Pictures of Banbury
This is one of the best known town's in England. It was made famous by its celebrated cross of 1859, built in honour of the wedding of Prince Frederick of Prussia, it replaces an earlier cross believed to have been pulled down around 1600. Its other attribute is the famous nursery rhyme "Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross" the fine lady mentioned in the rhyme may have been Lady Godiva or Elizabeth I, she might even have been a local girl who rode in a May Day procession.
Banbury dates back to Saxon times. By the 13th-century it had become a noted centre of the wool trade. A castle was built here around 1135, it stood to the north of the Market Place on what is now Castle Quay shopping precinct. Of its former three crosses, only the High Cross which was rebuilt in the middle of the 19th-century remains, the others Bread Cross and White Cross have long disappeared, never to be replaced.
The beautiful parish church of St.Mary stands close to Banbury Cross, this was rebuilt at the end of the 18th-century to replace the original church burnt down in 1792. St.Mary's is a superb late Georgian building with an interior remodelled during the Victorian era. It is a richly decorated church with many treasures that are well worth seeing. The church is also a lovely place in which to spend a few moments of quiet prayer and reflection.
Banbury is a pleasant flower filled town with an attractive centre where there remains much of charm and character. There is a diverse range of shops, with a good mix of independent retailers and the usual high street stores. A market is held in the Market Place on Thursday's and Saturday. There is also a range of historic coaching inns, take a look at the exquisite herringbone brickwork of The New Flyer in Parsons Street, or visit Ye Olde Reindeer Inn which possibly dates from the 16th-century.
The town remains well known for its delicious Banbury cakes, still made in local bakeries and served in the town's cafe's and restaurants. The recipe for Banbury cakes has remained a well kept secret since the 16th-century.
Flowing through the town is the Oxford Canal, this offers new moorings for pleasure craft and scenic walks along its picturesque banks, home to a rich variety of wildlife. The peoples Park is built on land donated in 1899 when it was developed with a bandstand, bowling green and rose garden. It has a graceful War memorial in a pleasant grassed area, and more recent additions include a sensory garden, a children's play area and Aviary.
Several sections of the old Ironstone railway line still exist, these offer fine opportunities to explore the outstanding countryside surrounding Banbury.
A noted attraction is Upton House and Gardens, the house dates from the 17th-century and despite being heavily reworked in the 1920's remains an attractive place to visit. There is a fine collection of objects d'art including furniture, Brussels tapestries and superb paintings. The gardens are a joy with terraces, lake and a Doric temple.
Visitors to Banbury will find plenty of interest and an excellent choice of hotel accommodation.