Banbury's main industries include: car components, electrical goods, aluminium, food processing, and printing.
There was a Roman villa at nearby Wykham Park, and Banbury developed in the Anglo Saxon period under strong Danish influence. Its medieval prosperity was based on wool. Banbury castle was built from 1135 by the bishops of Lincoln, and survived into the Civil War, when it was besieged. Banbury, due to its proximity to Oxford, the King's capital, was a Royalist town, but the inhabitants were known to be strongly Puritan. The castle was demolished after the war.
The Nursery rhyme Banbury Cross refers to a cross destroyed by puritans, in 1602 but replaced in 1858.
Banbury remained a rural market town, until the construction of the Oxford Canal in the 1770s which greatly aided the town's growth. And later the railway age: in 1850 the first rails reached the town, one line from the London and North Western Railway and one from the Great Western Railway.
The improvements in communications thus effected gave rise to more growth, which has continued until the present day, accelerated by the completion of the M40 motorway which has given even faster access by car to London.