Oxfordshire's Historic Archives

Historic Oxfordshire

Preserving and Enhancing Access to Historic Oxfordshire
Records of Archaeological Work held by the Ashmolean Museum

Site Name: Cornbury Park

Site Location: West Oxfordshire
Related Achive: Manning

Percy Manning mentions "barrows and earthworks" in Cornbury Park.

Cornbury Park is situated south west of Charlbury, and is part of Wychwood Forest. As well as the numerous ancient sites in the forest, there are a number inside the park itself. At least three barrows, a Civil War battery, a Roman encampment and earthworks that could be part of a second Civil War defence. The Park is owned by Lord Rotherwicke and he kindly gave permission for these, and the photographs inside Wychwood Forest, to be taken.

The first barrow is very clear, it has a very old, large oak tree growing in the centre. The tree is mentioned in the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire dated 1907.

The second barrow can just be seen as a slight mound, to the south-west of the first barrow.

The third barrow is in the north-west of the park, a slightly more definitive mound than barrow number two.

The first site of civil war defences are to the south-west of barrow number one, and these can just be seen as an earthwork following the line of the trees.

The second civil war defence site overlooks the valley to the north down the Evenlode valley. A three-sided bank and ditch - there is no fourth bank and ditch to the north-west. The defence is characteristic of small batteries of this time. There is no documentary evidence but the battery was probably built around 1642. It was Fairfax's headquarters in 1646.

The site of the supposed Roman Camp lies right in the north west corner of the Park. This again, overlooks the valley to the north.


R. Plot, Natural History of Oxfordshire, 1705, p343

Victoria County History of Oxfordshire, Vol II, p318 and 345

Site Photographs

Click on picture to see a larger image
Cornbury Park 1st Barrow

One of the barrows in Cornbury Park
(June 2006)

Second Barrow in Cornbury Park
A second barrow in the Park
(June 2006)
3rd barrow in Cornbury Park
A third barrow in the Park
(June 2006)
Civil War Defences
Civil War defences near the 1st barrow
(June 2006).
The earthwork bank can just in the line of trees
2nd Civil War Defences
A second Civil War Defence site
(June 2006).
This can just be seen in the line of the bank running across the photograph
north-east bank of Roman camp
The north-east bank of the Roman Camp
(June 2006)
Civil War Defence NW bank
The north-west bank of the Roman Camp in the Park
(June 2006)
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