Oxford Official Walking Tours
Basking in the sunlight of Oxford City centre, we began our 2-hour walking tour around the historical sites of Oxford University. Walking down Broad Street, our first stop was the Sheldonian Theatre, which is famous for being the official Ceremonial Hall of the University, annually hosting Encaenia and acting as the venue for the University’s Congregation. The ‘D’-shaped design of the theatre closely mimics that of traditional Roman Amphitheatres and this makes for a striking design which stands out against the more regimented architecture surrounding it. Passing into the Old Schools Quadrangle directly behind the Theatre, we were next shown into the Divinity School. The Divinity School, often featured in films such as Harry Potter, is the ground floor level to the Duke Humfrey’s Library. With a ceiling featuring over 450 bosses, the complex design truly reflects the importance of the building at the time it was commissioned.
Following on the theme of Oxford’s Libraries, we left the Divinity School to come into view of the Radcliffe Camera – this Palladian Style library acts as a reading room for the Bodleian which requires a University membership to enter. However, even from the outside alone, this 18th century building portrays its prestige through its magnificent architecture and its positioning right in the heart of the city, standing directly in the shadow of St. Mary’s Church. This church was the first building of the University and it was from this central point that the University grew as new colleges were built around it. As a result, the 13th century tower provides spectacular views of the heart of the city.
We rounded off the tour by taking a look into one of Oxford University’s oldest colleges, Corpus Christi. At just over 300 students, this college is one of Oxford’s smallest, however, with its traditions ranging from bee-keeping to tortoise racing, it could be seen as one of the most interesting and with its acres of fields rolling out the back, you could feel a million miles from the bustling city life just a few minutes walk away.
I thoroughly enjoyed, and would recommend, the tour which can be booked through Experience Oxfordshire and don’t forget you can receive a 10% discount on University gifts and clothing in the University of Oxford Shop with your eTicket!
*Click on the above photo to reveal my gallery of the tour*
Written by Hermione Hill, work experience student, July 2018