'West Oxfordshire' extends from the River Thames in the south to the Warwickshire border in the north, and from the Gloucestershire border in the west to the Cherwell valley in the east. It contains idyllic countryside, together with many small, but attractive Cotswold-style towns and villages. From 1530 towns and villages such as Bampton, Eynsham and Woodstock were extensively rebuilt in Cotswold stone. The most important towns are Witney, Chipping Norton and Burford, but the smaller towns and villages, notably Bampton, Eynsham, Charlbury, Woodstock, South Leigh and Minster Lovell are also included here. Over thirty different locations have been included, some of the villages having interesting or unexpected histories, while others have been selected because of their picturesque appeal.
Stanley C. Jenkins, who was educated at Witney Grammar School, the University of Lancaster and the University of Leicester, has written over 20 books and some 750 articles on local, transport and regional history. Having worked as an English Language teacher at Oxford Air Training School for several years, he returned to Leicester University to retrain as a museum curator in 1986, and was subsequently employed by English Heritage as the Regional Curator for South Western England. He is Curatorial Advisor to the Witney & District Museum, and is also working as a curator for the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust, which is at present building a military museum at Woodstock.