Holton is a hamlet, situated five miles east of Oxford, with a population of a few hundred. Known by the Anglo-Saxon name of Eltone in 1086, it was recorded in the Domesday Book. The area was inhabited by the Romans, but it was the Anglo-Saxons who gave the village its name.
There has been a castle or manor house in Holton Park since medieval times. The original was surrounded by a moat which was hand-dug, involving the removal of 24,000 cubic yards of rock. The 1700 acre estate and the original stone wall surrounding the estate remain a feature of the village.
In 1646 Holton Park hosted the wedding of Oliver Cromwell's daughter Bridget to his deputy, Colonel Ireton, in the chapel of the house.
The present house was built in 1808 probably using stone from the original, but situated in the grounds and not on the moated island. Now the building has become an Arts Centre used for teaching, exhibitions and productions at Wheatley Park School. Oxford Brookes University School of Business and Technology is also located on the Holton Park site and includes the University playing fields, cricket grounds and private golf course.
Less than a mile away from Home Farm B&B: Wheatley village inhabited since Saxon times and now has a population of around 4000. It was once the site of a Roman Villa.
Stage coaches travelled from Oxford to London via the Old Road which crossed Shotover Plain, and the descent into Wheatley was a favourite haunt of highwaymen. Many of the inns had an upper entrance in Church Road and another in the High Street to accommodate the change of horses.
The village lock-up, built in 1834, still stands. During the 19th century it was used to lock up drunks overnight before sending them to the Oxford court. More recently it has been opened every May Day. For a small charge visitors can be locked up for five minutes or so, and given a certificate to prove it.
Shotover Country Park is an area of outstanding beauty including woodland and heathland rising up before the city of Oxford.
Why not have a day out at Waterperry Gardens, originally founded 70 years ago as a Ladies' School of Horticulture? At the same time visit the Country Life Museum, Saxon Church, Art Gallery and Long Barn.
Just 5 miles from Home Farm B&B: Oxford, The City of Dreaming Spires, is famous for its University and its history going back to the 9th Century. For over 800 years, it has been a home to royalty and scholars.
Today, the city is a bustling cosmopolitan place, still with its ancient University, but home also to a growing hi-tech community. Many businesses are located in and around the town, whether on one of the Science and Business Parks or within one of a number of residential areas.
With its mix of ancient and modern, there is plenty for both the tourist to do and see. Whether it is visiting one of the many historic buildings, colleges or museums, going out for a drink or a meal, theatres, concerts or shopping, Oxford has it all.
But, it you find you do want more, then Oxford is just a short drive away from many other attractions and the capital city itself, London.
|Home Farm House, Holton, Near Wheatley, Oxford, Oxon, OX33 1QA | Tel: 01865 872334 or email|