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Long Compton to Swerford



David Jonathan used two ways into Long Compton.  He either came from the Moreton-in-Marrsh direction via Barton on the Heath, where he had a customer (#1  Note the losses as well as the sales.  Perhaps 5% of sheep were lost on a long drove.). 

The Fire Service College blocks the route now, but it was all bog or a sheet of ice before it was drained, so it must have been hard except in high summer.  We’ve explored the route from Barton to LC – boring – but from the outskirts of M-in-M to Barton looks more promising.




At the top of Long Compton High Street is the old Black Dog Inn (#2), which looks more like a drovers’ hideaway then the Red Lion (still trading) at the southern end.  After stopping there the drovers probably went up Butlers Hill, turned left on top of the Ridge at SP 307313 and aimed for Swerford1.  DJ stopped at The Unicorn on the edge of Great Rollright (#3). 




The old road from The Unicorn (which stopped trading 30 years ago) to Swerford is a lovely walk, the best the area can offer.  True, it’s tarmacked, but the traffic noise fades after a while as the track becomes wider, the hedges older. (#4,5)




I’ve no idea how DJ got to Ardley, his next stop, but Duns Tew is my best guess.  In which case he would pass close by Flighthill Cottage (421292) & Flighthill Farm (420294), where soldiers from the Battle of Edgehill in 1642 took sanctuary; and Rest Hill Farm (438292), where they rested.  Poor buggers probably didn’t get much sanctuary or rest.


1 Swerford has a Little London, usually a sign that it was used by drovers.

Long Compton to Swerford image 1
Mr Mitchell of Barton
Long Compton to Swerford image 2
The Black Dog at LC
Long Compton to Swerford image 3
The Unicorn at Gt. RR
Long Compton to Swerford image 4
Swerford Rd.
Long Compton to Swerford image 5