Sibford Scene Archive

Sibford Scene 405 September 2018

Click on the cover image to download the complete edition

A painting of flowers

Ditch-hedge Lane – part of an ancient trackway

In the early centuries following the Roman invasion and during the Dark Ages, an ancient trackway linked south-western England with the region around Lincoln and York. It avoided the swamps and forests of the great Midland plain by running along the ridge of high ground of which the Cotswolds form the central part. Four miles south of Sibford, close to Hook Norton, it divided. One went north-east passing just south of the Sibford parishes, by way of Madmarston Camp at Tadmarton to cross the Cherwell near Banbury. The other struck north, over Oatley Hill, through Traitor’s Ford, continuing up from there along the farm-track which is now the Oxfordshire-Warwickshire county boundary (Ditch-hedge Lane) and Sibford Gower’s eastern boundary, and along the top of the Edgehill scarp.

The two Sibfords, and the hamlet of Burdrop, stand on hill tops, close to the line of springs which feed into the River Stour and ultimately the River Severn. This was a natural siting in times when men and women lived behind barricades, fearful of wild beasts and marauding tribes emerging from the surrounding forests. Flint arrow-heads have been found south-west of Sibford Grounds Farm and near The Colony in Sibford Gower.

Maureen Hicks

Above, you may see one or two items of historical interest from this edition. To see the whole edition, click on the front-page image to download it as a pdf.