Oxford Day 1-Following the Leader

I am travelling to Oxford today with my friend Jess and I am very excited for my first visit. Jess’s boyfriend lives in Oxford and is going to be our tour guide for the day. I am looking forward to seeing a new city, spending time with friends and being shown around by a local.

Freddie turned out to be an excellent tour guide, he had an itinerary planned including notes full of interesting facts for us. After dropping my stuff at my hotel on Broad Street we began our tour.

Clarendon building
Blackwells Bookshop. The Norrington room features over 150,000 books, it also holds the Guinness world record for the most books on sale in one room.

Opposite the bookshop is the Sheldonian Theatre which is one of the three buildings on my list from my book of 1001 buildings… The Sheldonian Theatre was Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and compleated in 1669. The Sheldonian Theatre was built for the university next to the famous Bodleian library. Unfortunately, like most buildings at the moment the Sheldonian Theatre is currently closed.

Hertford Bridge, more commonly known as the Bridge of Sighs because of its likeness to the Venice bridge (but actually looks more like the Rialto Bridge in my opinion).

Just a short walk around the corner is where we found building no.2…The Radcliffe camera, designed by James Gibbs. Contrary to its name the building is a reading room (the word camera means room in Latin) now belonging to the Bodleian Library. Also closed at the moment but I will be back. There is a 90 minute tour of the Bodleian Library and that is the only opportunity to go inside the Radcliffe Camera.

The beautiful Radcliffe Square. The Radcliffe Camera on the right with the University Church of St Mary the Virgin behind it. Radcliffe square and the Radcliffe Camera were named after John Radcliffe, a Doctor from Oxford whose estate funded the building of the Radcliffe Camera.

Built in 1071-73 the tower pictured above is the only part of the original building remaining.

This tower opposite the Castle is part of Nuffield College founded by William Morris (designer and creator of the Morris Minor, also Lord Nuffield). Investments into care homes made by BUPA (whose president was William Morris) lead to the Nuffield trust. (Morris suggested that his title ‘Nuffield’ would make a better name for the trust. Over the years, since 1957 they acquired hospitals and wellbeing centres and became the charity what we know and love today as Nuffield Health.

This wonderful roof detail (pictured on right) caught my eye as we walked up this Street. We then walked past the famous Ashmolean Museum, undoubtedly one of the most striking buildings of the city

With so much detail and so many angles to this building it was difficult to stop taking pictures.

Strange picture, I know. But I was fascinated by the gold grouting effect on this brick work!

The last stop of the day was to a much more contemporary building. The blavatnik building is a world apart from anything else that I have seen today! I really like it! I like the dimensions of the building, the way it jutts out at the sides making this building very dramatic. Designed by Herzog & De Meuron.

Next door to the Blavatnik building this building stands out so much more than it may in different surroundings!
Beautiful Church Hall. There are are a few different styles going here, this building is so cute.

Below is the Martyrs memorial, designed by Giles Gilbert Scott. I have seen this monument a few times already today whilst walking but I thought it was important to include the two photos below together. The memorial (left) commemorates three bishops that were burned at the stake for their religious beliefs. The picture on the right shows the bricked cross on Broad Street that marks the site that they were burned at the stake. Just another fascinating story that I have learned about today in Oxford, and today is only day 1.

Well that’s it for today! Now time for a rest and dinner this evening.

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