Oxford History

Oxford is steeped in history, boasting tons of fascinating historical sites that offer a glimpse into the city’s storied past. Wander through the cobbled streets and ancient alleyways to discover iconic landmarks such as the majestic Oxford Castle & Prison, which dates back to the Norman conquest of England. Explore the medieval grandeur of the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and marvel at its impressive architecture and vast collection of rare manuscripts… or just step back in time as you stroll through the historic colleges of Oxford University, each with its own unique architectural style and centuries-old traditions. 

Take a look at Oxford’s history through our original stories and reports. Learn more about the city and its surroundings, plan historic walks and get carried away by this wonderful place. We have categorized all relevant information into two groupings: Articles about the history of Oxford (featured right below this paragraph) and places of interest in the city and its surroundings. 

Featured Stories

Delve into the tapestry of Oxfordian history with some of the stories that have shaped this illustrious city. From legendary tales of knights and scholars to intriguing anecdotes of everyday life throughout the ages, embark on a journey through time as we uncover the rich and diverse narratives that have woven the fabric of Oxford’s past.

Best Oxford Historical Places

Beyond the well-known landmarks and institutions, Oxford also harbours numerous hidden gems waiting to be discovered. These lesser-known spots often offer unique insights into the city’s character and charm. Here’s the complete list of places worth seeing in Oxford.

Oxford's Carfax Tower

Carfax Tower

Carfax Tower, in Oxford, is a 23-meter-high bell tower that used to belong to a 12th-century church. Here’s how to visit it (and why!).

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Oxford Sandford Lock - Places to See Around Oxford. Oxford Walks.

Oxford Sandford Lock

Sandford Lock is a great place to start and end walks around Oxford. A very peaceful location, it has a pub nearby a lots of seating.

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Bodleian Library - Entrance. Image courtesy of Billy Wilson.

Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library is one of Oxford’s most famous landmarks. Among the oldest in Europe, it’s easy to visit and incredible to see.

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Things to Do in Oxford

Looking for things to do and enjoy while you’re in Oxford? Here are some suggestions, from quirky shops to escape rooms, art galleries, and sports. 

Old Fire Station - Oxford Theatres and Art Centres

Old Fire Station

The Old Fire Station is a centre for creativity in Oxford housing the homelessness charity Crisis and Arts at the Old Fire Station (AOFS).

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