Oxford City Visitors Guide to tourism in Oxford, England.

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

Excursion from St. Peter’s church to All Souls College

Dear Visitor, Oxford is a city that should be seen with ample of time, patience and leisure. This city holds a treasure of history, legends, architecture, gardens, colleges, churches and landscapes.  I will suggest you to take time to admire the beauty of the city through Oxford Tours. For a stroll from St. Peter’s church to All Souls College, you can start follow New College Lane round to the right. On your left you will see St. Peter in the East Church. It dates to the time before travel insurance, when travelers prayed to be spared from highwaymen and diseases as they leave the city and praised the Lord on the way back home safely through the city gates, particularly the East Gate. From the gate, the Hotel Eastgate takes its name as it was nearby this. The church has a 12th century tomb and the rest of the building is used as the library of St. Edmund Hall. While passing through you can have a good look at the series of carvings dating from the restoration of the church in the 1960s. If you enter the college you will find a carvings including one of the chaplain and his pet Labrador.

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You can stop at the metal gate at the end of the wall to your left, you will see the cemetery and a large bronze by sculptor Rodney Munday of the founder, St. Edmund of Abingdon, seated and reading a book. Over the main entrance you will find the college crest and another chronogram giving the date of the canonization of the founder. This is the college of broadcaster Sir Robin Day and if you go into the front quad, you will see an entertaining carving of him on the right hand wall. Regardless of being one of the early halls of the University, ‘teddy’ hall became a full college until 1957.

 

Continue your walk until you reach the High Street and opposite you will notice the plaque to Sarah Cooper of marmalade fame. Now turn left to face the impressive building of the Examination School. It is designed by T.G Jackson at the end of the 19th century. This is where the students of Oxford University, dressed black and white uniforms take their exams in two huge halls on the first floor, known as the North School and the South School. There are also numbers of lecture rooms used throughout the year. During the two world wars, the building was used as military hospital. You will notice the reliefs over the entrance featuring a viva voce exam and a Masters of Arts degree ceremony.

 

As you cross the High Street, stopping opposite to the cupola of Queen’s College. The founder was chaplain to Queen Phillipa of Hainault, the wife of Edward III. However, the Queen under the cupola is Queen Caroline, consort of George II, the college’s patroness. She gave 2,000 pounds towards rebuilding the college in the 18th century. Since the 15th century the college has admired greatly two special annual dinners: The Needle and Thread Dinner and the Boar’s Head Dinner, so called after an incident involving the Queen’s student in Shotover Park who was a attacked by a wild boar but he defended ably by thrusting a copy of Aristotle down the Boar’s throat. Diners are summoned with trumpet blasts. The college’s famous alumni include Rowan Atkinson ‘Mr. Bean’ and Sir Tim Berners Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.

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Now continue the walk along the High Street, you will see University College to your left. It is the oldest foundation in the university dating back to 1249. It houses the Shelley Memorial under the dome, despite having famously expelled Shelly in the year 1811 for publishing a pamphlet entitled ‘On the Necessity of Atheism’. The college has famous alumni that include royal physician Dr. John Radcliffe, scientist Stephan Hawking and Bill Clinton.

 

Take a walk to All Souls College. It was founded in 1438 as both a college and a chantry, where ‘All Souls of the Faithful Departed’. It was mainly prayed for those killed during the 100 years of war with France. Over the entrance you can see the founder, Archbishop Chichele, on one side and Henry VI on the other, surmounted by the souls rising to heaven. The former fellows of the college include architect Sir Christopher Wren, Lawrence of Arabia and philosopher Isaiah Berlin. This is where your stroll ends. At the end you can halt for refreshments at Crypt Cafe.

 

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