Is Thame one of Britain's Greatest Places?


Thame is in the running along with 9 other UK locations to be crowned "England's Greatest Place". The competition has been designed by the RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) to celebrate the country's attractive and inspiring places and the role planners have played in helping to protect or shape them for England's communities. The public nominated over 700 places across the country and the judging panel at the RTPI had the unenviable task of whittling these down to just ten. Thame is up against the following locations:
  • Letchworth Garden City
  • Peak District
  • Brindley Place, Birmingham
  • Kings Cross Regeneration
  • Kielder Water & Forest Park
  • Liverpool Waterfront
  • Bath
  • Bristol
  • Saltaire, Yorkshire
Voting is open until Friday 20 November so make sure you cast your vote and support your local community. Click here to vote!

Public Art Project Unveiled at Thame Show


Those who ventured to Thame Show on Thursday to marvel at the stunt riding or the prize-winning marrows, may also have come across award-winning artist Claude Heath (above middle) talking about the public art project at Cotmore Park.

Claude, a former artist in residence at the Henry Moore Institute and a prize winner in the John Moores Exhibition, has been selected to produce an eye-catching sculpture for the heart of the new development site. The artwork has been commissioned by Stoford, which is leading the Cotmore Park Business Park development, in collaboration with Windles Group and Groves who will be the future occupiers.

Claude's proposed design entitled 'Colour Spaces' comprises an aluminium structure and a painted colour prism.

“If each colour has a height, width, and depth, then you can imagine that all the colours in a picture, for example, will combine to form a colour space, a spatial field of colour that contains all of them,” he said.

“It is also possible to take one further step, imaginatively speaking, taking a colour space and giving it a solid form, as a painted sculpture that will stand on the grass beside an Oxfordshire byway, a spectrum in tangible shape to act as a beacon and conductor of colour in its surroundings.”

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Visitors to the show were invited to make their own 'colour space' using cardboard nets that had been produced by printing company Windles Group. There was also the opportunity to talk to other members of the project including Jo Capper and Jon Andrews from Public Artist Ltd and Stoford. 

Claude will commence work on his piece over winter, with the aim of installing it in Spring 2016. More information about Claude and his artistic practice can be found on his website.

Thame Fair 2015

Re-live all the fun of the September Fair 2015 by watching our latest video:

Site F's Remarkable History

In the future, 203 new dwellings will be erected on land north of Oxford Road forming one of the key sites of the Thame Neighbourhood Plan. Since January the site has been a hive of archaeological activity, as skilled archaeologists have tried to find out what stories this unassuming piece of land holds for Thame.
The dig was conducted by Oxford Archaeology, one of the largest and longest established independent heritage practices in Europe. Their specialist staff have excavated around 40,000mof the site and have unearthed some truly astonishing finds that span over 6000 years of Thame history. Members of Thame Town Council had the opportunity to visit the dig in July to find out more about the site’s past to inform their decisions on its future.


Guided by Senior Project Officer, Ken Welsh, Town Councillors and staff were led around the 46 evaluations trenches that stretched across all corners of the site. One trench of great interest contained the ruins of a Saxon roundhouse that has been destroyed by fire. Encased amongst the charred beams were a set of stone loom weights indicating the building would once have been a workhouse where Saxon women would have sat and weaved clothing.

On a different part of the site archaeologists had discovered a henge dating back to the Neolithic era. Henges have either one of two purposes; to protect something or to form a meeting place. In this instance, archaeologists were not certain of what purpose this henge was used for but regardless, this impressive feature has inspired the name for one of the new roads on the development, Henge Court. Roman ruins have also been identified on the site, including a grain dryer, which would have been used to dry barley prior to brewing beer.


One of the more grisly finds on the site was that of a Saxon girl who had been buried in the foetal position, as is tradition with burials of this era. Archaeologists had discovered that a year after she was first buried, someone had repositioned the girl’s skull and placed a horse’s head alongside her in the grave. The reasons for this remain unknown.

Experts believe the site has been utilised since the Mesolithic period (10,000 to 5,000 BCE) and many hundreds of artefacts have been found buried beneath the earth, some over 3000 years old.  The rich history that is contained within the site will be evaluated and will eventually be housed in museums in the area, including Thame Museum. The excavations that have been made will be filled in again and this area of Thame will enter into another phase of its history as the new housing development takes shape.
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