Aldershot Garrison known as Aldershot Military Town, is a major garrison in South East England, located between Aldershot and Farnborough in Hampshire. Established in 1854, Aldershot is the home of the British Army although smaller than in previous years; the garrison was established when the War Department bought a large area of land near to the village of Aldershot, with the objective of establishing a permanent training camp for the British Army. Over time, this camp grew into a military town and continues to be used by the Army to the present day, it is home to the headquarters of the Army's Support Command, it is the administrative base for the 101st Logistic Brigade. The garrison plays host to around 70 military organisations. In 1972, the garrison was the site of one of the worst UK mainland IRA attacks of the time when a car bomb was detonated outside the headquarters mess of 16 Parachute Brigade; the Official IRA claimed responsibility, stating that the attack was in revenge for the shootings in Derry that came to be known as Bloody Sunday.
At the time of the attack, Aldershot garrison was an open garrison. Following the attack the Army took steps to secure the garrison by erecting security fences around most of the barracks and lines, as well as introducing armed security patrols; the Garrison area covers 500 acres. The total garrison population is about 10,500. Adjacent to the military town is some 2,700 hectares of open military training area. Aldershot Garrison will serve as the hub for the future South East Super Garrison, which will include satellite establishments at Minley, Sandhurst, Deepcut, Arborfield and Worthy Down. Established in 1854, Aldershot has long been seen as the home of the British Army; the garrison was established when the War Department bought a large area of land near to the village of Aldershot, with the objective of establishing a permanent training camp for the British Army. Over time, this camp grew into a military town and continues to be used by the Army to the present day. Before the establishment of the'Camp at Aldershot', the British Army did not have any single permanent camp for training troops on a large scale.
Troops had been stationed in long established garrisons, many of which could trace their histories back as mediaeval, or earlier, defensive positions. In 1852, following the death of The Iron Duke, a group of reformers, which included Prince Albert, forged an alliance that would seek to improve the training of the Army. In 1853, a summer camp was established at Chobham Common and two divisional size military exercises were conducted. Following the success of these manoeuvres, it was decided that a permanent camp was needed where such exercises could be conducted. Reigate was selected as a location, strategically sound, close enough to London, to defend against invasion from across the English Channel. Despite its obvious advantages, Reigate was situated in prime agricultural land that would prove too expensive to purchase. Lord Hardinge suggested Aldershot Heath as the location for the new training area, as land was less expensive, but still close enough to the South Coast to defend London. In January 1854, the British Government's War Department purchased areas of heathland around the small village of Aldershot at £12 an acre.
By 1861, around 8,000 acres had been purchased. It was only envisaged to set up a tented camp for summer use. Between 1854 and 1859, around 1,200 wooden huts were constructed by a local civilian contractor, at a cost of £100,263. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert showed a keen interest in the establishment and the development of Aldershot as a garrison town. In 1855, they had a wooden Royal Pavilion built, in which they would stay when attending reviews of the Army. In 1860, Prince Albert established and endowed the Prince Consort's Library, which exists to this day. After the Crimean War, a division of regular troops was permanently based at Aldershot, and'the Division at Aldershot' became one of the most important home commands of the British Army. In January 1876 a Mobilization Scheme for the forces in Great Britain and Ireland was published, with the Active Army divided into eight army corps based on the major Commands and Districts; the 2nd Corps was headquartered at Aldershot. This scheme disappeared in 1881, when the districts were retitled'District Commands', with Aldershot listed as IX or X.
In 1898, Aldershot Command was ranked I on the list. From 1901 to 1908 Aldershot Command was given the additional title of I Army Corps; the garrison subsequently became seen as home to the British Army. This status has been reflected in the use of Aldershot as a headquarters for a variety of regional commands over the last 100 years. HQ Aldershot Command continued in existence until c. February 1941, when it was replaced by HQ Aldershot Area. In the late 1870s, it was decided that the original hutted camp needed to be replaced with some more permanent structures; when the wooden huts had been built in the 1850s, the contractor had guaranteed the huts for 13 years. In November 1881, the first steps were taken to convert the hutted camp into permanent barracks. At this time, the first two brick buildings were constructed in North Camp.
Dreghorn Barracks are located in Edinburgh, Scotland. The barracks are situated at the southern edge of the city, south of Colinton, adjacent to the Edinburgh City Bypass; the present barracks complex was built in 1937–1939 to designs by William Alexander Ross. The barracks were upgraded in 1989–1992, with the addition of several new buildings; the four original buildings are protected as a category C listed building. The barracks were built in the grounds of Dreghorn Castle, a 17th-century mansion built by Sir William Murray, Master of Work to the Crown of Scotland; the castle was extended around 1805 by James Elliot. The castle was acquired by the War Office in 1893, was demolished in 1955. A monument outside the barracks on Redford Road commemorates the rebellious Covenanters who were defeated at the Battle of Rullion Green in 1666; the monument was erected in 1884 by R A Macfie of Dreghorn House, incorporates columns taken from the 18th-century Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, designed by William Adam and demolished the previous year.
In the 19th century it had been the home of Robert Andrew Macfie. As part of the Future Force 2020 budgetary announcement in July 2011, RAF Kirknewton was to have been developed into a major Army base to host a Multi-Role Brigade and Dreghorn Barracks was earmarked for disposal; however plans to develop Kirknewton as an Army barracks were scrapped in March 2013 and Dreghorn Barracks will now be retained. Dreghorn is one of the three barracks comprising the City of Edinburgh Garrison, it has been the home for 3rd Battalion, The Rifles since 2014. Redford Barracks, located close to Dreghorn Barracks, in Colinton Edinburgh HIVE, Dreghorn Barracks, Ministry of Defence "Dreghorn Castle". RootsWeb. Archived from the original on 18 February 2009
Buckinghamshire, abbreviated Bucks, is a ceremonial county in South East England which borders Greater London to the south east, Berkshire to the south, Oxfordshire to the west, Northamptonshire to the north, Bedfordshire to the north east and Hertfordshire to the east. Buckinghamshire is one of the home counties and towns such as High Wycombe, Amersham and the Chalfonts in the east and southeast of the county are parts of the London commuter belt, forming some of the most densely populated parts of the county. Development in this region is restricted by the Metropolitan Green Belt. Other large settlements include the county town of Aylesbury, Marlow in the south near the Thames and Princes Risborough in the west near Oxford; some areas without direct rail links to London, such as around the old county town of Buckingham and near Olney in the northeast, are much less populous. The largest town is Milton Keynes in the northeast, which with the surrounding area is administered as a unitary authority separately to the rest of Buckinghamshire.
The remainder of the county is administered by Buckinghamshire County Council as a non-metropolitan county, four district councils. In national elections, Buckinghamshire is considered a reliable supporter of the Conservative Party. A large part of the Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, runs through the south of the county and attracts many walkers and cyclists from London. In this area older buildings are made from local flint and red brick. Many parts of the county are quite affluent and like many areas around London this has led to problems with housing costs: several reports have identified the market town of Beaconsfield as having among the highest property prices outside London. Chequers, a mansion estate owned by the government, is the country retreat of the incumbent Prime Minister. To the north of the county lies rolling countryside in the Vale of Aylesbury and around the Great Ouse; the Thames forms part of the county’s southwestern boundary. Notable service amenities in the county are Pinewood Film Studios, Dorney rowing lake and part of Silverstone race track on the Northamptonshire border.
Many national companies have offices in Milton Keynes. Heavy industry and quarrying is limited, with agriculture predominating after service industries; the name Buckinghamshire means The district of Bucca's home. Bucca's home refers to Buckingham in the north of the county, is named after an Anglo-Saxon landowner; the county has been so named since about the 12th century. The history of the area predates the Anglo-Saxon period and the county has a rich history starting from the Celtic and Roman periods, though the Anglo-Saxons had the greatest impact on Buckinghamshire: the geography of the rural county is as it was in the Anglo-Saxon period. Buckinghamshire became an important political arena, with King Henry VIII intervening in local politics in the 16th century and just a century the English Civil War was reputedly started by John Hampden in mid-Bucks; the biggest change to the county came in the 19th century, when a combination of cholera and famine hit the rural county, forcing many to migrate to larger towns to find work.
Not only did this alter the local economic situation, it meant a lot of land was going cheap at a time when the rich were more mobile and leafy Bucks became a popular rural idyll: an image it still has today. Buckinghamshire is a popular home for London commuters, leading to greater local affluence; the expansion of London and coming of the railways promoted the growth of towns in the south of the county such as Aylesbury and High Wycombe, leaving the town Buckingham itself to the north in a relative backwater. As a result, most county institutions are now based in the south of the county or Milton Keynes, rather than in Buckingham; the county can be split into two sections geographically. The south leads from the River Thames up the gentle slopes of the Chiltern Hills to the more abrupt slopes on the northern side leading to the Vale of Aylesbury, a large flat expanse of land, which includes the path of the River Great Ouse; the county includes parts of two of the four longest rivers in England.
The River Thames forms the southern boundary with Berkshire, which has crept over the border at Eton and Slough so that the river is no longer the sole boundary between the two counties. The River Great Ouse rises just outside the county in Northamptonshire and flows east through Buckingham, Milton Keynes and Olney; the main branch of the Grand Union Canal passes through the county as do its arms to Slough, Aylesbury and Buckingham. The canal has been incorporated into the landscaping of Milton Keynes; the southern part of the county is dominated by the Chiltern Hills. The two highest points in Buckinghamshire are Haddington Hill in Wendover Woods at 267 metres above sea level, Coombe Hill near Wendover at 260 metres. Quarrying has taken clay for brickmaking and gravel and sand in the river valleys. Flint extracted from quarries, was used to build older local buildings. Several former quarries, now flooded, have become nature reserves; as can be seen from the table, the Vale of Aylesbury and the Borough of Milton Keynes have been identified as growth areas, with a projected population surge of 40,000 in Aylesbury Vale between 2011 and 2026 and 75,000 in Milton Keynes within the same 15 years.
The population of the Borough of Milton Keynes is expected to reach 350,000 by 2031. Buckinghamshire is sub-divided into civil parishes. Today Bucking
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan, code named Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan and Operation Freedom's Sentinel, followed the United States invasion of Afghanistan of 7 October 2001. The U. S. was supported by the United Kingdom and Australia and by a coalition of over 40 countries, including all NATO members. The war's public aims were to dismantle al-Qaeda and to deny it a safe base of operations in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power. Since the initial objectives were completed at the end of 2001, the war involves U. S. and allied Afghan government troops battling Taliban insurgents. The War in Afghanistan is the longest war in U. S. history. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001 on the U. S. which President George W. Bush blamed on Osama bin Laden, living or hiding in Afghanistan and had been wanted since 1998, President Bush demanded that the Taliban, who were de facto ruling the country, hand over bin Laden; the Taliban declined to extradite him unless they were provided clear evidence of his involvement in the attacks, which the U.
S. dismissed as a delaying tactic and on 7 October 2001 launched Operation Enduring Freedom with the United Kingdom. The two were joined by other forces, including the Northern Alliance – the Afghan opposition, fighting the Taliban in the ongoing civil war since 1996. By December 2001, the Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies were defeated in the country, at the Bonn Conference new Afghan interim authorities elected Hamid Karzai to head the Afghan Interim Administration; the United Nations Security Council established the International Security Assistance Force to assist the new authority with securing Kabul, which after a 2002 loya jirga became the Afghan Transitional Administration. A nationwide rebuilding effort was made following the end of the totalitarian Taliban regime. In the popular elections of 2004, Karzai was elected president of the country, now named the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. NATO became involved in ISAF in August 2003, that year assumed leadership of it. At this stage, ISAF included troops from 43 countries with NATO members providing the majority of the force.
One portion of U. S. forces in Afghanistan operated under NATO command. S. command. Following defeat in the initial invasion, the Taliban was reorganized by its leader Mullah Omar, launched an insurgency against the Afghan government and ISAF in 2003. Though outgunned and outnumbered, insurgents from the Taliban - and to a lesser extent Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin and other groups - waged asymmetric warfare with guerrilla raids and ambushes in the countryside, suicide attacks against urban targets, turncoat killings against coalition forces; the Taliban exploited weaknesses in the Afghan government to reassert influence across rural areas of southern and eastern Afghanistan. From 2006 the Taliban made significant gains and showed an increased willingness to commit atrocities against civilians – ISAF responded by increasing troops for counter-insurgency operations to "clear and hold" villages. Violence escalated from 2007 to 2009. Troop numbers began to surge in 2009 and continued to increase through 2011 when 140,000 foreign troops operated under ISAF and U.
S. command in Afghanistan. Of these 100,000 were from the U. S. On 1 May 2011, United States Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. NATO leaders in 2012 commended an exit strategy for withdrawing their forces, the United States announced that its major combat operations would end in December 2014, leaving a residual force in the country. In October 2014, British forces handed over the last bases in Helmand to the Afghan military ending their combat operations in the war. On 28 December 2014, NATO formally ended ISAF combat operations in Afghanistan and transferred full security responsibility to the Afghan government; the NATO-led Operation Resolute Support was formed the same day as a successor to ISAF. As of May 2017, over 13,000 foreign troops remain in Afghanistan without any formal plans to withdraw, continue their fight against the Taliban, which remains by far the largest single group fighting against the Afghan government and foreign troops. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the war.
Over 4,000 ISAF soldiers and civilian contractors, over 62,000 Afghan national security forces were killed, as well as over 31,000 civilians and more Taliban. Afghanistan's political order began to break down with the overthrow of King Zahir Shah by his distant cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan in a bloodless 1973 Afghan coup d'état. Daoud Khan had served as prime minister since 1953 and promoted economic modernization, emancipation of women, Pashtun nationalism; this was threatening to neighboring Pakistan, faced with its own restive Pashtun population. In the mid-1970s, Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto began to encourage Afghan Islamist leaders such as Burhanuddin Rabbani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, to fight against the regime. In 1978, Daoud Khan was killed in a coup by Afghan's Communist Party, his former partner in government, known as the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan; the PDPA pushed for a socialist transformation by abolishing arranged marriages, promoting mass literacy and reforming land ownership.
This provoked opposition across rural areas. The PDPA's crackdown was met including Ismail Khan's Herat Uprising; the PDPA was beset by internal leadership differences and was weakened by an internal coup on 11 September 1979 when Hafizullah Amin ousted Nur Muhammad Tara
Winchester is a city and the county town of Hampshire, England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, is located at the western end of the South Downs National Park, along the course of the River Itchen, it is situated 60 miles south-west of London and 13.6 miles from its closest city. At the time of the 2011 Census, Winchester had a population of 45,184; the wider City of Winchester district which includes towns such as Alresford and Bishop's Waltham has a population of 116,800. Winchester developed from the Roman town of Venta Belgarum, which in turn developed from an Iron Age oppidum. Winchester's major landmark is Winchester Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, with the distinction of having the longest nave and overall length of all Gothic cathedrals in Europe; the city is home to the University of Winchester and Winchester College, the oldest public school in the United Kingdom still using its original buildings. The area around Winchester has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with three Iron Age hillforts, Oram's Arbour, St. Catherine's Hill, Worthy Down all in the nearby vicinity.
In the Late Iron Age, a more urban settlement type developed, known as an oppidum, although the archaeology of this phase remains obscure. It was overrun by the confederation of Gaulish tribes known as the Belgae sometime during the first century BCE, it seems to have been known as Wentā or Venta, derived from the Brittonic for "town" or "meeting place", or the word for "white", due to Winchester's situation upon chalk. After the Roman conquest of Britain, the settlement served as the capital of the Belgae and was distinguished as Venta Belgarum, "Venta of the Belgae". Although in the early years of the Roman province it was of subsidiary importance to Silchester and Chichester, Venta eclipsed them both by the latter half of the second century. At the beginning of the third century, Winchester was given protective stone walls. At around this time the city covered an area of 144 acres, making it among the largest towns in Roman Britain by surface area. There was a limited suburban area outside the walls.
Like many other Roman towns however, Winchester began to decline in the fourth century. Following the Roman withdrawal from Britain in 410, urban life seems to have continued at Venta Belgarum until around 450 AD, a small administrative centre might have continued after that on the site of the Anglo-Saxon palace. Ford identifies the community as the Cair Guinntguic listed by Nennius among the 28 cities of Britain in his History of the Britons. Amid the Saxon invasions of Britain, cemeteries dating to the 6th and 7th centuries suggest a revival of settlement; the city became known as Wintan-ceastre in Old English. In 648, King Cenwalh of Wessex erected the Church of SS Peter and Paul known as the Old Minster; this became a cathedral in the 660s when the West Saxon bishopric was transferred from Dorchester-on-Thames. The present form of the city dates to reconstruction in the late 9th century, when King Alfred the Great obliterated the Roman street plan in favour of a new grid in order to provide better defence against the Vikings.
The city's first mint appears to date from this period. In the early tenth century there were two new ecclesiastical establishments, the convent of Nunnaminster, founded by Alfred's widow Ealhswith, the New Minster. Bishop Æthelwold of Winchester was a leading figure in the monastic reform movement of the tenth century, he replaced them with monks. He created the drainage system, the'Lockburn', which served as the town drain until 1875, still survives. In the late tenth century, the Old Minster was enlarged as a centre of the cult of the ninth century Bishop of Winchester, Saint Swithun; the three minsters were the home of what architectural historian John Crook describes as "the supreme artistic achievements" of the Winchester School. The consensus among historians of Anglo-Saxon England is that the court was mobile in this period and there was no fixed capital. Martin Biddle has suggested that Winchester was a centre for royal administration in the seventh and eighth centuries, but this is questioned by Barbara Yorke, who sees it as significant that the shire was named after Hamtun, the forerunner of Southampton.
However, Winchester is described by the historian Catherine Cubitt as "the premier city of the West Saxon kingdom." There was a fire in the city in 1141 during the Rout of Winchester. William of Wykeham played a role in the city's restoration; as Bishop of Winchester he was responsible for much of the current structure of the cathedral, he founded the still extant public school Winchester College. During the Middle Ages, the city was an important centre of the wool trade, before going into a slow decline; the curfew bell in the bell tower, still sounds at 8:00 pm each evening. While Jews lived in Winchester from at least 1148, in the 13th century the Jewish community in the city was one of the most important in England. There was an archa in the city, the Jewish quarter was located in the city's heart. There were a series of blood libel claims levied against the Jewish community in the 1220s and 1230s, the cause of the hanging of the community's leader, Abraham Pinch, in front of the synagogue that he was head of.
Simon de Montfort ransacked the Jewish quarter in 1264, in 1290 all Jews were expelled from England. The City Cross has been dated to the 15th century, features 12 statues of the Virgin Mary and various historical figures. Several statues appear to have been added t
A regiment is a military unit. Their role and size varies markedly, depending on the arm of service. In Medieval Europe, the term "regiment" denoted any large body of front-line soldiers, recruited or conscripted in one geographical area, by a leader, also the feudal lord of the soldiers. By the end of the 17th century, regiments in most European armies were permanent units, numbering about 1,000 men and under the command of a colonel. During the modern era, the word "regiment" – much like "corps" – may have two somewhat divergent meanings, which refer to two distinct roles: a front-line military formation. In many armies, the first role has been assumed by independent battalions, task forces and other, similarly-sized operational units. However, these non-regimental units tend to be short-lived. A regiment may be a variety of sizes: smaller than a standard battalion, e.g. Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. S. Infantry Regiment and Royal Regiment of Scotland; the French term régiment is considered to have entered military usage in Europe at the end of the 16th century, when armies evolved from collections of retinues who followed knights, to formally organised, permanent military forces.
At that time, regiments were named after their commanding colonels, disbanded at the end of the campaign or war. It was customary to name the regiment by its precedence in the line of battle, to recruit from specific places, called cantons; the oldest regiments which still exist, their dates of establishment, include the Spanish 9th Infantry Regiment “Soria”, Swedish Life Guards, the British Honourable Artillery Company and the King's Own Immemorial Regiment of Spain, first established in 1248 during the conquest of Seville by King Ferdinand the Saint. In the 17th century, brigades were formed as units combining infantry and artillery that were more effective than the older, single-arms regiments. By the beginning of the 18th century, regiments in most European continental armies had evolved into permanent units with distinctive titles and uniforms, each under the command of a colonel; when at full strength, an infantry regiment comprised two field battalions of about 800 men each or 8–10 companies.
In some armies, an independent regiment with fewer companies was labelled a demi-regiment. A cavalry regiment numbered 600 to 900 troopers. On campaign, these numbers were soon reduced by casualties and detachments and it was sometimes necessary to amalgamate regiments or to withdraw them to a depot while recruits were obtained and trained. With the widespread adoption of conscription in European armies during the nineteenth century, the regimental system underwent modification. Prior to World War I, an infantry regiment in the French, German and other smaller armies would comprise four battalions, each with a full strength on mobilization of about 1,000 men; as far as possible, the separate battalions would be garrisoned in the same military district, so that the regiment could be mobilized and campaign as a 4,000 strong linked group of sub-units. A cavalry regiment by contrast made up a single entity of up to 1,000 troopers. A notable exception to this practice was the British line infantry system where the two regular battalions constituting a regiment alternated between "home" and "foreign" service and came together as a single unit.
In the regimental system, each regiment is responsible for recruiting and administration. The regiment is responsible for recruiting and administering all of a soldier's military career. Depending upon the country, regiments can be administrative units or both; this is contrasted to the "continental system" adopted by many armies. In the continental system, the division is the functional army unit, its commander is the administrator of every aspect of the formation: his staff train and administer the soldiers and commanders of the division's subordinate units. Divisions are garrisoned together and share the same installations: thus, in divisional administration, a battalion commanding officer is just another officer in a chain of command. Soldiers and officers are transferred out of divisions as required; some regiments recruited from specific geographical areas, incorporated the place name into the regimental name. In other cases, regiments would recruit from a given age group within a nation, an ethnic group, or foreigners.
In other cases, new regiments were raised for new functions within an army.
Oxfordshire is a county in South East England. The ceremonial county borders Warwickshire to the north-west, Northamptonshire to the north-east, Buckinghamshire to the east, Berkshire to the south, Wiltshire to the south-west and Gloucestershire to the west; the county has major education and tourist industries and is noted for the concentration of performance motorsport companies and facilities. Oxford University Press is the largest firm among a concentration of publishing firms; as well as the city of Oxford, other centres of population are Banbury, Bicester and Chipping Norton to the north of Oxford. The areas south of the Thames, the Vale of White Horse and parts of South Oxfordshire, are in the historic county of Berkshire, as is the highest point, the 261 metres White Horse Hill. Oxfordshire's county flower is the snake's-head fritillary. Oxfordshire was recorded as a county in the early years of the 10th century and lies between the River Thames to the south, the Cotswolds to the west, the Chilterns to the east and the Midlands to the north, with spurs running south to Henley-on-Thames and north to Banbury.
Although it had some significance as an area of valuable agricultural land in the centre of the country, it was ignored by the Romans, did not grow in importance until the formation of a settlement at Oxford in the 8th century. Alfred the Great was born across the Thames in Vale of White Horse; the University of Oxford was founded in 1096, though its collegiate structure did not develop until on. The university in the county town of Oxford grew in importance during the Middle Ages and early modern period; the area was part of the Cotswolds wool trade from the 13th century, generating much wealth in the western portions of the county in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Morris Motors was founded in Oxford in 1912, bringing heavy industry to an otherwise agricultural county; the importance of agriculture as an employer has declined in the 20th century though. Nonetheless, Oxfordshire remains a agricultural county by land use, with a lower population than neighbouring Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, which are both smaller.
Throughout most of its history the county was divided into fourteen hundreds, namely Bampton, Binfield, Bullingdon, Dorchester, Langtree, Pyrton, Ploughley and Wootton. The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, the main army unit in the area, was based at Cowley Barracks on Bullingdon Green, Cowley; the Vale of White Horse district and parts of the South Oxfordshire administrative district south of the River Thames were part of Berkshire, but in 1974 Abingdon, Faringdon and Wantage were added to the administrative county of Oxfordshire under the Local Government Act 1972. Conversely, the Caversham area of Reading, now administratively in Berkshire, was part of Oxfordshire as was the parish of Stokenchurch, now administratively in Buckinghamshire. Oxfordshire includes parts of three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the north-west lie the Cotswolds, to the south and south-east are the open chalk hills of the North Wessex Downs and wooded hills of the Chilterns; the north of the county contains the ironstone of the Cherwell uplands.
Long-distance walks within the county include the Ridgeway National Trail, Macmillan Way, Oxfordshire Way and the D’Arcy Dalton Way. Northernmost point: 52°10′6.58″N 1°19′54.92″W, near Claydon Hay Farm, Claydon Southernmost point: 51°27′34.74″N 0°56′48.3″W, near Thames and Kennet Marina, Playhatch Westernmost point: 51°46′59.73″N 1°43′9.68″W, near Downs Farm, Westwell Easternmost point: 51°30′14.22″N 0°52′13.99″W, River Thames, near Lower Shiplake The central part of Oxfordshire contains the River Thames with its flat floodplains. The Thames Path National Trail parallels the river as it crosses Oxfordshire, continuing towards London. There are many smaller rivers that feed into the Thames such as the Thame, Windrush and Cherwell; some of these rivers have trails running along their valleys. The Oxford Canal follows the Cherwell from Banbury to Kidlington. Oxfordshire contains a green belt area that envelops the city of Oxford, extends for some miles to afford a protection to surrounding towns and villages from inappropriate development and urban growth.
Its border in the east extends to the Buckinghamshire county boundary, while part of its southern border is shared with the North Wessex Downs AONB. It was first drawn up in the 1950s, all the county's districts contain some portion of the belt; this is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Oxfordshire at current basic prices published by the Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British pounds sterling. The Oxfordshire County Council, since 2013 under no overall control, is responsible for the most strategic local government functions, including schools, county roads, social services; the county is divided into five local government districts: Oxford, Vale of White Horse, West Oxfordshire and South Oxfordshire, which deal with such matters as town and country planning, waste collection, housing. In the 2016 European Union referendum, Oxfordshire was the only English cou