Syresham, or Sighere's Ham as it was originally known, is an old forest village, surrounded by the remnants of ancient woodland – the hunting grounds of several Kings of England. The village is composed of a double loop on either side of a shallow valley through which flows a brook, reputedly the source of the great River Ouse. The population was once much larger than it is today (c800 inhabitants) and most of the land in and around the village was once owned by Magdalen College Oxford. St James Church dates from the 12th century and there are still buildings in the village constructed from stone obtained from a quarry just north of the church. The village is traversed by the Welsh Lane, an old drover's road used to bring cattle and sheep to London.
Several books have been written giving a detailed history of the village, including Dr Philip Pettit's 'Syresham – A Forest Village'
Syresham has a thriving History Society which meets once per month.