indicates every 2 miles
|Cycle Route Details|
|Route Name||Banbury-silverstone Figure-of-eight|
|Distance : miles (km)||54.5 (87.71)|
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|A gentle 50-miler on quiet country roads taking in Banbury, Overthorpe, Warkworth, Middleton Cheney, Thenford, Marston St Lawrence, Sulgrave, Helmdon, Radstone, Brackley, Turweston, Westbury, Evershaw House, Three Parks Wood, Silverstone, Abthorpe, Wappenham, Syresham, Biddlesden, Shalstone, Mixbury, Evenley, Charlton, Kingâ€™s Sutton, Twyford Wharf, Adderbury and Banbury.|
|Landmarks/Pubs for lunch/Sites to see?|
|WARKWORTH: St Mary the Virgin Church boasts an ornate 14th Century altar tomb carved in a hard chalk known as clunch, in memory of Sir John Lyons.
MIDDLETON CHENEY: All Saints Church is a beautiful 14th century church. There was a battle at Middleton Cheney on 6 May 1643 and scores of roundheads are buried in the graveyard. The church has outstanding stained glass windows, made by William Morris, Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown and other 19th century master window craftsmen.
THENFORD: Thenford arboretum covers over 64 acres and contains over 3,500 types of tree and shrub.
MARSTON ST LAWRENCE: The yew tree in the churchyard is over 1,000 years old. There is a magnificent black oak screen in the Church of St Lawrence, carved in 1610.
SULGRAVE: Sulgrave Manor was the President George Washingtonâ€™s ancestors. There are stocks on the village green.
HELMDON: 1,700-year old yew tree in the St Mary Magdaleneâ€™s Church yard with a 22-foot girth.
TURWESTON: Turweston airfield opened in November 1942 as a bomber training school. It initially housed Vickers Wellingtons and Avro Ansons as well as Airspeed Oxfords, Westland Lysanders, de Havilland Mosquitos and the Hawker Hurricanes. However, in 1943 it housed American B-25 Mitchells and A-20 Bostons.
WESTBURY: In the 15th century, King Edward IV gave Westbury to the Worshipful Company of Cooks, the smallest Livery Company in London.
SILVERSTONE: In the Middle Ages the main village trade was coppicing and many of the woods remain in the area. There used to be fish ponds for the villagers north of the parish church. RAF Silverstone opened in 1943 and housed the Vickers Wellington bomber. Like all Class A airfields, it had three runways, the longest of which ran from the south-west to the north east. This allowed planes to take off into the prevailing wind. The two other runways were at 60Âº to the main runway for use in other wind conditions. Silverstone hosted the first ever official Formula One world championship race in 1950. Only with the revised 2010 layout did part of one of its runways feature in the Formula One racetrack for the first time (the Wellington Straight).
WAPPENHAM: Wappenham is a classic example of a â€œlinear villageâ€, one that formed around a transport route, such as a road, river, or canal. In this case, it was the Towcester-to-Banbury branch line of the Stratford Upon Avon & Midland Junction Railway. It contains some of the earliest examples of buildings designed by the Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. His grandson designed the classic red telephone box, of which an example survives on the village green.
Wappenham station closed in 1951 and the last train ran on the line on 12 July 1953.
SYRESHAM: The following paint two very different pictures of Syresham life. Firstly an old song:
â€œTake your seats for Syresham for Syresham's the place,
Where they never never worry nor fall into disgrace,
Where all the boys are brothers and all the girls are sweet,
If you tumble down in Syresham, they'll set you on your feetâ€.
Secondly, the following inscription can be found in the Wesleyan Chapel:
â€œIn memory of John Kurde, shoemaker, the Syresham martyr, burnt at the stake in defence of truth, 1557. Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generationâ€.
John Kurde was killed because he denied transubstantiation. In other words, he did not believe that consecrated bread and wine became the actual body and blood of Christ.
BIDDLESDEN: Biddlesden Park stands on the grounds of an old Cistercian Abbey that was founded in 1147. 1 mile south of the village is Evershaw House. As documented in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, at the time of King Edward the Confessor the parish of Evershaw was owned by a â€œcertain bandy-legged manâ€.
SHALSTONE: Shalstone has some very interesting trees. There are cedars in the manor grounds. The church is reached along an avenue of chestnut trees. However, most noteworthy of all, the village contains some of the oldest Giant Redwood trees in the country. They were planted in the 1850s and are some of the first to have arrived from America.
MIXBURY: The name Mixbury is derived fom the Old English mixen-burgh and means â€œfortification near dung heapâ€. Its motte and bailey fortification, Beaumont Castle, was built in about 1100. All that remains now are some earthworks at the north end of the village. The south door to the church is Norman.
CHARLTON: Half a mile south of Charlton is Rainsborough Camp, the well-preserved remains of a bivallate iron-age hillfort.
KING's SUTTON: For many years, the 15th century tower of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul has been compared to local rivals as follows:
Bloxham for length,
Adderbury for strength,
And Kings Sutton for beauty.
The church also had noteworthy Perpendicular Gothic windows. Saint Rumwold was born nearby at Walton Grounds in 662AD. He was able to speak from the moment of his birth, professing his Christian faith and requesting baptism. He died when just three days old.
TWYFORD WHARF: It is possible to turn a 60 foot canal boat around at Twyford Wharf. The Oxford Canal runs between Coventry and Oxford. It took over 20 years to build and many strategies were employed to minimise the cost of the project. The final part of the canal was ceremonially opened in Oxford on 1 January 1790. For the next 15 years it was one of the most profitable transport routes in the country but, in 1805, the Grand Union Canal was opened and took away much of the traffic. It nonetheless remained profitable until the 1950s. In 1951 the coal wharf in Oxford was filled in and became the site for Nuffield College.
|Cycling Clubs located in this region|
|Banbury Star Cyclists Club|
|Le Club Velo des Moutons Noirs|