Oxford City Visitors Guide to tourism in Oxford, England.

Oxford Tourist Information for planning your trip to visit Oxford City & University of Oxford.

Bridge of Sighs and Carfax Tower in Oxford City Centre

Dear Visitor, Hertford Bridge or the Bridge of Sighs is a known and famous place to almost all, as it taken as misapprehension that it bear a resemblance to the bridge of the same name in Venice. However it may seem strange but it more closely resembles the nearby and Rialto Bridge in construction. Hertford Bridge was built by Sir Thomas Jackson in the year 1913-14 to link the two parts of Hertford College. It is said that, due to bridge in place, Hertford students became hefty and large among the students in the Oxford and as a result the authorities closed the bridge in order to give students some more exercise. It is an exclusive landmark in the Oxford city at Broad Street, over the New College Lane. Today it might be a dead end but in 1965 it appeared that this was a main access route since the bus carrying a young Morse passes under the bridge at the beginning of Endeavour: First Bus to Woodstock. The keen observer will also be able to spot this location in the background in any number of the other Inspector Morse and Lewis episodes most notably the Dead of Jericho. The Last bus to Woodstock, Death is now my Neighbor, Lewis; Generation of Vipers and no less than three times in Lewis: The Indelible Stain, while the college was featured in the Last Bus to Woodstock, The Ghost in the Machine, Dead on Time and Lewis: The Great and the Good.

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Carfax is the bygone heart of Oxford city where the four roads from the North, South, West and East gates of the city intersect. It was the zenith of the old city and it derives its name from the Latin quadrifurcus meaning four forked. In the 13th century cattle were slaughtered here and in the year 1610 the Carfax Conduit was upraised to receive piped spring water from Hinksey Hill. Due to the Oxford Mileways Act of 1771, it was removed to Nuneham Park in 1789. It resulted in street widening and other improvements. Other features of Carfax were the City Church of St. Martin, the Synndal Tavern, Butter Bench and penniless bench. It was the semi-official meeting place of the City Council where members would gather at the ringing of the bell of St. Martin’s and waits until the coming of the Mayor. In the year 1789, Penniless Bench was removed and the tower of St. Martin’s was knocked down due to further street widening under the Oxford Corporation Act of 1890. The tower was restored in the year 1897 and currently it is an excellent place to view the entire city. There is 17th century clock with the replicas of the two quarter boys, they are the figures of men holding clubs in peculiar Roman costumes with gold helmets. In the year 1898, it was moved to the east side of the tower and fitted with the two quarter jack bells and below is the city’s motto Fortis est Veritas which means truth is strong.

 

It was featured in The Secret of Annexe 3 Margaret Bowman visits Carfax tower with unknown intentions and remembers a scare at a school visit to Snowdon before realizing the tower is shut for the winter months. In the meantime in Death is now my Neighbor, Inspector Morse catches a bus to Carfax to get a haircut and to show his barber a photograph that is important to the case. It appears on film in The Last Enemy as Morse discards his newspaper as he passes the tower on his way to Beaumont College.

 

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