We were given the John LeCarre room, with quite a splendid view of the patio and river.
After getting settled, we took a short walk to Christ Church Meadow, at Christ Church College, which was very close to the hotel. I was sort of smiling when we passed the police station, thinking of my fictional detective buddies!
I loved the metal gates!
And this is what you see when you enter. Isn't it beautiful? The light, just perfect.
And of course, the cathedral in the background.
It was here I finally saw a few reddish fall leaves!
And, some splendid views. That's Old Tom Tower at the top. More on that below!
And beautiful blooms.
Our ultimate destination was the Evensong at Christ Church cathedral. We entered the college through the front gates, face to face with a fountain with the cathedral on the right.
All the colleges have sentries (porters, I think they are) at the gates to make sure you pay your admission and don't wander too much about. But if you go to Evensong, there is no entry. It was a lovely evening and we enjoyed some time in the quad as we ambled toward the church. When you turn back toward the entrance, you see Old Tom Tower, a Christopher Wren structure designed in 1682.
It houses the 6.25 ton "Great Tom" bell, considered the luodest in Oxford and taken from the 12th century Osney Abbey. It is said that the bell tolls 101 times nighly at 9:05 p.m., but I don't remember hearing it! With 101 rings, you'd think I'd remember!
Christ Church College holds among its dignitaries Lewis Carroll, the author of "Alice in Wonderland," was a maths lecturer as well as 13 prime ministers. We didn't see the dining hall but fans of Harry Potter movies have seen it in the films as Hogwarts Hall. (This cute little shop across the street from Christ Church is one of several places where one can find plenty of Alice memorabilia.)
It was such a lovely night, we enjoyed meandering from the gates to the cathedral.
No photos were allowed in the church so I will rely on the ever-popular Wikipedia for the interior. The cathedral itself is rather impressive and I dare say it would have been more so, had we not been to St. George's the day before. It had originally been a priory and location of a nunnery back in the 1100s. Christ Church as known today was originally called Cardinal College and founded by Henry VIII's chief minister, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in 1522. Seven years later, Wolsey fell from power and Henry VIII took it over, giving it its present name.
Those familiar with the work of John Taverner may not know he was organist and choir master in 1526. It is it is considered one of the smallest cathedrals in the Church of England and indeed, many "regular" churches are larger. It was, however, quite lovely.
We made an early night of it, stopping for dinner at a food truck, parked conveniently across the street from the entrance, on the way home. Past the police station and to our room.
And a quiet evening! With a big day coming up!