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a quick visit to Eynsham


Cottages in Newland Street - despite its name, one of the oldest streets in the village.
A surprising number of people work in Eynsham - this is the woodworkshop in Spareacre Lane.

Eynsham is a large village (pop about 5,000) half-way between Witney and Oxford (about 6 miles from each), just south of the A40. It's been inhabited since very early days - probably because it's built on a bit of land about 20 ft higher than the Thames floodplain, but close to the lowest point on the river where it was possible to ford pigs (Swinford, where the present bridge is = swine ford). In history, it was more important than it is now - with a huge abbey and its own Bishop - indeed, it's supposed to have been bigger than Oxford (= ox ford) in the days before the university.

But it's still pretty important today to the people who live here. It has 20 shops, 9 pubs, 2 restaurants, (plus 2 take-aways). There are a surprising number of 17 sports Clubs and 38 interest Groups.

In the centre there are lot of attractive stone-built houses - you can take a Virtual Tour of one of the main early streets.

A lot of people work in Eynsham - about 2,500 at the last count. Some of these workers commute in, and some Eynsham people commute out - to Witney, Oxford and further. Eynsham is a net importer of labour - more people come in to work than go out to work. There are around 70 businesses (including until recently, leading edge technology Oxford Instruments Eynsham, which invented, and now makes most of the big magnets used all over the world for Magnetic Resonance Imaging - MRI. In 2004 they were taken over by Siemens.).

There's an amazingly frequent bus-service to Witney and Oxford.

For anyone wanting to walk round Eynsham with a guide in hand, Eynsham Unlocked is useful leaflet, available at the Library and the Evenlode DIY. Click here to see a reproduction of the leaflet - scroll down and click Tour; conservation area