The super historic market square off the village green at Witney in lovely West Oxfordshire, sitting on the river Windrush, about 12 or so miles from Morses Oxford after a rain shower. It is also the constituancy of Mr Cameroone, current leader of the Tory party (possible prime minister or another ex-Tory leader if he fluffs that gig in May 2010).
A buttercross (as seen here), also known as butter cross, is a type of market cross associated with English market towns, such as Witney and dating from medieval times. Its name originates from the fact that they were located at the market place (same as today), where people from neighbouring villages would gather to buy locally produced butter, milk and eggs. The fresh produce was laid out and displayed on the circular stepped bases of the cross.
Their design varies from place to place, but they are usually covered by some type of roof to offer shelter, although the roofs were mostly added at a much later date than the original cross they cover.
Witney Market began in the Middle Ages. Thursday is the traditional market day and I have spent some interesting lunchtimes here. There is also a market on Saturday. The buttercross was built in about 1600 and its clock was added in 1683.