Things to do in Great Tew, Oxfordshire
Nestled in the Cotswolds and overlooking the Worton Valley from its limestone ridge location, Great Tew has been described as one of England's most beautiful villages.
By 990 AD Aelfric of Abingdon held the manor of Great Tew and he became the Archbishop of Canterbury shortly after.
On Aelfric's death the manor passed to St Alban's Abbey and records show it was leased to Tova for three marks of gold and an annual supply of honey!
Great Tew Park was probably created in the 16th century. It passed through the family to Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland who gathered several notable writers and scholars to Great Tew in the 1630s.
Lucius fought in the Civil War on the Royalist side and was killed at the Battle of Newbury.
By 1780 the manor was owned by the Stratton family, owners of the East India Company. In 1808 John Louden, a renowned botanist, was commissioned to design the grounds of Great Tew Park and his driveways and tree planting can be enjoyed today.
Present Day Great Tew
Many cottages in Great Tew date back to the 17th century and have recently been restored. They are all built of local ironstone and many have thatched roofs which add to the charm and character of this lovely village.
It is hard to believe that from 1914 onwards many of the village cottages were unoccupied and eventually became derelict. At this time the estate which owned them was held by public trustees.
In 1978 Great Tew village as a whole was declared a conservation area. The Johnson family, present day owners of the Great Tew estate, worked to restore the dilapidated village and even reopened the old quarry to supply ironstone for repairs. The result is this lovely village which is well worth visiting.
This friendly community has a well stocked village shop and café, a local primary school and a cricket club which is the envy of opposing teams as it even has its own licensed bar and restaurant!
The excellent village pub, the Falkland Arms, is a historic building probably dating back to the 17th century or earlier. With well worn flagstone floors and beams holding rows of old ale jugs, it has a wonderful ambience. Listed in the Michelin guide, it serves excellent food and local ales.
The Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels dates back in parts to 1170 and has a 14th century bell tower with eight bells.
Things to do in Great Tew
Great Tew is ideal for those who enjoy walking, cycling and driving around the scenic local area.
Oxford is just a few miles away and offers good shopping, riverside walks and guided tours of the magnificent university buildings and historic halls.
Blenheim Palace is also within easy reach of this well located Oxfordshire village.