Celia Fiennes was an independent-minded lady, born near Banbury, Oxfordshire, in 1662. She travelled on horseback, seated on a sidesaddle, around England – including a couple of trips into Sussex – between c.1685-1712, from her early twenties to the age of about fifty. She was very keen on visiting the English spa towns (she liked Tunbridge Wells) though some of the waters were very much not to her taste, nor did her horse enjoy the smells! She noted the industries of each area and the meals she ate, enjoying her beer and wine. She stayed with relatives and friends, often at inns, and sometimes with complete strangers. She usually took a servant or two with her, and always had her own sheets. This is a very different travelogue, seen from the female perspective, at a time when coaching was uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous.

Was she the ‘…fine [?Fiennes] lady upon a white horse’ of Banbury Cross? Or not?

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