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History and Heritage

Lady on White HorseMuch of the history of North Oxfordshire is still visible today in the picturesque little villages and old town streets, as well as the historic monuments and buildings, some of which were built as far back as 16th century.

North Oxfordshire’s history is diverse; drawing such influences as Saxon with Banbury and Bicester both mentioned in the Domesday book to Victorian in the form of The Garth park and gardens. There are 17th century churches, pubs and inns as well as markets echoing the tradition of Banbury’s original and famous cattle market. While magnificent Broughton Castle, the ancestral home to the family of Lord Saye and St Edburg's BicesterSele has featured in many films including “Shakespeare in Love” and embodies the overall historical charm of the area. It is a charm which has not gone unnoticed in TV either and has, in fact, provided the setting for a novel about rural life in the 19th century that has been made into a BBC drama series called ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ by Flora Thompson.

Proud to maintain its traditional festivals, fairs and markets, North Oxfordshire also celebrates its beautiful historic architecture and heritage. Banbury lays claim to the oldest working dry-dock in the country, Tooley’s Boatyard, dating back over 200 hundred years; while Bicester’s oldest house, Old Vicarage, dates back to 1500. Market towns and ironstone villages surround the two main towns offering their own insight into the heritage of the area, including Kidlington, Bloxham, Deddington and many more. BanburyAs well as these, North Oxfordshire is central to other historically fascinating places to visit, including Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Warwick amongst others, making it the ideal base for visitors.

Featured Attractions


Deddington Antique Centre

Nestling within the historic village of Deddington, this 18th century listed building houses an...


Upton House

This National Trust house and garden brings alive the sprit of the 1930s. It houses the...

Bloxham Village Museum

Bloxham Village Museum

In a wonderful old setting of the Village Courthouse, our current exhibition which runs until the...

Tooley's Boatyard

Tooley's Boatyard

Tooley's, the oldest working dry dock in Britain, has been in continuous use since 1790 when it was...


Hook Norton Brewery Visitor Centre

Housed in the original maltings the Brewery Visitor Centre and shop is open Monday to Saturday...

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