Burford

Entry to Burford via the car park

Scenes from BurfordThe town of Burford is known as 'the Gateway to the Cotswolds' and consists, chiefly of a broad high-street on a hill made of some very diverse and pretty Cotswold stone buildings. Behind these, however, are a beautiful church, pubs and hotels. The town sits on the river Windrush and was the first Cotswold town in 1087 to be given a charter which established it as a market town. It is about 18 miles from Oxford and 5-1/2 miles from Witney.

St. John the Baptist Church is famous from the English Civil War when it was used as a prison by mutineers from Cromwell's army. There are still graffiti and other markings from some of over 340 'Levellers' who were imprisoned in the church in 1649. The signature of 'Anthony Sedley' can be seen on the font. Three of the ringleaders were executed in the churchyard outside.

Halfway up the High Street on the junction with Sheep Street, is the Tolsey (a place of exchange or meeting), which emphasises Burford's significance as a wool town in the 14th to 17th century. The Tolsey is now a museum.

There are many galleries and shops catering for tourists and visitors. Antique furniture, specialised food stores, bakers and butchers can all be found in the high street. In addition to a large garden centre/nursery at the top of Burford, the town also has the 'Blue Cross' animal shelter centre nearby and a little further is the Cotswold Wildlife Park.

Of additional interest, there is a country house, Burford Priory, which is built in the 1580s on the site of a 13th century Augustinian hospital. Remodelled in the 1700s in Jacobean style.

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