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Pictures of Aynho

in the county of Northamptonshire

About Aynho

There is a pale beauty about Aynho that is enhanced only by the pale golden fruit that flourishes in these parts and caused this lovely place to become known as 'The Apricot Village'. Legend tells that apricots were once given to the local lords of the manor as rent for cottages inhabited by villagers. Whatever, this pretty village, looking almost unscathed by the passage of time, has a history stretching back beyond the days when it was first recorded in the Domesday Book.

This spacious village sprawls across a hill and has engaging little lanes and alleyways, crammed with picturesque limestone cottages, some with roofs of glowing thatch and others with quaint dormer windows bursting from steeply pitched tiles. Limestone continues to be used in the buildings of today, thus the village maintains a unique unity of colour and style. Even the ancient village church of St.Michael and All Angels is built in this lovely material. The original church suffered Civil War damage and was largely demolished early in the 18th-century when it was rebuilt in Grecian style. Fortunately, the lofty tower dating from the 14th-century was retained. Those who climb the steep steps of the tower are rewarded with magnificent views over the village and surrounding countryside.

Richard Cartwright was the last squire of Aynho, the Cartwright family had been Lords of the Manor since 1615 and had lived in Aynho Park until 1954 when sadly, both Richard Cartwright and his son were killed in a motor accident. The house was burned down during the relentless fighting of the Civil War. Following the war, the family claimed compensation from the Crown and the house was rebuilt to its former glory. The great parklands surrounding the house were landscaped by Capability Brown in 1761. Today, this splendid mansion that witnessed so many stirring times during its noble history, is converted into flats.

Other buildings of note in the village include The Jacobean grammer school, old almeshouses dating 1822, and the Cartwright Arms an old coaching inn. Aynho lies a short distance from all the pleasures of the large town of Banbury and is not far from the beautiful Cherwell Valley. Picturesque Aynho makes an ideal place from which to explore this ancient and interesting region.

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