A History of Road and Street Names in Adderbury and Twyford

This list of the origins of the street and road names in Adderbury and Twyford was prepared at the request of members of the Adderbury History Association. It is based on a number of printed sources, particularly Nicholas Allen: Adderbury: A Thousand Years of History; the Adderbury History Association pamphlet, Walks around Adderbury; the Adderbury History Association CD, Adderbury, Then and Now; Vera Wood: The Licensees of the Inns, Taverns and Beerhouses of Adderbury & Milton Oxfordshire; Rhoda Woodward: Wartime Memories of a Parish and Village Chapels by Pauline Ashbridge. I have also benefited from the comments and suggestions of many in the village, including Nicholas Allen, Barry Davies, Robert Cooke, David and Aline Griffiths, Keith Mitchell, Anne Neal, Robert and June Stilgoe, Jim Thomas and Hilda Zimmer. I am grateful to David Williams, Chief Executive of Ability Housing Association, for information on Summers Close and to Adderbury Parish Council for information on very recent street names.

The list was compiled in February 2015, revised in October 2016 and reflects the state of our historical knowledge at that time. If any readers know of further information or want to suggest improvements, I would be very glad to hear from them. I can be contacted via philandbmansell@hotmail.com.

Phil Mansell


Adderbury Court Adderbury Court was built on a site opened as a garage in the early 20th century when Richard Plackett, a local carrier, decided to move from horse and carrier’s cart into motorised transport. The garage house was filmed being knocked down for the TV adaption of Tom Sharpe’s book A Blot on the Landscape in 1983.
Adderbury Park This was a name presumably given by the developer to suggest luxurious surroundings. Before development the site had been used during the Second World War to house huts for the use of the military.
Berry Hill Road This road was formerly known as Gas Works Road, and the current name was presumably adopted as preferable once Adderbury stopped supplying its own gas. By 1956, integration mains had been laid from the Banbury gas works. The village belief that this was the site where suicides were buried (hence “Bury Hill”) seems unlikely, since it does not agree with either the law on burials or church or chapel practice; it also seems to be an inappropriate site given the extensive ironstone mining operations in the neighbourhood. The fields around the road are shown on maps to have the name “Beryl”, and this is thought to be a much more likely origin of Berry Hill (so, “Beryl Hill”). “Beryl” is a term used in connection with the growing of barley.
Cawley Road This commemorates the Cawley family in general. They lived at one time in Adderbury House and were noted village benefactors. After Hugh Cawley died the Miss Crawleys lived at Moorey House. Ada Blanche Cawley died there in 1956.
Chapel Lane When it was named, Chapel Lane led to the original Methodist chapel, a sturdy little ironstone structure built in 1810 and still standing, although in the garden of a private house. As the congregation expanded, five cottages belonging to John Hone, originally a village carrier, were donated by him and demolished to make way for the chapel on the corner of High Street that we know today. It was built in 1893 to seat 200 worshippers. Attached to it is the chapel schoolroom (now a meeting room) and a stable for the circuit minister’s horse (now a kitchen and cloakroom). The lane was originally named Penn’s Lane. It is possible that this original name reflects the number of Quakers living in the village at one time. It could refer to William Penn (1644-1718), the founder of Pennsylvania, who was a prominent Quaker on the national and international stage. On the other hand, Penn is a quite common name in the midlands, and Adderbury had its own Penns.  Thomas Penn, for example, is recorded as having been buried at Adderbury Quaker Meeting House in 1698, and Martha Penn was also buried there in 1702.
Church Close Church Close is a small close of modern houses. These are built on the site of fish ponds which appear on early 19th century maps. Believed to be medieval in date, the ponds were filled in at the end of the 19th century.
Church Lane This was formerly known as “Back Lane”. Some sources say it had an “unsavoury reputation” so possibly it was renamed to counteract this.
Colin Butler Green This was named in the late 20th Century after the village’s long serving postman. On the green is the only example of a gas lamp to survive in the village (now converted to electricity). It is the smallest listed structure in the village.
Croft Lane This lane contains Croft Farm, which was until quite recently the last remaining working farm actually in the village. It seems, though, that both the farm and the lane were named for the “northern crofts” belonging to the Cobb family. Beyond Croft Farm the lane peters out into a public footpath to Bodicote.
Cross Hill Road Cross Hill starts just after Round Close Road and stops around the Quaker Meeting House, where it meets Horn Hill. It is believed that the road was named after Cross Hill House. This probably originates in the 16th century, but it is thought to have been rebuilt at the end of the seventeenth century by the Doyly family. In the early part of the twentieth century it was home to George Norris, a keen amateur photographer, who recorded many scenes of Adderbury between 1905 and 1910.
Deene Close Rhoda Woodward, in her Wartime Memories of a Parish, records that the land on which Deene Close and the school now stand were formerly allotments created to alleviate the poverty of workers made redundant from the ironstone workings in the 1930s. Deene Close was built in 1967. It was named for Deene, the village in East Northamptonshire, where the developer, Mr. Piggot, grew up.
Dog Close It is believed that the name came from the Duke of Buccleugh’s kennels being sited here. The road was previously known as Turner’s Close.
East End Lane This is the eastern end of the original road to Aylesbury and London, the Oxford Road end of which is now the Long Wall footpath. East End Lane at this point is not narrowed by the Long Wall, and looking back from the Aynho direction it is still possible to get a sense of it being a main road with substantial houses on either side.
Falkner’s Close This was named for Fred Falkner, a long-standing local Parish Councillor, who lived with his family in Mill Lane. When the Close opened he moved there and lived at No 1 until his death.
Fleet Farm Way This is a new street name, one of those agreed by the Parish Council for the new development to the north of the Aynho Road. The development is on land that used to belong to Fleet Farm.
Green Farm The farm was originally a public house, the Crowne, which had a very short life in the early 17th century as licensed premises. Later it became Green Farm. To the right of the farmhouse were the farmyard and farm buildings. When the farm closed the buildings were converted into houses. The village Green has been a focal point for activities for centuries. In 1218 the village was granted a charter to hold a market every Monday. How long the market ran for is unknown. Here village justice was administered using a pillory, stocks and whipping post. The stocks were removed about 1882. The village clubs met on the Green on Club Day and members’ families enjoyed all the fun of the fair. The Boys School used the Green as a playground until the new school opened, so the Green was just bare earth in the centre for many years.
Greenhill Now the name of a private road leading to two blocks of flats, Greenhill was built as a private house in 1906, and was the first development along the Banbury Road. By 1969 the house and land had been purchased by the Cheshire Homes. One of the two blocks of flats in the current development is named Blunt House, commemorating Janet Blunt of Le Halle Place, West Adderbury, a collector of folk songs and Morris dances, who lived from 1859 to 1950.
Griffin Close A brown field site, formerly a fruit and vegetable wholesaler’s, Tom Griffin (Wholesale) Ltd., and named for him.
Henry Gepp Close Part of a development in 2008, named for Henry Gepp, Vicar of Adderbury. During the incumbency of Henry Gepp (1874– 1913) there were daily matins and evensong on Fridays besides a full complement of Sunday services. Bible and communicant classes were held and a parish-room opened in Water Lane in 1890. Gepp took an active part in organizing educational projects in the parish and in many of the social clubs which flourished in the late 19th century. He promoted the building of the Institute and was responsible for letting out allotments in Barford on his own ground; all tenants were to maintain a character for morality and sobriety, and it was hoped that tenants would attend church at least once a day on Sundays. Before development the land was used as sheep pasture.
Horn Hill Road Horn Hill is the area at the top of the slope just before and around the Milton turn area. It has the last remaining drinking well. The village pound was here. In An English Parish Church: Its Story, Nick Allen describes the Horne Tablet to be found on the north-west pillar of the nave in St. Mary’s, Adderbury.  He tells us that the Horne family came from Sarsden and says that village tradition has it that the family gave their name to Horn Hill Road.
Home Farm Court The name shows us where Home Farm buildings used to be. The 17th century farmhouse is next door and now known as The Old Farm. The name Home Farm has been taken by the modern farmhouse and outbuildings further out of the village on the north side of Aynho Road.
John Harper Road Another recently agreed name for one of the roads in the development to the north of Aynho Road. It is named in memory of John Harper, who was a Parish and District Councillor, and who was very active in the local community.
Katharine House The hospice stands as a living memorial to the life of Katharine Gadsby who in 1984, tragically died of cancer at the age of twenty. It is an independent sector hospice and relies largely on charitable donations for funding, receiving only about 35% of its costs from the NHS. The Day Hospice was opened in 1991, followed the next year by the inpatient unit, which offers short stays for symptom management, respite care or when a patient is near to the end of life. The Hospice aims to create a homely rather than a hospital atmosphere. Staff don’t wear uniform and patients are encouraged to make the bed spaces their own. The Hospice is built on the original kitchen garden of East House and was gifted the land when East House closed as a retirement home.
Kemps Road This leads to Kemps Farm, which stands above the Cherwell valley in the fields to the east of Walton Avenue, Twyford. The farm was marked on a 1735 map, but it has not yet been possible to trace the family. A Thomas Kemp crops up in deeds associated with the buildings at Twyford Wharf, particularly with the sale in 1921 of the Old Red Lion and other land to the then Hunt Edmunds Brewery. There was a right of way over the land from Kemps Farm to the road to King’s Sutton. This right of way was for William Henry Twynham (died 1929) who at the time was the occupier of Kemps Farm and also licensee of the Red Lion.
Keytes Close From the late 1850s three generations of Keytes were blacksmiths in Adderbury. The first was George from Harbury in Warwickshire, followed by son Charles in 1876. His third son,Ted, was the last blacksmith. The smithy, the brick building on the corner of Aynho Road and Oxford Road, eventually closed at the end of the 1940s and remained unused until conversion to a private house in 2007. This modern development was built on the paddock adjoining the smithy. It is reported that at the Adderbury Club Day festivities of 1st June 1904, this paddock was used to set up a new, large and very fast fairground roundabout called “Noah’s Ark”.
Lake Walk This area was once part of the ornamental gardens to Adderbury House, which would indeed have provided a walk to the Lakes. After the last war this land was used by villagers as allotments. In the 1990s the County Council sold the land for this estate. In 1996 before work started the developers called in the Thames Valley Archaeological Services who conducted a dig lasting six weeks. The archaeologists found a few prehistoric finds and some artefacts from the 13th and 14th centuries; they also unearthed an extensive collection of post-medieval finds including a perfectly preserved cellar, a metalled road and many other buildings.
Lambourne Way This was the old road to Deddington, which fell out of use after the mill on the Sor Brook was relocated and the current Oxford Road taken over the Brook by a new bridge. The new houses here were built when Adderbury House was sold for redevelopment. Even before the main house was sold, it is believed that the former stable block had been converted into dwellings and rented out, the complex being given at that point the name it still retains, Lambourne House. The road itself took this name over. It may be that the original name was suggested by the fact that it was devised for the stable block and the fact that the one-time owner of Adderbury House, Major James Walter Lanarch, had extensive horse breeding and racing interests. However, Lambourn in Berkshire, with its National Hunt training stables, is spelt differently from Lambourne in Epping Forest, which has no racing connections at all.  And there is no indication that any of Major Lanarch’s horses had any connection with Lambourn.
Lester Close This is believed to commemorate a Twyford family, the Lesters, who occupied a bungalow near to this site. Mr Lester is thought to have been an academic. On his death, his two sisters gave piano lessons in the locality.
Long Wall Close and Long Wall Nowadays a footpath runs east from the Oxford Road, joining East Lane and then the Aynho Road at the eastern end of the village. This footpath was originally the main road to Aynho and thence to Aylesbury. The name Long Wall comes from the high stone wall that borders the path throughout its length. The path was originally much wider and formed the main road between Adderbury and Buckingham and thence to London. It was reduced in size following the wholesale reorganisation of this part of the village after the eighteenth century enclosure, whereby the route to Aylesbury was provided by what is now the Aynho Road. The wall was put up to mark the northern boundary of the grounds of Adderbury House, and was constructed from recycled stones taken from the many houses demolished to allow the required changes. The footpath runs behind Henry Gepp Close and Long  Wall Close, giving the latter its name. Confusingly, the final few yards of the footpath to the east are known as Long Wall.
Lucy Plackett Playing Field This field has been a venue for sports for over a century. Cricket has been played here since the end of the 19th Century. The field was originally owned by Richard Plackett, a local carrier, and in 1938 it was left to the young people of the village by his daughter, Lucy Plackett, in a will proved at Gloucester on 8th November 1938. A charitable scheme was drawn up in July 1976 and registered with the Charity Commission in September of that year. The Parish Council is the sole trustee of the Lucy Plackett Charity and manages the playing field in this capacity. The children’s play area was owned by Hunt Edmunds, the Banbury Brewery, and was part of the Carriers Arms Public House. The land was sold to the Parish Council in 1948.
Manor Road This road was renamed, having previously been known as Mud End, a name that was still current for the further end of the road in the 1890s. The end by Crosshill probably became Manor Road sometime after Lady Paulet moved into Le Halle Place and renamed it the Manor House circa 1872. The Blunts continued with this name until Janet Blunt died and the house was sold.
Margaret Road This was named for one of Mr. Piggot’s, the developer’s, daughters.
Meadow View This was built by local builders Bray and Sons in the 1930s and named Meadow View – because of the view!
Mill Lane The Duchess of Argyll and her successors had the mill moved to its present location in the late 18th century. Village tradition has it that this was because it spoilt her view from Adderbury House, but the previous mill had been located where it flooded very often in winter and was hence unusable for a large part of the year. By 1920 the present mill was run by a miller and a baker; it ceased to function in 1939 and remained derelict until 1963. The Mill Stream serving the mill was cut in the 18th century for the water to flow to the Mill from the Sor Brook.
Nell Bridge This is clearly a very old name indeed and, equally clearly, derives from a proper name. This is where the old Salt Way crossed the Cherwell, having made its way down from Weeping Cross, keeping to the higher ground until the last. The bridge appears on the earliest of maps, and is first named on the Saxton/Lea map of 1693, and again on the Jeffreys map of 1767. There is a village belief that the bridge was named for Nell Gwynne (1650-1687), mistress to Charles II, but there is no evidence to support this. It is not impossible on the grounds of dates, since it is believed that Nell Gwynne might have followed the King to Oxford in the 1660s. The further belief that Nell Gwynne stayed at Nell Bridge House, however, is impossible, since that building is of nineteenth-century origin. Henry Gepp, in his history of Adderbury, writes that “The idea that this bridge was named after Nell Gwyn, the Drury Lane orange girl and famous beauty of Charles the Second’s reign, is disposed of by the fact that the name, as applied to the bridge, appears in a charity decree of the reign of Queen Elizabeth”. Probably the most likely explanation is the one given in Adderbury: A Thousand Years of History, that “the name Nel(l) is probably derived from a family of that name who lived in the area.”
New Road The main village road originally forded the Sor Brook and then turned left along the Parish (where the poor of the parish were temporarily housed). New Road was built to short-cut this narrow stretch.
Norris Close Named for Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Everard Du Cane Norris, JP, DL and Knight of St John (1869-1960) of Cross Hill House. Norris was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Oxford in 1896 and a Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire in 1935. He was High Sheriff of the county in 1939 and from 1948 to 1954 was Vice-Lieutenant.
Pargeter Close This is the first of the roads in the Milton Road development to be named after Adderbury Morris dancers killed in the First World War. There were two Pargeter brothers. Percy Wallace B. Pargeter (20) was killed in action during the battle of Transloy Ridges on the Somme on 7th October 1916. He was serving with the Oxon and Bucks Regiment. Ronald Leonard Pargeter (19) was killed in action on the Somme on 27th April 1918 while serving with the Royal Berkshire Regiment.
Parsons Street This was originally named Whites Lane. The new name may be connected to Rev Robert Parsons, appointed curate in Adderbury by William Beaw after his election as Bishop of Llandaff in 1679.
Rawlins Close Named for The Rev Dr Christopher Rawlins, Vicar of Adderbury 1554-1589. Rawlins also held a canonry at Lincoln Cathedral and had extensive land-holdings. In his will he left money to fund a free grammar school for educating 50 boys from the parish of Adderbury. The school opened in 1599. Rawlins’ successor vicars also founded schools in Adderbury – the Sunday school built in 1831 by the Rev Christopher Baring, which became the girls’ school (now Church House), and the infants school built in 1854 by the Rev Charles Alcock (now Shepherd’s Keep, a private house). All three schools were closed when a new primary school opened in 1962, named after Rawlins and bearing the coat of arms of the Rawlins family.
Rochester Way Named for John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, one time inhabitant of Adderbury House. He was born in 1647 or 1648, succeeding his father to the earldom at the age of ten. After Oxford he proceeded to make a tour, as was the custom of people of his class, in France and Italy. On his return to this country at the age of eighteen, he was presented to the Court at Whitehall, and set about achieving his notoriety as “the leading libertine in the gay court of Charles II”. He died in 1680.
Round Close Round Close occurs on the 1838 map of post-enclosure Adderbury as a field rather than a road name. Originally the road to the Dog and Partridge from New Road was known as Dark Lane. Perhaps it was renamed in 1950 when council houses were built on Round Close field. Another pub in Dark Lane was The Carriers Arms, opened in the 1850s by Thomas Nutt, one of the village carriers. The pub overlooked the sports field and did a roaring trade during each cricket week until it closed in 1939.
St Mary’s Road Presumably the road and the development were built on a field originally belonging to St Mary’s Farm, although some remember the land being used for football before it was developed.
Sir George’s Lane This is named after Sir George Cobb, the last of the family to live in the Mansion, at one time the grandest of Adderbury’s houses, now demolished. In 1762 he drowned in the moat of Southcote Manor, Reading.
Summers Close Summers Close was constructed in 1993 by the then Cheshire Foundation Housing Association (now Ability HA) on land acquired from the neighbouring Greenhill House Cheshire Home (owned and operated by the Leonard Cheshire Foundation, now Leonard Cheshire Disability). The Cheshire Foundation Housing Association was founded by Leonard Cheshire Foundation in 1976 and changed its name to Ability Housing Association in 1999. The estate comprises 6 semi-detached bungalows plus a complex of 6 studios providing supported living. All the homes on the estate are built to full wheelchair standards. The estate was named ‘Summers Close’ in memory of the first Development Manager employed by the housing association, Mr Norman Summers. Norman Summers had previously worked for Habinteg Housing Association, who also specialise in developing housing for people who use wheelchairs.
Sydenham Close These new houses were built in 2005 on what was once an industrial site which housed a variety of engineering businesses, including Modern Conveyors and Bowater Engineering. The name presumably derives either from the Sydenham Farm, to the north beyond the Aynho Road, which also gave the name to the Sydenham ironstone quarries or from Sydenham House, which stood behind The Plough and was the home of Edward Railton, who owned all the land in question.
Tarvers Way This is another of the new names agreed by the Parish Council for the development to the north of the Aynho Road, and commemorates the fact that the development lies a short distance across the fields from Tarvers Lock on the Oxford Canal
Tanner’s Lane The building at the junction of Tanner’s Lane and Round Close Road was opened as a public house in 1721. It was in the hands of the Godfrey family until 1871. The Godfreys were also fellmongers (people who prepared skins for tanning). The tannery was here – hence the name Tanner’s Lane. The pub closed in 1998 and was converted into flats.
The Crescent Named presumably from the shape of the road in plan, The Crescent was built by the District Council just after the end of World War I and was originally intended for ex-servicemen who had served their country. Rhoda Woodward, in Wartime Memories of a Parish, remembers what would at the time have been considered “quite modern dwellings”:  “There were three bedrooms, a front room, and a kitchen with a sink and a coal range. The wash house housed a copper with a fire hole and an iron bath. Water could be heated for bath nights as well as for the week’s washing. There was gas for lighting and cooking and an outside tap for water. All the rooms were quite small although some families had several children.”
The Leys A ley is a piece of land sown with grass for one or more years. Short term leys usually yield heavier crops than longer leys due to the grass varieties used. They may be noted as a three year ley, five year ley etc. Ley farming is an agricultural system where the field is alternately seeded for grain and left fallow. Another name for the method is “alternate husbandry”. The word is Anglo-Saxon for fallow.
The Rise The Rise was built during World War II, with the first tenants moving in between 1946 and 1947. The street was built on rising ground ending at a cornfield. This is today the site of Rochester Way and Walton Avenue.
The Robins This is the second road on the Milton Road development to be named after an Adderbury Morris dancer killed in the First World War. Edward George Robins, 23, died of his wounds on 9th September 1917. His regiment, the Gloucestershire Regiment, had been fighting at Ypres.
Twyford Grove In the early twentieth century Twyford was very rural in character. It had its own nurseries, set up in 1911 by Harold Johnson, and the main road to Banbury, little used at that time, consisted only of crushed stone rolled out by the District Council roller. Nonetheless, between 1911 and 1922 more houses were built on land opposite Greenhill House known as Twyford Gardens; hence the development became known as Twyford Gardens. In 1911 the Banbury Guardian commented approvingly on the plans, noting that the plots were laid out on a very liberal scale, with even the smallest being a quarter of an acre. Photographs of Twyford Grove under construction show no evidence of a pre-existing “grove”, so perhaps the name was part of the marketing of the development. The focus of the new development was the Tea Garden, otherwise known as Morgan’s Orchard, to be found behind the present-day postbox. There were lawns to the rear and a tennis court, while behind the bay window was a shop and post office. When the shop was run by Lizzie Pollard it was even possible to board at the Tea Garden.
Wallin Road This is the third road in the Milton Road development to be named after an Adderbury Morris dancer who died in the First World War. This road commemorates Harry Laurence Wallin who was killed in action on the Somme on 19th May 1917 while serving with the Border Regiment.
Water Lane Presumably named because it was the road leading to the Sor Brook.
Walton Avenue Named for either William “Binx” Walton, (1836-1919), singer and Morris dancer from Adderbury who was the chief source of songs and dances for the collector Janet Blunt or for long-time twentieth century Parish Councillor and resident of Twyford, Wilf Walton.
White Hart Lane Contains a former public house called the White Hart. It was licensed in 1716 to a Robert Robinson. During the 19th century the licensees were also farmers and butchers. The Adderbury West ‘sick club’ was held here. Trade ceased in January 2003 and it was converted to a house


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