Tackley Local History Group

Tackley Paths and Historic Sites

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A double bridge: a medieval packhorse bridge over the river Cherwell adjoining a canal bridge built in 1790. The canal bridge is not in Tackley parish; the river is the boundary.

A 1790 narrowboat lock with ‘ornamental’ overflow close by. This provision of ornamental type overflows on this early canal was a feature created by the engineer, James Brindley. Note: The lock and overflow are outside of Tackley parish.

The building of the railway in 1850 required the diversion of the river Cherwell, which resulted in the creation of a small oxbow lake. Wikipedia: Oxbow lake.

The railway built through Tackley in 1850 was originally single-track broad gauge. In 1890 it was converted to double-track standard gauge and parts of the original lines were turned into fence posts, an example being the end posts north east of the level crossing.

An early ‘contour-following’ canal from Hawksbury Junction near Coventry to Oxford, engineered by James Brindley. Note: The canal is outside of Tackley parish.

Site of the old Oxford Portland Cement Company cement works from 1907 until 1927 when the company moved to Shipton-on-Cherwell. Note: Not in Tackley parish.

Built in 1850 to allow the continuation of the path along Akeman Street under the railway, this did not become a right of way and fell out of use in the 1950s.

Note: Not in Tackley parish.

Note: Not in Tackley parish.

Narrow lock from 1790. Note: Not in Tackley parish.

One of many lift bridges on the Oxford canal, built to connect fields where the canal was routed through farms. This was bridge number 215 and known as caravan lift bridge. It was demolished in 2015. Note: Not in Tackley parish.

This station opened as Woodstock Road when the railway was built in 1850. It was later renamed Kirtlington, then Bletchington. It was Tackley’s nearest station for sending and receiving goods and parcels (Tackley halt opened in 1931 but Bletchington still needed to be used for goods transporting). It closed in the 1960s. Note: Not in Tackley parish.

Former toll gate on the London to Worcester turnpike, turnpiked in 1729 and disturnpiked in 1878. The toll house is still shown on a 1932 map but was demolished a few years later. Wikipedia: Turnpike trusts

The Parliamentarians moved north from Kidlington to test the crossing and found the Royalists had two six-pounders and a demi-cannon to cover Enslow Bridge.

Now a satellite earth station operated by Vodafone. Formerly operated by Mercury Communications, which merged into Cable and Wireless.

Remains of three Neolithic burial/ceremony sites just south of the parish boundary. Wikipedia: Long barrow

On Thursday, 13 July 2006 a Royal Air Force Harrier GR9 aircraft flying from RAF Cottesmore to RAF Fairford crashed near Sturdy’s Castle public house. It is understood that the pilot, having had a problem, and seeing Woodstock ahead, managed to turn around and eject at a very low height, surviving uninjured. BBC News: Harrier jet crash in Oxfordshire was ‘genuine mistake’ (2010)

Site of a turnpike road inn run by a Mr Sturdy and a Mr Castle. The two men had a disagreement followed by a punch-up. Their names were incorporated into the name of the modern-day pub, and until a recent refurbishment the sign outside was an image of them fighting.

Akeman Street was a major Roman road in England that linked Watling Street with the Fosse Way. Its junction with Watling Street was just north of Verulamium (near modern St Albans) and that with the Fosse Way was at Corinium Dobunnorum (now Cirencester). Its course passes through Alchester (outside modern Bicester). Wikipedia: Akeman Street

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Built around 1875, this supplied water to the new farmhouse at Whitehill. It used the flow of the water in the brook to power a hydraulic ram to pump the water uphill.

Wikipedia: Deserted medieval villages

Two connected lakes created by the Morton family in the 1770s by damming a stream that feeds the lakes from the western end near Hill Court.

A now-redundant ornamental outfall from the lower lake, replaced by a modern sluice to the north west.

For storing ice collected from the lakes during winter. Ice would be used throughout the year to pack round meat and produce in chests in the ‘big house’ larder.

An ornamental arched bridge and ‘cave’ built between the lakes.

Known as the Pullback mill, this ceased working in the mid 1700s and all buildings were demolished by 1850.

Geometric fishponds built by John Harborne in the 1620s, designed primarily for angling and probably wildfowl and also used for pleasure walks.

Stables for the manor house. Now in commercial use.

Site of the manor house of John Harborne (1582–1651), a London merchant. The family lived in Tackley from 1612 to the 1650s.

Gateway to the site of the manor house. The Harborne coat of arms is on the left-hand curve of the arch; on the right is that of his wife, Frances Eure.

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The early route to Oxford from Tackley was straight on at the right-hand bend after The Green, passing in front of Hill Court and on via Whitehill. This was closed in 1756 by the Morton family and a new route created up by the ‘back’ of the church.

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Until the early 2000s, this hut of Tackley’s Local Defence Volunteers (the Home Guard) was visible from the road to Sturdy’s Castle. It was demolished and the remains are dumped in the brambles across the road.

Triangulation station installed in the 1930s by The Ordnance Survey. Aerial surveys and GPS have now made such stations largely redundant. Wikipedia: Triangulation station

Surveys carried out by archaeological digs in early 2014 identified traces of walls and post holes of prehistoric, possibly Iron Age, buildings.

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At the enclosure award of 1873 Tackley Heath became a ‘poor’s heath and fuel allotment’. Parishioners had the right to cut and gather firewood. In 1957 it became a ‘recreation ground for the benefit of the inhabitants of the ancient parish of Tackley’. Any rights of ‘the inhabitants of the ancient parish of Tackley’ to cut and collect firewood probably ceased in 1965. Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 the heath became ‘open access land’ giving the general public right to roam.

Including arrowheads, scrapers and knives.

Before a direct connection to the wider mains system in the mid 1960s, Tackley’s water supply came from local boreholes pumped to the reservoir at the top of Rousham Road.

Barton to Woodstock Manor drove road. Woodstock Palace, later Woodstock Manor, was the king’s magnificent hunting lodge, situated on the land now occupied by Blenheim Palace. The Barton estate, where the lane begins, produced meat to feed the household of the palace when the Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Tudor kings hunted there. Note: Dornford Lane is outside of Tackley parish. Wikipedia: Drovers’ road

The Adderbury, Kidlington and Oxford Turnpike Trust was established in 1754. The road was disturnpiked in 1875. Wikipedia: Turnpike trusts

Not all sites are publicly accessible. Descriptions by Neil Wilson. Map and programming by Martin Edwards, to whom bugs or suggestions should be reported, based on an original map by Neil Wilson.