A History of the County of Oxford

November 2004
53 black and white, 24 line illustrations
300 pages
20.4x30.8 cm
Victoria County History
ISBN: 9781904356257
Format: Hardback
Victoria County History

A History of the County of Oxford

XIV: Witney and its Townships (Bampton Hundred Part Two)

Edited by Simon Townley

Classic VCH account of Witney and its rural townships of Crawley, Curbridge and Hailey; the Windrush valley.
This volume comprises a history of the large west Oxfordshire town of Witney and its rural townships of Crawley, Curbridge, and Hailey, an area of over 7,000 acres derived from a large, late Anglo-Saxon estate. Witney, probably the site of the Anglo-Saxon estate centre, was redesigned as a planned `new town' in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century; from the seventeenth century it was widely known for its blanket industry, and became a centre of religious non-conformity. The town's origins, buildings, and physical development are fully discussed, together with its economic, social and religious history. The Windrush valley is also covered - an area of scattered woodland settlements and nucleated villages with open fields; early inclosure was probably in connection with the wool trade and Witney's cloth industry. Important sites discussed include the medieval Witney park, Caswell House, near the site of a deserted medieval settlement, and the bishop of Winchester's recently excavated `palace' at Witney.
SIMON TOWNLEY is editor, Victoria History of Oxford.


This is microhistory at its best. The level of detail is probably unparalleled in other VCH volumes: for the rural areas, almost every farm seems to receive attention. [...]The maps and illustrations...are a notably strong feature of the volume. [...] This is a history of which, like the whole VCH enterprise, not just any county but any country should feel proud. AGRICULTURAL HISTORY REVIEW

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