The Wychwoods Local History Society, founded by village members in 1981 (see Dr Margaret Ware’s detailed article on the first 21 years as published in the Society’s Journal No. 18 (PDF here)), meets once a month from September through to May with nine evening talks. With over 250 members, the Society researches and publishes local and family history. It also arranges periodic outings and exhibitions.
The Society holds a large collection of old photographs of people and places in the three Wychwood villages of Shipton, Ascott and Milton as well as copies of the parish registers from the sixteen century, nineteenth century censuses, poor law records and many old documents and books, all of which are available for local and family historians, both from within the village and worldwide. A programme of digitalising some of these photographs has been started. Click here to read about this and to view the current set of images, available as albums, themes and slideshows.
Members carry out original research covering many aspects of village life and history including oral history, archaeological field walking, a comprehensive church survey and hedge dating. This research is published in Wychwoods History each year, a publication that has an academic reputation. Two books of local photographs have been published as well as a village walk leaflet. An oral history project interviewing women who lived in the Wychwoods during World War Two was published as That’s How it Was. (see Publications ). An example publication sponsored by the Society is The Churchwardens’ Accounts for The Church of St Mary The Virgin Shipton under Wychwood 1554-1691 edited by Jack Howard-Drake. (Full text available here).
Meetings usually alternate between the village halls at Milton and Shipton and visitors are welcome (see Programme). Current membership is £15 for an individual and £20 for a couple or overseas member, which includes a copy of Wychwoods History when published.
The Society’s Constitution was revised in 2014 and can be read here.