Last Update: 6th July 2019
Emma Pennington, recently the vicar of the Benefice of Garsington, Cuddesdon and Horspath, was an active member of the Archaeological Group and documented the walks on the Benefice website. Images and descriptions can be found here:Benefice of Gasington, Cuddesdon and Horspath, Summer Walks
Unfortunately the heavens opened up on our first walk and the hardy walkers had to take shelter in Sally's kitchen for a cup of reviving tea.
This is just to let you know about our walk on Wednesday evening, the 22nd, from The Ridings (off Old Road) along a possible Roman side road leading from the main Dorchester to Alchester Roman Road to Horspath. Chris copied and labelled a map (below) of our route: past Open Magdalen Wood and Open Brasenose Wood with the Westhill Farm site in the distance. We identified a couple of possible sites that might be interesting to investigate further by excavating. We entered Horspath along the footpath just below Manor Farm.
The other map shows Chris' thoughts about a possible continuation of this road through the previous grounds of the Manor House, now Wrightson's Close, (before the Manor House was built) and on to Gidley Way; across Gidley Way, above the vineyard and the allotments and behind the houses on Cuddesdon Road, across the Hollowbrook and on to Old Horsepath. This is creative thinking but based on remnants of a footpath off Gidley Road leading in this direction.
The photo shows Chris pointing out the possibility of there being a Roman Villa near the Westfield Farm site. Further investigations needed!
We were 8 hearty souls who walked to the village of Old Horsepath this evening. It didn't rain, and was a lovely clear evening. Chris showed us the remaining stones on the Old Horsepath site and we visited the source of the Hollowbrook with the pond in the background. Chris explained about some of the previous excavations he has carried out which revealed a cobbled stone area, medieval pottery sherds and even some Roman pottery. We identified a particularly useful place, in the hedgerow, to possibly carry out a small excavation to understand the village site better. We tried to make sense of the possible route from Lower Horsepath to Old Horsepath across the top of the vineyard, the top of the allotments and along the tops of the gardens on Cuddesdon Road. We all felt we understood the lay of the land much better. It is certainly a spot with a great view over Oxford and beyond!