Witney

Since the Middle Ages, Witney was famous for the manufacturing of blankets using water from the River Windrush which, so the story goes, was the secret of their quality. Over recent years Witney has grown rapidly, yet it still manages to retain its charm as an attractive Cotswold market town.

The market square which lies at the junction of the two main streets contains the Buttercross, a medieval marketing and meeting place where women from neighbouring villages gathered to sell butter and eggs. It has a steeply gabled roof surmounted by a clock-turret added in 1683. Opposite is the 17th century Town Hall. Market Square widens into Church Green which is dominated by the tower and spire of the 13th century church of St. Mary.

The Henry Box comprehensive school near the church of St. Mary takes its name from a local boy who, like Dick Whittington, went to London to seek his fortune. In 1662 having succeeded he left money to fund the formation of the new school.

A short distance from the town centre is the parish of Cogges where a Victorian working Manor Farm museum is situated.

In nearby South Leigh the Church of St James is home to some remarkably well preserved medieval wall paintings and are well worth a visit.

The Charlbury road leads through one of Witney's best preserved streets - West End, which gave rise to the song "Just an old fashioned house in an old fashioned street".

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