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Banburyshire is the name for the area around the town of Banbury which lies in the three counties of Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.
No, there is not an area recognised on any map as “Banburyshire”.
It’s a mythical county created from the important role Banbury has played for local villages over many years. Many of those villages have are in another ‘Shire’. Its boundaries do not coincide with any political or administrative limits.
Banburyshire is not even all within Oxfordshire, but includes parts of Warwickshire & Northamptonshire as well. Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Gloucestershire are also just a few miles from the border of Banburyshire.
“Banburyshire” however, is a term which has been used ‘locally’ since at least the 1830’s.
Although Banbury is part of North Oxfordshire, in social history, ‘Banburians’ probably have more in common with the folks of Coventry and Warwickshire and their local industries & trades.
Many Warwickshire families came through or stayed in Banbury using the canals. Banbury’s cattle and sheep market attracted many Northamptonshire families.
The main ‘Old’ road from Banbury to Northampton is still known as ‘Welsh Lane.’ This was the road used by drovers to drive their stock from Northamptonshire villages to Banbury market. Today, the Canal system is still in use from Warwickshire.
Banbury may be part of the county of Oxfordshire, but Banbury area possesses a distinct identity of its own. One which encompasses all the trades, families, modes of transport, living conditions, social behaviour, education, various religions – from several counties into one concentrated area.
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