County of south central England.
Area 2,610 sq km/1,007 sq mi
Towns and citiesOxford (administrative headquarters), Abingdon, Banbury, Goring, Henley-on-Thames, Wallingford, Witney, Woodstock, Wantage, Chipping Norton, Thame
Physical River Thames and tributaries (the Cherwell, Evenlode, Ock, Thame, and Windrush);
Cotswold Hills (in the north) and Chiltern Hills (in the southeast)
Features Vale of the White Horse (with a chalk hill figure 114 m/374 ft, below the hill camp known as Uffington Castle); Oxford University; Blenheim Palace (a World Heritage site), Woodstock, started in 1705 by Vanbrugh with help from Nicholas Hawksmoor, completed in 1722, with landscaped grounds by Capability Brown; early 14th-century Broughton Castle; Rousham Park (1635), remodelled by William Kent (1738–40), with landscaped garden; Ditchley Park, designed by James Gibbs in 1720; Europe's major fusion project JET (Joint European Torus) at the UK Atomic Energy Authority's fusion laboratories at Culham; Henley Regatta
Agriculture cereals, sheep, dairy farming
Industries agricultural implements; aluminium; bricks; cars (Cowley); cement; high-technology industries; medical electronic equipment; paper; publishing; nuclear research (Harwell); biotechnology
Population (2001) 605,500
Famous people Winston Churchill (politician), William Davenant (poet), Stephen Hawking (physicist), Flora Thompson (author)
Topography Oxfordshire is bounded to the south by Swindon, West Berkshire, Reading and Wokingham, to the east by Buckinghamshire, to the northeast by Northamptonshire, to the northwest by Warwickshire, and to the west by Gloucestershire. The county was considerably increased in size by transfers from Berkshire (as it then was) at the time of local government reorganization in April 1974.
History Oxford was the chief stronghold of the Royalists during the Civil War (1642–46), and was the scene of many battles. (For more history, see Oxford.)
Historic remains There are several prehistoric remains in Oxfordshire, including the Rollright stones, and the Devil's Quoits. There are also several Roman villas, such as North Leigh. Few old monastic buildings or castles remain, the most important being the abbey church at Dorchester-on-Thames, and the castles at Shirburn and Broughton, near Banbury. There are remains of famous houses at Greys Court, Minster Lovell, and Rycote. Churches of note include those in Oxford itself, and those at Adderbury, Iffley, and Minster Lovell.
Oxfordshire County Council
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