by Charles Tyzack
Wychwood is a familiar name, though the forest it refers to has largely disappeared. In the Middle Ages the Royal Hunting Forest of Wychwood occupied much of what is now West Oxfordshire. Gradually it decayed, until it consisted only of the much smaller Royal Demesne Forest around Leafield. In its turn most of this was converted to farmland in the 1850s, leaving only a small portion surviving as part of the Cornbury Estate.
Cornbury too was once a Royal Forest, but in the 1300s it became a park. In 1660 it was given by Charles II to the first Earl of Clarendon, who built there one of the great houses of Oxfordshire.
In 1910 Vernon Watney, then owner of Cornbury, published his magnificent but rare history, Cornbury and the Forest of Wychwood, itself now a valuable collector¹s item. Taking this as his starting point, but including the results of more recent research, Charles Tyzack retells the story of the Forest and its slow decline, together with the building of Cornbury and its links with some of the great names of English history.
The present book includes a number of portraits reproduced from Watney's book, together with illustrations from other sources and maps specially drawn by Ann Buckmaster.
Charles Tyzack retired to Charlbury in 1998, after teaching English at universities in Wales and China.
£12.50 pbk 176pp illustrated with maps, photographs and paintings 978-1-902279-04-6