Burford The Gateway To The Cotswolds.
Burford is a medieval town on the River Windrush in the Cotswold hills in West Oxfordshire, England. It is often referred to as the ’gateway’ to the Cotswolds. Burford is located 18 miles (29km) west of Oxford and 22 miles (35km) southeast of Cheltenham, about 2 miles (3km) from the Gloucestershire boundary. The toponym derives from the Old English words burh meaning fortified town or hilltown and ford, the crossing of a river.
The town began in the middle Saxon period with the founding of a village near the site of the modern priory building. This settlement continued in use until just after the Norman conquest of England when the new town of Burford was built. On the site of the old village a hospital was founded which remained open until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII. The modern priory building was constructed some 40 years later, in around 1580.
The town centre’s most notable building is the Church of England parish church of Saint John the Baptist, which is a Grade I listed building. Described by David Verey as ”a complicated building which has developed in a curious way from the Norman”, it is known for its merchants’ guild chapel, memorial to Henry VIII’s barber-surgeon, Edmund Harman, featuring South American Indians and Kempe stained glass. In 1649 the church was used as a prison during the Civil War, when the New Model Army Banbury mutineers were held there. Some of the 340 prisoners left carvings and graffiti, which still survive in the church.
The town centre also has some 15th-century houses and the baroue style townhouse that is now Burford Methodist Church. Between the 14th and 17th centuries Burford was important for its wool trade. The Tolsey, midway along Burford’s High Street, which was once the focal point for trade, is now a museum.
Cinematic (Sting) by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)