The old part of Bicester preserves the medieval plan of a funnel shaped market place with three narrow exits which could facilitate defence in the absence of a town wall. Sheep Street was built to provide for the increasing number of animals being brought into market about three hundred years ago.
In and around Market Place may still be seen numerous picturesque old houses and period residences dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Old Place Yard with its turreted dovecote, is believed to occupy the site of the twelfth century priory but the only preserved relics of this religious house are at the Old Priory, which was probably the guesthouse. It has three medieval windows and an equally ancient arch in its garden.
Under the provisions of the Town & Country Planning Act 1974, the following buildings in Bicester have been scheduled (or Listed) as of special historical and architectural interest:
- St Edburg’s Church – Grade I
- Old Vicarage – Grade II*
- Old Priory – Grade II*
Grade II buildings include:
- Most of the buildings in the Causeway
- Most of Church Street including the Swan Inn, Six Bells, Bluecoats, Crick House
- Manor Farmhouse
- Bicester House
- Home Farm
- Old Place Yard and Dovecote
- Many buildings in Market Square
- Old Congregational Chapel in Chapel Street
- The Hermitage and Old Town Lock-Up in London Road
- Former Stationmaster’s House, London Road.
- The Old Courthouse, Sheep Street
In all, there are over 110 listed buildings in Bicester.