The Fox Inn is a handsome timber-built pub dating back to at least the 19th century, located in the richly green village of Boars Hill, just south of the spectacular city of Oxford with its dreaming spires.
The Fox Inn pub sits in the beautiful Oxfordshire village of Boars Hill, in a tranquil spot overlooking an expanse of deep green fields. The village has a traditional feel, with its charming stone houses and tree-lined streets. At the heart of this little settlement, lies White Cottage, a beautiful house of colourwashed limestone, lying alongside a handsome, leaf-dotted path along a landscape replete with attractive rolling fields. Perhaps the most picturesque views in Boars Hill come from the summit of Jam Mound, which offers stunning vistas towards Oxford. The poet Matthew Arnold wrote of Oxford’s “dreaming spires”, referring to the views of the city from Boars Hill, a picturesque spot with some superb views of the surrounding areas.
With the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty within ten miles, The Fox Inn is perfectly located for exploring the sights of scenic Oxfordshire, and the attractive landscapes and cultural wealth of the surrounding areas.
Whatever your inspiration for visiting this stunning region of Oxfordshire, The Fox Inn is a wonderful setting to sit back and enjoy delicious traditional pub food and a bottle of fine wine whilst looking out across picturesque rolling countryside.Read more...
A handsome timber pub dating back to at least the 19th century, The Fox Inn is a historic location, though the attractive village of Boars Hill dates back many centuries further. The 12th century offers the earliest known record of Boars Hill (or Boreshill), and the settlement was a manor of the parish of Cumnor until the 19th century. Until the Georgian period, the hill was sparsely inhabited, and its lack of buildings meant it offered clear views across Oxford. The overall natural beauty of Boars Hill, and in particular the vistas it offered, led to its becoming a popular place of residence for poets, throughout the 19th and early 20th century.
Matthew Arnold came to the hill in 1841, and it provided the inspiration and setting for a couple of his best loved poems, ‘The Scholar Gypsy’ and ‘Thyrsis’. The latter poem saw Arnold coin the ubiquitous description of Oxford as the city of “dreaming spires”. Three of the most notable First World War poets, Robert Graves, Edmund Blunden and Robert Nichols later moved to the area, furthering the links between British poetry and Boars Hill. By this point, much of the most attractive architecture of Boars Hill – including the magnificent Grade II listed White Cottage, made from handsome limestone rubble. The evocative landscape of this village also led to it being referred to on several occasions in Evelyn Waugh’s seminal work ‘Brideshead Revisited’, including references to a model pupil who always “goes out to tea on Boar’s Hill”.
The grand and picturesque city of Oxford lies just four miles North, through scenic woodland and over the babbling waters of the Hinksey Stream. Oxford is a visual feast, dotted with the medieval buildings of Oxford University’s early colleges, green meadows alongside the River Thames and the stunning Grade I listed Bodleian Library, to name just a few. The Pitt Rivers Museum, which stands in a spectacular hall, is one of Oxford’s most incredible sights – with a collection over half a million archaeological and cultural artifacts from across the globe.
The city of Oxford dates back to the 9th century, when Alfred the Great created several ‘burghs’ (fortified towns) throughout his kingdom, one of which was at Oxford. The first recorded mention of Oxford was in 911, when the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle referred to how King Edward had “received the burghs of London and Oxford”. The town was central to several Medieval conflicts, including the invasion of the Danish king in the 11th century and the war of The Anarchy in the 1140s, between Stephen and Matilda – the latter lived at Oxford Castle, which was torched to the ground during the conflict. Oxford also had a place of particular prominence during the Stuart Period, as both the King’s headquarters during the Civil War, and less controversially, the site of England’s first coffee house, in 1651. In more recent centuries, it has been a site of industry – the iconic Morris Motors were manufactured here – and of research – the impressive Oxford Science Park was opened in the 1990s.
Oxford’s most renowned institution though, is the esteemed Oxford University. Teaching developed here throughout the 12th century, its prestige aided by the arrival of the first International Student, Emo of Friesland, in 1190. The University has been a site of scholarly excellence and also of controversy – in 1530, Henry VIII forced the University to accept his divorcing Catherine of Aragon. The University houses the Bodleian Library, open to the public, and the second largest library in the country after the British Library. The Bodleian was formally began in 1602, and currently holds amongst its riches an array of rare original copies of notable texts, including a manuscript of ‘The Magna Carta’, one of only 21 surviving complete copies of a ‘Gutenberg Bible’ (the first book published in the West using the revolutionary moving type), and Shakespeare’s First Folio. Oxford University is also home to the 19th century Pitt Rivers Museum, which houses a spectacular array of ancient archeological and anthropological items from across the globe, including pre-Columbian pottery from the Americas and Pacific island objects which include a mourning costume collected during Captain Cook’s Second Voyage in 1773-74.
After taking in the beauty of Boars Hill and its impressive vistas, or exploring Oxford and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), The Fox Inn is a perfect place for relaxing, with delicious pub food available all day, including seasonal specials, tasty Sunday lunches and an excellent selection of fine wines and refreshing cask ales.