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. Started 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 July 2016. In all 18 volumes have been published out of 23 planned, together covering two thirds of the county. All but Volume XVIII (Ewelme Hundred) are available online as well as through local libraries.

A small team based in Oxford is working to complete the remaining five volumes, of which those on the Wychwood area and the South Chilterns are well advanced. 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), and the newly published Ewelme Hundred volume. 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 and archaeology journal Oxoniensia, and he serves 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. He is currently working on Wychwood Forest, Cornbury, Leafield, and Ramsden, for the forthcoming VCH Wychwood volume (Volume XIX). Email simon.townley@history.ox.ac.uk

Dr Mark Page Mark Page, County Assist