Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2007/09/02 Touring colleges in Oxford, England

Taking the bus from Heathrow to Oxford on a Sunday morning, I had a relaxed afternoon to see the sights. From St. Anne’s College, I walked a loop south, then east and back north. Right by the bus station, at Gloucester Green, there’s a market on Sundays.

20070902_Gloucester_Green_market.jpg

The shops on the Cornmarket Street are more permanent, but kiosks on the pedestrian mall hawk to the tourists.

20070902_Oxford_Cornmarket_Street.jpg

Continuing to walk south, down to St. Aldates Street and past the Town Hall, I started a tour of some of the more famous Oxford colleges.

20070902_Oxford_St_Aldates_Street.jpg

Touring the interior of Christ Church could take the better part of a day just by itself. The south approach is through the Meadow Building. The cathedral isn’t visible, behind this building.

20070902_Christchurch_Meadow_Building.jpg

Continuing east, and then north, the Christ Church cathedral is visible through a fence facing west … beyond a large lawn.

20070902_Christchurch_cathedral.jpg

Continuing east, the next complex of buildings is Merton College. The quadrangle looked nice through the fence, but there was no entry from the south side.

20070902_Merton_College_south_wall.jpg

Walking up the path of the west side of the college, the tower emerged.

20070902_Merton_College_tower.jpg

Entering Merton College from the north gate put me into the Front Quad.

20070902_Merton_College_front_quad.jpg

Continuing southeast, through another arch, I reached the Mob Quad. This was the gate that I couldn’t enter from the the south.

20070902_Merton_College_mob_quad.jpg

Back into the front quad and turning the other direction is an arch to the northwest.

20070902_Merton_College_front_quad_northwest_arch.jpg

Through that northwest arch is the Fellows Quad.

20070902_Merton_College_fellows_quad.jpg

Exiting Merton College out the north gate to the street, the spires of the chapel rise.

20070902_Merton_College_chapel.jpg

Continuing the work north, University College wasn’t welcoming to visitors. On the other side of High Street is All Souls College.

20070902_All_Souls_College.jpg

Catte Street leads into the buildings in the middle part of the campus.

20070902_Oxford_Catte_Street.jpg

Just north of High Street is a cafe with a unique theme: Vaults and Gardens.

20070902_Vaults_and_Gardens.jpg

On a nice fall British day, having tea with friends and family, patrons of the cafe don’t seem to be bothered that they’re relaxing in a cemetery.

20070902_Vaults_and_Gardens_child.jpg

Continuing north is Radcliffe Camera, a popular landmark for tourists.

20070902_Radcliffe_Camera_from_south.jpg

North and east, is Hertford Bridge, called Bridge of Sighs, reminiscent of a similar structure in Venice.

20070902_Oxford_Bridge_of_Sighs.jpg

Tourists are directed to walk down St. Helen’s Passage, to see behind the buildings of Hertford College.

20070902_Oxford_St._Helens_Passage.jpg

At the end of the passage is a tavern, at Bath Place. The high wall dates back to the Roman era.

20070902_Oxford_Bath_Place.jpg

Back out to New College Lane, the Roman wall is integrated into the college buildings.

20070902_New_College_Lane.jpg

To the north and west were the last landmarks for me for the day: the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theatre.

20070902_Bodleian_Library_Sheldonian.jpg

There’s many more colleges at Oxford, so many more than could be seen in an afternoon. Before the sun set, I was back in my room at St. Anne’s College to sleep early, catching up on jet lag.

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