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Ride a cock horse to .... Banbury.

The fine lady statue. - Banbury

The fine lady statue. - Banbury

Beautiful Banbury.

I have passed through Banbury by bus quite a few times without ever really seeing it. Therefore, this summer since we were spending a couple of nights in Coventry, we decided to go through to Banbury for the day. We went there by train. Banbury is, of course, famous for the children's nursery rhyme 'Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross, to see a fine lady upon a white horse.' Naturally, we sought out the statue and cross commemorating this rhyme. We also visited a very beautiful church, walked through the colourful streets of the old town, ate Banbury cakes and had a look at the canal. All in all Banbury is a very pleasant and friendly town with quite a bit to go and see. Banbury is a market town situated on the River Cherwell in Oxfordshire. It has a population of around 47,000.

Banbury Cross.

We first headed across Banbury till we reached its famous cross where we had a look at the statue of a fine lady on horseback. She is mentioned in the famous children's rhyme:

Ride a cockhorse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes.

The fine lady on the horse is sculpted to represent the Queen of the May and is covered with symbols of spring such as wild roses, daffodils, bluebells, frogs. Next to the fine lady statue in the middle of a busy roundabout is Banbury Cross itself. Banbury once had several crosses. This one was erected by the people of Banbury in 1859 to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter. There were hobbyhorses around this, because Banbury holds a Hobby Horse Festival on the first weekend of July. The Hobby Horse Festival involves a parade of Hobby Horse “beasts” through the town and Hobby Horse races in People’s Park which is close to the cross area.

The fine lady statue. - Banbury

The fine lady statue. - Banbury

Banbury Cross with hobby horses. - Banbury

Banbury Cross with hobby horses. - Banbury

Banbury Cross - Banbury

Banbury Cross - Banbury

The fine lady upon a white horse. - Banbury

The fine lady upon a white horse. - Banbury

St Mary's Church.

Saint Mary's Church is close to Banbury Cross. It is an unusual looking building and it is very beautiful inside. The church is shared by the Church of England and the United Reformed Church. The present church building is late Georgian and was built in the last decade of the eighteenth Century and consecrated in September 1797. Jonathan Swift hints in the preface to his famous book 'Gulliver’s Travels' that he had taken the name of Gulliver from tombstones in the Churchyard at Banbury.

St Mary's Church - Banbury

St Mary's Church - Banbury

St Mary's Church - Banbury

St Mary's Church - Banbury

Banbury Old Town.

We had a wander around Banbury Old Town. Its streets are filled with shops and pubs. There is a big market square. It was pretty and a lot of the streets were decorated with banners. We passed 'Ye Olde Reine Deer' Banbury's oldest pub.

Banbury Old Town - Banbury

Banbury Old Town - Banbury

Banbury Old Town - Banbury

Banbury Old Town - Banbury

Banbury Old Town - Banbury

Banbury Old Town - Banbury

Street Art in the old town. - Banbury

Street Art in the old town. - Banbury

Banbury Town Hall. - Banbury

Banbury Town Hall. - Banbury

Castle Quay Shopping Centre.

Castle Quay Shopping Centre is located on the site of the old Banbury Castle on the banks of the Oxford Canal. Inside you will find Marks & Spencer, Gap, W H Smiths, Thorntons, River Island, Debenhams and HMV among others. The main entrance to Banbury Museum is in here, too.

Castle Quay Shopping Centre. - Banbury

Castle Quay Shopping Centre. - Banbury

The Oxford Canal.

When we exited the Castle Quay Shopping Centre, we found ourselves on the Oxford Canal. We strolled along it for a couple of minutes and came to Tooley's Historic Boatyard which is now a museum. We did not have time to visit this. The canal had lots of houseboats on it and was pleasant for a stroll. The Oxford Canal is a seventy-eight mile long canal, linking Oxford with Coventry via Banbury and Rugby.

The Oxford Canal - Banbury

The Oxford Canal - Banbury

The Oxford Canal - Banbury

The Oxford Canal - Banbury

The Oxford Canal. - Banbury

The Oxford Canal. - Banbury

Tooley's Historic Boatyard. - Banbury

Tooley's Historic Boatyard. - Banbury

Sun symbols.

Banbury has a sun on its coat of arms. We saw the sun symbol in many different places as we wandered around. For example on banks, plant holders, Banbury Cross, the old town. Banbury's motto is 'DOMINUS NOBIS SOL ET SCUTUM'. The Lord is our sun and shield.

The Banbury Sun. - Banbury

The Banbury Sun. - Banbury

The Banbury Sun. - Banbury

The Banbury Sun. - Banbury

Banbury Cakes.

While wandering around the old town we saw several bakeries selling Banbury cakes, so we had to try some. Banbury cake is a spiced, currant filled, flat oval pastry cake. Banbury cakes have been made in Banbury according to secret recipes since 1586. They were first made by Edward Welchman, whose shop was on Parsons Street. They were actually delicious. We bought some for family and friends and they all liked them.

Banbury Cakes. - Banbury

Banbury Cakes. - Banbury

Posted by irenevt 01:53 Archived in England

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