History of Islip

Image 1 for History of IslipA book, Islip, Oxfordshire: from Edward the Confessor to the 21st Century, compiled by Sarah Hayward and the Islip History Group with support from the Local Heritage Initiative Grant and Cherwell District Council, was published in May and distributed to every household in the village.

Extra copies for friends and relatives are now on sale at the village shop and local book stores, priced £5.

Islip, Oxfordshire was published to coincide with Oxfordshire 2007, which marked the creation of Oxfordshire in the West Saxon Kingdom of Mercia in about 1007.

Monies raised from the sale of the book will continue to help support another of the history projects: the development of the Village Archive and in particular, the photographic collection.

A brief history of IslipIslip was probably first settled in Saxon times. Its position on the edge of the Bernwood Forest made it a likely site for a royal hunting lodge and this may be why Edward the Confessor was born here in or around 1005 and later commemorated in the Confessor's Chapel.
During the Civil War, Islip was of strategic importance due to its proximity to the Cherwell and in 1645 occupying Royalist troops were routed by Cromwell at the Battle of Islip Bridge. The village remained in Cromwell's hands through the siege of Oxford in 1646. During the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685, it was again occupied by government forces to secure the Western approach to London. The present bridge was constructed in 1878.Image 2 for History of Islip

In the eighteenth century, Islip developed as an important staging post on the main London to Worcester coaching route with many of the current houses still bearing the names of its numerous inns. It was also on the Oxford to Buckingham route during winter months, when Gosford Bridge was impassable. The building of the Oxford Canal in 1790 led to a rapid decline in the village's importance as a coaching post. Islip then briefly became a thriving railway centre in the middle of the nineteenth century, with the original terminus for the planned Oxford to Bletchley service being built here in 1850. Once the station at Oxford Rewley Road was built, the line was used for LNWR's Oxford and Worcester expresses to London with a stopping service from Oxford to Cambridge following soon afterwards. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the line became largely dedicated to commuter services between Oxford and Bicester, with Islip one of seven stations between the two. The smaller stations were closed in 1926 and the service completely withdrawn in 1967 (though re-opened in 1989). Thus ended Islip's brief history as a busy coaching, then rail post, allowing it to revert to its more natural role of being one of the most beautiful and peaceful villages in this most beautiful and peaceful part of Oxfordshire.

A more detailed history of Islip can be accessed at http://www.british-history.ac.uk/Feed Islip into the search engine on their homepage and follow the link.

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