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Status: Ceremonial & Administrative County
Region: South East England
- Total
- Admin. council
Ranked 22nd
2,605 km²
Ranked 19th
Admin HQ: Oxford
ISO 3166-2: GB-OXF
ONS code: 38
- Total (2002 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
Ranked 35th
233 / km²
Ranked 18th
Ethnicity: 95.1% White
1.7% S.Asian
Arms of Oxfordshire County Council
Oxfordshire County Council
Executive: Conservative & Liberal Democrat
Members of Parliament
Tony Baldry, David Cameron, Evan Harris, Robert V. Jackson, Boris Johnson, Andrew Smith
  1. Oxford
  2. Cherwell
  3. South Oxfordshire
  4. Vale of White Horse
  5. West Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire (abbreviated Oxon, from Latin Oxonia) is a county in South East England, bordering on Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire.

It is divided into five local government districts - Oxford, Cherwell, Vale of the White Horse (after the Uffington White Horse), West Oxfordshire and South Oxfordshire.

The county has a major tourism industry; the area is noted for the concentration of performance motorsport companies and facilities; Oxford University Press has headed a concentration of print and publishing firms; the university is also linked to the concentration of local biotechnology companies.

The main centre of population is the city of Oxford. Other significant settlements are Bicester, Banbury and Chipping Norton to the north of Oxford; Witney to the west; Thame and Chinnor to the east; and Abingdon, Wantage, Didcot and Henley to the south. Future population growth in the county is hoped to be concentrated around Banbury, Bicester, Didcot and Witney, near the South Midlands growth area.



Historically the area has always had some importance, it has been valuable agricultural land resting between the main southern cities and containing the prestigious settlement at Oxford (from the Old English Oxenaforda). Ignored by the Romans it was not until the formation of a settlement at Oxford that the area grew in importance. Alfred the Great was born in Wantage. The university at Oxford was founded in 1096. The area was part of the Cotswolds wool trade from the 13th century. The Great Western Railway reached Didcot in 1839. Morris Motors was founded in Oxford in 1912 and MG in Abingdon in 1929. The importance of agriculture as an employer has declined rapidly in the 20th century; currently under 1% of the county's population are involved.

In 1808 the county had fourteen hundreds, namely Bampton , Banbury , Binfield , Bloxham , Bullingdon , Chadlington , Dorchester , Ewelme , Langtree , Lewknor , Pyrton , Ploughley , Thame and Wootton .

The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was based at the Barracks on Bullingdon Green, Cowley .

The Vale of the White Horse and parts of South Oxfordshire south of the River Thames were previously part of Berkshire and were added to the county in 1974. Conversely, the Caversham area of Reading has traditionally been part of Oxfordshire.

In June 2004 the auditors refused to sign off social services accounts from which 11 million had not yet been accounted for.

Towns and villages

(Those marked with (B) were previously in Berkshire.)

Places of interest

See also

External link

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Last updated: 11-10-2004 19:46:37