The Shelswell History Festival exists to increase awareness in local history and the place it occupies in the wider world. The first festival will be between 7th and 9th July 2017 in Shelswell Park Estate and is a charity associated with the Benefice of Shelswell
Shelswell Benefice comprises a group of villages north of Bicester in Oxfordshire, an area immortalised in Flora Thompson's intimate description of village life in the Victorian era 'Larks Rise to Candleford'. The villages are Cottisford, Finmere, Fringford, Godington, Hardwick, Hethe, Mixbury, Newton Purcell, Stoke Lyne, and Stratton Audley. Shelswell Park has been made available for the History Festival by kind permission of the Baroness von Maltzahn.
Flora Thompson referred to Shelswell Park in her trilogy of
books “Lark Rise to Candleford” as Skeldon Park. At the celebrations in the park
for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee she wrote:
Included in the Festival are
For more about rural life in Oxfordshire in the 1940s and 50s see the Nora Morgan video at Youtube
is the sign for a battle on Ordnance Survey maps but some are so old or minor that they are missed. The one battle actually taking place on the Shelswell area was the Battle of Stoke Lyne in 584 AD when a Saxon army led by King Ceawlin of Wessex and his son Cutha fought an army of Britons .