A City of Culture & Inspiration
If there is a city in England that can rival the Capital in regards to progress and value of life, that would be no other than Oxford. Except for being home to one of the most prestigious Universities in the world, the city is a center of culture and a source of inspiration. In the poem
Thyrsis, written by the Victorian poet Matthew Arnold in December 1865 Oxford is called
the city of dreaming spires. Actually, the poem is written to commemorate the poet Arthur Hugh Clough, who died very young but nowadays it is so well-known because of its depiction of the city.
Centuries later, this graceful portrayal of Oxford was memorized in a song as well. If you have never heard of
Itchycoo Park performed by Small Faces, now is the time to do it:
Why is Oxford Such a Household Name?
To give you a proper description of the city, we’re about to leave out of the following list not only the University of Oxford but all its properties as well, including
The Eagle and Child
But still, Oxford is so much more…
One of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature, the Irish poet William Butler Yeats once famously said:
I wonder (how) anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking.
Probably the only way to truly understand what all the buzz surrounding Oxford is about, is simply to visit the city (and we’re more than sure that Oxfordians will agree with us on this one). Still if not, we’re here to summarize the tremendous experience, which this unique place offers, for you.
- Let’s start with a drink – a pint of beer to be precise, because the history of brewing in Oxford dates for centuries ago. In the 16th century, brewing and malting were the most popular trades in the city. Even several of the colleges had private breweries, one of which, at Brasenose, survived until 1889. And there’s more - since 1617, breaches of etiquette at Oxford University have been punished by making the offender drink up to four pints of beer in one go.
- Welcome to England’s Forgotten Capital - During the English Civil War Oxford served as the capital of King Charles I, while the parliamentarian forces lead by Oliver Cromwell controlled London.
- Oxford has been depicted as a capital city many times through the years. According to researchers at Oxford’s Bodleian Library, Adolph Hitler also had in mind to turn Oxford in a metropolis. The Führer of Germany had a plan to invade the United Kingdom and his strong intention was to make Oxford the centre of his new kingdom. Probably this is the exact reason why Oxford was spared from bombing during the Second World War.
- Oxford is a great place to become an author - The city has more published authors per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Famous authors tied to Oxford include Percy Shelley, Oscar Wilde, JRR Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Jonathan Swift, CS Lewis, Mark Haddon, and Harper Lee – just to name a few.
- You should definitely spare at least an hour of your precious time to visit the Oxford Castle & Prison, which explores almost 1000-years of Oxford's History. The castle was built in 1071 and served as a court and gaol for centuries (until 1770). Then, things changed and for a long period of time, the site was used as a prison (closed not so long ago - in 1996). Nowadays the contradictory but glamorous location is open for visitors.
Untitled 1986 AKA The Headington Shark
The chances are that you’ve heard about The Shark House and the controversy surrounding this extraordinary house for decades. If not, you should definitely go and see the 25-foot (or 7.5 meters) long headless shark protruding from the roof of writer’s Bill Heine home (or the man who used to run both the Penultimate Picture Palace cinema in East Oxford and the (Not) Moulin Rouge Cinema in Headington). His death earlier this year will forever leave an unfilled gap in the history of Radio Oxford.
But for now, let’s focus on the redoubtable chisel. It was made of painted fibreglass by the sculptor John Buckley in 1986 (just how its original name points).
Actually, The Shark perpetually appearing as though it had just crashed into the house from the sky is not just some eccentric fad. The sculpture was erected on the 41st anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and somehow offers a comment on the Cold War Politics, and as a protest against the American bombing of Libya, as well.
Bill Heine said that: “The shark was to express someone feeling totally impotent and ripping a hole in their roof out of a sense of impotence and anger and desperation… It is saying something about CND, nuclear, power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki”.
You can find the controversial local landmark just east of Oxford, in the suburb of Headington at 2 New High Street.
Interesting Architectural Features
- As you walk around the Colleges, be sure to look up once in a while. There are gargoyles all over the Oxford buildings - some of the creatures come in the shape of faces, some look like animals, and some even depict people.
At the bottom of the stairs in the Great Hall at Christ Church, you can see the words
no peelburned into a door. This sort of graffiti dates back to the 17th century. It is, in fact, the oldest form of graffiti on record and was made as a protest against the Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel who was in office from 30 August 1841 to 29 June 1846.
- The Chapel in The New College (famous for its stunning garden with the original city wall running around its boundaries) is the home to some incredible art, including a two-meter high sculpture of Lazarus, sculpted by Jacob Epstein, and an original El Greco. And did you know that the choir at The New College has won two Grammy awards?! Sounds quite impressive, doesn’t it.
Oxford’s Botanic Garden was founded in 1621, which makes it the oldest in the whole world. The 6000 sorts of various plant species cover 4,5 acres of land to create a rich biodiversity like no other.
- Sixty years later (in 1683) The Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum on Beaumont Street opened its doors for the first time. This makes it the world's first university museum, and Britain’s oldest public museum. Today, the museum houses an extensive collection of items with artistic and archaeological significance. Here you can see biblical manuscripts, drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo, watercolours by Turner, Stradivari’s violin, the lantern that Guy Fawkes had when he was arrested for his part in the Gunpowder Plot on 5th November, the chalkboard that Albert Einstein wrote on his famous E=MC*2 equation, and so much more. Plus did we mentioned that the admission is totally free?!
Blackwell’s Bookshop is the largest bookshop in the entire world. It was built in 1879 and within it, there are 3 miles of shelving and more than 150,000 books. Yet, next door is the Bodleian Library which stores all of the University’s books or over 7 million editions.
Are you a Coffee addict, because Oxford is a pioneer in this field as well? The first ever coffee house in England was in Oxford and the first ever cups of coffee in the kingdom were served in The Grand Café in Oxford.
Landmarks You Shouldn't Overlook
- The art gallery - Modern Art Oxford (previously called The Museum of Modern Art, Oxford) was established in the city in 1965. Its reputation reaches far beyond the borders of Oxford and even the UK. The exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, presented by the gallery are internationally valued for their quality and excellence. The gallery is primarily funded by Arts Council England, that’s why all exhibitions and many events, activities and workshops are free for all visitors.
- Carfax Tower - Unfortunately, The Carfax Tower is all that remained of the 12th century St. Martin's Church. The tower is 74 feet (or 23m) tall and no building in central Oxford is allowed to be constructed higher than it. That’s more than a good reason why you absolutely should climb the 99 steps to the top of the tower and open your eyes for the most magnificent view of the city in the whole of Oxford. St Martin's Tower still has a ring of six bells (the original ones were rung by Richard Keene of Woodstock in the 17th century). You can hear them on special occasions by the Oxford Society of Change Ringers (not be confused with the Oxford University Society of Change Ringers).
- The home of the
Bullnose- The Morris Motor Company was started in Oxford in 1910 when bicycle manufacturer William Morris turned his attention to car manufacturing and began to plan a new light car. A factory was opened in 1913 and the company’s first car, the 2-seater Morris Oxford “Bullnose” was introduced to the public.
ctually, there’s a lot more to explore in the neighbourhood – so if you don’t want to miss a thing, stop for a chat at the Museum of Oxford.
Cleanliness for the Sake of the Residents
As an expanding company, Royal Cleanings couldn’t overlook one of the most famous cities in Britain, which is why we’ve established an office in the district. We can assure you that no matter how bad a property in Oxford may look, our end of tenancy cleaning teams can make it shine again. First impressions are without a doubt extremely important and we at Royal Cleaning understand that. This is the reason why our end of tenancy cleaning Oxford service exists in the first place.
If you’re a tenant, you should know that there may be a number of reasons why your landlord won't like to give your security deposit back, but a property that hasn't been cleaned is on the top of the list. We guarantee perfection, because our end of tenancy cleaning in Oxford is tailored around the requirements of both the landlords and the estate agents.
At Royal Cleaning we work only with insured cleaning specialists with proven experience in the field and carefully pick our colleges because we aim to provide nothing less but the best services possible. Every one of them has been carefully vetted by our HR team and is CRB checked, so there aren't any questions whether you can trust them with your home or not. We know that our cleaners are the face of our company, that’s why our positions are open only for the most excellent ones.
At Royal Cleaning we don’t make compromises and use cleaning products of the best possible quality. We work with the newest cleaning machines on the market and are eager to perfect ourselves every day. Long story short, if high quality and professionalism on competitive, affordable prices are what you are looking for, don’t hesitate to reach us today by calling our toll-free number - 01865 570870 or leaving us a message. Our customer care team is here for you 7 days a week and is ready to answer any questions regarding the end of tenancy cleaning we offer in Oxford.
We offer you more than a service but a chance to help out your local Oxford community. By choosing a local Oxford company, you’ll help out the economy of the town and stimulate its growth. We name ourselves Royal Cleaning because our cleaning services are Royal class indeed and our reviews and Excellent rate can prove it.