Oxfordshire's Historic Archives

Historic Oxfordshire

Preserving and Enhancing Access to Historic Oxfordshire
Records of Archaeological Work held by the Ashmolean Museum

Site Name: Banbury

Site Location: North-East Oxfordshire
Related Achive: Manning

Percy Manning noted a number of sites in Banbury. He recorded that Roman coins were found in various locations, including near the Banbury Castle and at the 'Altar Stone' Inn. In fact, this inn got its name from a carved Roman altar stone that stood under the pub sign. William Stukeley refered to this altar stone in 1724. He states it had a ram and fire carved on it.

More Roman coins were also found:

  • in the High Street during the digging of house foundations,
  • in Parson's Meadow when it was converted into a garden,
  • in the brickyard to the east of Banbury bridge,
  • and during alterations on the site of St John's Hospital.
Various other finds were also documented by Manning, including a broken bronze sword with a leaf-shaped blade found at St John's Priory and now in the Ashmolean Museum (AN1898-1906 pr368). A Roman urn was also found near Banbury during the construction of the Oxford-Rugby railway.

Manning also mentions an artifical mound with circular trenches on Crouch Hill in Banbury. It was suggested by A. Beesley that this hill was raised for the purpose of communicating betweeen different camps. The hill is natural, but the ditch is probably medieval. In 1215 Bishop Hugh de Avalen received permission to impark Crouch Spinney. Then in 1330 the Bishop was licensed to impark Crouch Wood and 300 acres of adjoining land. The ditch may date from this period.


A. Beesley (1841) History of Banbury, pp9-10.

W. Stukeley (ed. 1776) Itinerarium Curiosum, Vol I, p40.

Site Photographs

Click on picture to see a larger image
Banbury Market Place
Former site of Banbury Castle - now Castle Shopping Centre
(January 2006)
Castle Street, Banbury
Former site of Banbury Castle - Castle Street
(January 2006)
Castle Street, Banbury
Former site of Banbury Castle - Castle Street
(January 2006)
Crouch Hill
Crouch Hill viewed from south-east
(January 2006)
Crouch Hill
Crouch Hill viewed from north-west
(January 2006)
© Copyright University of Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, 2006. Last updated: June-2006
Ashmolean Museum icon: Go to Museum's Home Page
HLF icon: Go to HLF Home Page
OCC icon: Go to OCC Home Page