Kirtlington


Kirtlington

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 51.87363
longitude= -1.27369
official_name= Kirtlington
population = 872
shire_district= Cherwell
shire_county = Oxfordshire
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Henley
post_town= OXFORD|postcode_district = OX5
postcode_area= OX|dial_code= 01869
os_grid_reference= SP501197

Kirtlington is a village and civil parish in the Cherwell district of Oxfordshire in England, approximately 13 kilometres north of Oxford. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 872.

Neighbouring villages include: Bletchingdon, Tackley, Weston-on-the-Green and Kidlington. The nearest towns are Woodstock and Bicester.

Points of interest

The parish church is dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin.

The village has a 19th century pub, the Oxford Arms, and a Grade II listed hotel, the Dashwood Hotel and Restaurant.

About 1 kilometre to the east of the village lies Kirtlington Park, a Grade 1 listed, 18th century Palladian mansion house. It is set in 3000 acres (12 kilometres²) of parkland, laid out by "Capability" Brown, with views over the gardens to the Chiltern Hills. The venue is licensed to hold civil weddings. Kirtlington Park Farm, within the park, is the home of a polo club and polo school.

Kirtlington Golf Club is located approximately 1 kilometre to the south-west of the village.

Transport

The nearest National Rail station (2 kilometres away) is Tackley, on the Cherwell Valley Line.

Kirtlington is served by bus routes 25 and 25A (Oxford to Bicester via Bletchingdon and Kirtlington), operated by RH Transport Services.

The A4095 road passes through the village, as do the Oxfordshire Way long-distance footpath and the Oxfordshire Cycleway. The Roman road, Akeman Street, passes to the north. Junction 9 of the M40 motorway is about 5 kilometres to the east.

Kirtlington Lamb Ale

An Ale is a gathering of morris dance sides, and Kirtlington is notable for its annual festival of morris dancing, the Kirtlington Lamb Ale. The antiquarian and lexicographer Thomas Blount wrote, in his 1679 work "Fragmenta antiquitatis : antient tenures of land, and jocular customs of some mannors : made publick for the diversion of some, and instruction of others":

At "Kidlington" in "Oxford-shire" the Custom is, That on Monday after Whitson week, there is a fat live Lamb provided, and the Maids of the Town, having their Thumbs ty'd behind them run after it, and she that with her mouth takes and holds the Lamb, is declared "Lady of the Lamb", which being dress'd with the skin hanging on, is carried on a long Pole before the Lady and her Companions to the Green, attended with Musick and a "Morisco Dance" of Men, and another of Women, where the rest of the day is spent in dancing, mirth and merry glee. The next day the Lamb is part bak'd, boyld and rost, for the Ladies feast, where she sits majestically at the upper end of the Table and her Companions with her, with musick and other attendants, which ends the solemnity. [http://www.themorrisring.org/Trad/Index.htm]
It is considered that the reference to Kidlington was a mistake, and that Kirtlington was the correct location.

The custom died out in the early 1860s, but was revived when Kirtlington Morris formed in 1979. The Ale has been held every year since, at the end of May or in early June. Typically, around 20 morris sides attend the festival.

Books

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External links

* [http://www.visitkirtlington.co.uk/ Visit Kirtlington]
* [http://morris.duohosts.com/lamb_ale.htm Kirtlington Lamb Ale]
* [http://www.stormpages.com/baboons/Bab1.htm A journalist's impression of the Ale]
* [http://www.orchard5.demon.co.uk/genphotos/Kirtlington.%20St%20Mary%20the%20Virgin.htm Picture of the church of St. Mary the Virgin]
* [http://www.kirtlingtonpark.co.uk/ Kirtlington Park]
* [http://www.kirtlingtongolfclub.com/ Kirtlington Golf Club]


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