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Few people in modern-day Banbury are aware of its tumultuous ‘radical’ history; and of the significance of those events to our national evolution into the modern British state.
Banbury, from Medieval times, was nationally renown as a centre for dissent – a reputation lost in the last few decades as consumerism and development have (temporarily?) over-taken our national social struggles.
The term ‘radical’ means, in the time which it was used, someone who wished to look at our situation ‘from the roots’, rather than compromising with the status quo. From early Quakers, to Levellers, to Nineteenth Century socialists, Banbury’s history is full of interesting events and characters who in their own way tried to shake-up the status quo of their time.
Though we should never be slaves to our history, being aware of it can illuminate the problems of today.
Knowing this history, as I walk around the area I am often reminded of it, and how it relates to present-day struggles. In these posts I hope to find the time to make those connections, retelling the stories, and showing those ‘radical roots’ as they exist today.
These are the walks currently featured in this section:
Banburyshire Rambles Journal, Sunday 16th June 2019:
I skirt the town centre to Banbury Quaker Meeting House, and after checking for walkers it's time to head-off cross-country to Adderbury – via the ‘alternative route’. Flooding prevents use of the shorter, prettier route (precisely because it crosses the flat, wildflower-rich flood meadows). There's a brisk wind and the animated cloudscape promises heavy rain. I'm going to get wet!
Route: Route: Banbury Meeting House, Bodicote, East Adderbury, Adderbury Meeting House; East Adderbury, Twyford, Oxford Canal, Banbury.