Powerflush nearby to Bicester
Bicester is a town and civil parish in northeastern Oxfordshire, Southern England.
Between 1951 and 2001, this historic market town was one of Oxfordshire’s fastest-growing.
Its proximity to Junction 9 of the M40 motorway, which connects it to London, Birmingham, and Banbury, has aided development. It has good road connections to Oxford, Kidlington, Brackley, Buckingham, Aylesbury, and Witney, as well as two railway stations: Bicester North and Bicester Village.
It has its own municipal government. The Government, in collaboration with the local planning authority, planned for Bicester to become a garden city in 2014, based on the size of its buffers, distance from the Metropolitan Green Belt, and the demand for commuters to London and Oxford. Up to 13,000 new homes will be constructed. Bicester is located 51 miles (82 kilometers) from both Birmingham and London as the crow flies.
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Despite the fact that the Roman settlement of Alchester is 2 miles (3 km) southwest of the town, Bicester’s history dates back to the Saxon period.
In the sixth century, the West Saxons established a settlement at a crossroads of ancient routes.
The Stratton (Audley) Road, which ran north-south from Dorchester to Towcester, passed through King’s End. Akeman Street, an east-west Roman road connecting Cirencester and St. Albans, is located 2 miles (3 kilometers) south of the Roman fortress and town of Alchester.
St Edburg’s Church in Bicester was built as a minster, possibly in the mid-seventh century, after St Birinus converted Cynegils, King of the West Saxons, after their meeting near Blewbury. The site was just east of the old Roman road between Dorchester and Towcester, which passed through Alchester, a former Roman town. The first church was most likely a timber structure serving the growing Saxon settlements on either side of the river Bure, as well as a mission center for the surrounding countryside. Archaeological excavations at Procter’s Yard revealed the ecclesiastical enclosure boundary, and a large cemetery of Saxon graves implying a much larger churchyard was excavated on the site of the Catholic Church car park, almost opposite St. Edburg’s.
The Domesday Book of 1086 records it as Berencestra, with the two manors of Bicester and Wretchwick held by Robert D’Oyly, the builder of Oxford Castle. The town grew up as twin settlements on opposite banks of the River Bure, a tributary of the Ray, Cherwell, and eventually the Thames.
By the end of the 13th century, Bicester had become the administrative center for a deanery of 33 churches. In the town center, the ruins of an Augustinian priory founded between 1182 and 1185 can still be found. Although it is unknown when St Edburg’s Church was rebuilt in stone, the 12th century church appears to have had an aisleless cruciform plan. Parts of the nave north wall, including parts of an originally external zigzag string course, the north and south transepts, and the external clasping buttresses of the chancel are among the earliest surviving materials. The triangular-headed opening at the north wall of the nave was most likely an early church’s external door. A 13th-century tower is marked by three great round-headed Norman arches at the end of the nave.
Gilbert Bassett founded the Augustinian Priory around 1183, endowing it with land and buildings throughout the town and other parishes, including 180 acres (73 ha) and the quarry at Kirtlington, 300 acres (120 ha) at Wretchwick (now called), 135 acres (55 ha) at Stratton Audley, and on Gravenhill and Arncott. It also owned the Clifton mill and leased farms in Deddington, Grimsbury, Waddesdon, and Fringford to tenants. Despite the fact that these holdings were extensive and close to the market in Bicester, they appear to have been poorly managed and did not generate much income for the priory.
In the early 13th century, the priory took possession of the church. A south aisle was added to the church, and arches were built in the nave and south transept walls to connect the new aisle to the main body of the church.
The north aisle was added in the 14th century as a further extension. The north wall of the nave’s arched openings are supported by thick octagonal columns. The Perpendicular Gothic north chapel (now vestry) was built around the same time, and it has two windows on the east wall. The chapel originally had an upper chamber, which was later used for the vicars’ grammar school and was accessible via an external staircase that is part of the north eastern buttress.
The upper walls of the nave were raised in the 15th century to form a clerestory with square-headed Perpendicular Gothic windows. The earlier central tower and its nave arch were demolished, and the nave roof was rebuilt (the present roof is a copy of 1803). The columns in the north arcade were undercut, giving them a slim appearance and making the capitals top heavy. In the nave’s east bay, there is carved decoration that was most likely part of a canopied tomb that was originally set between the columns. The west tower was constructed in three stages, with each stage denoted by a horizontal string course running around the outside. It would have taken several years to complete the construction. The battlements and crockets on the tower’s top were replaced in the mid-nineteenth century.
The priory church was built around 1200 and enlarged around 1300 in conjunction with the construction of St Eadburh’s Purbeck marble tomb. This could have come from the priory’s patron, Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln. The priory’s walled rectangular enclosure lay just south of the church. The gatehouse was located in Church Lane, next to the ‘Chapter and Verse’ Guesthouse. Within the central precinct are the dovecote and houses in Old Place Yard. St Edburg’s House is partially built on the site of the large priory church. A cloister connected this to a quadrangle that housed the refectory, kitchens, dormitory, and prior’s lodging. The priory farm buildings were located in the vicinity of the current church hall, and they had direct access to land in what is now the King’s End estate via Piggy Lane.
Early charters aided Bicester’s development as a trading center, and by the mid-13th century, a market and fair had been established. By this time, two more manors have been mentioned: Bury End and Nuns Place, which were later renamed Market End and King’s End, respectively.
The Lord of the Manor of Market End was Sir Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, who had married Lady Margaret Beaufort, Henry VII’s mother. At the Battle of Bosworth, Sir Thomas placed the crown on the head of the new King Henry VII, and as Henry VII’s stepfather, he was granted many manors. Sir Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby, bequeathed the manor to his second son, Sir William Stanley of Lathom, Lancashire, in his will of 1593. When his older brother Ferdinando, the 5th Earl of Derby, died mysteriously in 1594, William became the 6th Earl of Derby. The 6th Earl sold a 9,999-year lease to 31 principal tenants in 1597. This effectively granted the leaseholders manorial rights, which were “purchased for the benefit of those inhabitants or others who might hereafter obtain parts of the demesne.” The leaseholders elected a bailiff to receive and distribute the bailiwick’s profits, primarily from market administration, to the shareholders. The arrangement became known as the Bailiwick of Bicester Market End after the bailiff’s title. All of the original leases were in the hands of ten men by 1752, when they leased bailiwick control of the market to two local tradesmen.
The buildings on the eastern side of Water Lane were destroyed by fire in 1724. A Nonconformist congregation was able to acquire a site that had previously been the tail of a long plot occupied by the King’s Arms at the other end. Their 1728 chapel was “surrounded by a burying ground and ornamented with trees.” Pollution from animal dung from livery stables on the outskirts of town was a problem at the southern and downstream end of Water Lane, which was exacerbated by London traffic.
By 1728, Edward Hemins had established a bell-foundry in Bicester, which he continued to operate until at least 1743.
At least 19 of his church bells are known to have survived, including some in the Oxfordshire parishes of Ambrosden, Bletchingdon, Piddington, and Wootton, and Northamptonshire parishes of Culworth.
King’s End had a much lower population and none of the commercial bustle that could be found on the other side of the Bure. From 1584, the manorial lords, the Cokers, lived in the manor house. The house was rebuilt in the early 18th century and later remodelled in the 1780s. After 1753, when Coker demolished a number of buildings on the north side of King’s End Green, the park was expanded and surrounded by a wall. The road that followed the line of the Roman road was also extinguished as the park was expanded westward. This partially overlapped with Coker’s pre-1753 close. The expansion of the park caused traffic to be diverted from the Fox Inn through King’s End, across the causeway to Market Square and Sheep Street, and back to the Roman road north of Crockwell.
The two townships of King’s End and Market End developed distinct spatial features. As commercial activity shifted to Market End, inns, shops, and high-status residences gathered around the triangular market place. Bailiwick lessees promoted a much less regulated market than that found in other boroughs. Sheep Street was considered’very respectable’ away from the market, but its northern end at Crockwell was inhabited by the poorest inhabitants in low quality, subdivided, and overcrowded buildings.
The causeway had dense development by 1800, forming continuous frontages on both sides. The partially buried watercourses provided an easy way to drain, and many houses had privies that discharged directly into the channels. The Bure ran downstream parallel to Water Lane, then the main road out of town towards London. Terraces of cottages were built behind the brook, and these, too, used the brook for sewage disposal, with privies cantilevered out from houses over the watercourse. Town houses drew their water from wells dug into the substrate, which became increasingly polluted due to waste leaching through the Bure’s alluvial bed.
Until the early 1800s, the road from the market place to King’s End passed through a ford of the Bure brook and on to the narrow embanked road that crossed the boggy valley. From the late 18th century, the causeway became the focal point for development, with rubbish and debris dumped on both sides of the road to form building platforms. As construction progressed, minor channels of the braided stream were encased and culverted.
Bicester is located in north Oxfordshire, 11 miles (18 kilometers) east-northeast of Oxford, near the borders of Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire.