222 Route 30. OXFORD.
Library (p. 229); Divinity School (p. 230); Theatre (p. 230); New Museum
(p. 231); Taylorian Institute (p. 236); New College (p. 232); Magdalen College
(p. 232), with its beautiful grounds; Balliol College (p. 236); All Souls
College (p. 234); Exeter College (p. 235), with its garden; Martyrs' Memorial
(p. 236); St. John's College (p. 236), with its gardens; gardens of Worcester
and Wadham Colleges (pp. «.37, 231). A college-chapel service should be
attended at New College, Magdalen, or Christ Church; and the visitor
should also try to see, at their proper seasons, a boat-race and a cricket
or football match in the Parks. The 'Procession of Boats' on the Mon. of
Commemoration Week (p. 225) is a highly characteristic sight. Visitors
may wander at will about the colleges and college-gardens. The chapels
are generally open for 2 hrs. in the forenoon and 2 hrs. in the afternoon,
and admission to them when closed, as well as to the halls and libraries,
may be obtained on application to the porter (small fee).
Guides, Is. per hour, are of little use.
Boats may be hired on the Tsis, for the 'Lower River' at Christ Church
Mejdow (p. 228) and for the -Upper River' at Medley Lock (p. 221). The
latter is frequented mainly by the less serious oarsman and the votary
of 'centre-boarding' (sailing), while the lower river is left to those in
training for the races. The Cherwell is also available for boating. The
course where all the college-races are decided extends from Iffley (p. 239) to
the College Barges, which are moored to the bank at Christchurch Meadow.
The principal races (the 'Eights') are rowed in the middle of the summer
term; the 'Torpids' in the Lent term.1
Baths. Turkish Baths, Merton St. (2s. 6d.), with a swimming-bath (Is.);
Hot and Cold Baths (6d.) at the Racquet Courts, Holywell, and Museum
Terrace. — River Baths at the University Bathing Place, on the Isis, near
Clasper's Boat House (towels 3d.), and also on the Cherwell, near the
Parks (towels 6d.).
Oxford, the county-town of Oxfordshire, an episcopal see, and
the seat of one of the most ancient and celebrated universities in
Europe, is situated amid picturesque environs at the confluence of
the Cherwell and the Thames (often called in its upper course the
Isis). It is surrounded by an amphitheatre of gentle hills, the tops
of which command a fine view of the city, with its numerous domes
and towers. Oxford is on the whole more attractive than Cambridge
to the ordinary visitor; and the traveller is therefore recommended
to visit Cambridge first, or to omit it altogether if he cannot
Oxford (called Oxeneford in Domesday Book, but possibly a corrup¬
tion of Ousenford, or ford over the Ouse or water) is a town of some
antiquity, the nucleus of which seems to have been the nunnery of St.
Frideswide. established on the site of the present cathedral, probably in
the 8th century. The earliest documentary occurrence of the name Oxford
is in the An-lo-Saxon Chronicle under the year 912. In the 11th cent.
the town was a place of military importance and the scene of several
meetings of the Witenagemot. The foundation of the University is popul¬
arly ascribed to King Alfred in 972, but this story may be dismissed as
entirely apocryphal. The first gathering of masters and scholars, not
attached to monastic establishments, took place in the 12th cent., while
it was not till the following cent, that anything like colleges in the
modern meaning of the word — i.e. endowed and incorporated bodies of
masters and students wifhin the University —came info existence (comp.
p. 223). We first hear of theological lectures about 1130, and of legal
studies a little later; while by the beginning of the 13th cent. Oxford
ranked with the most important universities of Europe. \bout this period
the University seems to have been at times attended by as many as
3000 students, but during the religious troubles .if the reign of Henry VIII.
the number fell to 11*10. During the Civil War Oxford was the head-