century the Big Heath was divided into 62 allotments and the Small Heath 19 This was the route to the allotment for the horses and carts Further along this route are the original farm buildings of Fanvillhead Farm And this is the original farm house A stream of water runs through the cellar And, on the left, the recently-built new Fanvillhead Farm House The south side of the house which was built in 1989 A 36-hour old foal whose mother was the British junior champion in 1991 and competed in the European championships where she won a gold medal From Fanvillhead Farm we look across the valley and see Stapenhill Farm, about 80 acres which is owned by Mr David Golby It previously belonged to the manor in Netting Street and was brought by Mr Tom Golby in 1935 for £800 In 1973 it was valued at £550 an acre or £44,000 to the sitting tenant Two views of the original Fanvillhead Farm House when the Quartleys were living there The Quartleys delivered milk from here in the 1930s with the help of their daughter, Renee From Stapenhill Farm looking towards Burycroft Lane and the village And from South Hill the route to Fanvillhead Farm

Leaving the village along Burycroft Lane, we come to the allotments There have been documents relating to Burycroft since 1790 On the 16th June 1926 the Parish Council bought the two Burycroft fields for £360 from Joseph Walden of South Newington They had previously rented them In 1922 the Parish Council agreed that due to widespread unemployment they would not insist on immediate payment of rents In 1936 this field was considered for a cemetery but after trial holes were dug it was considered to be unsuitable In 1927 the Parish Council considered giving up White’s Barn Allotments and transferring the tenants to Burycroft This accommodation road between the two allotments was unusable due to overgrowth and there were problems with the walls in the earlier part of this century and it is still very overgrown The field to our right is now let as one lot but was previously small allotments At the end of Burycroft Lane In 1934, when there was far less traffic, the Parish Council was approaching the landowners with regard to the dangerous junction here with the Chipping Norton road And the corners still need cutting back From the top of South Hill the used footpath from here to the village on one of the very few clear mornings this June And a little further up we see the remains of a much larger spinney and, to the left of it an entrance to land that was once farmed by Mr Waddup From the end of the track we look towards Rollright and Swerford This large area of land was several fields and there was a barn on the Swerford side at one time Here is Mr Charlie Hall with his threshing tackle on Mr Waddup’s land about 1930 with a gang of 11 men The farmer provided coal and water for the engine and lent his horses for moving the equipment At that time the charge for a day’s threshing was £5 which had to cover the wages of two men, time moving, setting up maintenance, loss of revenue on wet days, etc Off the Rollright road is Duckpool or Rectory Farm which dates from the 18th century James Powell came here in 1906 followed by his son James who retired in 1974 Early this century the rent was £90 per annum and was payable to the Hook Norton rector who in return was responsible for the upkeep of the buildings The farm buildings which, together with the house, were thatched until 1947 This railway bridge, built solely for farm use

is of unusual height but only about 12 feet wide Roman coins were found on the farm in the 1930s The ground is mainly limestone with only three or four inches of topsoil in places Water from springs above running under the steep railway embankment In the field next to the railway line, and adjoining the river Swere is this small plot of now overgrown land which also adjoins the Hook Norton parish boundary It is known as Lampacre the rent being payable to the Hook Norton church lighting fund From Duckpool Farm we’re looking towards the dwelling recently made from the tin-roofed barn of South Hill Farm The datestone of 1860 with the letters H N was taken from the barn and put on the front of the house An aerial photo of Duckpool Farm in the 1960s Four generations of the Powell family in front of the house in 1971 Mr Tom Powell with his father and two horses in 1939 In the 1930s a top-quality carthorse of around four years old would be worth about £40 A 1970 picture of 1 1/2 acres of daffodils which were planted on the farm in 1940 We take the road to Swerford and come to the South Hill Farm drive To the right of it is the site where the daffodils were grown on Duckpool Farm Looking along the Swerford road Much stone was dug on the right hand side in the last century to keep the road in a usable condition The area has gradually been filled in with refuse Hook Norton and Southrop each had a Way Warden every parish being responsible for the roads that crossed it County councils took over the responsibility in the 1880s South Hill Farm A three-bedroom brick dwelling was built here in the 1930s at a cost of £400 There was also a cowshed and barn here, part of Duckpool Farm The cottage was sold with three acres and has been extended to the house that we now see To the right of the north entrance to Swerford Park is Archell In 1881 a Mr Bloxham and family lived and farmed here but in more recent years the house and buildings became derelict and now on the site is this recently-built dwelling We now make our way to the Park through the long avenue of lime trees Swerford Park House which was remodelled between 1824 and 1829 with further additions in 1980 Pillsworths, who had a shop in Hook Norton, lived here early this century A closer view of the house Peonies and beautiful old trees

A lovely view below the house of the river Swere running through the Park which is partly in Hook Norton parish and partly Swerford Leaving the Park towards Swerford, we see the river running under the drive And from the bridge a picturesque view up the valley A lovely view of Swerford on our way to Osney Mill Highland cattle belonging to the Mill In the 1930s this top side of beef was 1/4d a pound about half of one present day penny for one ounce A Hereford fat beast at Banbury market would be about £18 at this time In the last century there was a ford across the road here and just behind is the house that was once the Griffin public house which closed in the 1960s Jim Simms and Thomas Woods were previous innkeepers Then the Burson family came in 1936 and are still here It was a Hopcroft and Norris house This is the west side of the house with a stable on the right There is a datestone of 1691 in the form of a shield above the front door The footpath that leads from the inn to the church has an old stone footpath marker now a stile Opposite the Griffin was a pound which could be used in the past by drovers visiting the inn Nearby is Osney Mill The site at the end of the millrace is where the large wooden overshot waterwheel was situated It was in use til the end of the 19th century The lord of the manor of Swerford claimed rights to use the mill and probably used it more than the Hook Norton residents A 19th century picture of Osney Mill and one of the nearby ford at the same time

Note the footbridge and the miller’s cart in the background Taking the road towards Wiggington, we come to the place where the parish boundary leaves the Swere and crosses the road just here And beyond is Wheeler’s Corner Up Brick Lane we see this dwelling which was previously two brick cottages and in 1974 completely rebuilt with stone into one house called Wheeler’s Corner The stone came from a barn at the top of the lane which was struck by lightning and burned out Mr and Mrs Buckingham who have moved here recently from Lancaster and keep Angora goats whose hair she uses for spinning Just past the house on the left is a small plot of land called Wheeler’s Piece and on the right the site of the demolished barn now rebuilt in modern material At the top of Brick Lane behind this wire is the site of a very deep stone quarry from where stone was dug to build Hook Norton Brewery Gypsies parked their caravans in here in the earlier part of this century The large building nearby was a milking shed but is now part of a riding school On the road to Old Cradle we look across to Cradle House Farm The Checkley family were here in the last century and well into the present one It was originally a four-bedroom farmhouse but has recently had a large extension to the left and to the rear of the old house This house is only just in Hook Norton parish We’ve now come to Old Cradle Farm which was a four-up and four-down house with two staircases There was a barn, stables and cowshed adjoining and about 70 acres of land This large stone extension was made by Fisher and Townsend in 1987 for the present occupier, Mr Plunkett In the early 1920s Mr Reginald Stockford farmed here The west side of the house and the stables Where these trees are planted used to be the rickyard and a footpath by the side of them is to Hook Norton and Swerford An early aerial photo showing the house, buildings and rickyard We wonder if the name of the farm had any connection with the attachment to a scythe called a cradle We have now come to Highwood Farm which is between the Cradles and the Swerford road The original farmhouse was built in 1749 It had an iron front door and a well in the cellar which is still in use

In 1890 J Evans paid £35 per annum to rent this 28 acres farm Joe Rambridge came later and Arthur White bought it in 1938 for £300 By 1954 extra land was added to make it 71 acres Alterations to farm buildings and extra accommodation was built by Mr Langdale in 1987 It is estimated that from 1938 to 1986, 48 years, the farm with small improvements and a small amount of extra land had increased in value from £300 to just over £100,000 The iron front door which was about six feet high and three feet wide was replaced in 1962 From the garden we see Old Cradle, Butter Hill and the Manor From the Swerford road or what was known as Sands Lane we look down in the Park area where we see Little Orchis, Park Farm House and Grounds Farm House Just to the right of the viaduct was a small open-fronted shed Jerry Buck, a well-known local character, is said to have died in there in the 1930s He travelled around local farms doing dry-stone walling The farmers fed him and he slept in one of their barns He was a good-living man who always read a portion of the Bible after leaving his pipe and matches within his employer before retiring After crossing the railway bridge we see the road for Chipping Norton and in a field on the right, near the top is where the horse ploughing matches were held in the earlier part of the century as part of the annual agricultural show This land with more down Cow Lane was part of Mr Painter’s 160-acre farm He was employing four men which probably gives some idea of the number of men working on farms in the 1950s He lived at Wisteria House, retiring about 1962 As part of the agricultural show, horses, sheep and pigs were judged in the Shearing Close The show continued until around 1932 Corn samples were judged undercover in the gateway entrance to Priestfields and mangolds, turnips, swedes etc. were laid out in the square, as we see here We understand that later a smaller show took place at the home of Mr Harris in a field behind Hayden House Highwood Farm House in 1986 when modernization had taken place Firstly the phone in 1977, followed by electricity, water, septic tank and coal fired central heating by 1982 We take the Park Road and come to the viaduct pillars In May 1966 the Parish Council were asked to write to British Rail

requesting their demolition The reply was that the cost of demolition and removal of stone was so high that they couldn’t consider it In an effort to preserve them, Alan, Arthur and Cyril Page bought the viaduct pillars on the south side, the embankment between and two pillars on the station side in 1968 Close by the pillars is Little Orchis Mr and Mrs Arthur Page retired here and built most of this bungalow themselves in spare time in 1973 and gave it the old name of an adjoining field And here they are in their lovely garden behind the bungalow And the lake in the field below the garden Next on the left is Park Farm House It was built around 1750 and has had a later extension to the left The present occupier is Mr Walsh, an antique restorer while Mr Cyril Page farms the surrounding land The 150 acres was bought by Brymbo early this century and the Page family bought it back in 1949 Continuing towards Grounds Farm House we cross this small stream from the Court Farm Berryfields area Before the bridge was built and the road made up in 1950 it was a ford crossed by stepping stones Grounds Farm House, which has the distinction of having been in the open field before the enclosure as it was built in 1706 and has had a recent extension on this side The datestone just below the chimney on the south side of the house From the garden looking southwest is probably the site of the original Park Farm House A very interesting old barn which is of stone with a brick lining Until recently it had a large lean-to building on this side of it We can see where new stones have replaced the old roof timber ends The datestone of 1871 on the end of the barn And just above the date stone on the end of the barn the modern patriotic weathervane Just below the house these buildings were once pigsties and a stable A photo of shearing in the 1930s in front of the buildings that we have just seen

In 1930 Mr Arthur Page on the leading horse with his father William on the binder On top of Stapenhill we see Mr David Golby at the doorway of a small stone cabin with an iron roof built by the Pearces of The Manor about 1870 from the ruins of an old cowshed We now come to the end of our film and these are our last views on June the 28th on the film which are started on May the 18th We would like to say many thanks to those who have helped us with information and we much appreciated the kindness of those who allowed us on to their property The quarter from which we received the least help was the weather but, despite this, we hope our efforts will be of interest especially in years to come And we complete our tour by looking back at Oatley Hill from where we started our journey