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Step into Oxford May Walk

Recently the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Mr. James Macnamara, Stepped into Oxford to join a group of Oxfordshire residents on a tour of Magdalen College. Step into Oxford is a venture started by a previous High Sheriff, Amanda Ponsonby, who was keen to find events suitable for older people as some were experiencing increased isolation and loneliness due to the Covid pandemic. The Oxford Guild

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Chaucer and Oxford

There’s a stunning exhibition currently on in the Weston Library on 'Chaucer, Then and Now'. Among the books and other objects displayed are the oldest extant manuscript of 'The Canterbury Tales', some beautifully illuminated versions, one showing a man writing who may be Chaucer himself, and representations of the 'Tales' from different periods, different countries and even in different media. Chaucer is particularly famous for

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The Man who created Narnia

On 22nd November 1963 headlines around the world reported events in Dallas, Texas. President John F Kennedy had just been shot as he rode in a motorcade through the city. A few hours earlier, in a house just outside Oxford, a 64-year-old professor of English Literature breathed his last, his death and that of Aldous Huxley the same day overshadowed by the events in the

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Her Rightful Place?

5th November 2023 saw the removal of some of the most iconic figures of Oxford’s architecture. Most of the Muses who stand aloft the Clarendon Building in Broad Street were removed by crane for restoration. Originally “The Printing House”, as it was known, the Clarendon Building was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and completed in 1715. Since 1832, just after the Printer – The Oxford University

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Oxford: City of Pun(t)s.

Oxford is famous for punting, but it is also renowned for its wordplay and puns (well, it is the home of the Oxford English Dictionary). Countless lexicon-loving academics have shown their delight in double meanings and the sheer joy of mucking about with words. Ox Origins Oxford’s coat of arms is a pun on the origins of the city’s name. A ford on the river

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Oxford's Place in Medical History

Ever since Oxford scientist Robert Hooke looked down his microscope and identified the first living cell, his scientific descendants have been studying tiny but important things. They have also been creating them. Most recently, Prof Sarah Gilbert and Prof Adrian Hill and their team created the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. To celebrate the 10 millionth dose given in the UK, sculptor Luke Jerram has enlarged a nanoparticle

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On the Trail of the Pre-Raphaelites

From the mid-19th Century, a group of poets, painters, illustrators, and designers blazed a trail for a new kind of art. They became known as the Pre-Raphaelites. Flouting classical conventions of symmetry, proportion and chiaroscuro (use of light and dark), they abandoned detail and truth to nature, to create works rich in symbolism. They are sometimes depicted as the founders of modern art, so great

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William Tyndale - Eat, drink, and be merry

Sign of the times…Broken hearted...The salt of the Earth…Eat drink and be Merry…all phrases still used today. They could be Shakespearean, but they are in fact the creation of William Tyndale in his ground-breaking English translation of the Bible in 1526. A project that was to get him in a whole load of trouble and lead ultimately to his death in 1536 at the age

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Two legs good, four legs fabulous: Oxford and its animals

Ever since the first Megalosaurus stalked the Oxfordshire meadows, animals have been central to Oxford’s story. After all, wasn’t the City’s location chosen for the convenience of the local oxen? Apparently not strong swimmers... Even the City’s patron saint, the Saxon Princess Frideswide, apparently evaded her suitor, Prince Algar, and put his dogs 'off the scent' by hanging out with some particularly smelly pigs. When,

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