Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
History of Oxfordshire
Historically, Oxfordshire has always had some importance, it has been valuable agricultural land resting between the main southern cities and containing the prestigious settlement at Oxford (from the Old English Oxenaforda). Ignored by the Romans it was not until the formation of a settlement at Oxford that the area grew in importance. Alfred the Great was born in Wantage. The university at Oxford was founded in 1096. The area was part of the Cotswolds wool trade from the 13th century. The Great Western Railway reached Didcot in 1839. Morris Motors was founded in Oxford in 1912 and MG in Abingdon in 1929. The importance of agriculture as an employer has declined rapidly in the 20th century; currently under 1% of the county's population are involved.
The Vale of the White Horse and parts of South Oxfordshire south of the River Thames were previously part of Berkshire and were added to the county in 1974. Conversely, the Caversham area of Reading has traditionally been part of Oxfordshire.
In June 2004 the auditors refused to sign off social services accounts from which £11 million had not yet been accounted for.
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