Oxenton has existed since the Iron Ages, where a hillfort was situated on the peak of Oxenton Hill - the isolated and steep nature of the hill made it an ideal position for one.
When the Romans invaded Britain, they also used the hill as the site for a fort, though not quite where the hillfort was. This fort supported various legions and auxilliaries.
You can see the remnants of both of these today by following the short footpath up the hill.
Christianity came to Glouucestershire in the 600s, and a monastery was built down the hill from Oxenton fort, where a small town had appeared. Oxenton fort was rebuilt to follow more modern designs, and became important militarily.
The Diocese of Worcester became immensely powerful in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, then called Hwicce. In the 800s, the Earls of Mercia gave money for the diocese's protection, which was used to build walls around Worcester and construct a secondary cathedral elsewhere. Oxenton, in the centre of Hwicce and very well-protected, was chosen for this.
A quarry was started on the west side of the hill to provide stone for construction. A suffragan (lower) bishop resided in Oxenton under the Bishop of Worcester, at one point as the Bishop of Winchcombeshire.
Oxenton itself was walled in the late 800s, and around this time it was recorded as 'Oxynburh'. The monk Nennius listed Oxenton in the Historia Brittonum as one of Britain's 28 cities - it likely rivalled Gloucester militarily, if not in population.
The brief county of Winchecombeshire, from the 900s to 1016, used Oxenton as its religious and military centre, due to Winchecombe's lack of either.
Oxenton was recorded in the Domesday Book as 'Oxendone', literally meaning Ox Hill. This might have referred to oxen that were used to cart stone from the quarry. The new Norman rulers constructed a string of castles around the economically-important Gloucester, and Oxenton fort was modified for this.
In the 1130s with the onset of the English Anarchy, the Sherrif of Gloucestershire William FitzGerald installed the first stone fortifications at Oxenton to make Oxenton Castle, which would see limited action into the 1140s.
Oxenton castle would see further action in the baron's wars and even in the Wars of the Roses.
In 1536, Henry VIII dissolved Catholiciscm and most of its monasteries. Despite the strong opposition of the Baron Oxendone, Oxenton suffered heavily in this, completely losing two churches, including its cathedral.
Naturally, this was a huge blow to the Oxenton's importance, and the city walls were dissasembled in the 1570s. Over time Oxenton became more focused on agriculture, though its castle still retained power.
The English civil war, however, brought an end to this. The Baron Oxendone, then Lord Thomas FitzGerald, was strongly Royalist, contrary to the rest of Gloucestershire. The Parliamentarian forces of Gloucester beseiged and then decimated Oxenton, felling most of the city and destroying the castle completely.
Lord Thomas FitzGerald would return briefly as the Royalist Cheltonian Dragoons attacked the forces of the Earl of Essex which were quarted in the city. Whilst this was a victory, the failure of other forces to capture Gloucester rendered it futile.
The city, left largely ruined and under Puritan rule, would be forced to rebuild using the stone remaining from the castle.
In the 1860s, the Great Western Railway began construction of the Oxenton and Tewkesbury railway, providing a link between Stratford and Tewkesbury without having to go through Cheltenham.
This saw the construction of Oxenton station, which had trains to Stratford and occasionally London Paddington through a service nicknamed the 'City of Oxenton Flyer'.
Although Oxenton remained mostly agricultural, quarrying in the hills continued. This resulted in the Oxenton and Alderton Tramway, a narrow-guage railway for transporting stone, which also did some holiday passenger services.
Part of the O&TR is preserved in the heritage Gloucestershire and Warwickshire railway.