Islip was probably first settled in Saxon times. Its position on the edge of the Bernwood Forest made it a likely site for a royal hunting lodge and this may be why Edward the Confessor was born here and later commemorated in the Confessor's Chapel.
During the Civil War, Islip was of strategic importance due to its proximity to the Cherwell and in 1645 occupying Royalist troops were routed by Cromwell at the Battle of Islip Bridge. The village remained in Cromwell's hands through the siege of Oxford in 1646. During the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685, it was again occupied by government forces to secure the Western approach to London. The present bridge was constructed in 1878.
In the eighteenth century, Islip developed as an important staging post on the main London to Worcester coaching route with many of the current houses still bearing the names of its numerous inns. It was also on the Oxford to Buckingham route during winter months, when Gosford Bridge was impassable. The building of the Oxford Canal in 1790 led to a rapid decline in the village's importance as a coaching post. Islip then briefly became a thriving railway centre in the middle of the nineteenth century, with the original terminus for the planned Oxford to Bletchley service being built here in 1850. Once the station at Oxford Rewley Road was built, the line was used for LNWR's Oxford and Worcester expresses to London with a stopping service from Oxford to Cambridge following soon afterwards. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the line became largely dedicated to commuter services between Oxford and Bicester, with Islip one of seven stations between the two. The smaller stations were closed in 1926 and the service completely withdrawn in 1967 (though re-opened in 1989). Thus ended Islip's brief history as a busy coaching, then rail post, allowing it to revert to its more natural role of being one of the most beautiful and peaceful villages in this most beautiful and peaceful part of Oxfordshire.
For this cache you need to start at the car parking (which is free). Close to the car parking you will find the slightly different village sign for the village that celebrates its most famous son.
The village sign can be found at N51 49.406 W001 14.313 and here you get your first question: What is the date on the sign? Your answer = ABCD
Close by you will find some Vikings (N51 49.396 W001 14.323). These were placed after celebrations in the village to celebrate the 1000th birthday of Edward the Confessor. Your question here is: How many life size wooden Vikings can you see? Your answer = E
The next question is at N51 49.299 W001 14.429. There are several ways of reaching this point. The shortest way is to go diagonally across the sports field and over the style. However you can also walk back to the road and turning down hill. After you walk a few yards you will see a set of steps leading up to a footpath and you may wish to take this dry path. Or if unable to climb the step, keep heading downhill and at the bottom of the hill turn right.
Now you should be stood in Mill Street near the postbox. Your next question is: What are the last two numbers of the postbox number? Your answer will = (OX5 1)FE
The next place to head to is the bridge over the river. Once at N51 49.305 W001 14.153 make a note of how far you are from Merton. This answer = G
From the bridge head towards Merton. Please be careful crossing the road here the vehicles can come through very fast. Also please note that the footpath is raised up quite a distance above the road. This is due to the frequent flooding. If you are completing this cache in winter or after heavy rain please bear this in mind. At the next coordinates, N51 49.404 W001 14.016 you are looking for the number to do with the walled garden. Your answer = EH
You now need to head for the Middle Way. The short way is straight up the hill along Middle Street, but I would recommend crossing the road and heading up North Street where you will pass some of the oldest properties in the village. Then head down Middle Way to N51 49.418 W001 14.133. Once you are at the coordinates you need to find “Locknlift Type No.” The number = J
Once you have found answer J, head onto Middle Street and to N51 49.392 W001 14.140. Here you will find Tomkins Terrace. The year gives you your next answers: 19KL.
Your next answer is at N51 49.385 W001 14.198. This is on the village green, where amongst other things you will find the stocks. On the green you will find an information board. Read the board and answer this question: How many Inns were in the village of Islip? Your answer = M
Once you have found the number of inns, you will just need your last answer to be able to solve the puzzle to find the cache. Head uphill to N51 49.444 W001 14.297, here you will find the final item you are looking for. On it you will find a small plaque telling you when it was the best kept of its type. This date gives you your final answers. The date equals 1NPQ.
You should now have numbers for each letter (A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,J,K,L,M,N,P and Q). Simply use these numbers for the sum below to find the location of the cache.
N D(J/P) GN.(F-G)(L+G)E W BCA (Q/H)G.(M+E)(L-D)(K+F)
If anybody would like to expand this series please do. I would just ask that you let SmokeyPugs know first so they can keep track of the Village Sign numbers and names to avoid duplication.