In 1871, The Cricketers Arms opened to serve the hamlet of Littleworth, then a separate community from Wheatley, near Oxford in Oxfordshire. The original cottage that forms the core of the pub is much older, however, and the limestone from which it was built was quarried from Wheatley and was the same stone used in the building of Windsor Castle. In the early 1900's, it was owned by Wootten & Co. of Oxford and was renowned for a beverage known as "Entire": A type of porter. The Cricketers was subsequently owned by a number of breweries and run by many landlords and landladies before becoming a Free House in 1983.
Since 2007, it has been owned and operated by Stuart and Angie Bull with the help of a small but dedicated team of staff. The Cricketers Arms isn't part of a chain or managed estate, nor is it tied to any brewery, it's a genuine English free house. We think that you'll find that our pub offers you exceptional food at an incredible price in a traditional and friendly community pub atmosphere.
Our priorities are, and all have been, upholding traditional values, providing a quality experience for the best value, sourcing locally and maintaining a high standard of cleanliness. The pub has a vibrant community that supports two Aunt Sally Teams (one in the Oxford Aunt Sally League and one in the South East Oxfordshire Aunt Sally League) and a Cribbage team (in the Oxford & Bucks Winter Cribbage League). We also have players in the Oxford & District Crib League.
Littleworth is midway between the villages of Wheatley and Horspath, and less than five miles from the centre of the historic city of Oxford. Littleworth lies in an area known as "The Oxford Heights" - a favoured area for settlement since prehistoric times and the areas villages were some of the primary settlements in Oxfordshire during the Saxon period.
According to local legend, Littleworth was so named during the English Civil War by Oliver Cromwell as the land was of little worth. But, it was the very same landscape that gave Littleworth its famous brickworks that provided the clay for much of the brick that built the Cowley car manufacturing plants. Now, in addition to The Cricketers Arms, it supports small number of light industrial units and a wealth of microbusinesses operated from homes around the area, enabling the pub to maintain its focus as the hub of the community as well as a vital source of refreshment for weary travellers from far and wide.
It was said, that in the 17th and 18th century, Littleworth was the wealthiest place between Bristol and London. This was due to the Yellow Ochre that was mined from the sandy summit of Shotover, and then ground at Littleworth Mill (now the local attraction Wheatley Windmill). The substance was prized by artists as being the highest quality Yellow Ochre in all England, and used in the paintings and portraits of Royalty, as well as a dye for the fine fabric favoured by the aristocracy.
The main London to Oxford turnpike (toll road), taking mail between the capital of commerce and the capital of education, took stagecoaches over Shotover hill and through Shotover forest. The area was a magnet for highwaymen and thieves, but beyond Shotover hill lay the village of Wheatley with its numerous coaching inns to provide sustenance and shelter for coachman and horses alike. The old route over Shotover was abandoned in 1789, but Wheatley remains a large village that supports its own array of shops, businesses such as Wheatley Birds of Prey and places of worship, as well as its own university campus - part of Oxford Brookes University.
Shotover Hill Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is 3 miles east of Oxford. At its highest point, Shotover hill is 557 feet (170 m) above sea level and affords fine views over Oxfordshire. It is a whole hillside of hidden valleys, sudden views and varied habitats which are freely accessible all the year round.
From around the period of the Domesday Book, Shotover was part of the Wychwood Royal Forest which covered a much larger area to the east of Oxford. During the Civil War so much timber was taken from the wood that in 1660 Shotover was "disafforested" and the slopes given over to rough grazing. The name may be derived from the Old English scoet ofer, meaning "steep slope", although legend has it that two brothers who lived on either side of the hill tied messages to arrows and shot them over the hill to each other.
Shotover is very popular with walkers and cyclists and forms a part of The Oxford Green Belt Way. Close to the eastern edge of Shotover, The Cricketers Arms is the nearest place for those who have enjoyed some fresh air to recoup with hearty, wholesome, food, good ale or a pot of tea and a warming fire.
Oxford is famous the world over for its University and place in history. For over 800 years, it has been a home to royalty and scholars, and since the 9th century an established town, although people are known to have lived in the area for thousands of years.
Nowadays, the city is a bustling cosmopolitan town. Still with its ancient University, but home also to a growing hi-tech community. Many businesses are located in and around the town, whether on one of the Science and Business Parks or within one of a number of residential areas.
This is a work in progress and includes links to various projects, friends and local businesses.
The Cricketers is proud to supply the outside bar for the Wheatley Summer Ball
Clayton Doyle, who you'll know from the Wheatley Summer Ball has started a little business up North in Sheffield, see: CD Locksmith, South Yorkshire
Landlord Stuart's personal site for promoting his on-going novels and artwork is here: Littlenob.com (if you're wondering about the name, it refers to graffiti on the road sign on the Wheatley side of the railway bridge that joins Wheatley to Littleworth).