Banbury Castle – which once stood where today’s Castle Quay shopping centre now stands – existed since the 12th century and saw military action for the first time during the period of the English Civil War between 1642 and 1649, when Royalists held the castle for the duration of the conflict.
The Reinedeer’s close proximity to the castle meant it was strategically situated for the quartering of troops. Banbury Castle was besieged twice during “The Great Rebellion”. Oliver Cromwell started the first and successful siege in 1644, returning again to lay siege to the castle over 15 weeks in 1646, this time with success when news reached the castle’s garrison of Royal losses and the king’s flight to Scotland. It is tempting to assume, Cromwell may have quartered himself and his staff at Ye Olde Reinedeer Inn.
“Col Cromwell hath also driven the Banbury Cavaliers into the castle possessed himself of the town where he now remains with a considerable number of horse and foot and hath sent for some great guns to Warwick and Northampton resolving to enforce them to yield or batter the Castle about their ears..” – Merc Civic March 7 to 14
The Reindeer shows little sign of external repair; it be assumed that it escaped the fate of many of the town’s older buildings which were largely built in the aftermath of the Civil War from the stone taken from the old castles demolition in 1648.
Bt 1637 an extension to the real wing flanking the courtyard had been erected. Externally a great mullioned stone window jutted into the courtyard. The interior panels in Oak with a honeycomb plaster ceiling is magnificent and unquestionably the jewel of the inn. The craftsmanship reflects the highest fashion of the period, designed to attract and accommodate the neighbourhood gentry and travelling worthy dignitaries.
The room probably derived its name from a large globe of the world situated in the centre of the room at the turn of the 1900s by brewers
John Harrison & Co, who would later become the Hook Norton Brewery.
In 1909 the Brewery decided to demolish the Globe Room, selling off the ornate ceiling and the panelling to as dealer in London, Fancis Lenygon. It was held in storage until 1964 when it was rediscovered and purchased by then the Banbury Council and installed in the towns museum, then in Marlborough Road, eventually and fittingly, returning to its rightful home at The Reinedeer.