Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal

Paul Mobbs’ photographic record of his walks around ‘Banburyshire’ and ‘The Irondowns’, and occasionally, as part of his work around Britain, the areas beyond.

The Hawk Stone and Wychwood
The Hawk Stone and Wychwood, 1st May 2018

Background Images

This index lists the Background Images that decorate the pages of the Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal.

Practically, there's no point decorating the background of the web page of the blog with pretty pictures as the page always gets in the way! This index allows you to view them as a list – camera icon or you can click the little camera icon at the top-left of each page to go directly to the image.

Alternately, especially for uses of assistive technologies, you can use the hot-key ‘Z’ to jump straight to it from most pages (the assistive upgrade to the site continues, but slowly)

Each link below gives a little information about each picture, and allows you to download a copy the image (most are 1366x768 pixels, and a few 1920x1080 pixels resolution):

Landscape image, ‘The Hawk Stone and Wychwood’
1920x1080 pixels

No.3. ‘The Hawk Stone and Wychwood’

The stone is captivating, but in this location it becomes something more – with the backdrop of a long bend in the Evenlode valley and Wychwood draped over the ridge beyond.

Beltane (1st May) 2018.

Landscape image, ‘Thor’s Stone & Taston Wayfaring Cross’
1920x1080 pixels

No.21. ‘Thor’s Stone & Taston Wayfaring Cross’

They are a strange pair: A large megalith protruding from a retaining wall; and a weathered, battered old stepped stone cross in the middle of the road.

Beltane (1st May) 2018.

Landscape image, ‘Calstone Down and Cherhill’
1920x1080 pixels

No.22. ‘Calstone Down and Cherhill’

The setting sun urges me on as I have to camp on the other side of that hill before dark.

30th April 2018.

Landscape image, ‘The Devil's Den’
1920x1080 pixels

No.24. ‘The Devil's Den’

Stopping for lunch at ‘The Devil's Den’ to try and fix my failing backpack.

2nd May 2019.

Landscape image, ‘The Hawk Stone’
1920x1080 pixels

No.26. ‘The Hawk Stone’

The location is beautiful, but get up close to the stone itself and you can see the ‘deep time’ etched into its surface.

20th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘The Old Way Through the Woods’
1366x768 pixels

No.27. ‘The Old Way Through the Woods’

An older way, missed by the modern hard roads network, linking together the ancient routes across the downs.

Beltane (1st May) 2018.

Landscape image, ‘Storm brewing over Catesby’
1366x768 pixels

No.28. ‘Storm brewing over Catesby’

Down through the village of Hellidon and onto the old gated road, the sun shown down on my back and the land all around – while over the rise, in the direction I was heading, the sky turned black.

29th April 2016.

Landscape image, ‘Halse Copse’
1920x1080 pixels

No.31. ‘Halse Copse’

The understorey is glowing green as the mid-Spring light streams in from above; and as far as you can see through the thicket the woodland floor is tinged with the purple-blue of newly sprouted bluebells. The coming of HS2 will change all that, though.

11th May 2018.

Landscape image, ‘On Ridgeway Lane near Longhole Bridge’
1366x768 pixels

No.32. ‘On Ridgeway Lane near Longhole Bridge’

‘Ridgeway Lane’ is an absolute gem of a walking route, a three mile long green lane from Hunningham Hill crossing the broad valley to Upton – shown here just approaching the bridge over the Grand Union Canal (and the route of HS2).

5th May 2018.

Landscape image, ‘Kingsash and Jones’ Hill Wood from Cobblershill’
1920x1080 pixels

No.33. ‘Kingsash and Jones’ Hill Wood from Cobblershill’

Along the southern flank of the Misbourne valley beyond Missenden, the long ridge rises steadily for five miles through the beechwoods past Dunsmore to Coombe Hill – with, unfortunately, a grandstand view of the HS2 excavations, and the much-famed Jones’ Hill Wood.

18th May 2018.

Landscape image, ‘Cubbington Woods and the Leam Valley from Offchurch’
1366x768 pixels

No.34. ‘Cubbington Woods and the Leam Valley from Offchurch’

Looking north from the high bank of the River Leam in Offchurch the valley opens out, with Cubbington Woods on the horizon – which will be spanned by HS2’s proposed 10-metre high Leam Viaduct and embankment, diving into a cutting in the hillside just below the woods.

17th February 2019.

Landscape image, ‘A Sea of Fog and the Dawn’
1366x768 pixels

No.36. ‘A Sea of Fog and the Dawn’

Viewed from Bretch Hill, Crouch Hill nestles in a sea of fog as the sun rises behind it one Winter’s morning.

20th January 2016.

Landscape image, ‘Akeman Street, near Sturdy’s Castle’
1366x768 pixels

No.37. ‘Akeman Street, near Sturdy’s Castle’

The raised bank of the old Roman road, ‘the agger’, is still visible hereabouts, as Akeman Street crosses the open landscape between Kirtlington and Stonesfield.

19th February 2013.

Landscape image, ‘The Arbury Hill watershed’
1366x768 pixels

No.38. ‘The Arbury Hill watershed’

Arbury Hill is the Central England watershed – with rivers draining to The Thames, The Severn, and The Wash from opposite sides of the large rounded hilltop.

29st April 2016.

Landscape image, ‘Banbury Lane Bridge’
1366x768 pixels

No.39. ‘Banbury Lane Bridge’

The name ‘Bridge Street’ in Banbury does not refer to the railway bridge; it refers to the stone Medieval bridge which carried ‘Banbury Lane’ over the River Cherwell.

3rd September 2012.

Landscape image, ‘A Tomb with a View’
1366x768 pixels

No.40. ‘A Tomb with a View’

Besbury Lane Bowl Barrow sits on top of a ridge, the perfect viewpoint over a broad sweeping bend of the Evenlode valley, with Wychwood draped over the ridgeline beyond; for that reason alone it’s worth a visit!

20th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘Churchill Churchard’s Megaliths’
1366x768 pixels

No.41. ‘Churchill Churchard’s Megaliths’

Stolen from the past in the Nineteenth Century; the boundary and retaining wall of Churchill’s ‘modern’ church were sourced by dismantling an ancient stone circle reputed to have stood in Sarsgrove Woods.

Beltane (1st May) 2018.

Landscape image, ‘Churchill Standing Stone’
1366x768 pixels

No.42. ‘Churchill Standing Stone’

Buried in the hedgerow alongside the road, it is sometimes difficult to spot, though no one is sure whether this short stubby stone is an ancient monolith or not.

20th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘Kiddington Wayside Cross’
1366x768 pixels

No.43. ‘Kiddington Wayside Cross’

Worn-away by time, this small late-Medieval cross stands beside the road most often in the shade – though occasionally lit when the sun finds a gap in the trees.

10th October 2014.

Landscape image, ‘Lyneham Long Barrow Portal Stone’
1366x768 pixels

No.44. ‘Lyneham Long Barrow Portal Stone’

The portal stone stands seemingly alone in the field; until you realise the large scrub behind is all that remains of the structure that it was once attached to.

20th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘North Leigh Roman Villa’
1366x768 pixels

No.46. ‘North Leigh Roman Villa’

Close to where Akeman Street crosses the River Evenlode, the Romans built a large villa which once dominated the landscape – though today, little remains of either.

20th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘The King Stone’
1920x1080 pixels

No.47. ‘The King Stone’

Though chipped away at by Eighteenth Century souvenir hunters, the King Stone remains, enigmatically, trying to see Long Compton.

14th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘The King’s Men Circle’
1920x1080 pixels

No.48. ‘The King’s Men Circle’

Even on a drab day, The King’s Men still have an air of mystery around them – their original shape and layout lost in the mists of time.

14th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘Sarsden Wayside Cross’
1366x768 pixels

No.50. ‘Sarsden Wayside Cross’

Though probably restored from its original form a few centuries ago, it still makes a lovely spot to sit and have a break after the climb up into Sarsden.

Beltane (1st May) 2018.

Landscape image, ‘The Roundabout’
1366x768 pixels

No.51. ‘The Roundabout’

Though ploughed, quarried, and afforested, traces of this Iron Age settlement still remain to be seen.

20th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘Wyck Beacon Barrow’
1366x768 pixels

No.52. ‘Wyck Beacon Barrow’

On the windswept hill, with views for miles across the local landscape, many might miss the large round barrow that sits on top of the hill – or think it part of the trigpoint unceremoniously planted on top.

21st February 2018.

Landscape image, ‘The Dancing Færies’
1920x1080 pixels

No.53. ‘The Dancing Færies’

Echoing to Shakespeare’s classic tale of supernatural play in an enchanted place, the three ‘færies’ dance a jig beside The King’s Men.

14th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘The King, transfixed’
1920x1080 pixels

No.54. ‘The King, transfixed’

Rooted to the spot, within his circling spikes like a prisoner in the dock, The King stands mute against the oncoming storm.

14th March 2019.

Landscape image, ‘Salt Way crosses the Cherwell valley’
1920x1080 pixels

No.55. Salt Way crosses the Cherwell valley’

Salt Way can still be seen in the landscape today. The line of dark trees that run across from the left, behind Kings Sutton church, into the village, then right along the line of houses.

28th March 2016.