Visit Witney and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Witney, Oxfordshire. Just 10 miles west of Oxford on the A40 is the prosperous little town of Witney. Its fame for blanket-making has made its name known all over the world. The Domesday Book mentions the existence of two mills established here in 1085 and it has derived its wealth from weaving for centuries, being situated on the Windrush, on the very edge of the rich Cotswold sheep-rearing area. It is a mellowed stone-built town with a wide street gradually narrowing and continuing for nearly a mile. This leads to a green, bordered by cool lime trees and interspersed with the Cotswold merchants' houses. Its Butter Cross was built in 1683 and is surmounted by a clock-turret and sundial. It rests on 13 stone pillars; the central one is thought to have been the column of the original Market Cross. The nearby arched Town Hall is almost Provenal in its appearance. The Grammar School, set in an avenue of elms, was built and endowed by a wealthy grocer, Henry Box, in 1663, and the Old Blanket Hall with its one-handed clock dates from about 1720. The library possesses an edition of Homer with an imprimatur of 1542. The architectural outlines of the church show various styles from Early English onwards. There is good evidence of all this having been built onto an even earlier Norman church. It has a good Transitional doorway and porch with a cornice above which are curious carvings of animals. All this, however, is dwarfed by the splendour of the 156-ft-high Early English spire which is visible for miles around the countryside. The soaring arches of the tower supporting the steeples are no less impressive. The church has some good 15th-century. monuments to the Wenham family, who were making blankets in Witney 300 years ago.
Even the blanket factories do not spoil the beauty of the town. The most modern blanket factory blends serenely into the warm stone buildings adjoining. It is sited on the foundations of an earlier weaving mill founded by the present Early family some 300 years ago. In 1669 Thomas Early started making blankets, some of which he shipped out to the North American colonies. This connection with Canada and the United States has been maintained to the present day.
Just outside of Witney, towards Oxford, turning right at the Griffin Inn, a short walk leads to a little hamlet called Cogges. The fine Decorated church was built and owned by the Benedictine monks of Fcamp in Normandy, who also built and maintained the Manor House. The chantry chapel to the north of the chancel is particularly fine. The hamlet is full of strange little twists and turns and has some good old stone houses which partly obscure the church.
Nearby cities: Oxford.
Nearby towns: Bampton, Burford, North Leigh
Nearby villages: Crawley, Cumnor, Curbridge, Eynsham, Lew, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Worsham.
Have you decided to visit Witney or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Witney bed and breakfast (a Witney B&B or Witney b and b)
- a Witney guesthouse
- a Witney hotel (or motel)
- a Witney self-catering establishment, or
- other Witney accommodation