Banbury is an Ancient Parish partly in Northamptonshire and partly in Oxfordshire.

Other places in the parish include: Wykham, Calthorpe, Wickham, Neithrop, and Hardwick.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin: 1558

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Countess of Huntingdon Methodist, Independent/Congregational, Presbyterian, Primitive Methodist, Roman Catholic, Society of Friends/Quaker, Strict Baptist, Unitarian, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Banbury

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BANBURY, a town, a parish, a subdistrict, a district, and a hundred in Oxfordshire. The town stands on the Cherwell river, the Oxford canal and the Oxford and Birmingham railway, 22½ miles N by W of Oxford. Its name, in the Saxon times, was Banesbyrig; and its site is supposed to have been a Roman station. Roman coins and a Roman altar have been found at it; and a kind of amphitheatre, still existing, is thought to be Roman. A castle was built here, about the year 1125, by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, and continued to be an episcopal residence till the reign of Edward VI.; but only a fragment of one of the walls remains. During the wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, the forces of the Yorkists held possession of the town, and a memorable action, known as the battle of Banbury, was fought, in 1469, about 3 miles distant, on Danesmoor near Edgecott. In the wars of the time of Charles I., the castle was garrisoned for the Parliamentarians, and aided by the townspeople, who were almost all Puritans; but it was captured by the Royalists after the battle of Edgehill, and held by them during thirteen weeks, till relieved by the Duke of Newcastle; and afterwards it sustained a siege of ten weeks by Colonel Whalley, and surrendered on honourable terms.

The town presents a cheerful appearance, and has undergone much recent improvement, but does not possess any claim to elegance. The town hall, built in 1854, is a handsome edifice, in the prevailing style of the 15th century, with an apartment 60 feet by 34, and a conspicuous tower. The parish church is a large costly structure, raised under an act of parliament of 1790; has a tower over the western entrance 133 feet high; and contains two monuments of the Pigott family. The new cemetery contains two neat chapels in the early English style. The Roman Catholic chapel, built in 1838, and a Wesleyan chapel, built in 1864, are fine structures. There are churches in Neithrop and South B., nine dissenting chapels, a school of science built in 1861, a mechanics’ institution, a blue-coat school with £70 a year, alms-houses and other charities with £193, a work house in Neithrop, a jail, two corn exchanges, a theatre, and a nunnery. A free grammar school was once so famous that the statutes of it were taken as models for schools in London and Manchester; but is now extinct. A college, dedicated to St. Mary, stood on the Oxford road; and a fragment of it still exists. A lepers’ hospital stood on the east side of the town, at what is now called Spital farm. A spire-cross, with a fountain, was recently erected on or near the site of an ancient market-cross of great note, and described by Leland. The town has a head post office, a station on the railway, three wharves on the canal, four banking offices, and four chief inns; and publishes two weekly newspapers. It has a large corn trade, is famous for cakes, and carries on malting, brewing, wool-stapling, agricultural-implement making, and the manufacture of plushes and other webbing. A weekly market is held on Thursday; and fairs on the Thursday after Old Twelfth day, on the third Thursday of Feb., March, and April, on Holy Thursday, on the third Thursday of June, July, Aug., and Sept., on the first and the third Thursdays after Old Michaelmas, on the third Thursday in Nov., and on the second Thursday before Christmas. The town was made a borough in the time of Queen Mary; is governed by a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors; is a seat of petty sessions, and a court of record; and sends one member to parliament. The municipal borough consists of the parish, exclusive of Neithrop township; while the parliamentary borough includes all the parish, and also the hamlets of Grimsbury and Nethercote. Pop. of the m. borough, 4,059. Houses, 791. Pop. of the p. borough, 10,216. Houses, 2,068. Direct taxation, £8,117. Real property, £20,049. Electors in 1868, 763. Banbury formerly gave the title of Earl to the family of Knollys. whately, the Puritan author of the “Bride Bush,” born in 1583, was a native. The seats of Neithrop House, Broughton Castle, Wroxton Abbey, and Wykham Park are in the neighbourhood. A sulphurous spring adjoins the Ram inn; a chalybeate spring is at a short distance from the town; and the pyrites anreus, or golden fire stone, is frequently found in digging wells.

The parish includes the town, the Neithrop suburb, and a tract of circumjacent country. Acres, 3,150. Rated property, £23,750. Pop., 9,140. Houses, 1,833. The living is a vicarage, united with the p. curacy of Neithrop, in the diocese of Oxford. Value, not reported. Patron, the Bishop of Oxford. South Banbury or Christ Church, is a separate charge, a vicarage, of the value of £180, also in the patronage of the Bishop of Oxford. The subdistrict contains five other parishes, and part of a sixth. Acres, 14,925. Pop. 13,293. Houses, 2,797. The hundred consists of two portions, on the northern border of the county, separated 3¼ miles from each other by the hundred of Bloxham. Acres, 21,186. Pop., 10,393. Houses, 2,265. The district comprehends the subdistrict of Banbury, containing the parishes of Banbury, Warkworth, Middleton Cheney, Chalcombe, Edgcott, and Chipping-Warden, and the chapelry of Wardington, all, excepting Banbury and Wardington, electorally in Northamptonshire; the subdistrict of Bloxham, containing the parishes of Blox ham, Hook-Norton, Wigginton, South Newington, Barford-St. Michael, and Adderbury; the subdistrict of Swalcliffe, containing the parishes of Swalcliffe, Broughton, Tadmarton, Alkerton, Shenington, Hornton, Horley, wroxton, Drayton, Radway, and Ratley,-the two last electorally in Warwickshire; and the subdistrict of Cropredy, containing the lordship of Prescot, the extra parochial tract of Clattercote, the parish of Hanwell, and great part of the parish of Cropredy, electorally in Oxfordshire,-the parishes of Upper Boddington, Lower Boddington, and Aston-le-Walls, electorally in Northamptonshire, and the parishes of Shotswell, Warmington, Avon-Dassett, and Farnborough, and small part of the parish of Cropredy, electorally in Warwickshire. Acres, 75,32 4. Poor-rates in 1866, £23,172. Pop. in 1861, 30,171. Houses, 6,742. Marriages in 1866, 250; births, 1,05 4, of which 62 were illegitimate; deaths, 593, of which 192 were at ages under 5 years, and 16 at ages above 85 years. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 2,257; births, 10,054; deaths, 6,391. ‘The places of worship in 1851 were 42 of the Church of England, with 12,042 sittings; 7 of Independents, with 1,200 s.; 9 of Baptists, with 2,030 s.; 5 of Quakers, with 832 s.; 1 of Unitarians, with 325 s.; 23 of Wesleyan Me thodists, with 3,565 s.; 14 of Primitive Methodists, with 1,602 s.; 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 20 s.; 2 of Roman Catholics, with 500 s.; and 1 undefined, with 90 s. The schools were 35 public day schools, with 2,751 scholars; 51 private day schools, with 1,062 s.: 61 Sunday schools, with 3,608 s.; and 2 evening schools for adults, with 9 8 scholars.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Banbury, 75½ miles N.W. London. Mrkt. Thurs. P. 7366

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.

Adams Jonathan, Banbury, innkeeper, May 19, 1837.

Bolton William and Thomas, Banbury, Oxfordshire, & Grimsbury, Northamptonshire, coal and corn merchants, June 18, 1822.

Brown George, Banbury, Oxfordshire, miller, July 24, 1827.


Ordnance Survey One-Inch Sheet 145 Banbury, Published 1946.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

Ordnance Survey One-Inch Sheet 145 Banbury, Published 1953.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

Ordnance Survey One-Inch Sheet 145 Banbury, Published 1968.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

Ordnance Survey One-Inch Sheet 83 Northampton, Published 1919.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

Ordnance Survey Sheet SP 44 Banbury, Published 1951.jpg – Wikimedia Commons


  • County: Oxfordshire
  • Civil Registration District: Banbury
  • Probate Court: Court of the Peculiar of Aylesbury, Court of the Peculiar of Banbury
  • Diocese: Oxford
  • Rural Deanery: Post-1845 – Deddington, Pre-1846 – None
  • Poor Law Union: Banbury
  • Hundred: Banbury; Bloxham
  • Province: Canterbury

Similar Posts