Attractions in Banbury Town

Banbury Cross

Located on the roundabout at the crossroads where South Bar Street, Horse Fair, and the High Street meet, the present Banbury Cross, a beautiful ornate monument, was commissioned to celebrate the wedding of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter Victoria Adelaide to Prince Frederick of Prussia in 1858. However, the original Banbury Cross, known as the High Cross, was situated in Market Place. Demolished by the Puritans in 1600 a plaque now marks its former location in the town.

Banbury Town Hall

Located on Bridge Street this Grade II listed building was designed by Edward Bruton and opened in October 1854 however, the clock tower was added a short time later in 1860. The Gothic style of Banbury Town Hall is considered an exceptional example of 19th century Gothic architecture in this country. At one time the building was used as a police station, the cells of which still remain. Today this attractive building in the heart of the town makes a delightful venue for weddings, conferences, meetings and events.

Castle Quay Waterfront

Castle Quay Waterfront is a new leisure and restaurant development in Banbury, sitting adjacent to the Castle Quay shopping centre. Currently under construction, the new development will transform Banbury’s Castle Quay into a new canal-side experience-led destination, complete with a The Light© Cinema, Lidl supermarket, Premier Inn hotel, restaurants and new parking facilities.

Fine Lady Statue

The majestic bronze statue proudly situated next to the Banbury Cross depicts the ‘Fine Lady Upon a White Horse’ riding into Banbury Town but there is much more to her than first meets the eyes. A closer look reveals the intricate details and symbols that adorn her including ‘The Banbury Sun’. No one knows the true identity of the Fine Lady, but there are several theories surrounding who she may have been and the origins of the famous nursery rhyme ‘Ride a cock horse’.

Lock29

Inspired by the canal side our relaxed atmosphere, cool industrial vibe and waterfront location echo’s Banbury’s past, making Lock29 the perfect destination day or evening.
With it’s diverse and exciting food and drink artisans, and an edgy independent retail offer.  Lock29 has been built with community in mind; it’s about, meeting, sharing, laughter, joy and expression and that in our book means great events.
With live music on Saturdays 4pm-7pm in the Live Locker, we also have a dedicated event and cinema space.
We’ll be running exciting workshops, events and activities for the community and it’s also available to hire by organisations and individuals.

Spiceball Country Park

Spiceball Country Park is a beautiful green space and the largest park in Banbury which has the canal and the River Cherwell running through it. There is plenty to see and do in the park, from exploring the meadows and woodlands, pleasant walks along the towpath and riverside and as well as a picnic area. You will also find plenty to entertain the kids including a children’s play area and skate ramps. The history of the park dates back to the 1880’s when Thomas Hankinson, who became Banbury town mayor in 1894, donated an initial plot of land to the town so that the ‘poor of Banbury’ could have a recreational facility. A well-known name in the town due to Hankinson’s Butchers that traded in Banbury High Street, and was renowned for their hand-made faggots, affectionately known as ‘spice balls’.

St Mary’s Church

St Mary’s church as it stands today was built in the 1790’s and is Banbury’s only Grade I listed
building. The late Georgian architecture and vast size makes it a prominent landmark in the town and was the largest parish church built in England in the 18th century. The Churchyard of St Mary’s is acknowledged as being the place where the author Jonathan Swift, was inspired to name the hero in Gulliver’s Travels after seeing the name on several tombstones and monuments.

The Banbury Museum & Gallery

The Banbury Museum & Gallery is the perfect place to find out more about the history of the town. This family friendly museum located in the heart of Banbury, is ideally located in the heart of the town next to the Oxford Canal and opposite Tooley’s historic boatyard. The exhibits and collections take you on a journey through time, telling the story of the origins of the town, the Civil War, the Victorian market town, and the Oxford canal, as well as costumes from the 17th century to the present day. There is also a calendar of special exhibitions, events and activities to ensure that there is always something new to see and do. Banbury Museum is open Monday to Saturday, and general admission is free, however there may be a small admission fee for some of the special exhibitions. The building is fully accessible for people with pushchairs, wheelchairs and mobility scooters with lift access to all floors.

The Old Corn Exchange

The Corn Exchange, where grain was bought and sold, is situated in Market Place and was originally opened in 1857. A statue of the goddess of agriculture, Ceres adorns the top of the building.

The grand frontage that remains is now the entrance to the Castle Quay Shopping Centre.

The Mill Arts Centre

The Mill Arts Centre is a cultural hub for Banbury and the surrounding area. As the only dedicated arts provision in the area, the vision is to inspire creativity and enrich the lives of our communities by providing a high quality, varied artistic, education and participatory programme.

Tooley’s Boatyard

Tooley’s Boatyard is situated in the heart of Banbury on the South Oxford Canal, this has one of the oldest working dry docks on the Inland Waterways, working continuously since 1778. The site also includes a blacksmith’s forge and carpenter’s workshop used for building traditional wooden boats. Tooley’s continues to serve the boating community and is open to visitors for tours and boat trips.