Cavalier & Roundhead Route

Welcome to the Cavalier & Roundhead Route

This route is part of a Public Art Project that will result in 3 trails around the town. The first trail ‘The Peculiar Pot’ has now been completed, this is the second trail. 

More about Public Art in Thame

Public Art in Thame is funded through ‘Section 106’ funds, that are secured from property developers by South Oxfordshire District Council. As well as including money towards infrastructure, these funds also include money that can only be spent on Public Art, and if it is not spent it is returned to the developer.

To avoid the installation of various pieces of art that had little significance to Thame, the Town Council drew together a Public Art Working Group which included local artists, business owners, a school teacher, members of Lea Park Residents Association, other members of the community, Thame Town Councillors and an SODC Arts Officer. This group created a Public Art Strategy which determined that, wherever possible, Public Art funding should create pieces of art that aim to meet other community needs, and that are created by engaging the community in the design process.

Project 1: Art leading wayfinding

The first project to be implemented aims to improve the wayfinding around Thame with the creation of 3 trails across the town. These trails can be enjoyed as an activity in themselves, but also play a role in helping people to better navigate across town using the footpaths and infrastructure already in place. The hope behind the project is that the trails will encourage people to leave their car at home more often, bring an element of fun to journeys, and provide the opportunity to learn more about the town’s heritage and history. The trails include:

  • ‘The Peculiar Pot’: A story trail (from Thame Meadows estate on the Oxford Road into the town centre – installed in March 2023)
  • ‘The Cavalier & Roundhead Route’: A fun fact trail – the trail that Barley Hill School pupils, and Lea Park Residents Association, have both played a part in developing. This will lead from the town centre across Lea Park Estate helping connect the town centre with locations such as the skate park, football stadium and rugby club.
  • A poetry trail (this is a future project that will connect the town centre to the new housing estates on Wenman Road)
  • Starting panel for the Railings Artwork

  • Cyanotype images created as part of a workshop delivered in Barley Hill School with Year 3 pupils in 2022.

  • A version of the completed ‘logo’ for the trail

The design process

In July 2021 Thame Town Council appointed public artist, Nicola Henshaw to lead on this work. Find out more about her here:

Nicola’s designs for the Lea Park Fun Fact Trail were influenced by

  • work completed by the Public Art Working Group when developing Thame’s strategy,
  • community engagement workshops in 2021 (including two Barley Hill Students and representatives from Lea Park Residents Association).
  • workshops delivered in June 2022 with Year 3 pupils at Barley Hill School. Nicola Henshaw (the lead artist for this project) delivered some cyanatope lessons, and a fun game of ‘Civil War Consequences’ that resulted in the images now displayed on the railings of Barley Hill School, when you approach it through the alleyway from the Cattle Market Car Park, North Street, through to the Lea Park estate.. Please do go and see the art work in real life as well. If you live in Lea Park – try to find your street name and learn who/what it was named after.


The Barley Hill School workshops provided the inspiration for the development of a ‘logo’ for the trail. This will be used on sign posts to help people follow the trail, as well as to direct them to the town centre and other relevant locations, such as the Skate Park, Health Centre etc

Other elements of the trail

As well as the railings artwork and signage there will also be a bench and 3 -4 pieces of art positioned in and around Lea Park. This is currently being finalised.

Piece of Art – Way Markers

Shown above, these pieces of art will be positioned in key areas around Lea Park. The style of these were influenced by those already established through the first story trail that has already been implemented. They will be made from a variety of substances including Corten, galvanised steel, vitreous enamel panels and cast aluminium. Each way marker will include QR codes that link to a webpage where you can find out more about Thame’s heritage and history depicted in the way markers themselves.

A bench situated on North Street


The cattle market car park on North Street has a crucial link to the Lea Park Estate – specifically to ‘The Moat’, the green area found on Denbigh Road. This area is actually a historical monument. Soon you will be able to find out more by scanning the QR code you can find at one end of the bench, as well as on the way marker that will be positioned at The Moat some time next year.