Burford is situated in north Oxfordshire, twenty miles west of Oxford, and is considered
the southern gateway to the Cotswolds. A beautiful old Cotswold town, its High Street sloping
from the high Wolds, where you have beautiful views over the open countryside, down to
the willow fringed River Windrush in the pretty Windrush valley. A fine three arched medieval
bridge crosses the river at the foot of the hill.
The beautiful town of Burford on the river Windrush was the site of a fortified ford in Anglo-Saxon times. The town grew to be an important crossroads and very wealthy wool town and is today very popular with visitors.
The broad main street slopes gently down to the river and is lined with dignified old houses and ancient cottages and many shops all of which appear little changed since Tudor times as witnessed by the precarious angles the buildings have come to rest at.
There are wonderful little side streets to explore, old pubs, tea and antique shops aplenty. The 15th century parish church of St. John Baptist is magnificent and is another sign of byegone riches based on wool.
Exploring the streets, shopping, and dining in the many pubs, restaurants, and tea shops.
Since 2001 - the Cotswold Town of Burford is Twinned with the
Italian Town Potenza Picena in the Marche region of Italy.
THE ANCIENT SLOPING COTTAGES AND HOUSES OF BURFORD
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Shops in Burford
Burford in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds has been voted 6th best place
to live in Europe.
- Forbes Magazine March 2010
Among the half-timbered buidings you will find the town's museum, The Tolsey, an early Tudor building on stone pillars. In times gone bye Wool Merchants would meet in the open space underneath and conduct their trading transactions. Above there are two small rooms of exhibits which tell of the trades that once flourished, from bell-founding and brewing , to leatherworking and clarinet making. The museum is open every year from April to October, afternoons Tuesday to Sunday.
A pivotal point in the English Civil War. The king was dead,
and the future....???????
Were the soldiers who'd given up livelihood and home, lost friends
and loved ones in the 7 year war going to let the gentry grab England
for themselves? These champions of democracy sprang up with a positive
vision for life after the civil war, they were The Levellers
Hidden English History: It was May 1649, the end of the English
Civil War. A mass of troops were being disbanded in Salisbury without
pay and with little prospect of getting what they had been fighting
for. Eight hundred troops sacked their officers, elected new ones
and marched north, over several days, to Burford, with Cromwell
on their heels. Despite his promise of peaceful negotiations the
following day, Cromwell charged into the town at midnight with
340 of the Levellers were rounded up and imprisoned in Burford church, where carvings from the incarcerated soldiers can still be seen to this day. Next morning three of the leading Leveller soldiers were summarily executed against the church wall, where you can still see the bullet holes.
The following night Cromwell was treated to a slap-up banquet and awarded an honorary degree at Magdalen College Oxford. The last thing Cromwell wanted was democracy.
If the Levellers had held Cromwell to the pledge of a democratic army which he gave in the Solemn Engagement of New Market and Triplo Heath in 1647.... a very different world would have been inherited by the present generation.
May (every year)
Open-air event at Warwick Hall Garden, Burford, Oxfordshire - Annual Levellers Day.
Speeches, debate, procession, music. See our Cotswolds Calendar for details of the current year event.
The Parish Church of St John the Baptist
The interesting church dates largely from the 15th century. The church has a Norman tower capped by a slender 15th century spire. Lengthy restoration of the church took place in the 1870's bringing criticism from William Morris. The vicar at the time responded -
" the church Sir is mine, and if I choose to I shall stand on my head in it'.
This inspired William Morris to establish ths Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
The church was chosen as one of the top 20 by Simon Jenkins in his England's Thousand Best Churches.