Latest in: Features

  • Who was JR?

    Even if you’ve never been to “The JR”, you’re bound to know someone who has. The yellow signs from the Oxford ring road to the John Radcliffe Hospital simply point to “JR”. But who was JR and what did he have to do with Oxford and hospitals? John Radcliffe...
  • Create a cracking good Easter table

    With Easter just around the corner we have some ideas for decorating your table to complement the day. Be yourself – When planning your Easter festivities, remember to put a little bit of you in to every element of the decor. So when putting together the table setting, think...
  • Art Surgery

    The Arty Bit Should you sign your artwork? Many centuries ago, paintings were not signed at all. Artists were merely people doing a job – whether it be staining a saddle, painting heraldic shields, coats of arms, a religious painting for a church, or a religious fresco for a...
  • A country walk around Farthinghoe

    This month’s walk starts with a bit of good news and a bit of bad news. The good news is that the whole walk is on the flat, the bad news was that it took place on the coldest day of the year so far, and this bit of...
  • Gaveston Memorial

    A name peculiar to the Four Shires is Gaveston. In the north of the area there are roads, streets and even a pub carrying the name. To the south of Banbury we find Gaveston Gardens in Deddington and planning a recent walk spotted “Gaveston Cross” marked on an Ordnance...
  • March in the Garden

    March is one of the most important months in the gardener’s calendar; some folk even say it’s the true start of the gardening year. Gardens are starting to come alive, bulbs are bursting into bloom and perennials start to poke their heads up through the soil.  March is also...
  • Middle Barton Walk

    When I started these walks nearly five years ago it was just me and a map. I was then joined on a regular basis by architect Roger and then last year by the retired airline pilot. This month two regular readers of the Four Shires asked if they could...
  • February in the garden

    February is a month of tidying up the garden from winter, before everything starts growing full swing in the garden. Sweep up the last of the leaves that you have not yet removed or those that are blown into the garden from surrounding fields or neighbours gardens. Cut back...
  • Edible Wedding Favours

    In honor of this months wedding feature we have delved into our archives and found this fabulous piece on ‘Edible wedding favours’ which was published a few years back in the print edition of the magazine. The tradition of wedding favours is very old and originated probably in the...
  • The First Celebrity CSI

    The air of expectation is almost palpable as a tall, handsome and immaculately dressed young pathologist takes his place in the witness box. He carries with him a briefcase containing specimens that he will later display to illustrate the points he makes in his evidence. The year is 1910,...