Flag of Oxfordshire
|Motto of County Council: Sapere Aude ('Dare to be Wise')|
|Status||Ceremonial and non-metropolitan county|
|Region||South East England|
- Admin. council
2,605 km2 (1,006 sq mi)
- Total ()
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
251 /km2 (650 /sq mi)
1.7% S. Asian
Oxfordshire County Council
|Members of Parliament|
Unitary County council area
Oxfordshire ( // or //; abbreviated Oxon) is a county in South East England bordering on Warwickshire (to the north/north-west), Northamptonshire (to the north/north-east), Buckinghamshire (to the east), Berkshire (to the south), Wiltshire (to the south-west) and 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 University Press is the largest firm among a concentration of print and publishing firms; the University of 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 and Chipping Norton to the north of Oxford; Carterton and Witney to the west; Thame and Chinnor to the east; and Abingdon, Wantage, Didcot, Wallingford and Henley-on-Thames to the south.
History[edit | edit source]
Oxfordshire was recorded as a county in the early years of the 10th century and is situated on land between the River Thames to the south, the Cotswolds to the west, the Chilterns to the east and the Midlands to the north, with spurs running south to 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 in the eighth century that the area grew in importance. Alfred the Great was born across the Thames in Wantage, Vale of White Horse. The University of Oxford was founded in 1096, though its collegiate structure did not develop until later on. The university in the county town of 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 wool trade from the 13th century, generating much wealth, particularly in the western portions of the county in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Morris Motors was founded in 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.
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 and Wootton.
The Vale of the White Horse district and parts of the South Oxfordshire administrative district south of the River Thames were historically part of Berkshire, but were added to the administrative county of Oxfordshire in 1974. Conversely, the Caversham area of Reading, now administratively in Berkshire, was historically part of Oxfordshire as was the parish of Stokenchurch, now administratively in Buckinghamshire.
Economy[edit | edit source]
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.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
Politics[edit | edit source]
Oxfordshire County Council, currently controlled by a Conservative Independent Alliance, 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 and South Oxfordshire, which deal with such matters as town and country planning, waste collection, and housing.
Education[edit | edit source]
Oxfordshire has a completely comprehensive education system with 23 independent schools and 35 state schools. The state schools are from the ages of 11 to either 16 or 18. Only eight schools do not have a sixth form; these are mostly in South Oxfordshire and Cherwell districts.
The county has two universities: the ancient University of Oxford and the modern Oxford Brookes University, both located in Oxford. In addition, Wroxton College, located in Banbury, is affiliated with Fairleigh Dickinson University of New Jersey.
Buildings[edit | edit source]
The "dreaming spires" of the buildings of the University of Oxford play a large contribution in Oxford being the sixth most visited city in the United Kingdom for international visitors. Notable University buildings include 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 close to Woodstock was built by the great architect 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 troops. In the palace, which can also be visited by the public, Sir Winston Churchill was born in 1874.
Chastleton House, on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire borders, is a great country mansion that was built on property bought from Robert Catesby, who was one of the men involved in the Gunpowder Plot with Guy Fawkes. Stonor Park, another country mansion, has belonged to the recusant Stonor family for centuries.
Settlements in Oxfordshire[edit | edit source]
- Abingdon (in Berkshire until 1974)
- Chipping Norton
- Didcot (in Berkshire until 1974)
- Faringdon (in Berkshire until 1974)
- Wallingford (in Berkshire until 1974)
- Wantage (in Berkshire until 1974)
Settlements by population[edit | edit source]
|1||Oxford||134,248||2001||Oxford non-metropolitan district||155,000 Oxford urban area (Oxford district and Seacourt, Botley and Kidlington).|
|6||Didcot||22,762||2001||Civil parish||200 dwellings in the southeast of the town lie in neighbouring East Hagbourne parish.|
|7||Kidlington||13,719||2001||Civil parish||Does not include Gosford.|
|9||Thame||11,072||2001||Civil parish||Includes hamlet of Moreton|
|10||Henley on Thames||10,646||2001||Civil parish|
|11||Wantage||9767||2001||Civil parish||The northern and western fringes of Wantage lie across the border in Grove and East Challow respectively.|
|12||Grove||7845||2001||Civil parish||Includes the northern fringes of Wantage.|
|14||Faringdon||6187||2001||Great Faringdon civil parish|
|15||Chipping Norton||5972||2001||Civil parish|
|21||Sonning Common||3778||2001||Civil parish|
Places of interest[edit | edit source]
|Accessible open space|
|Museums (free/not free)|
- Abingdon County Hall Museum – housed in a 17th-century County Hall building
- Ashdown House – 17th century country house in the Lambourn Downs
- Ashmolean Museum - Oxford University's museum of art and archaeology
- Banbury Museum, Banbury
- Bicester Village
- Blenheim Palace and garden – UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Broughton Castle – 14th-century fortified manor house
- Buscot Park, Buscot – 18th-century country house and landscape garden
- Champs Chapel Museum of East Hendred – village museum in a 15th-century Carthusian chapel
- Charlbury Museum
- Chastleton House – 17th-century country house (limited access)
- Chiltern Hills – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway – operated with steam and diesel locomotives
- Chipping Norton Museum
- Cholsey and Wallingford Railway
- Cogges Manor Farm Museum, Witney – a living museum of country life
- Combe Mill Museum, Long Hanborough – working museum of stationary steam engines
- Cotswold Wildlife Park and garden, Bradwell Grove, Holwell
- Cotswolds – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- Didcot Railway Centre – museum of the Great Western Railway
- Dorchester Abbey, Dorchester-on-Thames – 12th-century church of former Augustinian abbey
- Great Coxwell Barn – 14th century Tithe barn
- Greys Court, Rotherfield Greys – 16th century country house
- Hampton Gay Manor – ruins of 16th century manor house (no website)
- Harcourt Arboretum, Nuneham Courtenay
- Heythrop Hall – 17th century country house: now a hotel, golf & country club
- Hook Norton Brewery – working Victorian "tower" brewery that offers guided tours
- Kelmscott Manor – Home of William Morris
- Mapledurham Estate – 16th century country house and 15th century watermill
- Milton Manor House – 18th century country house
- Minster Lovell Hall – dovecote and ruins of 15th century manor house
- Museum of Bygones, Claydon – private museum including stationary steam engines
- North Wessex Downs – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- Oxford Bus Museum and Morris Motors Museum, Long Hanborough
- Oxford Canal – 18th century "narrow" canal
- The Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock
- The Ridgeway
- River and Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames
- River Thames
- Rollright Stones – megalithic stone circle and Whispering Knights burial chamber, near Little Rollright
- Rousham House – 17th century country house and landscape garden
- Rycote chapel – 15th-century chapel with original furnishings
- St Katharine's church, Chiselhampton – 18th century parish church with original furnishings (no website, limited access)
- St Mary's church, Iffley – 12th-century Norman parish church
- Shotover Country Park, Headington
- Spiceball Country Park, Banbury
- Stanton Harcourt manor house (limited access), with garden and 15th-century chapel and Pope's Tower (no website)
- Stonor House – country house and 14th-century chapel of the recusant Stonor family
- Swalcliffe Tithe Barn – 15th century
- Thame Museum
- Tolsey Museum, Burford (no website)
- Uffington White Horse, Uffington Castle and Wayland's Smithy burial chamber in the White Horse Hills
- Wallingford Museum
- Wheatley Windmill – 18th century tower mill
See also[edit | edit source]
- Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
- High Sheriff of Oxfordshire
- Oxford University (including links to the individual colleges).
- Oxford Canal
- Dr. Thomas Hinde, born in Oxfordshire and personal physician to Patrick Henry.
References[edit | edit source]
- ^ "Oxfordshire". County Flags. Flying Colours Flagmakers. http://www.flyingcolours.org/product-detail.php?ID=3264. Retrieved 11 August 2013. ; "Oxfordshire (England)". Flags of the World. http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/gb-e-oxs.html. Retrieved 2 December 2012. ; Stranks, Margaret (24 October 2008). "lamp outside County Hall". Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/margaretstranks/2975825166/sizes/o/in/photostream/. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- ^ "Camelot International, Britain's heritage and history". http://www.camelotintl.com/heritage/counties/england/oxfordshire.html. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- ^ http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/portal/pls/portallive/docs/1/587934.PDF%7C
- ^ "Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)". Plantlife. http://www.plantlife.org.uk//wild_plants/plant_species/fritillary/. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- ^ "unknown". pp. 240–253. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_economy/RegionalGVA.pdf.
- ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
- ^ includes hunting and forestry
- ^ includes energy and construction
- ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
- ^ Oxford City Council – Economic statistics
- ^ Abingdon County Hall Museum website
- ^ http://www.chippingnorton.net/Visitors/museum.htm
- ^ "Home". Combemill.org. http://www.combemill.org/. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- ^ "Oxfordshire". Milton Manor House. http://www.miltonmanorhouse.com/. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus; Sherwood, Jennifer (1974). The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300096392.
- ^ http://thamehistory.net/
- ^ Glitz. "Wheatley Windmill Website". Wheatleymill.co.uk. http://www.wheatleymill.co.uk/. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- Philip Powell – The Geology of Oxfordshire (Dovecote Press, 2005) ISBN 1-904349-19-6
[edit | edit source]
- Oxfordshire County Council
- Thisisoxfordshire Oxfordshire news, sport & information
- The Oxfordshire Association
- Flags of Oxfordshire
- Visit South Oxfordshire
- Banbury & District National Trust Association
- Images of Oxfordshire at the English Heritage Archive
- Oxfordshire at the Open Directory Project
|This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Oxfordshire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.|