About the Wykeham Benefice

The six churches of the Wykeham Benefice are all situated within a 5 mile radius.

The area covered by the Benefice lies just west of Banbury, right on the edge of the Cotswolds. It is predominantly rural, but there is much local industry and commerce nearby. The nearest of the parishes to Banbury is Broughton which is about 2 miles away. The other parishes are to the north and east of Broughton, up to 5 miles further on to the farthest which is Sibford.

Walking

There are numerous well signed walks around the villages, and further afield many designated bridleways and walks in nearby villages.

Cycling

The Oxfordshire Cycle Way has around 30 miles of its route within the Cherwell area.

Arts & Events

Theatre, music, dance, traditional crafts and art exhibitions are available in the area, at The Mill in Banbury, Banbury Museum, Adderbury, the Chipping Norton Theatre, and further afield at Stratford upon Avon and Oxford. The nearest cinemas are in Banbury, Chipping Norton and Stratford.

Sports & Recreation

The Spiceball Park Sports Centre in Banbury has a 25m pool, activity and sports halls and squash courts, sauna etc. and Sibford School make their swimming pool available at certain times to local residents. There is a gliding club and a number of golf clubs up to 5 miles distant.

Transport

There is a bus service which runs seven times daily (except Sundays and holidays) between Stratford-upon-Avon and Banbury, calling at Sibford, Swalcliffe, Tadmarton and Broughton and, once a day only, Epwell. A car is helpful for shopping in Banbury, Chipping Norton or Shipston-on-Stour.

Schools

The main primary schools used by many from all of the villages are Bishop Carpenter CE Primary School, North Newington and Sibford Gower Endowed Primary School. The local state secondary school is Warriner School in nearby Bloxham (soon to be extended to sixth form education). Local private schools are Bloxham School (boarding and day school for boys and girls, 11 – 18) and the Quaker-founded Sibford School (boys and girls, 3 – 18, with boarding from age 11) of some 400 pupils. There is a College of Higher Education and a Sixth Form College in Banbury.

Hospitals

The major NHS hospital for the area is the Horton in Banbury. Other nearby hospitals are in Chipping Norton and Shipston-on-Stour. The John Radcliffe and other numerous world class NHS and private hospitals are in Oxford (30 miles). Local doctors' surgeries are in Sibford, Bloxham and Banbury. There are numerous care homes for the old and sick in the vicinity including Banbury, Chipping Norton, Shipston, Wroxton, Bloxham.

History

For history buffs, there is an interesting (if lengthy) article about the ancient parish of Swalcliffe, which included the villages of Epwell, Shutford, Burdrop and the Sibfords, at British History Online.