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Tourist Places To Visit In Oxford
Oxford is the crowning glory to the county of Oxfordshire, right from its magnificent architecture to its interesting history, Oxford has been an honorable residence to one of the world’s most reputed and oldest universities – The University of Oxford which is a must-visit, at least once in a lifetime. In addition to its gorgeous scenic views, of all the tourist places to visit here, the beautiful county is also surrounded with opulent marvels and ancient ruins that include the Cotswold Hill in the West with its lovely limestone villages, the Blenheim Palace and rolling chalk hills done up by the River Thames.
The main research library of Oxford University, the Bodleian Library is one of the oldest in Europe, with over 12 million items and is the second largest in the UK. With the objective of providing excellent service in aid of learning, research and teaching initiatives in lieu of the University of Oxford as well as to develop & preserve access to the town’s unique collections for community and scholarship benefits, the Bodleian Library has over 80,000 digital journals and a remarkable collection of rare books, manuscripts, maps, art, music, printed ephemera and classical papyri.
A building of the University of Oxford, Radcliffe Camera’s been designed by James Gibbs and was constructed in 1737-49 in a neoclassical style to house the Radcliffe Library for Science. The structure is one of the earliest examples of a circular library in England, built with 3 main external stages and 2 internal stories, with the upper tier including a gallery. The ground level’s deeply rusticated with a series of 8 pedimented protrusions interchanging with alcoves, while the center stage’s divided in bays by two Corinthian columns that support the endless entablature. The pedimented windows oversee the mezzanine openings that reflect the internal arrangements and the top stage is a metaled dome on an on the 8-sided drum with a banister wall with vases.
The Oxford Castle is a partly ruined and large Normal Medieval Castle on the west side of Central Oxford. The entire scope of the original castle’s somewhat damaged, what with most of its moated wooden bailey & motte replaced in stone in the early part of the 13th century. The remnants of rectangular St George’s Tower are considered to pre-date the castle’s ruins and pose as a watchtower that’s associated with the original Saxon West Gate of the town. To the present day, the ruins of St George’s Tower, the Prison D-Wing, Motte & Bailey Mound and Debtor’s Tower make for the Oxford Castle and Prison Tourist Attractions.
Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Sometimes known as OUMNH or the Oxford University Museum too, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History displays several natural history varieties at the Parks Road Museum and includes a lecture theatre used by the University’s mathematics, chemistry and zoology divisions, with public access only to the adjoining Pitt Rivers Museum. Established in 1850, the University’s Natural Science Honor School had teaching facilities spread across the Oxford city in various colleges as were its anatomical & natural history collections. The collections today are spread over 3 sections, with the Earth Collection covering the mineral, rocks and Palaeontological collections and the Life collections including the archive, entomological and zoological collections.
University Church of St Mary the Virgin
An Oxford Church located on the north side of the High Street and a centre from which the University of Oxford progressive, the University Church of St Mary the Virgin’s parish includes mostly the university and college buildings. With an unusual baroque porch & a spire which is believed to be one of the most beautiful in England, the Church has Radcliffe Square to its north and the Catte Street to its east side. The 13th-century tower’s open for visitors for an entry fee with a captivating view of Oxford.
Oxford Botanic Garden
One of Great Britain’s old botanic gardens and the oldest scientific gardens in the world, the Oxford Botanic Garden was established in 1621 just as a physic garden to grow plants for medicine research and today it consists of over 6000 species of plants spanning over 4 ½ acres and is one of the most distinct yet dense collections in the world that represents over 90% of the higher plant families. A portion of the garden, which is the South West corner is home to a modern medicinal collection of plants with 8 beds each of plants associated to medicine and is used to treat a certain disease or illness. These plants contain different natural ingredients that can be directly appropriate for use as a drug, can serve as a starting point for a drug discovery program or can provide a clinically approved drug by synthetic modifications.
Port Meadow is a large paddock of open common land beside the Thames River, located to the north and west sides of Oxford. The meadow is a historic grazing land which is to date, used for cattle and horses and as popular belief has never been ploughed, for over 4,000 years at least. For this reason, it holds well preserved archeological remains, some of which are residual earthworks, including varied round barrows from the Bronze Age, the foundation of 17th-century citadels from Oxford’s parliamentary siege during the English Civil War and an area of the Iron Age settlement. This ancient meadow by the River Thames is beautiful for watching wild ponies, bird watching, wildflowers and leisurely strolls.
A 12th-century tower that provides gorgeous vistas of the city, the landmark Carfax Tower is a 23m high bell tower and was once part of a 12th-century church. Owned by the Oxford City Council now, a climb to the 74ft high tower will get you an excellent view of Central Oxford and its height is significant to the landmark, for, by law, no other building in the vicinity can be built higher than this. The tower is open for visitors through the year, (albeit for less time in winters) for a small entry fee.
A historic store that sells memorabilia from the classic Alice in Wonderland Book, Alice’s Shop is located at 83, St Aldate’s in Oxford and is a part of a 15th-century stone-built house that was remodeled in the 17th century. Today, it serves as a gift shop with keepsakes and souvenirs.
The Headington Shark
Used as a photo backdrop mostly, the 25ft rooftop shark sculpture by John Buckley, the Headington Shark depicts a large shark embedded in a house’s roof with its head first. An ordinary home built as a semi-detached structure in 1860, the house is now attached by a link to a second house on the Northside. The ‘untitled 1986’ headless sculpture was attached to the house’s gate, constructed on the 41st anniversary of the dropping of Nagasaki Atomic Bomb.