Visit Burford and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Burford, Oxfordshire, is situated 20 miles west of Oxford on the A40 road to North-Leach. It can rightfully claim to be one of the most beautiful of the Cotswold towns. Its wide High Street slopes not too steeply down to the sparkling little River Windrush crossed by a narrow three-arched bridge, and on the way down every variety of golden Cotswold stone house can be seen. Some remain unaltered in appearance since the 15th century. The Bear Inn, the Grammar School and the Crown Inn all date from this period. So, too, does the Bull, but like many Burford houses it was later given a Georgian faade. The Great House in Witney Street is a typical example of this practice. Halfway down is the twin-gabled 15th-century Tolsey where once the wealthy wool merchants of Burford held their meetings. It now houses a museum which contains among its many interesting collections some ancient maces and charters as well as a perfect dolls' house with l8th-century rooms and costumes. Down by the river is the four-gabled 16th-century house built by Symon Wysdom and which he gave to the Grammar School. The ancient alms-houses nearby were rebuilt in 1828. The Priory was another famous Elizabethan house, which was rebuilt in the early 1800s. It still has its Tudor gables, and the heraldic arms over the doorway are a reminder that the famous William Lenthall, Speaker to the Long Parliament, once owned the house.
The fine church with its slender steeple is one of the largest churches in Oxfordshire. It lies at the bottom of the High Street on the east side in pleasant meadows with the River Windrush beyond it. The west doorway is pure Norman and so is the central part of the tower, to which another stage was added in the 15th century as a base for the spire. Most of what is seen in the church today dates from this period. The fine south porch has dual stories above the doorway, with pinnacled niches enshrining its ancient saints. The ceiling is fan vaulted and there are no less than five medieval screens dividing various chapels. The North Chapel houses the ornate tomb of the religiously divided Tanfield family. By contrast Speaker Lenthall at his own request has no monument, though he is buried in the church. Considering that Cromwell suppressed the Levellers' Rising in the churchyard in 1649, surprisingly little damage was done.
In A.D. 752 the Anglo-Saxons defeated the Mercians at Battle Edge, now a playing field near to the church. Even earlier a council was convened at Burford in A.D. 683 attended by the King of Mercia at which the date of Easter was fixed for the English Church, to conform with the rest of Western Christendom.
The sheep country which was the source of Burford's great wealth in the Middle Ages rises beyond the church fields to a plateau separating the Windrush and Evenlode Valleys; a rural scene of ever-changing beauty.
Nearby towns: Bampton, Carterton, Chipping Norton, Northleach, North Leigh, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Witney
Nearby villages: Bradwell Grove, Fulbrook, Holwell, Shilton, Swinbrook, Taynton, Upton, Westwell
Have you decided to visit Burford or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Burford bed and breakfast (a Burford B&B or Burford b and b)
- a Burford guesthouse
- a Burford hotel (or motel)
- a Burford self-catering establishment, or
- other Burford accommodation