Friday, March 8, 2019

England: Oxford Calling!

Continuing our journey, we said a fond farewell to Windsor and boarded the train for Oxford, home of some of my favorite characters, Inspector Morse (Endeavour), Inspector Lewis and Sergeant Hathaway! After a too-long walk (given the foot) we ended up at our hotel, Head of the River.


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.

Source: Wikipedia

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!

40 comments:

bobbie said...

O.M.Stars!!! That vaulted ceiling (3rd pic from bottom) is to die for!!!
i can just imagine that you could FEEL the history as you walked around!

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I wish we Americans weren't so quick to tear down old buildings. New is not always better. History matters.

I would have loved to walk the halls where Lewis Carroll walked. I would not have gotten out of that shop with the red door without an 'Alice' what-not or postcard.

Valerie-Jael said...

So glad you enjoyed beautiful Oxford. Have a great weekend, I've got a date with Lewis and Hathaway....Hugs, Valerie

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Wonderful photos from Oxford. Nice view of the river and patio! The cathedral is beautiful. I like the cute shop with the red door. The gardens and fountain are lovely. Happy Friday, enjoy your day! Have a great weekend!

Joyful said...

It looks absolutely beautiful and I'd love to visit some day :-)

ReHiTu.com said...

What a fantastic day!

Pamela said...

How gorgeous! I also thought of Morse and the television detectives when I was there.

William Kendall said...

Beautiful shots!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

It is quite remarkable how Oxford and Cambridge have come to be known the world over as centres of learning and excellence. The City of Oxford ably fits the bill in terms of an English beauty that very much embodies the spirit of learning in a very English way. Some things in this world are immutable it seems and Oxford is one of them - at least what it represents.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous, Jeanie! I think my favorite are the gardens. I wouldn't want to leave!

Thelma said...

Lovely photos and great architecture . I'd love to visit there one day.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I've been a HUGE Morse, Lewis, and Endeavour fan since I first discovered them on PBS. I always wanted to visit where the shows were filmed. This was an incredible post and one I would have loved to have joined you on. Since when do we have mathS instead of math? I have never understood why the Brits put an "S" on the end of the word. I guess I'm confused because I was a MATH major in a previous life.

Poor Hathaway has apparently ended his tour, since he is now Lord Pam (Palmerston)!

Sami said...

Great view from your hotel room Jeanie :)
Love the photos with flowers and the one with the red Autumn leaves.

krishna said...

We took a bus tor around Oxford, didn't get chance to go inside any of the colleges.

DUTA said...

The sight of the Police station made me smile. Even Oxford, the city of learning, cannot give up on what every other city in our time has - police - to assure law and order.

Pam said...

Beautiful...like looking at a different world.

thepaintedapron.com said...

Such beautiful and incredible architecture! I am an armchair traveler and love traveling through my friends! Remind me how long you were gone? You went to so many scenic places! The Alice in Wonderland Shop must have been delightful!
Jenna

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, a wonderful view!
And the statue in the pond!
Oh, we saw "Alice in Wonderland" with our Mum on our last holiday together.
Oh, don´t you hate that policy about no photos without a reason ?
Hmmm, looking forward to a great day-post coming up!

Friko said...

What fun to be visiting the town of Morse. You have reminded me, as soon as I can get away Oxford will be one of the places I must revisit. You seem to have had a splendid trip to England, I am glad to say.

La Table De Nana said...

I like Endeavor too:) Fun to see Oxford..a first cousin.. Jacques..was a Rhodes Scholar and studied there:)Love the light too and that Japanese maple is outstanding..Your view too!!
I don't know why but I feel sacrilegeous taking pics in a church..:)

Miss Val's Creations said...

Oh I'm in love! How beautiful this cathedral is. The English style gardens are so perfect too. The Alice in Wonderland shop must be a treat to wander through.

My name is Erika. said...

That is a gorgeous view from your hotel room! And it looks like y kind of visit. Oh the garden is gorgeous. As well as the building. Hope you don't get stuck traveling in the Sunday morning predicted weather. Hugs-Erika

roughterrain crane said...

I want to get in a Alice shop. Happy Sunday to you.

Regina said...

Oh so very pretty! I wish we can visit someday.

Carola Bartz said...

I love Oxford, it's definitely a favorite place of mine. A great place to stroll around and discover. Evensong is a good time to go into a cathedral, it has its own atmosphere which only contributes to the experience.

NanaDiana said...

You got some fantastic shots there! Oxford really is beautiful. I have never been there but feel like I have armchair traveled there a few times. The inside of that cathedral is gorgeous. xo Diana

Joanne Huffman said...

Oxford is on my list of places to go.

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

I really enjoyed reading about Oxford. Such a beautiful place..Happy Weekend..xxoJudy

Marilyn Miller said...

How fun to be returning to England with you. I loved that Christopher Wren Tower and the small church inside. What a lovely view from your room too. I would have wanted to shop at the shop with all the Alice things. Oxford would be on my list if I ever went back. Thanks for the tour.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie,you really captured how beautiful Oxford must be with its stunning architecture. I am quite sure Oxford would be on my list of must sees on my next visit, and what a lovely view for your room!

Olka said...

Oh, Oxford is so charming :) I really enjoy to loop through the small streets of little English cities :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, your photography is really outstanding! Thank you for taking us on a tour of Oxford.

Sandra said...

Breathtaking.
I love London.

Sara said...

These Pics are wonderfull, enjoy your travel with epa fish oils !

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow! So beautiful! The inside is beautiful but the grounds might be even better. It's so nice to see green grass and flowers blooming - quite the contrast from our current landscape (we got more heavy, wet snow this weekend).

shoreacres said...

Your mention of Taverner brought to mind Tavernier Key in Florida. I wondered if there might be a connection, and there is. The name Tavernier is taken from the old French for'innkeeper,' and Taverner is a variant, also rooted in the Old French. Obviously, all those wonderful taverns you visited are related to John Taverner, too -- at least, etymologically!

Lowcarb team member said...

Such a wonderful selection of photographs, pleased you enjoyed Oxford.

All the best Jan

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chocolate and croissants said...

I initially thought those photos were from the spring and was thinking they do not look very March like for England. Looks like a fun trip.

Mary K. said...

Jeanie that was quite a post. I was impressed with the river but when you went to the churches I was even more impressed. And let's not forget a few musical pieces to round it out. All in all you obviously had a wonderful time in Oxford!

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