The Banbury & Cheltenham Direct Railway, which the Chipping Norton Railway is a part of, developed in several stages. The first section to open was the branch from Kingham to Chipping Norton on the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway in 1855. The section from Chipping Norton to King's Sutton (just south of Banbury on the Great Western Railway main line) was completed in 1881. The line ran through a number of stations, including Hook Norton, Bloxham, Adderbury and King's Sutton, before entering Banbury. In 1951, British Railways withdrew passenger services between Chipping Norton and King's Sutton. A landslide at Hook Norton in 1958 caused freight services to be halted between Hook Norton and Chipping Norton. Chipping Norton Railway is a fascinating account of the people who worked the line, those who rode it and those who remember it fondly still.
The Chipping Norton Local History Society was formed in the 1970s with a view to opening a museum in the town. This dream was realized in 1985 after a donation from a Mr. Pitt of Chadlington of a collection of farm tools and memorabilia. Chipping Norton Museum is now in its twenty-fourth year and is still owned and run by the society, who hold monthly talks and lectures throughout the year and have large archives to help family history projects. They have published numerous other titles, including Chipping Norton Through Time.