Welcome to Horspath Village

The History of Horspath

The Romans were here .... Saxon times .... Medieval times .... Victorian age .... and .... The Battles of the Bridge and the Turbine!!!!

Save Horspath Bridge
The "Save our Bridge" demo, November 2005 (photo: Keith Brooks)
Horspath Bridge saved
Horspath Bridge saved, January 2006 (photo: Heather Palmer)

The ancient village of Horspath, active since before 1066, nestles on the slopes of Shotover, one mile outside the boundary of Oxford City and surrounded by Green Belt land. The old bridle-path joining the London Road through the neighbouring village of Wheatley gave the Anglo-Saxon name of "Horsepadan". In the Domesday Book it was recorded in 1086 that "Gilbert holds of Roger 5 hides in Horspadan". With time "Horsepadan" became "Horsepath", but in 1912 the Parish Council changed to the unique form, "Horspath". The earliest existing Parish Register for "Horsepath" dates back to 1561.

Horspath is one of the very few villages around Oxford still to have a "Harvest Feast" every September. Horspath Feast Sunday, the Feast of St Giles, is always the Sunday following the 12th of September, even when the 12th of September falls on a Sunday. Horspath Feast Day, is always on the Monday after Feast Sunday. On Feast Monday the funfair comes to Horspath Village Green most years, and the "end of season" cricket match is played. The Village Green is transformed on the Monday night by various of the fairground attractions which are still in the area after St. Giles Fair in Oxford. In the years when the fair does not come to Horspath on Feast Monday it will have visited a week or two prior. The village church of St. Giles dates from the 12th century, and is one of 15 listed buildings in Horspath.

See the entry in the British History Online website about Horspath.