For our first trip of 2021 we start off in the city of Dreaming Spires – the famous university city of Oxford.

The city revolves around its prestigious university which was established in the 12th century.

The architecture of the 38 colleges in the city’s medieval center led poet Matthew Arnold to nickname it the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’.

But it’s not just scholastic buildings that make the city famous. Below is the Turf Tavern – one of the oldest pubs in the city.

The foundations of The Turf Tavern date back to 1381. Once serving as a malthouse, producing brewing malt for the local beer houses, the site was in use as a cider house by 1775, known as The Spotted Cow.

Turf Tavern is hidden away down a narrow medieval alleyway today known as St Helens Passage, but described in the 1772 Survey of Oxford as ‘Hell’.

Hell Passage in the 19th century was a wretched place, with tightly packed tenement cottages housing poor working families. Below is the alternative route to the tavern via Bath Place.

Below is the beautiful Sheldonian Theatre, built from 1664 to 1669 after a design by Christopher Wren for the University of Oxford.

This beautiful building is part of Trinity College – one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. The college was founded in 1555 by Sir Thomas Pope.

Below is St Mary Magdalen, a Church of England parish church.

A Saxon wooden church originally stood on the site but this church was burnt down in 1074 so Robert D’Oyly, the Norman Constable of Oxford, had single-aisle chapel built to replace it. 

Behind these imposing walls is Balliol college, another of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford.

One of Oxford’s oldest colleges, it was founded around 1263 by John I de Balliol, a landowner from Barnard Castle in County Durham

And this is just some pretty wisteria outside a shop that I enjoyed 🙂

Published by collymarples

World traveller, proud auntie, bit of a liability.

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