6 Things You Didn’t Know About Oxford’s History

After about an hour’s drive from London City, you arrive at the great Oxford City. Its most striking thing is its beauty, deep history, and stunning architecture. It’s home to Oxford University, which has an outstanding global reputation. Its ranking is fascinating, and its student community is studious. 

The city is a preferred destination for many tourists visiting the UK. It is also a preferred city by students seeking the best cities to pursue higher education. These are descriptions a visitor or student can use to describe Oxford. However, it has other fascinating things about its history. 

Oxford once served as the capital city of England 

London has served as the capital city of England since the 12th century. However, Oxford was given that title for a short time in the 17th century. It happened after Charles I, the King of Great Britain, was expelled from London. There was a civil war in England, and the King fled to Oxford. The city was a long-time supporter of loyalists, and it was easier for Charles I to settle there. 

He declared the town the capital city and lived at Christ Church College between 1642 and 1646. Oxford today is home to 39 colleges and two major world universities. The city has one of the largest student populations in the UK. Whenever they get assignments to write, they hire writers from the best essay writing service with a high reputation.

The name Oxford was derived from the name Oxen Ford

River Isis was a great river flowing through the land, and it attracted many farmers. The river was also known as Tamesa, but today it’s called River Thames. The farmers discovered a ford where their cattle would cross safely without drowning. It became the main crossing point for cattle, and the local people would refer to it as the Ox Ford. As time went by, it was easier to pronounce Oxford instead the Ox Ford. The place developed into a city years later, and the name has remained to date. 

Oxford was founded in the 9th century

The city of Oxford was founded in the 9th century by Alfred the Great. Before he built it, there was a vibrant village made mainly of herders. He aimed to build a strong network of fortified towns to serve his kingdom’s security. He loved the place because there were committed monks living there. 

The town didn’t grow fast until a group of renowned teachers started giving lectures there in the 12th century. The town started attracting students who came to learn under the teachers. In 1167, the King of England gave orders for all students studying in France to return home. A large number of them came to Oxford and settled there. 

Oxford University is the oldest university in the UK

In any English-speaking country in the world, Oxford University is the oldest. Starting in 1096, Oxford is currently 926 years old. History says it was started by Alfred the Great when he was seeking to establish his kingdom. He discussed it with a group of monks he found there, and they agreed to start the institution. 

The university didn’t grow until the 12th century, when a large number of students returned home from France. King Henry II fell out with Archbishop Thomas Becket due to political differences. Due to this, the King banned English students from attending universities in France and Paris. 

Oxford is a city of writers

The oldest literary alumni are found in Oxford. The city boasts the widest collection of books and libraries than any other city in the world. It has produced the world’s renowned writers with outstanding literary minds. The Eagle and Child pub was a favorite place for most writers. They would meet there to discuss their literary work. No one who can ever finish reading all the books found in the libraries in Oxford. 

Oxford is home to the oldest electric battery bell experiment

Scientists set up an experimental electric battery bell in 1840 in the Clarendon Laboratory. To power the bell, they created a battery known as the dry pile. Unfortunately, they didn’t write a record of the materials used to make the battery. The bell requires a tiny amount of power to keep it ringing. 

Since then, the bell is still ringing, although its sound is barely heard today because the battery’s power is almost running out. Scientists have to wait until the battery dies out completely to test its components. Otherwise, they will affect the aim of the experiment. The aim was to test how long the battery would power the bell. 


The history of Oxford dates back to the 9th century when it was just an ordinary village. Today, it is the UK’s 2nd largest city with a population of 162,000 people. It is home to Oxford University, the oldest university in the UK. Its name was derived from a ford where oxen used to cross. The city once served as the capital city of England under King Charles I. It has the largest collection of books than any other city in the world. The electric battery bell experiment is the oldest experiment that has run for nearly 180 years. 


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