Oxfordshire Journals

Deep in the Heart of England

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A September 2001 trip to Oxfordshire by zabelle

Views Farm Barns Photo, Oxfordshire, England More Photos
Quote: The second week of our trip was centered in Oxfordshire. The heart of England has something to offer everyone, art, antiquity, antiquing and adventure.

Deep in the Heart of England

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Overview

15th Century Italian ceramics Photo, Oxfordshire, England
Quote:
Our wanderings through the countryside took us from the Fens of Lincolnshire through Northhamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire on the way to Oxfordshire. If you think the only thing to see in Oxfordshire is Oxford, think again! From our rental cottage in Great Milton , 10 miles south of Oxford, we were able to visit not only that most venerable of college towns, but the Cotswolds, Stratford on Avon, and Jason even took the train to Bath. ALL of central England was within our reach. This is a diverse area that includes the quiet of the rolling countryside and the speed of the motorway which can take you from Great Milton to Stratford in u...Read More

Views Farm Barns

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Hotel

Views Farm Barns Photo, Oxfordshire, England
Quote:
We rented 2 cottages, really they were more like apartments, since they were all part of the same original building, from Mr. and Mrs. Peers. We had a little difficulty finding it since we had no idea that a pylon (which was mentioned in our directions) was a high voltage wire tower (we thought they were those little orange traffic cones). Great Milton is just a village and the farm is on a side road outside of town but within 2 miles of the Motorway. An ideal location, rural yet convenient. "Rye" was our Cottage, it consisted of 2 floors, with a living room with 2 chairs, dining area with 4 chairs, buffet and end table. there were several lamps but lighting in the living room was a gripe we ha...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 15, 2001

Views Farm Barns
Views Farm
Oxfordshire, England
(18) 4427-9352

The Cock Inn

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Restaurant

The Cock Inn Photo, Oxfordshire, England
Quote:
We happened upon the Cock Inn as we traveled between Saracens Head and Great Milton on a Saturday. Wing is a lovely little town near Leighton Buzzard. It has a 1,000 year old Saxon Church which we very much wanted to visit but there was a wedding. We planned on visiting Ascott House but arrived too early so we decided lunch was in order. The first pub we found wasn't serving lunch but they told us to leave our car and walk to the Cock Inn, which we did. What a charming inn it was. It was Whitewashed and black timbered, very English looking. When we walked in, we were the only ones there. Since it was a glorious sunny day we were a little taken aback. Maybe the food wasn't any good here, where ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 15, 2001

The Cock Inn
28 High Street
Oxfordshire, England
(012) 9668-8214

The Ashmolean Cafe

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Restaurant

The Ashmolean Cafe Photo, Oxfordshire, England
Quote:
The Cafe is located down stairs from the museum .It has huge pillars and a slate floor. In spite of this there was a warm feeling here and each of the tables had a bottle with flowers in it. We arrived around 2pm. They were basically done serving hot food but I got the last serving of the courgette and pesto soup. It was served with some wonder crusty grain bread and had a very interesting flavor. Courgette is zucchini so basically zucchini and basil soup, interesting. Al and Joe had ham and cheese grilled sandwiches which were also very good, but we had seen the cakes as we came in and frankly we wanted some. We decided that each of us would get a different one and this way we could taste the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 17, 2001

The Ashmolean Cafe
Beaumont St Lower Level
Oxfordshire, England

Eleanor Cross

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Attraction | "Eleanor Cross"

Eleanor Cross Photo, Oxfordshire, England
Quote:
One of the great love stories of medieval England is that of Eleanor of Castile and King Edward I (known as the hammer of the Scots). Though their's was an arranged marriage they grew to love each other dearly, had 12 children together, and she followed him on his crusade to the Holy Land. There is even a story that she saved his life by sucking the poison from a wound he received on the Crusade. In 1290 she was stricken ill in Harby, near Lincoln and died before her husband could reach her from Scotland. He was inconsolable and ordered her body to be embalmed and her entrails buried at Lincoln Cathedral. He then began the sad trip to bring her home to London for her final rest at Westminster A...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 15, 2001

Eleanor Cross
Route A43
Oxfordshire, England

Ascott House and Gardens

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Attraction | "Ascott House"

Ascott House and Gardens Photo, Aylesbury, England
Quote:
I had a hard time finding a way to catagorize Ascott House. Technically it isn't an art museum, its a family home, but the quality of the art and furniture collection certainly ranks it with many art museums. Ascott House was purchased by Mayer de Rothchild in 1873. In 1874 Leopold de Rothchilde took it over as a hunting box and converted it from a Jacobean farmshouse into a mock tutor mansion. There are extensive formal gardens but for me the main draw was the lovely art collection. I fell in love with the portrait of a dreamy looking woman. She has a faraway ethereal look. There is a Gainsborough, a Reynolds and a Stubbs as well in the Hall. In the Dining Room there is ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 15, 2001

Ascott House and Gardens
Rt A413, Wing near Leighton Buzzard
Buckinghamshire, England

Ashmolean Museum

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Attraction

Ashmolean Museum Photo, Oxfordshire, England
Quote:
If I had to say what kind of museum the Ashmolean is I would have to say all the above. This is a repository of an eclectic collection of items. In Room 2 the Minster Lovell Jewel is a superb example of 9th century craftsmanship and a rare example of enameling from this period. Also in the same room there are some beautiful examples of Anglo Saxon gold work. There is also a magnificent Limoges Reliquary of St Thomas Becket. Among the oddities of this museum are the death mask of Oliver Cromwell and a pair of gloves presented to Queen Elizabeth I which are obviously too big to have ever fit her hands. As an American, I found Powhatan's mantle of particular interest. He ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 15, 2001

Ashmolean Museum
Beaumont Street
Oxfordshire, England

Rollright Stones, Long Compton, Rollright, Oxfordshire OX7 5

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Attraction | "Rollright Stones"

Rollright Stones, Long Compton, Rollright, Oxfordshire OX7 5 Photo, Oxfordshire, England
Quote:
Sitting on the edge of a ridge overlooking the village of Long Compton is this Bronze Age Circle of 77 limestones called the King's Men. It is over 100 feet across. In days gone by, Long Compton was a stronghold of witches, maybe it still is. Why the stones were placed here or exactly when, is shrouded in mystery. It is believed that this site was almost as important as Stonehenge in Neolithic Times. Unlike the more popular Stonehenge, here you are able to walk among the stones, to touch their pitted surface, to interact with them. Especially if you are visiting with children, this will be a welcome relief. No need to stay behind the ropes and keep your hands off. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 17, 2001

Rollright Stones, Long Compton, Rollright, Oxfordshire OX7 5
Off the A3400
Long Compton, Rollright, Oxfordshire, England OX7 5

Station Mills

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Attraction

Station Mills Photo, Oxfordshire, England
Quote:
Chipping Norton has two really large multi dealer antique shops. In our quest for the untimate buying experience we visited them both. Station Mills is one I have visited before. This is a large shop with over 6,000 square feet of display area. There are several rooms on 2 floors. As we walked in there was another American who I believe must have been a dealer, because he had bought a large number of items and they were talking about how often he comes here. I can believe it. Considering that Chipping Norton is just over the Oxfordshire Border from the Cotswolds it has very reasonable prices. I saw everything in the shop from ancient coins and medieval rings, to Chinese import china ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 17, 2001

Station Mills
Station Road
Oxfordshire, England

Minster Lovell Hall

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Attraction

Minster Lovell Hall Photo, Oxfordshire, England
Quote:
The original name of the village was Minster which is taken from the Latin for church. The Lovell was attached late in the 13th century to distinguish it from the adjacent manor of Little Minister which belonged to the Earl of Pembrook. When the Lovell family came into pocession of the Hall is not certain but it was in the posession of the family in 1184. Minster was not the Lovell families principal seat until the middle of the 14th century when it became a regular residence. The mansion was most likely built between 1431 and 1442. There are licences granted during this period to Sir William Lovell to impark a parcel of land called Minsterwoods adjacent to his manor at Minsterlove...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 17, 2001

Minster Lovell Hall
off Akeman Street
Oxfordshire, England

Thame Farm Market

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Attraction

Thame Farm Market Photo, Oxfordshire, England
Quote:
We spent the morning in the lovely village of Thame browsing through the Farm Market and also through some of the small shops in town. Tuesday is market day in Thame and the on street parking was all taken by the time we arrived. It looked like everyone from miles around was heading there. There are several parking lots around town so don't worry about where to park. The Farm Market is a combination Flea Market and Produce Market. We started out by buying some jars of jam from one of the ladies. It was all delicious looking and some odd combinations of fruit that you can't find at home. We especially love gooseberry and also rhubarb mixed with just about any other fruit. I bought my...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 17, 2001

Thame Farm Market
High Street
Oxfordshire, England

Basildon Park

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Attraction

Basildon Park Photo, Oxfordshire, England
Quote:
When the Lord and Lady Iliffe bought Basildon in 1952 it was what you would call a fixer upper. It had not been occupied except by troops in the 2 World Wars since 1910. It begans its life in the 1770's. It is a Paladian House built of Bath stone, designed by John Carr for Sir Francis Sykes. He was from Yorkshire and had made his money in the East India Company. We began our visit with lunch in their restaurant. Leek, ham and potato pie and vegetable soup followed by cake. I tried the lemonade again, another mistake but the cake with coffee frosting and walnuts was delicious. Basildon has very much the look of a family home. The Library looks well worn with floral couch covers and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2001

Basildon Park
Rt A239
Oxfordshire, England

Buscot House

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Attraction

Buscot House Photo, Oxfordshire, England
Quote:
Buscot House is a Neoclassical House designed by Edward Townsend in the 1780's. There are still 2 porphyry scagliola pillars that date from that period. The rest of the interior design dates mostly from the time of the second Baron Faringdon. The House came into the Faringdon family in 1889. In 1962 the House passed to the National Trust. The Dutch Room is of particular note. It has gorgeous green wallpaper and a plaster ceiling and freize in the Adams style. The room includes a beautiful Rembrandt of a young blond man and a Van Dyke. There is also a Rubens of Marchesa Veronica Spinola Doria. The furniture in the room is a combination Sheriden and Chippendale, the mantle is early 19th century wi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2001

Buscot House
Off A417
Oxfordshire, England
0845 345 3387