Banbury (bănˈbərē) [key], town (1991 pop. 37,463), Oxfordshire, central England, on the Cherwell River. Light industry and tourism are important to the local economy. Banbury's population has increased in recent years as a result of overspill from Greater London. The town still produces the spiced currant cakes and ale for which it has been famous since the 17th cent. The Banbury Cross of the nursery rhyme was destroyed by the Puritans in 1602; a new one was installed in 1859.