Burford has no need to steal a history; it's got plenty of its own.

Like most English towns, records only started to become reliable when the Normans came, (as reliable as your average tax return, say). At least we can be sure that Burford received its borough charter in 1090.

In the next few centuries it became an important centre for the wool trade, a time when wool was wealth. By the sixteenth century, this wealth had been used to diversify; into bell-foundry and saddlery.

In the seventeenth century Christopher Kempster made a fortune out of supplying locally-quarried stone to rebuild London after the Great Fire. The dome of St.Pauls is built of stone from near here, but Wren specified the familiar grey Portland stone for its skin. It's true that St.Pauls looks very dignified in its grey cloak, but think how much jollier it would look in yellow.

Kempster was, not surprisingly, a leading Freemason.

Beginning of Wessex Beginning of Wessex I am a Worm I am a Worm
© David Craig Send me a message