Located at the top of Banbury High Street, Horsefair, South Bar and West Bar Street.
Banbury Cross was erected in 1859 to celebrate the wedding of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, the Princess Royal, to Prince Frederick of Prussia. The sponsors of the Cross wished for a monument to be installed that would honour the occasion, and also serve as a “lasting credit and honour to the town”.
The Cross was installed with three statues in 1914 of Queen Victoria, Edward VII and George V to celebrate the coronation of the latter in 1911. It is also engraved with the different arms of the town throughout its history, along with the town’s motto ‘Dominus nobis sol et scutum’ (The Lord is our Sun and Shield). On the upper part of the monument are the coats of arms of important people connected with the history of the town.
Refurbishment of Banbury Cross in 2012
Banbury Town Council is committed to enhancing the attractiveness of the town and believes that the continued preservation of this famous monument is in keeping with its aims. Work on a major cleaning and refurbishment project was undertaken by Harristone Masonry during May/June 2012 and this work was part funded by Fine Lady on a White Horse Appeal (FLOWA). It was felt to be an appropriate way to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations during 2012.
- The refurbishment project included
- Dismantling, inspecting, de-rusting, refabricating missing features, and redecorating the metal cross to the apex of the spire;
- Carrying out cleaning of general soiling to stonework surfaces with DOFF steam cleaning system;
- Re-pointing all open joints;
- Treating organic growth to chamfered surfaces to the parapet and plinth with biocide;
- Repainting of the shields and other painted embellishments using enamel finish on a suitable base undercoat, colours to be restored; and
- Sealing the monument with a breathable protective sealant.
Photograph kindly provided by Manfred Needham