Banbury stands at the junction of two ancient roads: Salt Way (used as a bridle path to the west and south of the town), its primary use being transport of salt; and Banbury Lane, which began near Northampton and is closely followed by the modern 22-mile-long road.It continued through what is now Banbury's High Street and towards the Fosse Way at Stow-on-the-Wold. Banbury Castle was built from 1135 by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, and survived into the Civil War, when it was besieged.
Banbury was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Reform Act 1835.The site contained around 150 pieces of pottery and stone.Later there was a Roman villa at nearby Wykham Park.Due to its proximity to Oxford, the King's capital, Banbury was at one stage a Royalist town, but the inhabitants were known to be strongly Puritan. Banbury played an important part in the English Civil War as a base of operations for Oliver Cromwell, who is reputed to have planned the Battle of Edge Hill in the back room (which can still be visited) of a local inn, the Reindeer Inn as it was then known (today's Ye Olde Reine Deer Inn).People's Park was set up as a private park in 1890 and opened in 1910, along with the adjacent bowling green.The villages of King's Sutton and Middleton Cheney, and possibly also Aynho, Fenny Compton, Charlton and Croughton could be considered part of Banburyshire, as well as Upper and Lower Brailes.
The settlements of Bicester, Hinton-in-the-Hedges, Chipping Norton and Hook Norton are on the border of Banburyshire's area.
Merton Street goods depot continued to handle livestock traffic for Banbury's cattle market until 1966, when this too was discontinued and the railway dismantled.
In March 1962 Sir John Betjeman celebrated the line from Culworth Junction in his poem Great Central Railway, Sheffield Victoria to Banbury. The main railway station, now called simply Banbury, is now served by trains running from London Paddington via Reading and Oxford, from London Marylebone via High Wycombe and Bicester onwards to Birmingham and Kidderminster and by Cross Country Trains from Bournemouth to Birmingham and Manchester.
Since its closure in June 1998 a new housing development has been built on its site which includes Dashwood Primary School.
The estate, which lies between Banbury and Hanwell, was built in between 2005–06, on the grounds of the former Hanwell Farm.
Banbury's main industries are car components, electrical goods, plastics, food processing, and printing.