The area around Abingdon in Oxfordshire has been a settlement since prehistoric times. The town is sited at a point where the Thames can be forded, making it attractive to successive waves of Roman and Anglo-Saxon settlers. Abingdon's bridges over the Thames and the Ock are listed ancient monuments. Markets were held on a Monday in the town as long ago as 1556 and continue to this day. From the 1930s, MG sports cars were built in Abingdon, until manufacturing came to an end in 1980.
Local attractions include the Abingdon and Pendon Museums and the Unicorn Theatre, based in the picturesque Checker Hall of the Abbey ruins.
Today, about 35,000 people live in and around Abingdon. The area benefits from the presence of high-tech ventures and industries, many sited at the Harwell International Business Centre, part of Oxfordshire's celebrated Science Vale.