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The historic north Oxfordshire town of Banbury is perhaps best known for the nursery rhyme:


Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross,

To see a Fyne lady ride on a white horse.

With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,

She shall have music wherever she goes.


Today, Banbury is a thriving community. Its good road and rail links make it a popular business centre, which brings employment and prosperity to the whole Banburyshire area.

The Ride a Cock Horse nursery rhyme originated around 1760. The “Fyne” lady is reputed to be a member of the Fiennes family – ancestors of Lord Saye and Sele.


Three crosses

in the 16th century, Banbury had three crosses:

  1. The High Cross or Market Cross, was in Cornhill, just off the Market Place.
  2. The Bread Cross was the corner of High Street and Butchers Row and was associated with the distribution of bread to the poor each Good Friday.
  3. The White Cross was on the edge of the old town borough, at what is now the corner of West Bar Street and Beargarden Road.

Banbury has a wealth of history which can be found on the Local Histories website.


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