Banbury Historical Society presents a programme of events from September to July.
There are lectures from September through to March or April, held (with occasional exceptions) in the education room of the Banbury Museum, starting at 7.30 pm; and in May and June, there are outings to places of interest.  The society’s AGM is held in a different historic venue each year in July.


Date & Time



12 Sep 2019

6.30 pm

Drinks from 6.30 pm  

12 Sep 2019

7.30 pm

Provision for the poor:  the crisis in the parishes in the 18th century

During the 17th century the Old Poor Law had seemed to manage to cope with those who were unable to support themselves, and local communities looked after their own poor.  However in the 18th century numbers and problems escalated till many parishes were overwhelmed by the demands made upon them

Deborah Hayter  is a Tutor in Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education, and has taught many courses in local and landscape history.  How the poor were looked after in the past is a particular interest and she has taught courses on this subject, ranging from medieval charity to the modern benefit system.  The 18th century proved to be a crisis point as the Old Poor Law and the parish system it set up could no longer cope with the growing numbers of unemployed.  This crisis is what led to the draconian reforms of the New Poor Law and the Union Workhouses in the 1830s. 

 10 Oct 2019

7.30 pm

The Battle of Edgcote 1469:  re-evaluating the evidence

2019 sees the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Edgcote. Often overlooked or mis-understood, the battle had a major impact in both England and Wales. Graham will examine the sources in depth to explain what we actually do and do not know about this apparently obscure piece of medieval history.

Graham Evans  studied Modern & Medieval History at the University of Sheffield. He is the Secretary of the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society, and edits the Society's quarterly newsletter, "The Wild Rat". A regular writer and blogger on military history, his book on the Battle of Edgcote is his first full length publication. 

14 Nov 2019

7.30 pm

NB Marlborough Rd Methodist Church

People, Time, Place:  the archaeology and historic environment revealed by HS2

Before we build the bridges, tunnels, tracks and stations for HS2 an unprecedented amount of archaeological work will take place – the largest ever programme of investigation in the UK. This talk will outline the opportunities and challenges that HS2 offers in terms of knowledge creation, engagement and legacy.  With site works now underway there will be recent discoveries to share.


DUE TO ELECTION (See Newsletters)

Dr. Helen J. Wass

Helen Wass’ interest in the past started early - she grew up in Northumberland and had many trips to Hadrian’s Wall.  On HS2 she is really excited about sharing the stories that will be revealed about our ancestors who lived along the route. 

12 Dec 2019

7.30 pm

Lost Prophets: The Unfinished Dream of the Nineteenth Century

In this lecture, Ewan Fernie will explore the efforts of various nineteenth-century thinkers, artists and activists to imagine and create a morally and politically better world which remains ahead of us even today.

 Professor Ewan Fernie is Professor of Shakespeare Studies at The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, and Director of the ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project, a collaboration with Birmingham City Council which aims to unlock the first great Shakespeare Library in the world for people and communities across Birmingham today.  His latest book is Shakespeare for Freedom: Why the Plays Matter.

9 Jan 2020

7.30 pm

Peter the Great:  architect of a superpower

Russia’s evolution into a superpower was far from inevitable. To create it involved superhuman energy, ambition, and imagination. It also required a brutal indifference to opponents who stood in the way. It is the product of ruthless tyrants whom fascinatingly Russians remember with adulation and love. None was more important in this process than Tsar Peter I.

Chris Danziger

Christopher Danziger is a long service tutor in the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education where he teaches European History, specialising in Napoleonic France and Romanov Russia, on both of which he has written extensively.


13 Feb 2020

7.30 pm


“I shall expect you sister” the lives and letters of frontier households in the Imperial Roman Army

Successful men from Rome’s provinces could command military units on the frontiers. With them went their households, their wives, children, freed and enslaved men and women. These people wrote to each other, using ink pens on thin slips of wood. Extraordinarily, some letters survive and offer a glimpse of household life at Roman forts.


Claire Millington

Born and bred in the Midlands, a posting to Rome as a diplomat sparked Claire’s interest in Rome’s empire. Once back in the UK she embarked on an MA, thanks to the OU, and is finishing a Classics PhD at King’s College, London.

12 Mar 2020

7.30 pm

What is Common Land? Background history and why work is going on to re-register it.

Formerly an integral part of the farming landscape, much common land was enclosed, with surviving land preserved and registered under the Commons Act 1965. Re-registration involves correcting mistakes made under the 1965 Act.

Dr. Frances Kerner, Open Spaces Society

Frances Kerner undertook her PhD at the University of Lancaster, researching the enclosure and survival of common land in the Buckinghamshire Chilterns. She works with the Open Spaces Society to re-register common land under the Commons Act 2006.

23 Apr 2020

7.30 pm 

Historical Artefacts Quiz

History for fun.  Bring along your historical oddments and artefacts for other members to guess at.  A glass of wine to help and small prizes for most interesting object and best set of guesses.





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