1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Burford

BURFORD, a market town in the Woodstock parliamentary division of Oxfordshire, England, 18 m. W.N.W. of Oxford. Pop. (1901) 1146. It is pleasantly situated in the valley of the Windrush, the broad, picturesque main street sloping upward from the stream, beside which stands the fine church, to the summit of the ridge flanking the valley on the south, along which runs the high road from Oxford. The church of St John the Baptist has a nave and aisles, mainly Perpendicular in appearance owing to alterations in that period, but actually of earlier construction, the south aisle flanked by two beautiful chapels and an ornate porch; transepts and a central tower, and choir with flanking chapels. The massive Norman tower contrasts strongly with the delicate Perpendicular spire rising upon it. The church contains many interesting memorials, and, in the nave, a Perpendicular shrine dedicated to St Peter. Near the church is the half-ruined priory house, built in the 17th century, and containing much fine plaster ornament characteristic of the period; a curious chapel adjoins it. William Lenthall, speaker of the Long Parliament, was granted this mansion, died here in 1662, and is buried in the church. In the High Street nearly every house is of some antiquity. The Tolsey or old town hall is noteworthy among them; and under one of the houses is an Early English crypt. Burford is mentioned as the scene of a synod in 705; in 752 Cuthred, king of the West Saxons, fighting for independence, here defeated Æthelbald, king of Mercia; and in 1649 the town and district were the scene of victorious operations by Cromwell.