April Newsletter | Banbury Museum

April Newsletter

Workshop session: Kew Archive, Census, & history of houses

Dear all,   

Belatedly, I send Easter greetings and hopes that not too many of you have been washed away or drowned during the Easter weekend’s wet weather.  We meet again on April 12th for our last ‘sit-down’ event of the society’s year.  This will be a ‘workshop’ session, so if you are interested in doing some local history of your own, bring your notebooks:  we have three experts lined up to advise you how to get the most out of your sources.  Dr. Helen Forde is going to speak about documents in the National Archives at Kew;  Dr. Barrie Trinder will talk about getting as much as you can out of the census;  and Dr. Paul Clark will talk about researching the history of houses.  We plan to have a break between the second and third sessions, when we will provide a glass of wine, and there will be free books which we will be giving away on this occasion only. 

After that we are into summer outings (improbable as it may seem):  we have the following lined up for you:-

24th May Arts and Crafts in Chipping Campden   meet at 2 pm

The Court Barn Museum focusses on the talented designers and craftspeople who worked in Chipping Campden and the north Cotswolds in the Arts and Crafts tradition. The visit will start with a short talk about the Guild of Handicraft which settled there in the early 1900s, followed by the opportunity to look around what has been called ‘surely the most delightful small museum in England’.  After that there is an optional guided walk looking at the architecture of the High Street.  There are plenty of places for tea.

Talk and visit to the Museum: £ 7.50;    including the guided walk £12.00.

please book with Susan Walker on banburysocc@outlook.com, or  by post to  Susan Walker,  Ivy House, Upper Brailes, OX15 5AX) saying whether you are booking the talk only (£7.50)  or talk and tour (£12). Payment will be on the day.

June 21st  Geological tour of Banbury’s Old Buildings  meet at 7 pm.

led by Norman Dutton and Brian Little

This tour will take you round the stone used in Banbury’s oldest buildings looking at the detail of the provenance, age and fossil record therein.
Meet at 7pm at the Market Square entrance of the Nat West bank.  (No need to book ahead).

July 4th Annual General Meeting at Linden House, 55 The Green, South Bar  at 5.30 pm

(by kind invitation of Spratt Endicott solicitors)

We shall be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the Banbury Historical Society on this occasion and there may even be cake.

Linden House is one of Banbury’s best 18th century buildings, mentioned in Pevsner, and has been recently renovated by Spratt Endicott. 


I seem to have accumulated a number of other events which might be of interest to you.


Banbury Museum has an intriguing-sounding exhibition, on until the 9th June, called Marvellous Machines.   It contains curious and quirky gadgets and contraptions from the days before electronics, with modern automata, and with ‘more than a hint of steampunk’.


From April 25th there will be a free exhibition in the foyer of the Museum produced by the Hornton History Group.  It will show how Hornton, as a prime example of a North Oxon rural community, thrived on wide-ranging ingenuity and self-sufficiency, from Victorian times to now.  Though remote it was well-known for its quarries whence the characteristic ironstone came.


Another reminder about OLHA’s next study day in Islip:



You are warmly invited to


The 2018 spring study day (and AGM) of
the Oxfordshire Local History Association
to be held at
Islip Village Hall, Church Lane,
Islip, OX5 2TA

on Saturday 21st April 2018

From the mid eighteenth century onwards, parliamentary enclosure of land – and mechanisation – were key to increasing agricultural output, fuelled by the need to feed a growing population. Enclosure was also viewed by the labouring classes as a land grab whose aim was to enrich those who were already prosperous; in many parts of Oxfordshire, as across the country, there were protests which the authorities termed ‘riots’. At this year’s spring study day we will look at the issue from both perspectives and learn about the events and outcomes of the Otmoor riots of the early 1830s. Deborah Hayter and Nigel Lambert will be our speakers in the morning and in the afternoon there will be a guided walk led by members of the Otmoor Archaeological & Historical Society.

Click here for further information, and here to book on-line (or download a booking form here)..



The Brackley and District History Society meets next this Wednesday April 4th when I will be talking about Place-names, landscape and settlement in the Banbury Region.   The meeting takes place in the Methodist church Hall at the top of the High Street at 7.30 pm.


Oxfordshire Past 2018 will be at the Church of St Peter & St Paul in Deddington on Saturday 19 May. The event includes stalls, exhibitions and a series of short talks on recent historical and archaeological research projects across the county. It is organised by the Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society in association with other Oxfordshire societies and organisations.  Further details here.

The Open Spaces Society, which does such good work in campaigning to preserve commons, open spaces and public footpaths, is co.-operating with the British Horse Society to train local researchers to make definitive map modification applications to ensure that routes are not extinguished in 2026.  Anyone who walks public footpaths need to be aware that the traditional legal standing of footpaths:  ‘Once a highway, always a highway’,  which meant that footpaths and bridlepaths could be legally reinstated if it could be proved that they had been used as such in the past, is going to be abolished.  Any paths that are not on the definitive map by 2026 will be closed, and if there are short lengths which have not been registered, that could make the whole path unusable.

There is a training day planned in Chipping Norton:

12 May 2018 at Glyme Hall, Burford Road, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 5DZ

This is free but places are limited so must be booked in advance.  Arrival 09.00 for 09.30 start, finish 16.30.

Tea & coffee is provided on arrival but lunch is not provided. Delegates should bring a laptop (wifi available) and OS maps of their local area. Tablets and smartphones can also be used but may not be suitable for some training exercises.

These training days are being organised by the British Horse Society. Please contact Hannah Marsh at BHS to book your FREE place:  email:  hannah.marsh@bhs.org.uk or tel: 02476 840720.

The Warwickshire Gardens Trust is holding a study day about Humphrey Reption at Stoneleigh Abbey on Wednesday 16th May, from 11 am.  It includes two talks in the morning, a buffet lunch and a visit to Stoneleigh Abbey in the afternoon followed by tea. The cost is £45;  apply to mattfattorini@gmail.com

A visit to East Hendred on Sunday 3rd June 2.15 – 5 pm, is being jointly organized by the Berkshire Local History Association (BLHA) and the Oxfordshire Local History Association  (OLHA).  This village was notable for a strong post-Reformation survival or Roman Catholicism, fostered by the Eyston family of Hendred House.

East Hendred has the unique honour of being voted the best-kept village in Berkshire one year and the best-kept village in Oxon the next.  The visit will include a private visit to Hendred House and its pre-Reformation Catholic chapel, St. Augustine’s church, and the Cahamp’s Chapel Musuem, led by Tony Hadland.

There are 45 places (at £5 per head) and bookings will be taken from 3rd April on a first-come, first-served basis. For further information click here.

Tackley Local History Group has set up an exhibition space in the south porch of St Nicholas’s church. The first exhibition Tackley Through Time will explore the history of the village from the Late Upper Paleolithic to the present and will open on Saturday 21 April at 2pm. Thereafter the exhibition will be open every day, when the church is open, from about 10am to 5pm.

Finally, I have just received the latest bulletin from OLHA and if you would like more information about lots of other interesting things going on in Oxfordshire, go to 

this url
with best wishes
Deborah Hayter