Hawkwell House Hotel
Location: Iffley Village, Oxford
Dating back to the 19th century, Hawkwell House Hotel blends tranquility with contemporary elegance, making it the perfect venue. It is located in the leafy village of Iffley, just two miles from the historic city of Oxford and just a stone's throw from the river Thames. The hotel seamlessly blends character with contemporary design and boasts three acres of private gardens for guests to enjoy.
For more information about the hotel please visit their web site
† These prices are based on two people sharing a standard double or twin bedroom
Hawkwell House Hotel is misleadingly named. First there was the field called Hawkwell; then at inclosure it was divided into plots; then John Parsons, the Oxford banker, built a house on one of them, and called it Hawkwell backing onto Tree Lane. He never lived there but had a summer home at 'The Cottage', Tree Lane. Then another grand house was built on the plot between Parsons' land and Church Way; that was called The Elms; the Strong family lived in it and, later, the Allens; the last Iffley Allen died in 1970 and the house became The Elms Hotel, the purchasers also acquiring Hawkwell which they used as an annexe. The hotel changed hands, has been greatly enlarged over Hawkwell grounds and has taken the Hawkwell name. Hawkwell does not deserve to be elbowed out, being a fine house from the early 19th century, with a Grecian-style portico; it was the centre of Parsons' country estate where he farmed and where he shot pheasant; it has a surviving game store beside the house, for hanging the birds. The Elms was a more conventional and less elegant house, but surrounded by fine gardens and having a commanding presence above Church Way.
Hawkwell House itself was originally a nursing home. It was then turned into a Children's Home during World War 1, then after the War was converted into a Hotel.
The famous explorer Francis Howard Bickerton was born here. Bickerton (1889-1954) served as mechanical engineer on Sir Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition between 1911-1914.
Bickerton was responsible for converting a smashed Vickers D-Type monoplane for use as an 'air-tractor sledge' in the Antarctic. He also shared responsibility for the expedition's pioneering use of wireless telegraphy and led the three-man Western Sledging Expedition which, between December 1912 and January 1913, explored 160 miles of uncharted territory and discovered the first Antarctic meteorite - which led to Antarctica being recognised as the world's richest meteorite field. For his services, Bickerton was awarded the prestigious King's Polar Medal, and Cape Bickerton (6620S, 13656E, five miles ENE of Gravenoire Rock) was named in his honour.
Bickerton was also recruited by Sir Ernest Shackleton for the Endurance expedition of 1914-1917 and served as a fighter pilot with the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. Post-war he joined the colony of British war veterans established in Newfoundland by Captain Victor Lindsay Arbuthnot Campbell of Scott's Terra Nova expedition and explored in Central America and Africa. He died in Borth, Ceredigion, in 1954.