Oxford- A City Guide

Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England,
with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). It is home to the
University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking
world. It is known as the “city of dreaming spires”, a term coined by
Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of the
university buildings. The Oxford suburb of Cowley has a long history of
carmaking, and still produces BMW MINIs.

History

Oxford was first occupied in Saxon times, and was initially known as
“Oxenaforda”. It began with the foundations of St Frideswide’s nunnery
in the 8th century. The University of Oxford is first mentioned in 12th
century records. Oxford’s earliest colleges were University College
(1249), Balliol (1263) and Merton (1264).

During the English Civil War, Oxford housed the court of Charles I in
1642, after the king was expelled from London, although there was
strong support in the town for the Parliamentarian cause. In the 19th
century the controversy surrounding the Oxford Movement in the Anglican
Church drew attention to the city as a focus of theological thought.
Oxford’s Town Hall was built by Henry T. Hare, the foundation stone was
laid on 6 July 1893 and opened by the future King Edward VII on 12 May
1897. By the early 20th century Oxford was experiencing rapid
industrial and population growth, with the printing and publishing
industries becoming well established by the 1920s.

Places of InterestsOxford has numerous major tourist attractions, many belonging to the
university and colleges. As well as several famous institutions, the
town centre is home to Carfax Tower and a historical themed ride, The
Oxford Story. In the summer, punting on the Thames (sometimes called
the Isis as it flows through Oxford) and the Cherwell is popular.
Other notable attractions include:
Christ Church Cathedral
The Church of St Mary the Virgin (the University Church)
Martyrs’ Memorial
Ashmolean Museum
Pitt Rivers Museum
Museum of Natural History
Museum of the History of Science
Science Oxford
University buildings
The University Parks
The University Botanic Garden
Cornmarket Street, Oxford
Turl Street, Oxford
Little Clarendon Street
Oxford Covered Market
Westgate Shopping Centre

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