Oxford for History Lovers

In a city full of butter coloured buildings and streets cobbled and modern. Here is a list of places for any history lover.


1.) The science museum

The city is full of museums and I have already mentioned the Ashmolean, Pitt Rivers and Museum of Natural History. Here is the science museum, which is housed in the building that was home to the first-ever museum in Europe.  This museum contains artefacts related to the many advances discovered in this city. There are also replicated telescopes from the time of Galileo, which you can use and a blackboard that Einstein used when he visited the college.

Broad St, OX1 3AZ


Monday closed

Tuesday to Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm

01865 277 293



2.) The Covered Market

The covered market is stepping into history. Older than the United States. More shops than weeks in the year. The shops are Independently owned and run, this market smells of history. If you are an Alice in Wonderland fan you are in for a real treat. The

Market St, OX1 3DZ


Monday to Friday: 8 am – 5:30 pm

Saturday: 8 am – 6 pm

Sunday: 10.00 am – 5 pm



3.) Oxford Castle

What history tour would be complete without a castle?

Oxford Castle is one of the oldest in Britain although secretly it has had most of its original parts pulled down during the English Civil War. Only to rise from the remnants and return into a prison full of wretched history. Including housing one of Britain’s most prolific murders whose room remains and can be seen during one of the tours. The castle has also had a long history with fiction. The crypt is associated with the tales of King Arthur and during the time of it running as a prison, it filmed the Italian Job in 1969, Spy Game, 102 Dalmatians and Inspector Morse.

44-46 Oxford Castle, Oxford OX1 1AY


Monday to Sunday: 10.00am-4.20pm

Phone: 01865 260666

Front Page

Spires and Arnold

4.) Several Historic Figures:

Ancient Kings and Heros:

Geoffrey of Monmouth a name you might not recognise straight away and yet his story is one of the most famous and reoccurring stories in Western storytelling. You still might not recognise the tale from its original name, Historia Regum Britanniae or The History of the Kings of Britain. It is the story of King Arthur. Although the location of where it was written is now fought over by the Oxford Castle and the location of the Osney Abbey on Osney Island in Oxford. There is little doubt that the story was penned during Geoffrey of Monmouth’s time in Oxford.


The worst and the Best of Kings in Beaumont Palace:

King John and King Richard the Lionheart were both born in Oxford, on Beaumont Street, in Beaumont Palace. King Richard in 1157 and King John in 1167. The palace was to be used by Kings until given to an Italian lawyer in 1275. After Edward II lost the battle of Bannock Burn in 1314, it is claimed that he offered the palace to the White Friars if he managed to survive. By 1514 and the reformation of the Church under Henry VIII the building was dismantled, and the bricks now make up part of St John’s College and Christ Church.


William Shakespeare: (We don’t know how to spell his name as there are 5 different spellings due us having differently spelt signatures attributed to Shakespeare.)

There is little known about Shakespeare and his personal life. Not much was written about him at the time, his house no longer exists, and we are not even sure how to spell his name. However, we do know that he visited Oxford as he was friends of the creator of the Bodleian. There are two locations associated with Shakespeare in the city, The Crown Pub on Cornmarket Street and the Bodleian Library. It is said that he would stop in Oxford on his way up to Stratford from London, which does make sense. We also know that he was friends with John Davenant, and you can visit the room that he stayed in, complete with original Elizabethan wallpaper. If that does not excite you enough, you can see an original copy of the book in the Bodleian Library.

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