The Cherwell Life

About Bicester and North Oxfordshire

A Bicester Timeline


Date Event
43 Roman Settlement at Alchester founded
634 Settlement of Burncester founded
873 Battle fought with the Danes at Graven Hill
912 Old town of Burncester destroyed by the Danes
1132 Bicester Priory founded by Gilbert Bassett and dedicated to St Edburg
1239 Permission to hold a weekly market in Market Square granted to William de Longspree
1441 Permission to hold a regular Friday market granted to Robert Brooke
1536 Bicester Priory closed as part of the Dissolution. Priory Church destroyed and St Edburg’s shrine moved to Stanton Harcourt.
1642-1651 English Civil War. Royalist troops stationed in Bicester for a number of years with the King being in Oxford.
1793 First Public Coach between Bicester and London
1831 Population 3022
1845 Gas introduced to the town
1850 Railway from Bletchley, Winslow and Bicester to Oxford opened by the Buckinghamshire Railway company – later London North Western Railway (LNWR) – with a station at Bicester
1894 Bicester Urban District Council constituted
1901 Population 3032
1905 Mains water piped throughout the town
1910 Bicester North station and the new railway between Aynho Junction and Ashendon Junction are opened by the Great Western Railway. The existing LNWR Bicester station becomes Bicester London Road. Fastest trains on the new shorter route between Birmingham Snow Hill and London Paddington take 2 hours.
1917 RAF Bicester opened
1929 Electric Street lighting
switched on
1941 Graven Hill Depot Opens. Site chosen due to central location and rail link.
1951 Population 4151
1961 Population 5513
1967 Bicester London Road station closes. Train service on the Varsity line between Oxford, Bicester, Bletchley, Bedford and Cambridge withdrawn (except for Bletchley-Bedford section).
1968 Bicester North station becomes simply “Bicester”. To save costs, the double track between Aynho Junction and Princes Risborough is reduced to single with a passing loop at Bicester.
1971 Population 12355
1981 Bicester twinned with Neunkirchen Seelscheid. Population 20241
1986 Chris Green assumes responsibility for the London and South East area rail network at British Rail establishing Network South East. Total Route Modernisation of Chiltern line is authorised with plans to close Marylebone station reversed!
1987 Bicester London Road station reopens as Bicester Town. Train service to Oxford resumes, initially on an experimental basis.
1991 M40 motorway opens. New Turbo Trains arrive on the line through Bicester
1994 Sheep Street pedestrianised
1995 Bicester Village designer shopping outlet opens
1996 Following privatisation of British Rail, Chiltern Railways wins its first franchise and takes over the routes from London Marylebone to Birmingham and Aylesbury
2001 Population 28672
2011 Population 32642
2012 Chiltern Railways receives permission under the Transport and Works Act for Evergreen 3 project, including construction of a section of new track linking the Oxford to Bletchley and Birmingham to London lines.
2013 New Pioneer Square development with Sainsbury’s store and Vue cinema opens
2014 Bicester Town station closes for rebuilding
2015 Chiltern Railways’ train service between Oxford Parkway, Bicester and London Marylebone begins. Bicester Town Station reopens as Bicester Village.
2016 Oxford to London Marylebone service introduced completing Chiltern Railways’ Evergreen 3 Project and Phase 1 of East West Rail, Western Section
2018 Preferred Corridor announced for Oxford to Cambridge Expressway. The road is likely to pass close to Bicester and would cost £3.5 bn
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