Oxford is a city in Oxfordshire in England. It’s known to be the town of the most prestigious universities in the world. Also, it’s the name of a shade of red, Oxford red. But Oxford is much more interesting than people might think. So, here are some fascinating facts about Oxford.
Oxford and its academic reputation
We can’t talk about Oxford if we don’t include the rich academic work happening there. So, it’s fascinating to know that the city has the second world’s oldest University. Oxford University dates back to 1069 and has continued its activity ever since.
But Oxford University isn’t the only peculiar University in the city because Balliol college is also a distinguished institute. John 1st de Balliol was an English nobleman. Around 1263, he insulted the Bishop of Durham, which punished him. The Bishop ordered him to build a college as an apologetic gesture. So, Balliol obliged. Today, this college has three British prime ministers as its graduates.
Moreover, Oxford has the most published authors per square meter and is the place with the most writers. It’s known for literature and is an icon for essay writing, poetry, and more. Hence, many tutoring companies, dissertation writing services, and writer cooperatives are founded by Oxford graduates with a burning passion for words.
The other interesting fact about Oxford is that some students had a few disputes with the locals and went on a little further north-east to found the University of Cambridge. Today, Oxford has two titles for “best higher education institute” by Times.
Also, the University of Oxford teaches a year about 30,000 students (called “Oxonians”). Wouldn’t you be lucky to have an Oxford graduate as your tutor, dissertation writing service, and writer?
But more than 27 prime ministers were graduates of Oxford University, as well as Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson) and Emma Watson, who started acting during her studies. Here is a list of renowned graduates:
- Tony Blair, ex-British PM
- Bill Clinton, ex-President of the United States
- Tony Abbott, ex-PM of Australia
- Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Internet
- Rt Hon David Cameron MP, ex- British PM
- Indira Gandhi, ex-PM of India and first female Indian PM
- Professor Stephen Hawking, physicist
- Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, British Prime Minister
- Haruhiko Kuroda, the Governor of the Bank of Japan
- Lawrence of Arabia
- Rupert Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox
- Naruhito of Japan, Emperor
- J R R Tolkien, writer of Lord of the Rings
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, a famous poet
- Oscar Wilde, one of the most famous writers of all time
- John Ford, playwright
- Thomas Hobbes, a groundbreaking philosopher
- John Locke, who became a pillar in philosophy
- Sir Richard Lovelace, a famous poet
- Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, ex-President, and PM of Pakistan
- Roger Bannister, the first to run a whole mile in less than four minutes
The city of Oxford
Oxford refers to a ford, which is a river crossing for oxen. The name dates back to 900 AD before England became William the Conqueror’s land. Moreover, it was the capital of England from 1642 to 1646.
The Harry Potter movies were filmed mainly in Oxford, so you might recognize a lot of buildings. Another great fact about the city is that the Second World War spared the beautiful architecture of Oxford, preserving the city as is, ancient and gorgeous. Allegedly, Hitler was planning on making this city the capital of England once he conquered it. So, he explicitly told his team to spare Oxford during the bombing.
One of the buildings is the Museum of Natural History, with an outstanding collection of Dodo specimens. Here, the extinct bird has a few complete specimens believed to be the most complete on the planet. Also, Oxford has the oldest botanical garden.
The Ashmolean Museum was the first museum as we know them. So, the first institute opened for visitors. Also, Oxford has the second largest library, the Bodleian Library.
Oxford also holds the oldest bookstore of Blackwell, with 4 km (3 miles) worth of shelves for books. And as we talk about books, the city is the place of birth of Alice in Wonderland. Here, the writer Lewis Carroll told the tale to the daughters of Dean Henry Liddell. One of them was named like the protagonist. In addition, Oxford is one of the cities that started to print books as early as 1478 (printing was discovered in 1450 by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany).
More Peculiar Oxford facts
There was a tradition between Balliol College and Trinity College to compete in a particular type of “sport.” Every May, the students would set up a race for tortoises. They are placed in the middle of a lettuce circle because tortoises don’t understand the concept of “running on a track.” This practice, also known as Tortoise Wars, is still going strong as a silly and fun tradition.
More than two centuries ago, women weren’t allowed to study at Oxford University, and the only subject available was religion, so the students weren’t allowed to marry. Hence, the title given to graduates is “Bachelor.”
Since the courses became diverse, Oxford University now has more than 20 different colleges and halls. Also, women make up 54% of Oxford students.
The first coffees ever made in England were served at the Grand Caffe, right in the city.
The city of Oxford is a wonderful place for studying and shaping the future because of the many successful Oxonians. Getting to Oxford University isn’t the easiest task, but if you prepare with the help of a teacher, essay writing service UK, or a professional writer, you might have a chance!
Moreover, some of the oldest things were built here. From botanical gardens to libraries, there is a lot to explore. Especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan or a bookworm, Oxford is a special place to visit.