Islip and Noke
Islip is a village of narrow streets and attractive stone cottages near the confluence of the Rivers Ray and Cherwell.
On the south side of the village a bridge crosses the River Ray. Although the present bridge was only built in 1878 an earlier bridge apparently played a part in the Civil War in the Battle of Islip Bridge, Islip being of strategic importance during the Civil War due to its proximity to the river Cherwell.
The parish church in the village is the Church of St. Nicholas. Although a church has existed here since at least 1065, the earliest part of the present building is the arcade between the nave and north aisle, which was built in about 1200. The chancel was rebuilt in 1780 and was remodelled in 1861, when the rest of the church was restored.
Islip is proud to have been the birthplace of Edward the Confessor in around 1005. In 2005, 1,000 years after Edward's birth, the village was visited by the Time Team TV programme which carried out a search for a possible Saxon royal palace. Another TV programme which included parts of Islip was an episode of Midsomer Murders, in which Islip bridge and The Swan Inn were featured.
The tiny village of Noke is one of the Seven Towns Of Otmoor, the other "towns" being Beckley, Oddington, Charlton-on-Otmoor, Horton-cum-Studley, Murcott and Fencott. Before Enclosure in the early 1800s any cottager who lived in one of the ‘Seven Towns’ had right of grazing for their cattle, sheep and geese on the moor.
Noke has an attractive little parish church, the 13th century Church of St. Giles. The B4027 road between Islip and Noke provides fine views over the whole of Otmoor and beyond.
Islip is about 2 miles east of Kidlington on the B4027 between Bletchingdon and Beckley.
Noke is about a mile and a half south-east of Islip.