Successive councils have tried to destroy, what William Cobbett once described as, "The most
beautiful village in the world". Tides of modern housing, out of step with this predominately Georgian village, do nothing
for its environs. However, these days, the High St and its surround, have been classified, a conservation area, deservedly
so. The Market house of 1848, with its impressive portico imposes itself upon the square, its construction funded by the Botley
farmers club and public donation.
The Botley farmers club, was founded by William Cobbett, amongst others, who lived in
the village from 1804. A journalist and fierce political reformer, he also found time to fight for the British in the American
war of independence, spend time in gaol, for his criticism of flogging in the British army, and get exciled to the USA. On
his return, he took a seat at Westminster, and wrote his world famous book,"Rural Rides". He died, somewhat miraculously,
an old man, in his seventies!
On the Eastern edge of the village on Mill Hill is Botley Flour Mills. As well as a roller
flour milling plant, there are also various, "arty crafty" shops, and a tearoom. All well worth a browse.