Itinerary for an Architecture Tour


On arriving in Oxford the city of dreaming spires there are many architectural wonders to see. We have listed many of the older building below.

For those also interested in modern architecture head to the Said Business School. A copper clad ziggurat, it is a building that performs the trick of appearing to be brand new and yet still rooted in history. Also close by is Keble College and its award winning Sloane Robinson Building, which has many features to minimise environmental impact worth a visit just to see the amazing brickwork.



The Bodleian Library

.The Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford. It is also a copyright deposit library and its collections are used by scholars from around the world. But what is perhaps most spectacular is the stunning architecture that hides the vast underground caverns of literature it has to be seen to be believed. The library is a truly unique example of Oxford architecture.

Tour Facts
The Library's fine architecture has made it a favourite location for filmmakers. It can be seen in the TV series Brideshead Revisited, Another Country (1984), The Madness of King George III (1994), and the first two Harry Potter films, in which the Divinity School doubles as the Hogwarts hospital wing and Duke Humphrey's Library as the Hogwarts library. [19] In The New World (2005) the libraries' edifice is portrayed as the entrace to the Royal Court of the English monarchy.

Opening Times
Please see the website for details

Contact Details
Tel: 01865 277180 Fax: 01865 277105 Email: admissions@bodley.ox.ac.uk.

Address
Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

Website
The Bodleian Library


The Sheldonian Theatre

.The Sheldonian Theatre

The Sheldonian Theatre was erected in 1664-8 to a design by Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) from funds donated by Gilbert Sheldon (1598-1677), who during his long career held office as Warden of All Souls Bishop of London and Archbishop of Canterbury and was elected as Chancellor of the University of Oxford. In 1994 the Theatre was described by the European Commission as one of the architectural jewels of Oxford. Its purpose was to provide an appropriate secular venue for the principal meetings and public ceremonies of the University, and this remains its purpose today.

Tour Facts
Sheldonian Theatre was Wren's second work, and was commissioned by John Fell, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, in late 1663. With the triumph of the Restoration and with it the Church of England, Dean Fell sought to revive a project proposed in the 1630s by the late William Laud Archbishop of Canterbury: a separate building whose sole use would be graduation and degree ceremonies. Nothing is known for sure of Wren's first design(s) for the Sheldonian since the initial ideas were quickly wrecked on the shoals of financial reality. But the finished building was a sharp, unmistakable break from the Gothic past. Wren designed the Sheldonian based on Serlio's engraving of the D-shaped Theatre of Marcellus in Rome in the first century BC.

Opening Times
Monday to Saturday 10.00 to 12.30 hrs 14.00 to 16.30 hrs March to October 14.00 to 15.30 hrs November to February (Opening hours will be curtailed when the theatre is in use for University Ceremonies, meetings or concerts)

Contact Details
Tel: (01865) 277299 Fax: (01865) 277295 Email: custodian@sheldon.ox.ac.uk

Address
University of Oxford, Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3AZ

Website
The Sheldonian Theatre


The Ashmoleum Museum

.The Ashmoleum Museum

The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology is a museum of the University of Oxford. Founded in 1683 it is one of the oldest public museums in the world and an example of the fine architecture one can see in this University city. Exhibitions change from season to season but you can be sure of learning something new with each visit.

You can currently enjoy the following exhibitions:

Treasures of the Ashmolean - an exhibition of over 200 of the museums finest objects displayed together in one room.

Chinese prints 1950-2006 - an exhibition reflecting the momentous changes in the Peoples republic of China over the last 50 years.

Plus family activities, lunch time talks and special events organised throughout the year.

Tour Facts
The present building dates from 1845. It was designed by Charles Cockerell in a classical style and stands on Beaumont Street. One wing of the building is occupied by the Taylor Institution, the modern languages faculty of the university. The main museum contains the original collections of Elias Ashmole and John Tradescant (father and son), as well as huge collections of archaeology specimens and fine art. It has one of the best collections of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, majolica pottery and English silver.

Opening Times
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm Sunday 12pm to 5pm Bank holidays: 10am to 5pm Closed: Monday Easter Opening: 6, 7, April 10am to 5pm 8 April 12pm to 5pm 9 April 10am to 5pm Closes for the St Giles Fair: 2 to 4 September 2007 Admission free.

Contact Details
Tel: (01865) 278000 Fax: (01865) 278018

Address
Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2PH

Cost
Free

Website
The Ashmoleum Museum


Balliol College

.Balliol College

Balliol College has a strong academic reputation and has a legitimate claim to being the oldest college at Oxford University, founded in 1263. Balliol is a college in high demand, receiving the most applications by undergraduate and graduate students alike, as well as a higher than average mix of international students. Traditionally, the undergraduates are the most politically active of all the colleges. Perhaps the most endearing aspect of the Balliol was its devotion to the college tortoise, called Rosa, after the German Marxist Rosa Luxembourg. Sadly Rosa has not been seen for about 2 years, and it looks like her long life may have come to a peaceful end.

Interesting Facts
The lawn in the front quadrangle is a perfect elipse.

Tour Facts
J.R.R Tolkien was one of Balliol's most famous students. The oldest parts of the College are the north and west ranges of the front quadrangle, dated to 1431, respectively the medieval Hall, west side, now the 'new library' and the 'old library' first floor north side. This means that Balliol's second library predates printed books. There is a possibility that the original Master's Chamber, south west side, adorned with a fine oriel window is earlier than these; it is now the Master's Dining Room. In the Garden Quadrangle, the 'new' Hall (replacing that in the front quadrangle) is built on land given by Benjamin Jowett, a Victorian Master of the College. Also by Alfred Waterhouse of 1877, it contains a Willis organ for concerts, again instituted by Jowett. The ground floor contains the college bar and shop ie 'The Buttery' (west side) and the Senior Common Room lunch room (east side). The 1966 new Senior Common Room range (Stc XXIII)(northern and eastern sides) was a benefaction of the Bernard Sunley Foundation and contains some smaller rooms and the principal SCR lounge, replacing Victorian facilities. Below this is a Lecture Room. The east side of the quad is a neighbouring wall with Trinity College, at the southern end is the Master's Garden, in front of the Chapel, and the Fellow's Garden in front of the 'Old' (Senior) Common Room.

Opening Times
Open all year except for Mondays and between Christmas and New Year. Daily 2pm-5pm. Maximum 12 people in a group.

Contact Details
Tel: 01865 277777

Address
Balliol College, Oxford, OX1 3BJ

Cost
£1

Website
Balliol College


Christ Church

.Christ Church

One of the more attractive Oxford colleges, boasting some truly stunning works of architecture. The college was also the location for the Harry Potter films, a must see for all Harry Potter fans, and home to author Lewis Caroll in his student days. Christ Church, founded in 1546, appears to be one of the more aristocratic colleges, producing thirteen British Prime Ministers, more than any other college in Oxford or Cambridge college. Christ Church is also the only college in England that is also a cathedral, which also boasts the world famous Christ Church choir.

Opening Times
Every day except Christmas Day, Mon to Sat 9am to 5.30pm, Sun 1pm to 5.30pm Last admittance 4.30 Christ Church Cathedral closes at 5pm, for special services see church website. Large parties may be split. Advanced booking is not required, except for special behind the scenes tours, for which an additional fee is payable.

Address
St Aldates, OX1 1DP

Cost
4.50 adult, 3.50 seniors, student, children

Website
Christ Church


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  Oxford Events


The Blenheim Palace Festival of Transport
(Mon 28th Aug, 2017)

This year all the vehicle shows will be held across the August Bank Holiday weekend creating the ultimate 'Festival of Transport'


St Giles Fair at St Giles
(Sat 02nd Sep, 2017)

The fair comes to St Giles for two days, lots of stalls and fair ground rides.


Oxford Open Doors
(Sun 10th Sep, 2017)

Oxford opens its doors for free! Over 150 venues and events for visitors including colleges and museums.