Monday, April 16, 2007

Oxford - 15 April 2007

The Bridge of SighsOur two previous visits to Oxford have been on grey and misty days, so it was a real treat to see Oxford on a glorious, unseasonably warm, spring day.

Merton College10 a.m. on a Sunday morning is a very peaceful time to start a walk around Oxford. We started with a free visit to Merton College then had a look around the recently revamped jail and castle complex.

Brasenose CollegeBy then our two hours free parking were up, so it was time to move on and play 'musical carparks’. We were fortunate to find another park on the other side of Oxford, and as it was Sunday we were entitled to another 2 free hours.

New CollegeWe used the time to visit New College and Trinity College. New College is, of course, anything but new. Its great hall is one of the oldest in Oxford and the front gate we entered through was hung 200 years before Columbus discovered America! Our return route to the car was via the Christ Church College meadows.

Trinity CollegeNear Oxford is Rycote Chapel, one of the best-preserved chapels in Britain. It is unusual in that it was competed in one style and the structure has remained unchanged since being constructed in the 15th century and also it was not destroyed or defaced by Cromwell’s troops.

Rycote ChapelInside it was modified to make a special covered pew for King Charles I, again very rare in the UK. Queen Elizabeth I also visited six times during her reign, as well as once when before becoming Queen when she was a prisoner of Mary and being held in custody in Woodstock.

Rycote ChapelThe yew outside the church is reported to have been planted in 1137 but they can’t locate the gardener who planted it to confirm the date.

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