Bana's Burh

day to day basis, Banbury may seem an unexciting place, but in the perspective of history, it turns out to be relatively lively. This place has been in a continual state of flux since a certain Saxon called Bana built a stockade, or 'burh' here, probably some time in the sixth or seventh centuries; (we don't have his birth certificate).

What Bana did with the Britons who certainly lived around here for centuries before, we don't know. The Angles and the Saxons boasted a lot about killing Britons. Those that survived would have to learn to say "yes, Boss", in Old English, and forget Welsh, their native language ("wealas" is Saxon for "foreigner").

It is inconceivable that the Saxon settlement was set up in virgin territory, for here lies the junction of two great ancient tradeways. One, known as the Jurassic Way, ran from the salt mines of Droitwich towards Northampton and the Fenlands. The other runs South to North, roughly from Oxford to Coventry, following the line of the modern A423. The road we have been travelling, the A361, bears no relationship to either, except that it shares this junction, right where the Victorians built their copy Cross.

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