Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Cotswolds - Swinbrook

Swinbrook village cricket green in the Cotswolds by Martyn Ferry Photography

Swinbrook is a small village on the River Windrush, about two miles east of Burford. Apparently untouched for generations, it is the quintessential English village with its stone walls, pretty church, cricket pitch with wooden pavilion (above), and an old stone pub next to the historic bridge across the River Windrush, the architecture is typically Cotswolds with cottages of warm-toned stone.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Stormy Skies

I was out the other day in the changeable weather we've been having, and managed to get a few shots of tumultuous skies above the Cotswold landscape. 

I had to dodge a few rain showers, and it was a case of grabbing the shots when I could, but with such volatile conditions it was worth the effort, as they can produce some interesting results.

Rural Oxfordshire field with dark stormy clouds above by Martyn Ferry Photography
These very dramatic clouds work well with the fresh green field below.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Cotswolds - Burford

The Cotswold town of Burford in the morning sunlight by Martyn Ferry Photography

Burford is a small town on the River Windrush in the Cotswold hills. The name derives from the Old English words burh meaning fortified town or hilltown and ford, the crossing of a river. 

With its medieval bridge, old stone houses and attractive Tudor and Georgian frontages, Burford is justifiably called one of the most picturesque towns in England. Often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’, the town was originally a fortified Anglo-Saxon ford, which continued in use until just after the Norman conquest of England, when the town of Burford was built on its current site.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Cotswolds - Asthall

Cotswolds village of Astall nestled in the Oxfordshire countryside by Martyn Ferry Photography

For a small village, Asthall is rich in history: a former Roman settlement on Akeman Street, which linked Cirencester with St Albans; the village church, dating back to the 12th century, possibly earlier; and the Elizabethan manor house, home to the Mitford sisters - it was here that Nancy Mitford penned much of ‘Love in a Cold Climate’. She is buried in the churchyard at nearby Swinbrook.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Cotswolds - Ascott-under-Wychwood

The village of Ascott under Wychwood by Martyn Ferry Photography

The smallest of the three Wychwood villages, the other two being Milton and Shipton, Ascott is the most isolated, and is set in a lovely location beside the quiet River Evenlode. 

The name 'Ascott' comes from the Saxon for 'East Homestead', a reference to the fact that Ascott began as a child settlement of Shipton, a few miles to the west.  Wychwood was the ancient royal forest of Wychwood, and its name originated from the 'wood of a tribe called Hwicce'. Little remains today of the forest. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Cotswolds - Shipton-under-Wychwood

Road through Shipton under Wychwood in the Cotswolds by Martyn Ferry Photography

Shipton-under-Wychwood is a village in the Evenlode valley, its name refers to the fact that it used to be under the boughs of the ancient Royal Forest of Wychwood and was originally a royal manor, mentioned in the Domesday Book. Langley Lodge, on the east side of Shipton was the site of a Royal hunting Lodge that was built for Henry VII. Most of the Tudor monarchs stayed there when hunting in Wychwood Forest. Some remnants of the forest remain, but for the most part this is now open farmland.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Cotswolds - Great Tew

Thatched cottages in the Cotswold village of Great Tew by Martyn Ferry Photography

Nestled in the Cotswolds and overlooking the Worton Valley from its limestone ridge location, Great Tew has been described as one of England's most beautiful villages.

Historic remains have unearthed a barrow just south of the village and a Roman mosaic floor and hypocaust heating system from a 4th century Roman villa. By 1086 it was recorded in the Domesday Book as a sizeable settlement and it played an important role in the Civil War and in The Industrial Revolution.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Cotswolds - Kingham

St Andrew's church in Cotswold village of Kingham by Martyn Ferry Photography

Situated in the Evenlode valley, Kingham, which was anciently known as Konigsham, is a beautiful unspoiled Cotswold village with some beautiful cottages mostly dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Cotswolds - Charlbury

Charlbury in the Cotswolds landscape by Martyn Ferry Photography

Charlbury is a small town in the Evenlode valley, it looks across the valley to the fine 600 acre Cornbury Park estate almost surrounded by the great woodlands of Wychwood Forest. Evidence suggests that the town started life as a small Anglo-Saxon settlement in a clearing in Wychwood Forest. The town made prosperous during the 18th century thanks to it's glove making industry.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Cotswolds - Chipping Norton

Chipping Norton's Bliss Tweed Mill in the summer sunshine by Martyn Ferry Photography

As I'm in the middle of quite an extensive commission for the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, a local government run website and annual tourist guide, documenting the local towns and villages found in this part of the country, I've decided to start a regular series of blog posts with some of the images I've captured on my travels, and first up is the bustling town of Chipping Norton.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Short and sweet, here's a few pictures of wildflowers taken a couple of weeks ago. 

wildflower (or wild flower) is a flower that grows in the wild, meaning it was not intentionally seeded or planted.

Poppies and daisies caught on camera by Martyn Ferry Photography