There are lots of reasons to love Banbury, not least for its world famous spiced sweet pastry, Banbury Cake and the statue of the lady on the horse.
But there is far more to say and love about this medieval market town than that!
Known as the Gateway to the Cotswolds, Banbury sits proudly on the River Cherwell in the Cherwell Valley and on the northern edge of Oxfordshire.
It is a thriving market town with an interesting and rich heritage.
The area was settled by the Saxons in the late 5th Century who built the town on the west bank of the River Cherwell.
For centuries trade in wool, ale, cakes and cheese helped the town prosper. Wool was referred to in 1268 and cheese was manufactured between the 15th and 18th centuries. At one time Banbury had the largest cattle market in western Europe.
Although the English Civil War damaged the town’s prosperity, Banbury was able to grow and develop its trade and commerce from the 17th century. The opening of the Oxford Canal from Hawkesbury Junction to Banbury in March 1778 gave a cheap and reliable supply of Warwickshire coal and the arrival of the railway in 1850 further boosted the town’s fortunes.
Since then, industries such as paper, brewing, weaving, printing, agricultural machinery and, more recently, motorsports, have established themselves in Banbury.
As well as commerce, the town is also blessed with great schools, a fantastic range of shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs, many of which are independent and housed within some beautiful buildings. There are also a host of attractions including a community phone box library outside St John’s Church which we really love, Tooley’s Boatyard, one of the oldest working dry docks in the Inland Waterways, the Mill Arts Centre, The Old Corn Exchange, Banbury Museum & Gallery, Spiceball Country Park, Banbury Cross and of course the Fine Lady on a White Horse statue in the middle of town and the subject of the Ride A Cock Horse nursery rhyme.
We also love that Banbury can be enjoyed all year round thanks to a multitude of festivals and events.
We at Sheldon Bosley Knight love Banbury so much we are proud to have added it to our list of offices following the acquisition of Wigwam in July.