About VCH Oxfordshire

The Victoria County History of Oxfordshire is part of a unique national research project known as the Victoria History of the Counties of England (or VCH) - currently the greatest single publishing project in English local history. Originally founded in 1899, it aims to produce a fully researched history of every village, town and parish in England, encompassing landscape, settlement, buildings, economic and social history, and religious history. The research is made available in book form (the 'Big Red Books'), each volume covering a particular area, and also online

In Oxfordshire two 'general' volumes were published in 1907 and 1939, but detailed work on individual parishes and towns did not begin until the 1950s-60s, with the most recent volume published in 2012. In all 17 volumes have so far been published out of 23 planned, together covering two thirds of the county. All are available online as well as through local libraries.

A small team based in Oxford Central Library is working to complete the remaining six volumes, of which Volume XVIII (Ewelme Hundred) will appear in 2016. Projects on the Wychwood area and the South Chilterns are also under way. Work on the other three volumes (to focus on Burford, Chadlington, and Chipping Norton) will begin over the next few years, subject to adequate funding.

On this website you can read work in progress, find out about future plans and how to support us, or access published volumes. For more information, contact one of the county team profiled below.

Please note that places in the Vale of White Horse (absorbed into Oxfordshire in 1974) were covered in the Berkshire VCH series, published in 1906-27. Current projects all fall within the ancient (pre-1974) county of Oxfordshire.

Read more about the Victoria County History.

Staff Profiles

Simon Townley Simon Townley, County Editor

Dr Simon Townley (County Editor) joined Oxfordshire VCH in 1987, after completing a DPhil on medieval church and society in the West Midlands. He became County Editor in 1996. Over that time he has made major contributions to seven Oxfordshire volumes and has edited five, including those focused on the market towns of Witney (Volume XIV) and Henley-on-Thames (Volume XVI). He is also author of the Oxfordshire EPE book Henley-on-Thames: Town, Trade and River (Phillimore 2009). From 1989 to 1996 Simon edited the county history journal Oxoniensia, and he sits on the committees of the Oxfordshire Buildings Record, the Oxfordshire Local History Association, and Oxfordshire Record Society. He regularly gives talks to local societies, and has made several appearances on BBC Radio Oxford. During 2016 he will be working on Leafield, Ramsden, and Wychwood Forest for the forthcoming Wychwood volume (Volume XIX). Tel: 01865 328762; email simon.townley@history.ox.ac.uk

Dr Mark Page Mark Page, County Assistant Editor

Dr Mark Page (Assistant Editor) joined Oxfordshire VCH in 2005, having previously worked as a Research Fellow on the Winchester Pipe Rolls Project, and on the University of Leicester's Whittlewood Project. He is joint author (with Richard Jones) of Medieval Villages in an English Landscape: Beginnings and Ends (Windgather Press, 2006), which emerged from the Whittlewood work. Mark has published widely on related topics, and contributed extensively to VCH Oxfordshire XVI, XVII, and XVIII. His draft histories for Volume XIX (Wychwood Forest and Environs) are available on this website. He is currently working on Crowmarsh Gifford, Newnham Murren, and Mongewell for the recently started South Chilterns volume (Volume XX). Email mrp15@le.ac.uk

Stephen Mileson Stephen Mileson, County Assistant Editor

Dr Stephen Mileson rejoined VCH Oxfordshire in October 2015, having previously worked for the project from 2005-12. From 2012-15 he led the South Oxfordshire Project - a 3-year University of Oxford research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust, which looked at landscape, settlement, and buildings in Ewelme Hundred 500-1650, and raised innovative questions about how ordinary people perceived their environment. The conclusions will be published in a forthcoming monograph and in a variety of journal articles. For the VCH Stephen made substantial contributions to Volume XVI (Henley and Environs, published 2011), and Volume XVIII (Ewelme Hundred, forthcoming 2016). He is currently working on Shiplake, Eye and Dunsden, and Caversham for the recently started South Chilterns volume (Volume XX). Stephen edits the county history and archaeology journal Oxoniensia, and is also author of Parks in Medieval England (OUP 2009). Email: stephen.mileson@history.ox.ac.uk

Simon Draper Simon Draper, County Assistant Editor

Dr Simon Draper (Assistant Editor) joined VCH Oxfordshire in 2012, having previously worked for the VCH in Gloucestershire (2007-10), and for the University of the West of England's British Surnames project. A landscape historian by training, in 2005 Simon completed a Durham University PhD on the early landscape and settlement of Wiltshire, which was published in 2006 as Landscape, Settlement, and Society in Roman and Early Medieval Wiltshire. He is also Hon. Editor of the Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society. Simon contributed several parish histories for VCH Gloucestershire, and for Oxfordshire has researched and written Brightwell Baldwin and Newington for the Ewelme Hundred volume (forthcoming 2016). He is currently working on Shipton-under-Wychwood for the Wychwoood volume (Volume XIX), and will begin work on Ascott-under-Wychwood during 2016. Email simon.draper@history.ox.ac.uk