Cotswold Towns and Villages


Witney is a medium-sized Cotswold market town in Oxfordshire with some buildings dating back to the 13th century.  While it is well known for some of its architecture it is perhaps just as well known as a center of industry.  Located on the banks of the River Windrush, it is only 10 miles from Oxford itself.  Some of the woolen products that Witney is famed for producing include gloves and blankets.

Witney’s market square is still a popular trading point.  The Butter Cross in the square is a steeply gabled structure which was used in the middle ages by women trading in dairy and produce.  This is not the original structure though; it is a refurbished version constructed in the 17th century.  Along with the shopping along the high street, you can still partake in at the market twice a week.  In the market square you will also find the historical Town Hall and the Church Green.  Much of the lovely architecture that you see was the result of the profitable trade in wool goods by the town’s craftsmen and merchants over the centuries.

The church, called The Church of St. Mary is designed in the shape of a cross.  It was originally constructed in the 13th century but was refurbished in the mid 19th century.  Other historical buildings in Witney include the Henry Box school, built in 1663, the Blue Coat School for weavers, constructed in 1723 and the Blanket Hall built in 1720.  If you are willing to travel a short distance, you may want to visit the Church of St. James in South Leigh which contains some particularly beautiful medieval wall paintings.

Witney offers a wide range of accommodations including historical bed and breakfasts, farm houses on working farms and hotels.  This is a growing town that still hangs onto its historical heritage and is a fine destination on your Cotswold tour!



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