Painted Scenes of Banbury by artist Maurice Draper

Written by Kate Wilton on .

560204 486069794774007 644977007 n

The Catherine Wheel Pub Banbury by Maurice Draper

Step back into old Banbury

For over half a century Maurice Draper painted scenes of Banbury, often recording buildings that are no longer part of the townscape. He passed away in 2011, aged 104. In commemoration of his contribution to the town’s history through his artwork, Banbury Museum has opened a new exhibition, Maurice Draper’s Banbury, where visitors are invited to take a walk back through the old streets of Banbury.

The exhibition features paintings of familiar scenes, such as Market Square, as well as areas that have changed virtually beyond recognition, like the canal wharfs. Visitors can see if they can work out the location of the picture and what would they see at the same place today. Also on display are many rarely exhibited working sketches, which offer further insight into the history of the town and into the approach of the artist.

Cherwell District Council deputy leader George Reynolds, said: “This exhibition is sure to trigger lots of memories. It's a reminder that a look up above the modern shop fronts of Banbury’s old streets is often rewarded with a sight of fascinating historical architecture.”

The exhibition is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm until 27 April. Entry is free. For further details phone 01295 753752 or visit

Maurice Draper came to Banbury in 1945 to take up a teaching post at Banbury Grammar School, where he became head of science. He helped to found the Banbury and District Art Society in 1947. He also taught watercolour and often exhibited, continuing to paint well into his nineties.

Most of the paintings and all the working sketches in the exhibition are part of the museum collections and were kindly donated to the museum by Maurice Draper.

Illustration attached: The Catherine Wheel, Maurice Draper, 1960. The Catherine Wheel on Bridge Street was a Hunt Edmunds pub and a coaching inn, formerly known as 'The Bull'. Maurice Draper sketched and painted it before it was demolished in the 1960s. On the right is the old Baptist Church that was built in 1841 on the site of a medieval inn, ‘The Altarstone’. The front of the former Baptist church still exists.