Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire

Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire

Upper Heyford is a village and civil parish in the Cherwell district of Oxfordshire, England.

Upper Heyford is on the east bank of the River Cherwell. The term 'Upper' was introduced to distinguish it from the other Heyford (Lower Heyford) which is approximately one mile 'lower' down the Cherwell river valley. Nearby places are Steeple Aston (on the west bank), Lower Heyford (south of the parish), Somerton (to the north), and Ardley, to the east. Upper Heyford has access to the Oxford Canal from Allens Lane (at Allens Lock) which runs parallel to the River Cherwell. It heads towards Somerton and on to Banbury to the North, and towards Lower Heyford then Oxford to the South. This is popular for walkers and dogs alike.

The village is surrounded on all sides by working farm land (some agriculture and livestock); the village housing comprises just over 100 homes: a mixture of original 1700s and 1800s Cotswold Stone cottages, converted barns, stone-brick houses, 1950/60s brick bungalows and rendered houses. The most recent houses have made use of Cotswold stone exteriors which is more in keeping with the village feel.

There is a church, graveyard, village green (overlooked by the old school, now a house), allotments, sportsground (home of Heyford United football team), village hall, children's playground and a pub: "The Barley Mow". The annual village beer festival, held in August each year, attracts many hundreds of people.The village is always linked with, but separate from, the site of the disused RAF Upper Heyford which is about a mile away. The airfield was used by the RAF from the 1920s as a bomber base, then in the 1950s assigned to the USAF. Since its closure in 1994, the base became an industrial and commercial estate of some importance. The runway (once the second longest in Europe) is used for storage of new cars (such as Audi among others) waiting for delivery to dealers. Much to the annoyance of local residents, who see them as eyesores, several relics from the cold war remain, such as the unused bunkers, water towers, huts and fences. There are a large number of ex-service houses alongside the base/industrial area which are rented.

There is talk that Upper Heyford may be renamed 'Heyford Warren' (the name for the village from about 200 years ago) with the Upper Heyford name remaining for the housing at the Airforce Base. The base has been subject to much speculation regarding development for new housing. Several proposals (firstly for as many as 10,000 homes, then 1,000, then "several hundred") have been rejected. A further planning discussion is underway.

A planning application for RAF Upper Heyford is currently underway as of 2007. The plan calls for the protection of most of the historic elements of the airbase. However, most if not all of the bungalows south of the airfield will be destroyed to make way for new housing of about 1000 homes.

External links

* [http://www.valleyweb.onta.net/upperheyford/ Pictorial description]
*oscoor gbx|SP500260

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