A very friendly welcome to Brackley, our beautiful and historic market town on the borders of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Surrounded by miles and miles of tranquil countryside Brackley is, without a doubt, a wonderful place to live and is steeped in history and tradition.
Originally know as Brachelai or Brackele the town had its roots in the wool and lace trade but is more famous these days for its industry related to Formula One racing, in particular the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team which has its base in the town. On the east outskirts of the town, up until 2013 was the manufacturing headquarters of H. Bronnley & Co., purveyors of luxury toiletries, fragrances and soaps which to this very day retains its Royal Warrant.
If we take a step back even further into the realms of local history we learn that Brackley was the site of an important meeting between the barons and representatives of the King in 1215, the year of the Magna Carta. It may also come as a surprise, even to current residents that Brackley once boasted its very own castle, built soon after 1086. Its remains lie between Hinton Road and Tesco – the latter being an example of slightly more modern architecture.
A building of particular beauty and historic interest is the Chapel of St. John & St. James. The chapel is tucked away on the High Street and is somewhat of a hidden gem: many townsfolk pass by the chapel on a daily basis, blissfully unaware of its existence and historical significance. Formerly a chapel for the hospital of St. James and St. John, it can be dated back to the late 12th century and 13th century. It is constructed of stone rubble and is one of the largest school chapels which continues to be used to this very day by Magdalen College School, the local secondary school, and the wider community.
A very short walk from the Chapel as you head back into town and you will encounter another of Brackley’s architectural landmarks: the Town Hall. Built in 1706 by the 4th Earl of Bridgewater the Town Hall underwent 18 months of extensive renovation work between 2016 and 2018 and is now completely rejuvenated and restored whilst retaining its Georgian charm. It is a building for all local residents to enjoy and to be very proud of.
An element of natural beauty where residents and visitors can take time to rest, reflect and reboot is St. James lake. It offers five acres of wildlife and picturesque scenery where adults and children alike enjoy walking, running, exercising dogs, feeding the ducks and geese and having a picnic in the park. A true oasis near the centre of town.
In short, Brackley is a perfect combination of tradition and modernity, of tranquility and productivity and a town where community spirit of both local residents and local businesses prevail.