A History of the County of Oxford
Volume X: Banbury Hundred
This volume contains the history of the four large parishes in north Oxfordshire that formed the hundred of Banbury: Banbury, Charlbury, Cropredy, and Swal-cliffe. The four parishes do not constitute...
This volume contains the history of the four large parishes in north Oxfordshire that formed the hundred of Banbury: Banbury, Charlbury, Cropredy, and Swal-cliffe. The four parishes do not constitute a single, compact area, and are linked together because they belonged in the early Middle Ages to the bishops of Lincoln and probably represent ancient estates exempted from royal dues for the benefit of the bishops' predecessors in the see of Dorchester. Banbury itself contains an early castle and represents the successful estab-lishment of a 'new town' in the 12th century. From 1554 to 1832 it was a parliamentary borough; it was widely known for its Puritanism, and won a place in literature not only for the Banbury Cross of the nursery rhyme but also for its cakes, cheese, and ale. Its character as a market town was changed by industrial growth in the 19th century, the traditional textile industries yieldingto the manufacture of agricultural implements, which was in turn over-shadowed in the 20th century by food-manufacture, light engineering, and alu-minium. By contrast, Charlbury, lying 14 miles south-west of Banbury, is a small and relatively little-known market town which was a centre of the gloving industry. Both Charlbury and the rural parishes of Cropredy and Swalcliffe are unusually well documented because they contained exten-sive estates of abbeys and colleges. Each of the four parishes contains several separate villages, and, in all, the volume covers an area of over 20,000 acres and more than 20 settlements.