Oxford boundary markers: near Godstow Car Park (1886)

Boundary stone in Cuckoo Lane







In Port Meadow near the car park on the the Godstow Road.

The city crest on the flat top of the stone is missing, and the hole is filled with cement

Robert Buckell served his first term as Mayor of Oxford in 1885/6, and Francis Twining was his Sheriff

It matches exactly the following five stones, which are also dated 1886:

• Binsey

• Port Meadow, near Burgess Field

Marston Meadows 2


• The Trout Inn, Lower Wolvercote


Not a listed structure

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boundary stones

In the Oxford Mail of 17 August 1955, John Owen records an event that took place at this stone six years later on 17 August 1892 when a different Mayor (Frederick Ansell) and his party did their perambulation of the city boundary:

The halt was only a short one, however, and the civic peregrination was resumed to Port Meadow, following the ditch which divides the famous open space from Wolvercote Common.

When the boundary stone was reached it was discovered that it had been overthrown. Standing by it were a party of 40 to 50 residents of what was then Wolvercote village. They included the Vicar and another gentleman in clerical attire. The Vicar protested to the Mayor against the procession walking on the Wolvercote side of the ditch. The Mayor replied, somewhat brusquely, that it might be imagined he knew nothing about the question.

“There seemed at this point to be a general rush to prevent the Mayor proceeding”, the narrator of these stirring scenes goes on, “but a man in the crown shouting ‘Forward Oxford!’, there was a move forward and the Wolvercotites had to retire.”

While the police were “endeavouring to prevent anything in the nature of a struggle” the mace and flag were placed on the stone “amid cheers” and the flute and drum obliged with a rendering of the National Anthem.

The unnamed cleric with the Vicar was, however, roughly handled; we are informed that “his tall silk hat assumed a concertina shape” and he laid about him with his umbrella in self-defence.

He was doubtless regarding his battered headgear when the procession moved off to a marquee which had been erected for lunch nearby to the strains of “See the Conquering Hero Comes”.

Stephanie Jenkins