The City Of Oxford


The city of Oxford is situated in the south east of England in the county of Oxfordshire. It has a rich and varied history, and is famous across the world for its university, its dictionary, and its celebrated sons and daughters. These all have to be explored in greater depth to understand just what an important place Oxford is.



The name “Oxford” derives from the term “Oxanforda,” which in olden times referred to a shallow point in a river where cattle, or oxen, could cross. The Cherwell River and the Thames River both run through the city of Oxford. Since it has been founded people from Oxford have been known as Oxonians.

Today Oxford is a vibrant and bustling city with a population of around one hundred and sixty-five thousand people. It has shopping centres, restaurants, and a thriving night life. It is the city's history which it is most famous for, however. Oxonians are very proud, for example, that their city was once the capital of England. King Charles I based his court there during the English Civil War. It was also reported that Hitler planned to make Oxford his capital if he successfully invaded England during World War II.



Oxford holds the honour of having the first museum in the world to be open to the public. The Ashmolean Museum opened in 1683, and exhibited Guy Fawkes' lantern which he used during the night of the gunpowder plot in 1605. Another famous point in Oxford's history was in 1555 and 1556, when three prominent protestants were burnt at the stake for heresy under the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary. A Martyr's Memorial has been erected in their memory, and is a popular tourist attraction.

Another tourist attraction is the famous Oxford University, which is highly regarded as being one of the most prestigious seats of learning in the world. Its origins date back to the end of the twelfth century, making it the oldest university in the English speaking world. The other prominent seat of learning in England, Cambridge University, is the great rival to Oxford. Not many people are aware of the fact, however, that the university was actually founded by Oxford students who were escaping riots there in 1209.

Oxford University has educated no less than twenty-six British Prime Ministers, including Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. Other famous graduates include Sir Walter Raleigh, John Locke, Adam Smith, Oscar Wilde, Michael Palin, T E Lawrence, Sir Roger Bannister, and many more. Sir Roger Bannister was made famous by being the first person ever recorded to run a mile in less than four minutes. He achieved this feat at the Iffley Road sports ground in Oxford in 1954.



The aforementioned list contains some of the many published authors who have been part of Oxford's rich literary history. Aside from being the birthplace of the world famous Oxford English Dictionary which was first published in 1884, Oxford was also home to Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. In fact, the daughter of the Dean at Christ Church College, Oxford, was the inspiration for Alice. Other famous writers to be based in the city include CS Lewis, author of The Chronicles Of Narnia, and JRR Tolkien, author the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

The inhabitants of the city of Oxford can be seen, therefore, to have a lot to be proud of, not least of which is their fascinating history. The thousands of tourists which the city receives each year are a testament to its enduring appeal.


Some Old Post Card Images Of Oxford

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