Still made and available today, a Banbury Cake is a spiced,currant-filled, flat pastry cake similar to an Eccles cake, although it is more oval in shape. In Ben Johnson’s 1614 play ‘Bartholomew fair’, includes a character called ‘Zeal-of-the-land Busy’, a Banbury Cake maker and a puritan. Theses attributes fit the description of the founder of this hostelry, John Knight.
In 1560 John and his wife acquired the ‘cottage or shop’ adjoining to the East and set about building a timber framed extension. The original gates which still span the two buildings bear the inscription:
– JOHN – KNIGHT – JHONE – KNIGHT –
– DAVID – HORN – ANNO – DIN – 1570
The aforementioned David Hall was probably the Knight’s first Inn keeper, though very little is known of him. John Knight’s son continued to develop the building between 1624 and 1637, extending then enclosing the courtyard to the rear of the premises and laying the plans for the Globe Room. Completed after his death, this exquisite room represented his ambition to raise the The Reinedeer’s status to be one of the town’s greatest inns.