This course will examine five Oxfordshire market towns, all of which originated as new towns between AD 800 and 1200 - Wallingford, Woodstock, Bicester, Dorchester on Thames and Faringdon. There are alternating class sessions and field trips.
Many of the market towns in Oxfordshire share a common plan. They have a broad open market area surrounded by the tenements and land strips which belonged to the earliest town merchants. The church is often detached from the market. Most of the small towns of Oxfordshire originated between AD 1100-1300 as planned settlements attached to older villages. In this course we will look at five well-known medieval market towns and trace their origins and development through their street-plans and historic buildings. We will also look at the founders of these urban experiments and assess how commercially successful they were. There will be alternating class sessions and field visits to the study towns.