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The field names of Cowley

The field names of Cowley

by Christopher Lewis

When I refer to ‘Cowley’ I usually mean the area defined by the Enclosure Commissioners in 1853, encompassing all those detached areas of other parishes.The common fields of Cowley stretched from the banks of the Cherwell, south-eastwards to the old Roman Road and the borders with Horspath, Littlemore and Iffley, with a small detached portion on the slopes of Shotover Hill, known as Elder Stumps. A brook, now known as Boundary Brook, runs east to west across this area. Originally it meandered across the fields slightly south of its present course, but it was straightened, and probably deepened, at the time of the Enclosure.

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