The official website for Banbury, Bicester and surrounding North Oxfordshire countryside
Fringford in the 19th century is now forever associated with Flora Thompson’s 'Lark Rise to Candleford'. In it she recalls her childhood, as Flora Timms (Laura), in the hamlet of Juniper Hill (Lark Rise) and at school in Cottisford (Fordlow) before moving to Fringford (Candleford Green). The fictitious town of Candleford is a combination of Banbury, Bicester and Buckingham. It is a unique and vivid picture of village life at the end of the 19th century. There is hardly a page without a memorable phrase waiting to be quoted. She largely bases Candleford Green on her childhood memories of Fringford, where she worked in the village post office from 1891 to1897. (The 2008 BBC series has Laura working in the post office in Candleford). In many respects, village life had changed very little in the decades before 1876 when she was born. Deference to those above you was the norm and ‘Every member of the community knew his or her place and few wished to change it.’! It was a defining moment just before the agricultural depression of the 1870s and 1880s and before the impact of major changes in health, housing and education. Flora wrote poems and short stories for many years but it was not until 1945 that the Lark Rise trilogy was published.
The Fringford Historic Village Trail is one of a series of 13 circular walks and village trails published by Cherwell District Council to aid exploration of North Oxfordshire. It takes you on a historical stroll around this delightful Oxfordshire village which is four miles north of Bicester off the A4421 Buckingham Road. The route is one and a quarter miles long and is mostly on metalled roads except for a quarter of a mile stretch which can be wet and muddy, especially in winter.
The Trail starts from the village pub (Butchers Arms) and takes in a variety of points of interest including cottages, Fringford Manor and Ghost Alley. The classic setting of a medieval village around the Green survives to this day; and the Old Forge, now a private dwelling, used to be the forge and later also the sub-post-office where Flora Thompson worked as assistant postmistress from 1891 to 1897. We hope that your walk will help you appreciate this beautiful corner of Oxfordshire and the rich heritage of the village.