A-Z Blog Challenge – BurfordToday I want to introduce you to Burford, which is situated in north Oxfordshire, twenty miles west of Oxford. It is a beautiful old Cotswold town, its High Street sloping down to the River Windrush. The village, whose Anglo-Saxon name means fortified hill town with a ford, was the site of a battle between the armies of Wessex and Murcia in 762. After the Norman Conquest it was given to the Bishop of Bayeux, William the Conqueror’s brother, and in 1087 it was granted its first market charter. Burford lies on important trading routes and it flourished as a market town, particularly between the 14th and 17th centuries when, like many towns in the Cotswolds, it was an important centre for the wool trade. Lined with dignified old houses and ancient cottages, little has changed since Tudor times.
I visited Burford in 2000 on a garden tour. We stayed at @The Bay Tree Inn just off the high street. If you go on line you can see photos of this amazing Inn. I fell in love with Burford on that trip and the story I wrote could not have been set any other place.
Here is a quote from the novel, Greening of a Heart, set in a Vicarage garden in Burford.
“It took him (Henry Bernard) twenty-five minutes to drive the Woodstock road from Oxford to the village of Burford, where centuries-old buildings lined the high street running downhill to the River Windrush. A profusion of gemstone colored flowers glowed in hanging baskets and window boxes on both side of the street. Only the tourists crowding the sidewalks spoiled the quaint setting.”
If you are longing to visit the Cotswolds, be sure to visit Burford, where along the high street you will find yourself smiling, and at peace with the world.