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History of the Lye Valley

Leye HillThis map showing part of Headington in 1605 belongs to Corpus Christi College.
“Leye Hill” can be seen on the right on the border with Cowley, and also “Ley bushe” Two poles and twenty perches
of land belonging to Corpus and rented by Walter Welles straddles Lye Hill and is marked in red

This 1777 map of Cowley by Christ Church shows Lye Hill clearly defined

The Lye Valley a hundred years ago

The photographer Henry Taunt describes the Lye Valley as it was in 1915:


Historic aerial views of the Lye Valley on the Britain from Above website

Four Historic England photographs of the Lye Valley area

Memories of the Lye Valley

Late 1930s

Richard Brown, who was born at 7 Dene Road in 1933 and lived there until 1940, describes playing in the Lye Valley


Richie Hewer, who was born on the Town Furze estate in the early 1960s, describes the Lye Valley when it was a both a children's playground and rubbish dump, and how it is still a magical place for him

Lye Valley

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Inversnaid”

Friends of Lye Valley, 2013–2022