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Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
(/ˈɒksfərdʃər/ or /-ʃɪər/; often abbreviated Oxon from Oxonium, the Latin name of the city and county of Oxford) is a county in England. It is in the South East England
England
region and borders Warwickshire
Warwickshire
(to the north/north-west), Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
(to the north/north-east), Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
(to the east), Berkshire
Berkshire
(to the south), Wiltshire
Wiltshire
(to the south-west) and Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
(to the west). The county has major education and tourist industries and is noted for the concentration of performance motorsport companies and facilities. Oxford
Oxford
University Press is the largest firm among a concentration of print and publishing firms; the University of Oxford
Oxford
is also linked to the concentration of local biotechnology companies. The main centre of population is the city of Oxford. Other significant settlements are Banbury, Bicester, Kidlington
Kidlington
and Chipping Norton
Chipping Norton
to the north of Oxford; Carterton and Witney
Witney
to the west; Thame
Thame
and Chinnor
Chinnor
to the east; and Abingdon, Wantage, Didcot, Wallingford and Henley-on-Thames
Henley-on-Thames
to the south. Although within the boundaries of Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
County Council, the areas to the south of the Thames, forming the Vale of White Horse
Vale of White Horse
and parts of South Oxfordshire, are located within the historic county of Berkshire. The highest point is White Horse Hill, in the Vale of White Horse (historically in Berkshire), reaching 261 metres (856 ft).[3] Oxfordshire's county flower is the snake's-head fritillary.[4]

Contents

1 History 2 Geography

2.1 Rivers 2.2 Green belt

3 Economy 4 Politics 5 Education 6 Buildings 7 Settlements in Oxfordshire 8 Emergency services 9 Settlements by population 10 Places of interest 11 See also 12 References and notes 13 Further reading 14 External links

History[edit] Main article: History of Oxfordshire Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
was recorded as a county in the early years of the 10th century and is situated on land between the River Thames
River Thames
to the south, the Cotswolds
Cotswolds
to the west, the Chilterns
Chilterns
to the east and the Midlands to the north, with spurs running south to Henley-on-Thames
Henley-on-Thames
and north to Banbury. Historically the area has always had some importance, since it contains valuable agricultural land in the centre of the county. Largely ignored by the Romans, it was not until the formation of a settlement at Oxford
Oxford
in the 8th century that the area grew in importance. Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
was born across the Thames in Wantage, Vale of White Horse. The University of Oxford
Oxford
was founded in 1096, though its collegiate structure did not develop until later on. The university in the county town of Oxford
Oxford
(whose name came from Anglo-Saxon Oxenaford = "ford for oxen") grew in importance during the Middle Ages and early modern period. The area was part of the Cotswolds
Cotswolds
wool trade from the 13th century, generating much wealth, particularly in the western portions of the county in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Morris Motors
Morris Motors
was founded in Oxford
Oxford
in 1912, bringing heavy industry to an otherwise agricultural county. The importance of agriculture as an employer has declined rapidly in the 20th century though; currently under one percent of the county's population are involved due to high mechanisation. Nonetheless, Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
remains a very agricultural county by land use, with a lower population than neighbouring Berkshire
Berkshire
and Buckinghamshire, which are both smaller. Throughout most of its history the county was divided into fourteen hundreds, namely Bampton, Banbury, Binfield, Bloxham, Bullingdon, Chadlington, Dorchester, Ewelme, Langtree, Lewknor, Pyrton, Ploughley, Thame
Thame
and Wootton. The Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
and Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Light Infantry, the main army unit in the area, was based at Cowley Barracks
Cowley Barracks
on Bullingdon Green, Cowley. The Vale of White Horse
Vale of White Horse
district and parts of the South Oxfordshire administrative district south of the River Thames
River Thames
were historically part of Berkshire, but were added to the administrative county of Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
in 1974. Conversely, the Caversham area of Reading, now administratively in Berkshire, was historically part of Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
as was the parish of Stokenchurch, now administratively in Buckinghamshire. Geography[edit] Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
includes parts of three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the north-west lie the Cotswolds, to the south and south-east are the open chalk hills of the North Wessex Downs
North Wessex Downs
and wooded hills of the Chilterns. The north of the county contains the ironstone of the Cherwell uplands. Long-distance walks within the county include the Ridgeway National Trail, Macmillan Way, Oxfordshire Way and the D’Arcy Dalton Way. Rivers[edit] The central part of Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
contains the River Thames
River Thames
with its flat floodplains; the river forms the historic county boundary with Berkshire. The Thames Path
Thames Path
National Trail parallels the river as it crosses Oxfordshire, continuing towards London. There are many smaller rivers that feed into the Thames such as the Thame, Windrush, Evenlode and Cherwell. Some of these rivers have trails running along their valleys. The Oxford
Oxford
Canal
Canal
follows the Cherwell from Banbury
Banbury
to Kidlington. Green belt[edit] Further information: Oxford
Oxford
Green Belt Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
contains a green belt area that fully envelops the city of Oxford, and extends for some miles to afford a protection to surrounding towns and villages from inappropriate development and urban growth. Its border in the east extends to the Buckinghamshire county boundary, while part of its southern border is shared with the North Wessex Downs
North Wessex Downs
AONB. It was first drawn up in the 1950s, and all the county's districts contain some portion of the belt. Economy[edit] This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Oxfordshire at current basic prices published by the Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British pounds sterling.[5]

Year Regional gross value added[6] Agriculture[7] Industry[8] Services[9]

1995 7,607 120 2,084 5,404

2000 10,594 80 2,661 7,853

2003 12,942 93 2,665 10,184

Politics[edit] The Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
County Council, since 2013 under no overall control, is responsible for the most strategic local government functions, including schools, county roads, and social services. The county is divided into five local government districts: Oxford, Cherwell, Vale of White Horse (after the Uffington White Horse), West Oxfordshire
West Oxfordshire
and South Oxfordshire, which deal with such matters as town and country planning, waste collection, and housing. In the 2016 European Union referendum, Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
was the only English county as a whole to vote to remain in the European Union by a significant margin, at 57.06% (70.27% in the City of Oxford), despite Cherwell (barely) voting to leave at 50.31%. Education[edit] See also: List of schools in Oxfordshire

Brasenose Lane
Brasenose Lane
in Oxford
Oxford
city centre, a street onto which three colleges back.

The University of Oxford's Chemistry Research Laboratory.

Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
has a completely comprehensive education system with 23 independent schools and 35 state secondary schools. Only eight schools do not have a sixth form; these are mostly in South Oxfordshire
South Oxfordshire
and Cherwell districts. The county has two universities: the ancient University of Oxford
Oxford
and the modern Oxford
Oxford
Brookes University, which are both located in Oxford. In addition, Wroxton College, located in Banbury, is affiliated with Fairleigh Dickinson University
Fairleigh Dickinson University
of New Jersey. Buildings[edit] The "dreaming spires" of the buildings of the University of Oxford
Oxford
are among the reasons for Oxford
Oxford
being the sixth most visited city in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
for international visitors.[10] Among many notable University buildings are the Sheldonian Theatre, built 1664–68 to the design of Sir Christopher Wren, and the Radcliffe Camera, built 1737–49 to the design of James Gibbs. Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace
close to Woodstock was built by the great architect John Vanbrugh
John Vanbrugh
for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, after he had won the battle of Blenheim. The gardens, which can be visited, were designed by the landscape gardener "Capability Brown", who planted the trees in the battle formation of the victorious army. In the palace, which can also be visited by the public, Sir Winston Churchill was born in 1874. Chastleton House, on the Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
and Warwickshire
Warwickshire
borders, is a great country mansion built on property bought from Robert Catesby, who was one of the men involved in the Gunpowder Plot
Gunpowder Plot
with Guy Fawkes. Stonor
Stonor
Park, another country mansion, has belonged to the recusant Stonor
Stonor
family for centuries. Mapledurham House
Mapledurham House
is an Elizabethan stately home in the far south-east of the county, close to Reading. Settlements in Oxfordshire[edit] See also: List of places in Oxfordshire

Wantage
Wantage
Market Place

Abingdon (in Berkshire
Berkshire
until 1974) Banbury Bicester Burford Carterton Charlbury Chinnor Chipping Norton Didcot
Didcot
(in Berkshire
Berkshire
until 1974) Faringdon
Faringdon
(in Berkshire
Berkshire
until 1974) Henley-on-Thames Islip Kidlington Oxford Thame Wallingford (in Berkshire
Berkshire
until 1974) Wantage
Wantage
(in Berkshire
Berkshire
until 1974) Watlington Witney Woodstock

Emergency services[edit]

Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Fire and Rescue Service Thames Valley Police British Transport Police South Central Ambulance Service Thames Valley Air Ambulance

Settlements by population[edit]

Rank Town Population Year Definition Notes

1 Oxford 150,200 2011 Oxford
Oxford
non-metropolitan district

2 Banbury 46,853 2011 Civil parish

3 Abingdon 33,130 2011 Civil parish

4 Bicester 32,642 2011 Civil parish

5 Witney 27,522 2011 Civil parish

6 Didcot 25,140 2011 Civil parish 200 dwellings in the south-east of the town lie in neighbouring East Hagbourne parish.

7 Carterton 15,769 2011 Civil parish

8 Kidlington 13,723 2011 Civil parish Does not include Gosford.

9 Henley-on-Thames 11,619 2011 Civil parish

10 Thame 11,561 2011 Civil parish Includes hamlet of Moreton

11 Wantage 11,327 2011 Civil parish

12 Wallingford 7,918 2011 Civil parish

13 Grove 7,178 2011 Civil parish

14 Faringdon 7,121 2011 Great Faringdon
Faringdon
civil parish

15 Chipping Norton 6,337 2011 Civil parish

16 Chinnor 5,924 2011 Civil parish

17 Benson 4,754 2011 Civil parish

18 Eynsham 4,648 2011 Civil parish

19 Wheatley 4,092 2011 Civil parish

20 Kennington 4,076 2011 Civil parish

21 Woodstock 3,100 2011 Civil parish

22 Charlbury 2,830 2011 Civil parish

23 Watlington 2,727 2011 Civil parish

24 Bampton 2,564 2011 Civil parish

25 Deddington 2,146 2011 Civil parish

Places of interest[edit] Main article: List of museums in Oxfordshire See also: List of attractions in Oxford

Key

Abbey/Priory/Cathedral

Accessible open space

Amusement/Theme Park

Castle

Country Park

English Heritage

Forestry Commission

Heritage railway

Historic House

Museum (free/not free)

National Trust

Theatre

Zoo

Abingdon County Hall Museum[11] – housed in a 17th-century county hall building Ashdown House – 17th-century country house in the Lambourn Downs Ashmolean Museum
Ashmolean Museum
Oxford
Oxford
University's museum of art and archaeology Banbury
Banbury
Museum, Banbury Bicester
Bicester
Village Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace
and garden – UNESCO World Heritage Site Broughton Castle
Broughton Castle
– 14th-century fortified manor house Buscot
Buscot
Park, Buscot
Buscot
– 18th-century country house and landscape garden Champs Chapel Museum of East Hendred
Champs Chapel Museum of East Hendred
– village museum in a 15th-century Carthusian
Carthusian
chapel Charlbury
Charlbury
Museum Chastleton House
Chastleton House
– 17th-century country house (limited access) Chiltern Hills
Chiltern Hills
– Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Chinnor
Chinnor
& Princes Risborough Railway – operated with steam and diesel locomotives Chipping Norton
Chipping Norton
Museum[12] Cholsey and Wallingford Railway Cogges Manor Farm Museum, Witney
Witney
– a living museum of country life Combe Mill Museum,[13] Long Hanborough
Long Hanborough
– working museum of stationary steam engines Cotswold Wildlife Park
Cotswold Wildlife Park
and garden, Bradwell Grove, Holwell Cotswolds
Cotswolds
– Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Didcot
Didcot
Railway Centre – museum of the Great Western Railway Dorchester Abbey, Dorchester-on-Thames
Dorchester-on-Thames
– 12th-century church of former Augustinian
Augustinian
abbey Great Coxwell Barn
Great Coxwell Barn
– 14th-century tithe barn Greys Court, Rotherfield Greys
Rotherfield Greys
– 16th-century country house Hampton Gay Manor – ruins of 16th-century manor house (no website) Harcourt Arboretum, Nuneham Courtenay Heythrop Hall
Heythrop Hall
– 17th-century country house: now a hotel, golf & country club Hook Norton Brewery
Hook Norton Brewery
– working Victorian "tower" brewery that offers guided tours Kelmscott Manor
Kelmscott Manor
– Home of William Morris Mapledurham Estate – 16th-century country house and 15th-century watermill Milton Manor House
Manor House
– 18th-century country house[14] Minster Lovell
Minster Lovell
Hall – dovecote and ruins of 15th-century manor house Museum of Bygones, Claydon – private museum including stationary steam engines North Wessex Downs
North Wessex Downs
– Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Oxford Oxford
Oxford
Bus Museum and Morris Motors
Morris Motors
Museum, Long Hanborough Oxford
Oxford
Canal
Canal
– 18th-century "narrow" canal The Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Museum, Woodstock The Ridgeway River and Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames River Thames Rollright Stones
Rollright Stones
– megalithic stone circle and Whispering Knights burial chamber, near Little Rollright Rousham House
Rousham House
– 17th-century country house and landscape garden Rycote chapel – 15th-century chapel with original furnishings St Katharine's church, Chiselhampton
Chiselhampton
– 18th-century parish church with original furnishings (no website, limited access) St Mary's church, Iffley
Iffley
– 12th-century Norman parish church[15] Shotover
Shotover
Country Park, Headington Spiceball Country Park, Banbury Stanton Harcourt
Stanton Harcourt
manor house (limited access), with garden and 15th-century chapel and Pope's Tower (no website) Stonor
Stonor
House – country house and 14th-century chapel of the recusant Stonor
Stonor
family Swalcliffe Tithe Barn
Swalcliffe Tithe Barn
– 15th-century Thame
Thame
Museum Tolsey Museum, Burford
Burford
(no website) Uffington White Horse, Uffington Castle
Uffington Castle
and Wayland's Smithy
Wayland's Smithy
burial chamber in the White Horse Hills Vale and Downland Museum, Wantage Wallingford Museum Wheatley Windmill
Windmill
– 18th-century tower mill[16]

See also[edit]

Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
portal

Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Artweeks, an annual art festival each May Oxford
Oxford
University (including links to the individual colleges) Oxford
Oxford
Canal

References and notes[edit]

^ "Camelot International, Britain's heritage and history". Camelotintl.com. Retrieved 9 November 2011.  ^ Homepage ^ Edwardes, Simon (2001). "County and Unitary Authority Tops". The Mountains of England
England
and Wales. Retrieved 14 December 2015.  ^ "Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)". Plantlife. Retrieved 17 August 2012.  ^ "unknown" (PDF). pp. 240–253. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2011.  ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding ^ includes hunting and forestry ^ includes energy and construction ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured ^ "Economic Statistics". Oxford
Oxford
City Council. Retrieved 8 August 2016.  ^ Christopher Gale (7 July 2012). "Abingdon County Hall Museum". Abingdonmuseum.org.uk. Retrieved 8 August 2016.  ^ "Home page". Chipping Norton
Chipping Norton
History Society and Museum. Retrieved 27 June 2017.  ^ "Home". Combemill.org. Retrieved 23 August 2014.  ^ "Oxfordshire". Milton Manor House. Retrieved 23 August 2014.  ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus; Sherwood, Jennifer (1974). The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300096392.  ^ Glitz. "Wheatley Windmill
Windmill
Website". Wheatleymill.co.uk. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

Powell, Philip (2005). The Geology of Oxfordshire. Dovecote
Dovecote
Press. ISBN 1-904349-19-6. 

External links[edit]

Look up Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Oxfordshire.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
County Council Thisisoxfordshire Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
news, sport & information The Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Association Flags of Oxfordshire Visit South Oxfordshire Banbury
Banbury
& District National Trust Association Images of Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
at the English Heritage
English Heritage
Archive

Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
at Curlie (based on DMOZ)

Neighbouring counties

Warwickshire Warwickshire, Northamptonshire Northamptonshire

Gloucestershire

Oxfordshire

Buckinghamshire

Wiltshire Berkshire Berkshire

v t e

Ceremonial county of Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Portal

Boroughs or districts

District of Cherwell City of Oxford District of South Oxfordshire District of the Vale of White Horse District of West Oxfordshire

Major settlements

Abingdon-on-Thames Banbury Bicester Burford Carterton Charlbury Chipping Norton Didcot Faringdon Henley-on-Thames Oxford Thame Wallingford Wantage Watlington Witney Woodstock See also: List of civil parishes in Oxfordshire

Topics

Flag Parliamentary constituencies County Council elections* Places Sites of Special
Special
Scientific Interest Places Schools Country houses Grade I listed buildings History Lord Lieutenants High Sheriffs Museums

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Coordinates: 51°45′N 1°17′W / 51.75°N 1.28°W

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