Port Meadow, Oxford

Port Meadow, Oxford

Port Meadow is a large area of common land to the north and west of Oxford, England.

The meadow is an ancient area of grazing land, still used for horses and cattle, and has never been ploughed. In return for helping to defend the kingdom against the marauding Danes, the Freemen of Oxford were given the 120ha of pasture next to the Thames by King Alfred who founded the City in the 10th Century. The Freemen's collective right to graze their animals free of charge was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086 and has been exercised ever since. [http://www.oxford.gov.uk/files/seealsodocs/27183/Port%20Meadow.pdf]

It runs from Jericho to Wolvercote along the east (left) bank of the River Thames, with the railway and the suburb of North Oxford further to the east, and the village of Binsey to the west. Access to Port Meadow is via Walton Well Road or Aristotle Lane in the south or from Wolvercote in the north. It is a typical English floodmeadow and is a favourite area for walking, with easy access from the city of Oxford. It is also a UK government SSSI. At the southern end of the meadow is Fiddler's Island in a loop of the river Thames. In the winter the meadow floods and if frozen forms a huge and safe area for skating. In late spring vast areas are carpeted with buttercups. Horses, cattle and geese graze the meadow and many birds can often be seen.

Because the meadow has never been ploughed, it contains well preserved archaeological remains, some of which survive as residual earthworks. Of particular note are several Bronze Age round barrows, an area of Iron Age settlement, and the foundations of 17th-century fortifications from the Parliamentary siege of Oxford during the English Civil War.

In the 17th and 18th centuries the meadow was used for horse racing, and low stone bridges laid over washes and ditches for this purpose still survive. [ [http://archive.theoxfordtimes.net/1998/7/8/85150.html Historic Port Meadow to get revamp] – The Oxford Times, 8 July 1998]

Part of Port Meadow was used as an military airfield in the First World War; the Royal Artillery also had a base there. In 1940, a camp was set up on the meadow for evacuees from Dunkirk.

In the south western corner of the meadow at Medley is Bossom's boat-yard, a small marina and a foot bridge across the Thames. The Medley Sailing Club, the furthest upstream sailing club on the River Thames, is located on the western riverbank.


External links

* [http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/United_Kingdom/England/Oxfordshire/Oxford-307338/Off_the_Beaten_Path-Oxford-Port_Meadow-BR-1.html VirtualTourist.com information]
* [http://www.tonywallisphotos.co.uk/Rivers/pages/03bt6%2001.htm Photograph]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Port Meadow Halt railway station — Infobox UK disused station name = Port Meadow Halt locale = Oxford borough = Oxfordshire original = London and North Western Railway pregroup = London and North Western Railway postgroup = LMSR years = 1906 events = Station opened years1 = 1926… …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford Rewley Road railway station — Oxford Rewley Road Relocated Rewley Road station building Location Place Oxford …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford West and Abingdon (UK Parliament constituency) — Oxford West and Abingdon County constituency for the House of Commons Boundary of Oxford West and Abingdon in …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford East (UK Parliament constituency) — Oxford East Borough constituency for the House of Commons Boundary of Oxford East in Oxfordshire …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford railway station — Oxford First Great Western 165123 heads a terminating service …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford to Bicester Line — Overview Type Heavy rail System National Rail Status Operational Locale Oxfordshire South East England …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford Road Halt railway station — This article is about a former railway station in Oxfordshire. For the existing station in Manchester, see Manchester Oxford Road railway station. Oxford Road Halt Location Place Water Eaton Area Cherwell Grid reference …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford — This article is about the city of Oxford in England. For other cities and other meanings, see Oxford (disambiguation). Oxford   City   …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford (UK Parliament constituency) — Not to be confused with Oxford University (UK Parliament constituency). Former Borough constituency for the House of Commons County Oxfordshire Major settlements Oxford …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford local elections — Wards for the local elections from 2002 Oxford local elections for the Oxford City Council in Oxford, England, take place every two years when half of the 48 seats in the City Council are up for election. Elections are held in even numbered… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”