Eynsham's Market Square was renovated in Golden Jubilee year 2002, with substantial funding under a West Oxfordshire District Council Environmental Improvement Scheme. An extract from the report appears below.
After detailed discussions, a plan was agreed with the Parish Council in mid-October and a public exhibition was held in the lower Bartholomew Room on 7-8 December 2001. At least 113 visitors were recorded, of whom 64 completed a questionnaire. 54 considered the plans good or very good; 6 felt they were poor or very poor and 4 had no strong views.
Work began on Monday 29 April 2002 and was completed in time for the village Carnival on 6 July. The new Square was officially opened to coincide with the Village Show on 7 September.
In 2003 the scheme was short-listed for a Civic Trust award - for schemes that have brought a notable, cultural or economic benefit to the community - and achieved second place out of 1,000 entries.
The gallery includes a proposal put forward by the Eynsham Society some 25 years earlier, in 1977, which clearly influenced the final scheme.
“Eynsham Market Square is defined by an informal group of key public buildings and structures including St Leonard's Church, the Bartholomew Rooms, the Red Lion Public House, the War Memorial and the Mediaeval Cross. Although the most important public space in the village, its attractiveness and accessibility for civic activities has been strongly compromised over recent years by the extent and poor quality of the highway and the domination of parked cars and through traffic.
The scheme would concentrate on providing a good setting to the civic buildings and monuments by inclusion of a pedestrian space to the south of the Bartholomew Rooms, and by providing a clearer definition to the access and parking arrangements for vehicles. The focus ... would be on improving the visual appearance of the Square by the use of better quality surface finishes and creating a public space capable of staging a range of activities from community events to markets ... [without] any reductions in the level of existing parking for local residents and shoppers.”