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The Stories of our Streets

We’ve got a Station Road with no station, a School Street with no school, a High Street with no shops and a Parsons Street with three vicarages!

What’s going on with the street names in Woodford, Halse, Hinton and West Farndon?

Here are some of the stories put together from local history books and with very helpful input from Maureen Tregonning.

References at the bottom of the page

Adams RoadSamuel Nelson Adams and Richard Adams, railwaymen, served on the Parish Council. Mrs Edith Adams (along with Gladys Castleton) was one of Woodford’s first woman parish councillors (1934).
Anscomb WayJim Anscomb was a parish councillor and renowned local historian. He served on the District Council for 27 years between 1944 and 1971.
Ash, Oak, Hawthorn, Laburnum, Wild Cherry, Rowan, Birch, Larch, Elm, Willow, Beech, Chestnut, Maple, Sycamore.A series of road names based on trees together make up the Ryfields estate named for the two fields (Big Rye Field & Little Rye Field) between the estate and Byfield.
BanksideNamed for the railway embankment immediately opposite.
Barnett CrescentDoctor Barnett who worked in the village during and after WWII.
Beaver CourtPart of the industrial estate on the site of the old railway works.
Bromley Farm CourtOff Farndon Road, this is named after the family whose farm house was in Pool Street. The Bromleys were farmers in Hinton for over 150 years.
BrooksideA tributary of the River Cherwell runs parallel to this road.
Byfield RoadRoad to Byfield from Woodford.
Castle RoadNamed for Castle Road in Bedford where the Melcombe’s, the developers of these streets, had their offices. (See also Percy and Sidney Roads) These so-called “railway houses” were built between 1898 and 1900
Central AvenueNamed for the Great Central Railway.
Cherwell TerraceNamed for the river running beside it.
Church StreetNamed for the church of St Mary’s. Previously Church Lane. The church as it is today was much restored at the end of the 19thC but has elements that go back to the 13th and 14th Century, and there is evidence for earlier building on the site.
Cinder PathThis track used to lead to the carriage sheds. Cinders raked out from locomotives in the engine sheds were used to surface it.
Cobley CloseCobley was headmaster of the school for many years. This small estate now occupies the site that once held Woodford’s gasworks.
Dog LaneThis footpath links Hinton Road and Pool Street next to the Social Club and the Hinton allotments. The name was used locally in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Dryden CloseHenry Dryden who lived at Canons Ashby House was a village landowner and benefactor.
Farndon RoadThe road from Hinton to the hamlet of West Farndon.
Fay CloseSir Samuel Fay was General Manager of the Great Central Railway from March 1902. Also the name of an express train on the GCR that ran from London Marylebone, through Woodford and on to Manchester in less than four hours in the 1900’s!
Fleur CloseNamed for the nearby pub the “Fleur de Lys”
Furniss CloseThis new development off the Byfield Roadis on the site of the Land Army hostel erected around 1940. Joan Murgatroyd, a Yorkshire girl came to Woodford in 1942 as a Land Army Girl and married local farmer Reg Furniss of Woodford Hill.
Gorse RoadAssociated with gorse that grew on Hinton Hill. (+ See Manor Road)
Grants Hill WaySee “Red Road”
Great Central WayThe Great Central Railway (originally the Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Company) was the bringer of the railway to Woodford in 1898.
Heron Close, Kingfisher, Mallard, Grebe, SwanA small development with streets named for water birds. Heron are certainly seen along the Cherwell but as for the others?
High StreetOriginally the main street of the village before the railway came and Station Road took on this role. There used to be a pub, a fish and chip shop, a post office, blacksmith’s, cobbler’s and grocer’s. There were more shops in Parsons Street and School Street. All had gone by the time the railway closed in 1965.
Hinton Manor CourtFor “Hinton Manor”, the building begun in 1695 but presumed to be on the site of an earlier manor house.
Hinton RoadThe road from Woodford to Hinton
Jubilee CloseOff Adams Road this close was built in 2012 and named for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in that year.
Jurassic WayThe long distance footpath covering 88 miles from Banbury to Stamford in Lincolnshire passes through the parish.It takes its name from the ridge of Jurassic Limestone that it follows and is thought to be the route taken between the prehistoric settlements around Peterborough and the peoples that built Stonehenge.
King’s CornerPossibly because Kingston & Welton Buses (K&W of Daventry – later Geoff Amos Coaches who ran buses to and from the village until 2011) used to stop here.
Kitchen LaneVariously thought to be because it was next to the kitchen gardens of Woodford Manor House or because it used it was used to gain access to the River Cherwell for water and washing.
Leys RoadThis small roadway off High Street runs next to Tews Farm and ends at Kingstons Field (previously Fishers Close). It served the Woodford Bakehouse run by the Foot family in the early 20th century.
Manor Road and Manor CloseBoth named for Hinton Manor. Together with Gorse Road, and Nelson Road built in 1910 and then called the “New Buildings”
Membris WayFrom the name of the parish “Woodford-cum-Membris” The “cum Membris” means in Latin “with members”- the other parts of the parish, i.e. Hinton and West Farndon.
Mount PleasantA terrace of nine cottages and one detached house accessed from Leys Road. The houses were built by Thomas Kinch around 1900 and rented to villagers (mainly railway workers) for five shillings (£0.25) a week for a two bedroom cottage or five shillings and six pence (£0.275) for a three bedroom cottage.
Nelson AvenueNamed for Samuel Nelson Adams (see Adams Road). Samuel Nelson Adams became Lord Mayor of Leicester. (+ See Manor Road)
Old Station YardThe original approach road to Woodford & Hinton railway station.
Parsons StreetContains the New Vicarage, Old Vicarage (used by the vicar until 1970), the Manse (residence of the priest for the Moravian Church) and Vicarage Cottage (owned by the Church at the end of the 19th C and used as a residence for student clerics). Also Parsons Close was the piece of land stretching between the Old Vicarage and the Church, open land until 1949.
Percy RoadNamed for the son of one of the Melcombe’s, builders of the “Railway Houses” development.
Phipps RoadThe Phipps were tenants of Hinton Manor House.
Pig PathFrom Station Road to Cherwell terrace this path runs past the site of a slaughter house.
Pool Farm CourtBuilt on land sold from Pool Farm.
Pool StreetA pond used to occupy the land here until it was filled in.
Primrose Walk, Foxglove Ave & Bluebell CloseA development of houses with roads named for flowers. No specific local connection.
Quinton LaneNamed in 1957 after “Quinton House”, “Quinton Lodge “or “The Lodge” and possibly the site of the village’s medieval quinton – a place where archery and other military arts were practiced. “Quintain” – a swivelling jousting post. Previously called Coney Gree Lane after the “Coney Gree” or rabbit field.
Red RoadThis path is named for the broken brick surfacing that gave it a distincitive red colour. There was a brick works at the end of the lane.
Sanders CornerThe shop that stood where the flats are now situated on the Byfield Road was run by Mr & Mrs Sanders
Sara FieldSARA was the Sports And Recreation Association that raised money to have leveled playing surfaces, the pavilion and the outdoor bowling green when the Parish Council bought the land from the British Railways Board in 1965.
School StreetNamed for the school, which opened in 1867, set up in what is now the Dryden Hall by John Dryden of Canons Ashby. In 1879 there were an average of 92 children attending the school. By 1903 the school needed to cope with a further 198 children as a result of the railway and a new school building (now the Library) was opened.
Scrivens HillNamed for John Scriven, “druggist & land surveyor”, resident in 1851 and not, as sometimes thought, for a “scrivener”, a scribe for the illiterate.
Sidney RoadNamed for the son of one of the Melcombe’s, builders of the “Railway Houses” development on Sidney Road, Castle Road, Percy Road and the shops on Station Road.
South StreetHeading South toward Eydon or possibly after the South family who ran a grocer’s shop in School Street and reputedly lived in South Street.
Station RoadThe original road from the village centre to the station. By 1930, it was the main shopping street for the village with (as well as today’s range of shops) a ladies boutique, a bank, a shoe mender’s, a baker’s and a large co-op store.
Station GardensBuilt on land used close to the approach to Woodford Station.
Tews YardA small development of new houses built in 2011 off High Street next to Tews Farmhouse. The Tew family were landowners and farmers in Woodford since possibly the 18th century.
Top Farm CourtOff Phipps Road, this is named after the adjoining farm house, “Top Farm”. A small development of restored farm buildings. The Daniel family lived and farmed in Hinton during the 19th and early 20th centuries and were related to other Hinton farming families including Bromley, Blackwell, Messenger and Wotherspoon.
TownsendAt the time it was built (early 1950’s), this was the edge of the village but this road was not the first Townsend. Originally this was a different lane running parallel to the railway. This Townsend was moved west to become Phipps Road when the railway embankment was widened.
Upton CloseNamed for Dinah and Harry Upton, both chairs of the Parish Council.
Whitecroft GardensOn the site of a petrol garage called Whitecroft Motors.
Winston CloseOn the site of the Sir Winston Hotel, demolished in 1989.

Further Reading

The details of these street names came from the following books, which can be found at the Library:

  • Brenda Courtie’s “The Story of Woodford Cum Membris”
  • Jim Anscomb’s “Woodford cum Membris and the Great Central Railway”
  • Yvonne Roberts’ “Woodford cum Membris 2007” 

together with some personal research by the author and additional information from Maureen Tregonning.

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