Aynho Residents’ Parking Badge: Register Now

For Aynho residents the Parish Council has introduced a voluntary residents’ parking badge, the objective being to identify resident parking from visitors. And, where residents are happy to give contact details to the Parish Council, provide emergency contact in the event of access issues for emergency services.

Check out fuller details and how to register for your badge, by clicking here.

Village of the Year 2017 Submission

Aynho is a great place to live with so much going on, beautiful countryside and easy access to some of the best and most historic counties and towns. That’s why we’ve decided to share this with everyone else, submitting our entry for the 2017 Village of the Year Competition featured on Channel 4, produced by Reef TV and hosted by Penelope Keith.

If you’re interested, detailed below is our submission. We hope to hear soon but in the meantime let all keep our fingers crossed!

1. Village Name: Aynho

2. County: Northamptonshire

3. Village website: http://www.aynho.org/

4. Why we, residents and visitors, love our village:

There is a great community spirit with wonderful facilities. The village has defined boundaries on all sides, with a conservation area which runs the length of the village and is a key factor in residents choosing to live here. It sits in beautiful countryside in all directions with a network of footpaths which is great for everyone and dog walking. This countryside is actively farmed and a number of the farmers are village residents who participate in village activities. It has all the facilities a village needs with a Church at its heart, Village Hall, Alms-houses, allotments, hotel and restaurant (The Cartwright), and a canal side pub (The Great Western Arms) on the Oxford Canal. It has 2 amazing venues for parties and weddings, The Great Barn and Aynhoe Park; wonderful transport links; Ultrafast Broadband (FTTP) recently installed in 2015 which support the large number of residents who work from home providing speeds which are faster than most cities! We have housing of all types for all generations; and numerous clubs and societies which foster the community spirit. It is a very well-kept and cared for village which is a delight to the eye and lovely to walk around.

Known as the “Apricot Village”, due to the apricot trees espaliered on the front of the houses; somehow the climate is right, the soil perfect for growing, and the history of why we keep on growing them has a number of strands which the gardening club members and the history society love to chat about.

Wonderful comments from residents in a recent survey sum up why they love the village:

  • “Small rural village, great atmosphere, and good community feel”
  • “Village Community, friendly good place to bring up a family, plenty going on, people join in…”
  • “The rural and peaceful feel whilst still being within easy reach of major towns. Love Aynhoe Park and the history of the village and good recreational facilities for those who want them.”
  • “We cannot think of a better place to live’

5. Summary Points about Aynho

5.1. Appearance

Vernacular cottages and farmhouses built of local limestone dominate the conservation area. Many are two or three storey with slate or stone slate roofing and a few remaining examples of thatch. The ridge line varies across the streetscape indicating the different phases of development. There are about 300 dwellings in all in the Parish.

Towards the centre of the village there is a more intimate feel with restricted views and cottage dwellings sitting towards the front edge of their plot. From the central square, streets diverge to narrow lanes and alleyways, some of which are only accessible by foot. The big house, Aynhoe Park dominates to the south side, whilst numerous old farms have been converted on the main street of Roundtown, and all the old traditional work places are in the old streets – the dairy, the blacksmith, the posting house, the slaughter house. Raised walkways link The Square with all parts.

Limestone boundary walls, traditionally dry stone, are an important feature of the area. Five miles of wall encompass the former boundaries of Aynhoe Park, much of which continues along the south periphery of the village. Similar smaller boundary walls are found within the village itself and play an important role in enclosing the streetscape and plots.

5.2. History and Heritage
Aynho is a rural village with Anglo-Saxon origins, the first record of the manor dating back to 1043. The majority of the current buildings were constructed in the 18th century, built of local limestone in a vernacular style. There is a notable absence of brick housing.

Aynhoe Park, a Grade I listed house and Grade II listed park, designed by Capability Brown, lies to the south of the village. The evolution of the estate and village are closely interlinked. Former squires have owned large amounts of village property and land and have thus been able to control its development. From 1616 to the 1950s the Park was in the possession of the Cartwright family who were instrumental in informing how the village appears today – including the answer to “why the apricot”.

Open and green spaces help define the village and inform its historic growth. Historically some have been meeting points including The Square and the green outside the Cartwright Hotel, thought to be the location of the medieval market.

No history of Aynho is complete without mention of its people. The cast including an explorer, politicians, diplomats, military men, mathematician, playwright, author, Olympian, assassin, temptress and agricultural workers; all have impacted local, national or world events.

5.3. Annual Village events/ Any Diary Dates between June & July

20 May 17 – Annual Maytime in The Square
20 May 17 – Village Barn Dance
11 Jun 17 – Village Fete – In the grounds of Aynhoe Park Usually mid-July – Apricots picked
19 Aug 17 – Flower & Vegetable Show
24 Sep 17 – Harvest Festival

5.4. Activities to do in Aynho

There is a wide variety of activities for all generations who use the key village facilities including The Village Hall, the Sports Field and pavilion, the children’s play park, the Apricot Room in the Cartwright Hotel.

Village Societies include Writers Group, Biodiversity Group, Gardening Club, Short Mat Bowls, WI, Health Walking Group, History Society, Photographic Society, Music Society, Bell Ringers, and Allotment Society. Cricket, football and tennis are played within the village.

In winter a weekly Winter Lunch Club held in the Village Hall, which not only provides a social hub, but raises funds for village charities.

5.5. Visitor experience

The village is very accessible and close to all transport hubs and is centrally located an hour from London, Birmingham, Cheltenham and Portsmouth! Served by The Cartwright Hotel with its restaurant and 21 bedrooms and the Great Barn at Upper Aynho Grounds with “A Day in The Country” including virtually every country activity. Aynhoe Park is a well-established private country house with 28 bedrooms and is also a wedding venue as well as the home of James Perkins. Within Aynhoe Park a deer park has been recently established. Once in any of these places you are the heart of the village and can experience the flavour the history in the buildings with the apricot trees espaliered against the stone walls as you enjoy a tour through the network of little roads and paths.

6. To win Village of the Year and the prize money of 10,000 would provide a wonderful opportunity currently out of our reach.

Three years ago we obtained funds to update playground facilities for the young children in the village. The prize of £10,000 would be used to update the adventure equipment located on the Sports Field used by the older children.

Fingers crossed, Aynho!

Biodiversity Group Insect of the Month: The Dragonfly

There are about 6000 named dragonflies in the world and Britain has approximately 40 of these. Dragonflies have a head, thorax, abdomen and exoskeleton.  The head is large with short antennae and dominating it are 2 compound eyes made up of thousands of 6-sided units.  Together these smaller eyes enable it to see, colour, ultra violet light, polarisation and to detect the slightest movement from 15m away.  The thorax has two pairs of wings and three pairs of legs which are mostly used for catching and holding prey, perching and climbing on plants.  The males have a row of spines on each of its front legs which are modified to form an ‘eyebrush’ for cleaning the surface of its eyes.  The female lays her eggs in or near water on floating or emerging plants.  After about 2 – 5 weeks the larvae emerge.  They spend all of this next stage under water moulting up to 15 times before developing into an adult.  Depending on the species this can take between 1 and 5 years. At both the larvae and adult stages they are voracious hunters with the larvae feeding on other small water dwellers including tadpoles and even small fish and the adults taking most flying insects including dragonflies smaller than themselves.  Adults rarely live more than 2 months with most only surviving 2 – 3 weeks dying from accidents, predation and starvation as in poor weather neither they nor their prey can fly.

Did You Know?

  • Dragonflies’ predecessors stalked the earth almost 300 million years ago, pre-dating birds by some 150 million years. Fossils show some had wingspans of up to 2 feet.
  • 80% of a dragonflies’ mental processes are devoted to vision and it is thought they have better colour discrimination that humans.
  • The large hawker dragonflies can fly at between 25 – 30mph with a cruising speed of 10mph.
  • Males are very territorial battling constantly to obtain and defend a length of water’s edge.
  • Studies have shown that dragonflies do not chase their prey but during a hunt calculate several things: the distance of their prey, the direction and speed of the prey and then the angle of its own approach so that it is ready and waiting for the unsuspecting insect.
  • Although they are sometimes called ‘horse stingers’ they do not sting.

Christian Holiday Club

Children of primary school age are invited to join us this summer for our Benefice Christian Holiday Club entitled ‘Pyramid Rock’, which is based on the story of Joseph and his brothers.

We will meet in Croughton All Saints Primary School,

Monday 31st July to Friday 4th August from 9.30am to 12.00pm each day.

Doors open at 9.30 and children go straight into the hall.

‘Pyramid Rock’ is designed for children aged 5 to 11 years and will be staffed by registered leaders and helpers from our five parishes.  We are planning a fun week with activities, songs and stories each day, culminating in our Closing Celebrations at 10.00am on Sunday 6th August to which parents, family and friends will be invited to join us in Croughton Church.

There will be no charge for our Holiday Club, but there will be an opportunity throughout the week to make a donation if you so wish.  Drinks and biscuits will be served mid-morning again without charge.

Places are limited, and we will only have 10 places available for children starting school in September and whose 5th birthday is before 31st December 2017, so prior registration is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. To reserve a place please complete a registration form and send it to Sarah Kurze, c/o 45 DeLorean Way, Brackley, Northants, NN13 6BF. Registration forms will only be acknowledged by email.

We look forward to another fun-filled week and do hope your children will join us!

Revd. Simon Dommett and the Holiday Club team

Aynho Long Walk 15th June 2017

It was good to get back after a week away and meet the walkers again; nineteen for the long walk today. We set off in warm sunshine down Green Lane and cut round the back of the farm buildings at Lower Walton Grounds crossing the footbridge while bandit (the dog) had a cooling wallow. We crossed the fields up to the copse on the ridge before descending to College Farm (Kings Sutton version). Emerging from College Lane into the centre of the village, we crossed the green and followed the paths between the houses through to the new housing estate and on to Kings Sutton Station. After the short, steep rise to a kissing gate there is a meadow full of grazing sheep and lovely views of Kings Sutton church and manor. As we emerge onto the road and enter the opposite field we pass through oil-seed r***, now well clear of the path and have further views of the church. Past the sewage works and back to Lower Walton Grounds we have to deviate as the road is closed for repair. Nevertheless we return to the intended route and eventually emerge onto the Charlton Road opposite Butts Close. Back at the pavilion there are no refreshments today, as the impasse over Anita’s role continues, as does the distress that such a well appreciated service is no longer available.

Photographic Society: June 2017 Report

To see the featured photographs click here.

The monthly meeting in June was treated to a presentation of photographs by Yin Wong. All his pictures were taken on a visit to the Yunnan Province of China. Yunnan is a province rarely visited by western tourists. Yin showed a map which explained the location of Yunnan in Southern China.  Yin started in Kunming with street scenes showing people in attractive ethnic  costume which are normal wear, and not  for the benefit of tourists. Different cultures can be identified by exquisitely embroidered colourful regional costumes. A walk through deep caves provided interesting pictures of floodlit rock formations and vast caverns. Followed by pictures showing the “Stone Forest”. Yunnan claims to be the first place ever to drink tea, and is known throughout China for  fine quality expensive  tea.

The photo tour moved on to Shangrila (known as Zang Din).  Here there were monastic buildings on the mountainsides in a regional architectural style, at an altitude of 11,000 feet. Sweeping curved shapes roofs are believed to ward off bad luck. Some interesting photos’ of small Mongolian ponies with riders dressed in regional costume,  The area is very fertile, photos of the plentiful supply of fruits and vegetables mean travellers need never go hungry!

The next place to be visited was Li Jian in the Dali region of Tibet, well known to Chinese for its production of jade ornaments and jewellery.

This rarely visited province of China obviously has great potential for keen photographers with its stunning mountain gorges, hillside villages, quaint architecture, street scenes, and photogenic colourfully dressed residents who are willing to be photographed.

Next Meetings.

21st June. Outdoor photoshoot. Otmoor RSPB Reserve. Meet Aynho 6pm.

5th July.  Clubnight Cartwright Hotel Aynho.  Beyond auto, take control of your camera.  Presented by Bob Brind Surch.   All are welcome

Paul Brewerton.

Adderbury Deddington and District Photographic Society.

Aynho Fete 2017 Prize Winners

£100 central heating voucher – Town and Country Plumbing and Heating – Howard Rowe

£50 meal for two at the Cartwright Hotel – Sharron (linked to 15 Croughton Road)

£40 meal voucher for the Great Western Arms – David Watkins (Banbury Road)

30 minute helicopter flight – Ms Batton (School End)

Apricot Lottery (£131) – Rachel Gallyot (School End)

If you would like to see more photos of the fete or get involved in the 2018 fete go to the fete website:


Rector’s Ramblings June 2017

As we look forward to June you may, like me, be looking forward to better weather.  Our winter and spring have been a bit unpredictable this year.  This could be as the result of climate change, I prefer that to the phrase global warming, as the weather can be hotter or colder than usual.  But it does feel different to the weather I remember as a child.  We may well be responsible for this change and should bear that in mind with our use of energy for unnecessary causes.

June is also a time of change for the church.  At the start of June we celebrate the Coming of the Holy Spirit and the change that brought to the early church.  We call this celebration Pentecost but it used to be known as
Whitsun, or White Sunday as people would make a special effort to dress up in white.  It was also a time for
holidays for many of the mills and factories.  Following on from Pentecost, we enter into the season of Trinity, when we celebrate that great mystery of God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and yet we still hold true to the first of the Ten Commandments that there is only one God.

St. Patrick is said to have explained the mystery of the Trinity as the three leaves of the shamrock representing God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, yet all three are one plant.   Others have said it is like a person who is a
father to their children, a husband to their wife and son to their parents; father, husband, son, three people but in one person.  As Christians we see God as the creator of the world, Jesus as the saviour of the world and the Holy Spirit as God’s working in the world today.

To me, complete understanding of this mystery is not important if even possible, for I believe it is beyond us.  But the words often heard at a wedding from St. Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth sum it up very well for me

Now these three remain, faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.  I invite you to come and join in our worship to the God of Love, shown in Jesus and alive and well in the world today.

We will be holding a special Patronal service at 10am on 18th June at The Most Holy Trinity church, Hinton-in-the-Hedges which is dedicated to the Trinity, I hope to see you there.

God Bless.  SIMON



Alms House Vacancy

The Trustees of the John Baker Charity which manages the village Almshouses in Bowmens Lea are advertising for a new resident to occupy a single one-bedroom dwelling. The dwelling will become available later in the summer after some minor redecoration. A connection with Aynho is the one main requirement for any prospective applicant. The weekly maintenance charge (rent) for the dwelling is £50 per week (£2,600 per year). Interviews for prospective applicants will be held in early July.  Single men or women over the age of 50 should apply in the first instance to Mrs Amanda Leigh Tel. 810843; she will provide details of any application, along with references to be made. The deadline for applications is 21 June.

Aynho Fete 2017

Aynho Fete is Celebrating the Apricot

Sunday 11th June 2.30pm—4.30pm
Look out for delicious apricot based drinks and home-made produce.
Visit the website:  www.aynho-fete.org


Main Raffle –
(check out the amazing prizes here)
Apricot lottery  •  Tombola
Food •  Great gin and vodka bar • Tea party
Pizza slices
Stalls • Plants and produce • Cake stall
Traditional games • Wellie whanging
Apple dunking •  Ladder game  •  Face painting
Unicorn rides  • Mini land rover drives •  Bird box making
Entertainment • Ferret racing •  Jazz group


2.00pm : Gates open to the public
2.30pm : Fete opens
2.45pm : Starlight Dance Academy (in main marquee
3.00pm : Ferret Race 1 (Aynhoe Challenge Race)
3.30pm : Ferret Race 2 (The Anderson Cup)
3.45pm : Starlight Dance Academy
4.20pm : Raffle Draws
4.30pm : Ferret Race 3 (The Apricot Challenge Cup)
5.00pm : Fete closes
5.30pm : Gates close to the public


Fete parking facilities are limited and we’d ask anyone attending from Aynho village if they’d consider leaving the car at home.
Instead, we’d hope anyone visiting by car from neighbouring villages and towns will have access to parking, although some might have a short walk to Aynhoe Park.
For your information, here are the main parking areas where spaces might be available. On the day look out for roadside signs directing to car parking.

On-street parking is relatively limited across Aynho, so we’ve organised parking in two specific locations on a ‘first park’ basis plus a drop-off point.
The three locations are shown on the Google map here. They are:

1.  Aynho Sports & Recreation ground (access on Charlton road) – four minutes walk from the Fete
2.  Disabled Parking at St Michael’s Church Car Park (by Aynhoe Park)
3.  Drop Off point (but NO parking) at Church Walk (by Aynhoe Park)

If you park on-street in other locations please do so safely and with consideration to local residents.