Witney Museum & Historical Society
History of Witney
Author: J W Monk
First published: 1894
© Copyright Witney Museum & Historical Society
Page last updated: February 29th 2012
Page first published: February 19th 2012
A selection of books relating to the history of Witney.
Another writer, by name LELAND, gives us a
singularly meagre account of Witney, as it was in 1550.
He says :—
"There is in those quarters (the wolds of Gloucestershire) a village
called Wynderush, and so is the river of Whitney commonly called,"
and in another part, "Thens (from Newbridge) 4 myles or more to
Whiteney, where is a market, and a fayre Church with a goodly
pyramid of stone."
Yes, Leland! This we know, we can see it now in all its beautiful
symmetry, which puzzles our modern architects, no little, but why
not tell us of things which we are so anxious to know?
In what state was the woollen manufacture ? In what condition was
the Palace, and who lived there?
What was the population when you were here, three centuries ago?
But Leland is silent; even as those who live in time as distant as we
are from those of Leland will deem us.
The Henry Box School - Its Place in History
Author: Jane Cavell
First published: 2009
Founded in 1660, The Henry Box School has many stories to tell;
but first, lets discover the origins of the school and journey back in
time to 1585 and try to find out about the man behind it all... Who
was Henry Box?
Generation upon generation of local children have been educated
at the school, which began as The Free School of the Foundation
of Henry Box, became the Witney Grammar School and is now
called The Henry Box School. Today it is a thriving comprehensive
school with round 1400 students.
To mark the 350th anniversary of the school, this book charts the
history of the school from its foundation to the present day.
Alongside the school history is a history of Witney for the same
The author, Jane Cavell, is a local historian and genealogist.
Witney - A History
Author: Stanley C Jenkins
First published 2010
Witney grew up as the result of deliberate planning on the part of
successive Bishops of Winchester, a spacious, wedge-shaped
market area being laid out parallel to the river Windrush.
The whole area was surrounded by a drainage ditch known as
Emma's Dyke, and some of the new burgage plots were artificially
raised above water level. By the end of the Middle Ages it had grown
into a populous market town with a developing blanket industry.
The name Witney was mentioned for the first time in charters of 969
and 1044 with references to local landmarks such as 'The Slope
where the Nut Trees Grow', and to the marshy south with 'Foul
island' and 'Occa's Slippery Place'.
Join Stanley C Jenkins, writer and historian as he explores the past
in his book 'Witney - A History'.
The Book of Witney
Author: Charles and Joan Gott
First published 1986
(From 2007 edition The New Book of Witney) It is now twenty one
years since the first edition of the Book of Witney was published,
and thirteen since the Revised Edition, which is now out of print.
The present edition has been largely reformatted, and many of the
illustrations have been changed to bring it up to date. A touch of
colour has been added, too.
While working on it we were surprised at the number of changes
those thirteen years have brought: large new estates have been built
on the outskirts of the town, the last blanket mill has closed down,
and many new high-tech industries have sprung up. Sadly, in spite of
the planners’ efforts over fifteen years, the road system has not yet
caught up with the population increase.
See Resources for link to web browser viewable version of The New
Book of Witney.
Witney in Old Photographs
Author: Tom Worley
First published 1987
From a collection of around 2000 pictures, Tom Worley has
compiled a fascinating pictorial record of Witney from the mid
nineteenth century onwards.
This selection shows us Witney in the days of horse-drawn
transport, the fashions of the time and the town's industries.
The Changing Faces of Witney (Books 1&2)
Author: Derek Honey
ISBN: 1-899536-310 (Book 1)
First published: 1998
ISBN: 1-899536-531 (Book 2)
First published: 2000
Inside you will find a pictorial record of the people, families,
businesses and events from some of Witney's past. From the
bombing of Witney during World War II to photos capturing the
changing face of the town's fire service. The Changing Faces
series relied on the generosity of local people who supplied many
of the photgraphs.
Apprentice: A Historical Novel
Author: Richard E. Early
First published 1977
A novel set in the 17th century, in the Oxfordshire town of Witney,
famed for its blanket-making, and featuring lead character Thomas
Early, blanket-maker and a direct ancestor of the author.
Author: Richard E. Early
First published 1980
Based on facts preserved in the business records of the Blanket
Makers of \Vitney, or passed down through the generations by word
of mouth, .Master Weaver is a sequel to Richard Early's previous
book, Apprentice, and continues the story of Thomas Early (five
times great-grandfather of the author), who was apprenticed to the
trade of blanket-making at Witney in 1669. .
Weavers and War - A True Story
Author: Richard E. Early
First published 1984
Set in the lead-up to, and during the Second World War, this is the
story of his wartime experiences as a Quaker in the Friends'
Ambulance Unit and as a prisoner of war.