The road runs south–north and then west–east, skirting around the west and north sides of the St John's College playing field. At the eastern end is a junction with Woodstock Road (A4144), a major arterial road out of Oxford to the north. At the southern end is a junction with Frenchay Road. The road continues south as Hayfield Road. To the west is the Oxford Canal.
N. W. Harrison, surveyor to the North Oxford building estate, laid out the road around the west and north side of the cricket ground of St John's College. The houses in Bainton Road were first leased between 1906 and 1931.
Morris Motors made car radiators in a factory on Bainton Road. In September 1925, the MG Cars factory moved from the cramped facilities at Alfred Lane (Pusey Lane off Pusey Street since around 1927) in central Oxford to join the Radiator Branch at Bainton Road, within a partitioned area of the premises. The MG 14/28 car was manufactured at both sites between 1924 and 1927.
The was also based in Bainton Road.
The New Zealand writer, journalist and editor John Mulgan (1911–1945) lived at 5 Bainton Road. The Welsh academic, novelist and critic Raymond Williams (1921–1988) bought 47 Bainton Road from a colleague in 1960. The physicist, philosopher and author Danah Zohar has lived at 57 Bainton Road.
- Hinchcliffe, Tanis (1992). North Oxford. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. pp. 86, 187, 216. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
- "Bainton Road". Kelly's Directory of Oxford (68th ed.). Kelly's Directories. 1976. p. 267.
- McComb, F. Wilson (2004). MG by McComb (5th ed.). MotorBooks International. p. 46. ISBN 978-0760319895.
- "Streets with changed names". Oxford Streets. Oxford History. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- Jenkinson, Andrew (2003). Caravans: The Illustrated History 1919–1959. Veloce Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-1903706824.
- O'Sullivan, Vincent (2011). Long Journey to the Border: A Life of John Mulgan (2nd ed.). Bridget Williams Books. p. 158. ISBN 978-1927131329.
- Inglis, Fred (1998). Raymond Williams. Routledge. p. 152. ISBN 978-0203979853.
- Hameroff, Stuart R.; Kaszniak, Alfred W.; Scott, Alwyn C., eds. (1996). Toward a Science of Consciousness: The First Tucson Discussions and Debates. MIT Press. p. 758. ISBN 978-0262082495.