A Justice Site
CSUDH - Habermas - UWP - Archives
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: April 26, 2004
Latest Update: April 26, 2004
http://www.banbury.gov.uk/Banburycross.htmOriginal Source URL.
http://www.famousquotes.me.uk/nursery_rhymes/ride_a_cock_horse.htm Original Source URL
Banbury Cross, the Nursery Rhyme.
The traditional rhyme, 'Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross', for chronological reasons must have referred to Banbury's ancient High or Market Cross demolished by the puritans on 26th July 1600. It stood on a section of the Market Place in Banbury where it is now commemorated by a plaque. Other Crosses previously in the town were demolished about the same time. Although Banbury was without a cross for over 250 years, the memory sustained no doubt by the rhyme remained with the local population throughout that period. It became a physical fact again in 1859 when the corporation of Banbury erected a new cross in decorated gothic form at the most prominent road junction in Banbury - in celebration of the marriage of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter. Statues of Queen Victoria, Edward VII and George V were added in 1911 at the time of the latter's coronation.
In everyone's mind this is now "The Cross" of the Nursery Rhyme. The historical background is there to be discovered subsequently. It is 52 feet 6 inches high to the top of its gilt cross and is now the focal point of interest in the town and the site of any public celebrations particularly by the youth of the town on New Year's Eve.
"Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross""Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross
To see a fine lady upon a white horse
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
She shall have music wherever she goes"
Ride a cock horse - English history origins
"The lyrics of this nursery rhyme relate to Queen Elizabeth I of England (the fine lady) who travelled to Banbury (a town in England) to see the new huge stone cross which had just been erected. The lyrics 'With rings on her fingers' obviously relates to the fine jewellery which would adorn a Queen. The words 'And bells on her toes' refers to the fashion of attaching bells to the end of the pointed toes of each shoe! Banbury was situated at the top of a steep hill and in order to help carriages up the steep incline a white cock horse (a large stallion) was made available to help with this task. When the Queen's carriage attempted to go up the hill a wheel broke and the Queen chose to mount the cock horse to reach the Banbury cross. Her visit was so important that the people of the town had decorated the cock horse with ribbons and bells and provided minstrels to accompany her - "she shall have music wherever she goes". The big cross at Banbury was later destroyed by anti - Catholics."