Monday, 17 July 2017

Whistle stop tour of Oxford and over 300 photos ...but don't fret ..

... I've not put them all on here!
Thursday last we caught a bus into Oxford

... alighting in St Aldgate's at the Carfax Tower although I've only just found that out - If we'd known then we'd have climbed it to take advantage of the views!
Our first port of call was the Information Office for a map and for some idea of what we could do and see in 3-4 hours.  It was suggested that taking in a couple of free entrance colleges and as Balliol was directly across the road that's where we started.

'Balliol is not only arguably the oldest but arguably the leading intellectual college in Oxford - and therefore in the world ...' (Professor Sir Drummond Bone, Master)
Panorama from the front quadrangle. 

The old common room and the bursar's office have appeared in the Morse series and episode 3 of Lewis was also partly filmed in the college.
The Chapel's interior

This is the third chapel on this site, the first being built in 1328, the second in 1528 which was demolished in 1856.   The current chapel built the following year was designed by William Butterfield who also designed Keble College. The stained glass in mostly 15-16th century.

This wall by the centre quadrangle separates Balliol from its rival Trinity College and there is a disused door somewhere in there with provided access to the shared chemistry lab.

The Sun and Moon dial by  David Harber unveiled in 2009 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of women being admitted to Balliol College has a mirror-written inscription below it which reads 'About Time!' submitted by a female student.
 The dining hall is unusual in that it has an organ.

The hall's walls are hung with portraits of Masters and distinguished alumni including PM's Herbert Asquith, Harold Macmillan and Edward Heath.  Politicians who have studied here are Lord Beveridge, Lord Curzon, Lord Jenkins, Lord Parren and Boris Johnson.

Grotesques adorn the walls representing academic life at Balliol in Medieval times when John de Balliol, a wealthy man with extensive estates in France and England had, in about 1260 a dispute with the Bishop of Durham over territory.  Apparently as penance from the Bishop, Balliol rented a house just outside Oxford town wall and paid for 16 poor scholars to live in it.

When we leave Balliol College we walk
... along Ship Street and Brasenose Lane
 ... towards Radcliffe Square

... to the Radcliffe Camera (room) which was built 1737-1749 by Dr John Radcliffe, Royal Physician.
Unfortunately it's only open for the public by arrangement.
 So instead we entered the Sheldonian Theatre which is the official ceremonial hall of the University of Oxford: the place where students are admitted to the University, where they receive their degree, and the venue for Congregation – the University’s parliament. Our first port of call was the dome for the wonderful views over the roofs of Oxford  ...  click on any photo to enlarge!


 I did try to go from west - east - south - north but not sure if the photo's uploaded in the correct order.
The Sheldonian Theatre where Oxford University students receive their degrees
The ceiling made up of 32 painted panels is the work of Robert Streater (1624-1679) who was Serjeant Painter to the King which was a lucrative position in the British Court giving him the prerogative of painting and gilding of all the King's residences, coaches etc. Streater painted the Sheldonian ceiling panels in London in 1668/9 and represent Truth defending on the Arts and Sciences to expel ignorance from the University.

 It was now time for lunch, passing as we walked (the wrong way as it turned out!)

 Rhodes House built in memory of Cecil Rhodes
 ... and the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory of the Department of Chemistry - what a mouthful that is!

By this time it was nearly 12:30 and we turned back to eventually reach our lunch destination - we've booked an Oxford official guided walking tour for this afternoon ... but that's for next time.

1 comment:

Herbie Neil said...

What a pity we missed you, we've been in Oxford for a few days.
If you are still there on Saturday I can recommend the Museum of the History of Science. They have a guided tour which we were told was 20 mins - it was well over an hour and very interesting with a very enthusiastic guide.
Kath (nb Herbie)