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Hixet Wood

By Barbara Allison and Linda Mowat     Where did the name of this road come from? The earliest map of Charlbury – the 1761 Thomas Pride map, tracings of which are in the museum – called the street we now know as Hixet Wood Hicks’s Wood. So like most people, we thought this street name was a …

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A Charlbury baker

By Linda Mowat John Penn, baker of Charlbury, died in 1695, leaving his worldly goods to his widow Ellenor. He did not list these items in his will, but the inventory subsequently made of his possessions offers us a rare insight into the life of a seventeenth-century tradesman in the town. John’s premises included a bakehouse and a boulting …

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Inventory of 1680

Here is the inventory of a labourer named Thomas Becket. He died in 1680. We don’t know his age, but he didn’t appear to have any children. His wife died a few days after him, and his brother in law, another labourer called John Archer, had probate for his possessions. £ s d In the …

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Bringing our wagon back to life

Our wagon is a fine example of a South Midlands Spindle Sided Bow Wagon. It was made by Longs of Aston around 1880 and spent a busy working life in the area before falling into disuse in the 1950s.  Originally made for Mr. Lomas, a butcher of Burford, it was later acquired by Miss Elsie …

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Charlbury’s Fire Brigade

Have you ever thought about how fires were tackled before the Fire Service existed? There was a large fire at a farm in Bull Lane in the 1870s. A double line of people, mainly women and children, formed from the nearest pump and buckets of water were passed hand to hand along one line to …

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A short history of glovemaking in Charlbury

By the middle of the 18th century, West Oxfordshire had become one of the three most important centres of glovemaking in England. Long before this, women known as gloveresses had done hand-sewn work in the villages bordering Wychwood Forest, whose herds of deer provided the leather.  This tradition formed the basis for West Oxfordshire’s reputation …

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New booklet available!

A fun introduction to the history of the town 64 pages, full colour, £8 plus p&p if applicable Email