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Lower Heyford

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Lower Heyford is a village and civil parish beside the River Cherwell in Oxfordshire, about 6mi west of Bicester.PrehistoryAves ditch is pre-Anglo-Saxon and may have been dug as a boundary ditch. It still forms the eastern boundary of the parish.Harborough Bank, an Anglo-Saxon burial mound southwest of the village dates from the 6th century.ManorThe Domesday Book of 1086 records the village as Hegford. The toponym evolved as Heiford until the middle of the 13th century, Heyford ad Pontem after the bridge was built (see below), Heyford Purcell since the middle of the 14th century, Nether Heyford after 1474 and sometimes Little Heyford. Some of these names were used concurrently. "Lower" distinguishes it from Upper Heyford which is about 1 mile (1.6 km) upstream along the Cherwell valley. There are both a Nether Heyford and a Little Heyford in Northamptonshire, so the current "Lower Heyford" reduces confusion.Before the Norman Conquest of England the manor of Lower Heyford belonged to Edwin, the son of a Saxon thegn. William the Conqueror granted the land to the powerful Geoffrey de Montbray, bishop of Coutances. The manor passed through various hands until 1533 when Sir Edward Baynton sold it to Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Corpus Christi College still owned the estate in the 1950s.
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