Oxford

To take a stroll around Oxford is to immerse yourself in grand ancient history. This wonderful city, often referred to as The City of Dreaming Spires, provides a wealth of architecture and a fascinating past which makes it well worth a visit.

Famous for its University, which records show first existed in the 12th Century, Oxford has been home to Royalty and many renowned scholars.

In this modern day, Oxford provides a unique blend of old and new in a vibrant city that should be on everyone's 'must see' list.

 

Radcliffe Camera  Oxford

The Radcliffe Camera

The magnificent Radcliffe Camera is one of Oxford's most famous landmarks. It was built between 1737 and 1749 from a design by James Gibbs.  It is named after the royal physician Dr Radcliffe who bequest £40,000 towards the building fund.

 

The building originally contained scientific books but now only contains two reading rooms as part of the Bodleian library. Beneath the lawn to the north is an underground book-store, housing some 600,000 books.  Unfortunately it is not open to the general public.

Bodleian Library  Oxford

Bodleian Library

 

The Bodleian Library, founded by Thomas Bodley in 1598, is the main research library of the University of Oxford. Being one of the UK's copyright deposit library's entitles it to receive a free copy of every book published.

 

To provide the vast amounts of storage space required for so many books, underground stores have been developed which are located in 10 buildings throughout Oxford, including the Radcliffe Camera.

 

With over 117 miles of shelves the Bodleian Library is the 2nd largest library in the UK behind the British Library.

Bridge of  Sighs Oxford

Bridge of Sighs

Situated close to the Radcliffe Camera, the Bridge of Sighs is a wonderful structure which provides a link between two buildings of the Hertford College.

 

The bridge was built in 1913 and named after the famous Venice Bridge. However, despite the name, the bridge was actually modeled after Venice’s oldest bridge; The Rialto Bridge.

 

St Marys Church  Oxford

St Mary the Virgin Church

As well as being a parish church, St Mary’s is a university church and is used frequently for university events and services.

 

It is believed that there was always a church on this site dating back to Anglo-Saxon times although the earliest part of the current building is the tower which was erected in 1280.

 

The church tower, built in 1280, is the oldest part of the current building. Open to the public, this superb church tower can be reached after a narrow but rewarding climb of 124 steps. From this elevated central location there are stunning views across Oxford in all directions.

 

http://www.university-church.ox.ac.uk/

River ThamesThe Thames 

The Thames runs from Cricklade Bridge to the open sea over a distance of 211 miles.  It is the United Kingdom’s largest river and has been used for navigation as far back as prehistoric times. The Thames reaches 76 metres (250 feet) as it enters Oxford.

 

http://www.riverthames.co.uk/

 

Martyrs MemorialMartyrs Memorial

This Victorian Gothic memorial, located where Broad Street meets St.Giles, was erected in 1841 to commemorate the deaths of three prominent Protestant church leaders during the reign of St. Mary.

 

Between 1555 and 1556 Bishops Latimer, Ridley and Archbishop Cranmer were burned at the stake. Located just outside Balliol College is an iron cross which can be found on the pavement, this marks the actual site of the burning.

 

If you take a look between the quads of Balliol College, a set of scorched doors can be found hanging there. These doors were burnt by the flames from the pyre.

Carfax tower  Oxford

Carfax Tower

 

The Carfax Tower is all that remains of the Church of St Martin which was demolished in 1896 to widen the road to allow better traffic flow; Carfax is where the four principal roads of Oxford meet.

 

Following the demolition of the original church the 13th Century Carfax Tower was renovated and visitors can now climb the 99 steps to the top of the tower.  Once at the top stunning views can be seen across Oxford

Magdalen  College OxfordMagdalen College

Pronounced "Maudlen", the College of St Mary Magdalen was founded in 1448 for the study of Theology and Philosophy by William of Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester. Magdalen was among the first colleges in Oxford to teach science. The present hall and chapel date from 1483.

 

http://www.magd.ox.ac.uk/

 

Christ Church  OxfordChrist Church

Christ Church was originally founded by Cardinal Wolsey as Cardinal's College in 1524.

 

Sitting right in the heart of Oxford by its Meadow and the Rivers Cherwell and Isis, Christ Church is architecturally stunning. In fact Tom Tower is the college’s most famous feature and an Oxford landmark.

 

Many famous people once studied at Christ Church such as philosopher John Locke, religious leaders John Wesley and William Penn and the writers W.H. Auden and Lewis Carroll. Albert Einstein even studied at Christ Church briefly in the 1930s. Christ Church has produced 13 Prime Ministers.

 

Christ Church today is a busy academic community with many students and the college continues to thrive after 500 years.

 

http://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/

Ashmolean Museum  Oxford

Ashmolean Museum

Its doors opened on 24th May 1683, The Museum of the History of Science houses an unrivalled collection of historic scientific instruments in the world's oldest surviving purpose-built museum building.

 

The most important of the museums belonging to the University of Oxford. The majority of the Ashmolean collection was formed by the 'closet of rarities' assembled by the traveller and gardener John Tradescant (1608-62) and given in 1659 to the antiquary Elias Ashmole (1617-92), who offered it to Oxford University in 1675.

 

The collections of the Ashmolean are large and varied. It is particularly rich in works from the ancient world (including marbles from the collection formed by Thomas Arundel in the 17th century) and in Italian Renaissance paintings. Also outstanding are the collections of coins and of Old Master drawings, the latter including a superlative representation of Michelangelo and Raphael from the collection of Sir Thomas Lawrence.

 

http://www.ashmolean.org/