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Oakley to Long Crendon



Oakley’s Little London Green is a well-loved area of commons to the east of the village.  We were told it used to be a great meeting-place for men on the move, something I always remembered...

(#1 shows an 18C map of the LL; #2 the old White Hart at the edge of the settlement.  Note the barn with its chimney, providing warmth for Drovers on their way to Long Crendon and Thame.)



After R&R they followed the main road (now the B4011) – until 1833, when it was turnpiked.  After that, they devised a route to the south, no longer tarmacked after Catsbrain Farm - delightful/disgusting name, take your pick, but cat is (usually) short for cattle - until just before Westfield Farm.  The tarmac stops at SP 649100 (#3) and #4 is there to give you a flavour of the stretch to Westfield.  It makes a great walk.  And after that, another mile of tarmac to Long Crendon.



There is a detour around a field about half way along, which is there on the 1890’s 6” map.  Perhaps one farmer refused admittance to a precious field.  Who knows?  (That question wasn’t rhetorical: does anyone know?)

The owner of Westfield Farm reassured us that we were on an old droving route, which is always a comfort.  But there's something else we found on a 1590 - crikey! - map belonging to New College, and I've reproduced a tiny section of the map in #5 with the brook in #1 on the extreme left.  What do you think it is?  I reckon I know, but I could be wrong.  I think it's an auctioneer's stand.  He could see the beasts he was selling, see the bidders - he'd have to be above them to do that - and everyone at the auction could see him. That would make sense because of the first paragraph.  We shall see!

Oakley to Long Crendon image 1
Oakley, 1750's
Oakley to Long Crendon image 2
The ex-White Hart
Oakley to Long Crendon image 3
Off tarmac
Oakley to Long Crendon image 5
Here Stood the Auctioneer?