RESIDENTS hope Old Marston will retain its special character despite the onset of neighbouring developments.

It comes as Oxford City Council nears completion of its appraisal of the Old Marston Conservation Area.

As part of the study, city council officers have highlighted some of the threats to the historic village so it can be better preserved.

These include the increased speed and volume of traffic through Old Marston and the increased density of new development.

Old Marston resident Lucy Hughes, who is also a trustee of Oxford Preservation Trust, said: “I think it is a comprehensive report, and very well done.

“What is special about the village is that it still has a very rural feel, even though it is part of the city.

“We think the Barton West scheme might have an impact of traffic and more people coming through. I don’t think anybody wants yet more traffic.”

Old Marston is believed to have sprung up as a small Anglo-Saxon village or hamlet. It’s name means “settlement in the marshes”.

For most of its history the village has been a community of farmers or small landowners, and was used as the headquarters for the Parliamentarian Army during the Siege of Oxford in the Civil War.

It was at Cromwell’s House in Mill Lane that the Treaty of Oxford was negotiated in 1646.

The city council’s Old Marston Conservation Area Appraisal says the village is a “quiet and attractive residential area” with “a medieval street pattern, including long, broad and winding main streets with narrow lanes running off”.

Other buildings of note include St Nicholas Church, The Red Lion pub and Halford House.

Earlier this year Oxford Preservation Trust bought nearly 50 acres of land around the village to preserve its character.

Parish council chairman Charlie Haynes said: “It’s an extraordinary piece of work and I think it will be an ideal tool for when we are looking at planning applications.

“It is extremely comprehensive, including on the threats to the area.”