March 20, 2017

Oxford University Colleges and University Buildings

List of some architecturally elegant buildings in Oxford University Oxford University is made up of more than 30 colleges with every college having its own dining hall, bar and library besides the community group where students could gather and meet up for extracurricular activities. The students could participate in the college activities for self-improvement and development. The colleges are spread over Oxford city and could be accessed by merely walking into the buildings. Many colleges are quite famous over the world for its famed alumni who happen to be prime ministers, writers, statesmen and other intellectuals. The prominent colleges of the University are listed below according to the prominence. Christ Church Christ Church is on St Aldates’s with peaceful river walks following it. The other prominent building in the vicinity is the Bodleian Library which is a marvelous place to study. Founded in 1524 Christ Church is the most famous of Oxford colleges, appearing in television and films. It is the alma mater of Lewis Carroll. Christ Church has a bell in the tower called Great Tom that is rung 101 times at 9 pm. The other famous landmark of the college is Oxford’s cathedral spire that inspires many a student. The Bodleian Library  The Bodleian library buildings are on the guided tours and could be approached through a tour of the place and there is an excellent gift shop tucked in the library. The Bodleian is known locally as ‘The Bod’ and is the epicenter of the vast library network of Oxford. All Souls College The college is a famed institution providing education in the humanities and social and theoretical sciences. It is an epicenter of intellectual and religious activity. The college is commonly known as the ‘College of the souls of all the faithful departed and was built in the 1430s has received its foundation charter in 1438 from King Henry VI. Corpus Christi College Founded in 1517 Corpus Christi College is a vibrant place of study and is an outstanding academic institution. The college is smaller than most other colleges, yet does pioneering study having the tolerant and intellectually stimulating environment. Magdalen College Magdalen College is a prominent place of study and is open to the tourists. The principal areas of the college are the Hall Chapel and Old Kitchen Bar. It had Deer Park which could be viewed from the walks. New College Buildings New College is one of the best-known colleges of Oxford with splendid gardens and having perpendicular style architecture that really stands out in the Oxford University. It was founded by William of Wykeham in 1379 primarily for educating priests and today the college has outgrown into admitting undergraduate and graduate students in nearly every subject. It has a hall, chapel, and gardens that are the best in the area. Trinity College Trinity College was founded as the training facility for priests in the sixteenth century. The lawns of the college cover approximately 2500 square meters and have quadrangle features. It has a specimen of various trees which include two large Atlantic Blue cedars as well as a Catalpa which is considered to be one of the oldest in Oxford. The original chapel of the college was built for the Benedictine Durham College and was dedicated on 27 January 1410. University College University College is outstanding college and has the world-renowned body of academics. It has research facility from languages to as diverse a field as Biochemistry. The tutors are well known and lecturers are outstanding people employed in the college. There is debating society besides Eldon Society that dominates the intellectual growth of the students. The college chapel is in the Front Quad next to the Hall at the heart of the college.
March 20, 2017

Highest tower to climb in Oxford City

Oxford is known as “the city of dreaming spires” and to see the beauty of the dreaming spires climb a tower! Oxford is rightly called the city of dreaming spires as many towers rise in the Oxford city tours suggesting a dreamy academic world where the learning is abreast with imagination. Church towers and college spires add to the milieu of learning in a vibrant mode, here is the world sought on unleashed skies. The towers offer a panoramic view of the Oxford city and surrounding areas from which you get a vantage point to see the spreading city in entirety. Here I seek the privilege to present the rising towers in the city of Oxford.   Carfax Tower I travel to Carfax Tower which is situated at the interaction of four major roads and in all its symbolic glory of imperial England it looks down on the masses as towering as it ever was. The tower tells the telling story of a church that stood here and was called the St Martin church. There is a bell that chimes every quarter as the tower has two “quarter boys “on either side of the bell. There is a way that leads to the top of the tower from where to catch a glimpse of the Oxford city as spread out. It has been a sort of regulation with the authority of the university that the undergraduate student lies within 6 miles from the tower while the graduate student resides within the distance of 25 miles. St Mary’s Church Tower I climb St Mary’s church through all of its 127 steps from where is visible the world at large. Towering over its dominion St Mary’s church offers excellent viewing of High Street, All Souls College, and Radcliffe square. The church of the virgin as it turns out to be is situated on the north side of the high street. This is the nodal point from where the other buildings of the university spread out its tentacles and its parish consists exclusively of the college buildings.   Next on my list is the Saxon Tower of St Michael’s, a historic building almost thousand years old which is located at the North gate. Seeing its historicity it is one of the most significant buildings in Oxford. It once was the part of the old city wall. Climbing it provides me with a good view of the city. The adjoining church, however, was demolished many times over the past and rebuilt again yet the building is a true legacy of Oxford. Tom Tower Tom Tower is an iconic building showcasing the elegant architecture of Oxford city. It was designed by Christopher Wren and stands tall over the Tom Gate of Christ Church. It has a bell that chimes 101 times for all the hundred plus one students it once had thus signifying they are safely home within the environs of the college that is housed nearby. Unfortunately, the tower is out of reach of the public as the people are forbidden to visit it but viewing it from the outside was yet still a marvel.   Magdalen Tower The bell tower of Magdalen College soars high into the sky and is the tallest building in Oxford which could be even spotted from the meadows of Christ Church. The bells of Magdalen Tower are quite famous for the manners in which the bells ring and are quite unique on the account of mathematical patterns that come into play when 10 bells go ringing which shows for English change ringing. Every year on the first of May at around 6 am the choir sings hymns that are endearing to the soul and welcoming May. The tower is closed to the public for viewing.  
March 20, 2017

Oxford’s Most Haunted Sights

Feel the supernatural in ancients sites where members of Oxford University refuse to leave after death. Oxford has many places that send shivers down the spine especially if you happen to visit the places with the idea of finding the truth behind them. There is no denying the fact that Oxford city tours have seemingly pretty places as stacked up as haunting to the core. To deny there is absolutely nothing paranormal about the places is an outright denial of many visitations that have been reported by scores of people with diverse backgrounds. Here I present Oxford’s most daringly haunted sites. White figure reappearing at All Souls College The robed white figure dressed as if a charlatan has been exposed drifts from the rear of a library to the chapel where reaching the point it disappears at all into nothingness. This is a haunting that had origin since the unknown time and continues to this day The Bear Inn ghostly manifestation The Bear Inn is said to be 900 years old and is the most haunted hotel of the entire British Isles. It is said to be there was once Elizabeth Downing and her young son who died in the hotel and now appear to the guests roaming around the hotel corridors. The young son is more active. Lost love at Cumnor Place Robert Dudley was the man Queen Elizabeth 1 loved and his wife Amy Robsart was frustrated with the affair and as she passed away at Cumnor Place under mysterious circumstances, she continues to hover around the place with unfulfilled love for her husband. Heinous Napier at Banbury Road Napier was accused of gory crimes and he was executed with his body having been cut into pieces and scattered all over the place. The ghost of Napier has been spotted at many places around the area where he goes looking for the missing parts of his body. Charles 1 found on the grounds of Christ Church College  Charles 1 has been observed roaming the grounds with head and without a head as if gaining sympathy for the influence he exerted over the academic circles. It is also to be noticed that a former Royalist Commander was executed at the site. The Holt hotel The pretty hotel is a scene of the haunted site with some disreputable highwayman accused of committing many murders is deemed to be appearing in the hotel premises sometimes in the corridors and many times in the rooms of the hotel especially Room no 3 where female guests get wary of the ghost as taking undue advantage.     Pyre of Bishops Supposedly after 1966, there appeared at Broad Street Memorial a pyre in which many bishops were burnt to death for their beliefs and now the pyre continues to keep its phantom date at the site as the shadowy figures lurk around the pyre. Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace the residence of Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill has become the talk of the town as being frequented by a couple of ghosts. The Dean Jones room where Sir Winston Churchill was born is said to be haunted by the ghost of a chaplain who appears in the room at will and in one of Palace’s bedroom around by the fireplace has been found a headed soldier who has scared a lot of witnesses.  Man without a face In the garden near Magdalen bridge has been spotted a misty figure without a head which has reappeared many times since 1947. A man has reported the misty figure approached him and he took to his heels Nuns in a choir singing carols On the first of May at Godstow Nunnery, Wolvercote, nuns singing in a choir could be heard as the phantom voices spread around, there inevitably is the fear of the divine in the area.
March 18, 2017

Oxford Historic Sight Tours

If you want to discover the history of Oxford, the best way is to go for a walking tour around Oxford thus populating your mind with famous people and long lasting old traditions. Indeed it is a way to remember the best academic practices in the history of the planet where the best kept secrets behind the academic walls could be discovered in the matter of few days. So come to one of the most popular walking tour of Oxford, the tour to Oxford University College and the Divinity School. Besides these tours there are other tours including Harry Potter, as made famous by films on the adventures of Harry Potter and filmed on the true locations of Oxford, more to the taste of Inspector Morse and Alice in Wonderland tours, suiting the specialist themed tours thus exploring Oxford’s modern architecture. Few historic places to visit in Oxfords are below: Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace is home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the place where Sir Winston Churchill was born. A true experience of 18th century architecture, the baroque style is worth seeing as it is made prevalent by awe-inspiring designs and patterns and a memorable experience for the visitors. Discover the beauty of this world heritage site. Take a mini train to the Pleasure Gardens to see the breathtaking beauty of natural and man-made maze, butterfly house and adventure playground. So the Britain’s splendid palace has lot to offer in terms of tours, exhibitions and events. The Ashmolean is the museum of art and archaeology of the Oxford University with in depth study of form and shapes as established in 1683. Our out of the world collections include Egyptian mummies besides the traditional contemporary art, telling-tales of human valour and courage from across times and cultures. The Ashmolean collections are rare and time tested diverse representing the world’s great civilizations dating as back to 8000 BC. So the treasure includes Pre-Raphaelite drawings, the Egyptian pre –Dynastic sculpture as existing outside of Cairo and other outstanding Anglo-Saxon treasures. The Ashmolean is a unique teaching and research department of the University of Oxford delving into the art and safekeeping the art history. It reproduces high literature in the fields of art history and archaeology. The Museum is a step in the right direction for cultivating the taste of art in the visitors. With improved design and new display devices the museum is more than ever a befitting place to curate art and art history. Harry Potter filming sites in Oxford Harry Potter fans must note that there is sufficient to see Harry Potter related places outside of London and that they have to spend many hours enjoying the quick trip to Oxford. So they would not find short of filming locations and much needed inspiration for the films. Here is the guide to Harry Potter locations to visit in and around Oxford. Visit The Great Hall at Christ Church College (entry fee will be paid by the visitor) Once in the Great Hall you would be delighted to know that the stairway used to get to the hall is also filmed in the series which includes a small archway where Harry first arrives at Hogwarts. Museum of Natural History The Museum of Natural History is the epic research centre which was used not to film any scenes but show case with the help of research  displaying various ancient artifacts. The Hogwart’s Cloisters Our tours are suitable for all walking abilities covering between 1 to 2 miles and lasting for about 1 and 2 hours. This 2 hour tour is our most popular tour and is an excellent place to start touring Oxford. The guide would lead you through the streets of Oxford, explaining the relevant history and architecture besides the traditions that are followed in imparting education at its best. You need to get inside of Oxford seeing the quadrangle, cloisters and dining hall as you come in direct contact with the University of Oxford’s famous colleges. Your guide will take you to Radcliffe Square which is home to Oxford’s most iconic and stunning buildings, highlighting the expressive facade of Oxford. The tour includes access to the Divinity School which has its ceiling adorned with ‘liner vaulting’ dating back to the 1480’s. DURATION OF THE TOUR: About 2 Hours PRICES of The Tour is Free To Pay As You Like. Tour starting point is outside St Michael Church Entrance Gate on Ship Street opposite Pret A Manger on Ship Street. TIME OF THE TOURS: Tour starting point –  Our tour starts at 11 am, 2 pm and 3.45 pm everyday. Please fill our booking form for more information on where the tour starts from and booking is not essential. Tour starting point – Please meet your tour guide outside No.1 Ship Street Restaurant, Oxford (postcode is OX1 3DA) and join Oxford University Walking Tours.
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