Today, I took a train to Oxford. I caught the train at Paddington. From there, Oxford is an hour away.
My sightseeing was focused around the college, though I did go to Blackwell’s Bookstore, but I did not allow myself to shop.
I went to the Weston Library. In its “Treasures” room, there were a few items worth noting. One was a written manuscript of Jane Austen from when she was 12-15 years old. It’s called “Beautiful Consent.” There was a book that then 11-year-old Princess Elizabeth (Elizabeth I) gave to Katherine Parr. Inside is a French poem translated into English. It is believed that she did the binding as well. There was also a book that belonged to Margaret, Queen of Scots. She died in 1093. There was also a prayer book made for an abbess, who was a Benedict nun in what is now Zadar, Croatia, which is such a beautiful place. The abbess died in 1093.
The next stop was the Museum of History and Science. What a wonderful place. I was there for over an hour. The people who worked there were really into the pieces, so when I asked questions, the answers were very thorough and informative. I like telescopes, sun dials, sextants, abacuses, microscopes, cameras, sand glasses, and globes/celestial globes. If you want to get me a gift (smile). I was in heaven. The collection included an astrolabe that Robert Dudley gave to Elizabeth I. One of Herschel’s telescopes is there. When I was in Bath, I learned that it was there that he discovered the planet Uranus. The pieces still work. It is amazing how things fall apart so easily today, and medieval equipment is still functioning. Oh, and a board including hand-written equations Einstein made when he gave at a lecture at Oxford was there. It was such a great place to hang out. It may be my favorite place from today.
I went into the Divinity School. The infirmary scene from one of the Harry Potters was filmed there. The building has constructed in the 15th century and was the first “purpose-built classroom.” I also went into the Church of St. Mary the Virgin aka The University Church. It had nice windows.
I went to Christ Church College. It was founded by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in 1524, who was Henry VIII’s chancellor before he fell from grace. It is on the site of an abbey that was dissolved under the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The Cathedral was quite magnificent. I spent a lot of time there. It was built in the 12th century and is one of the oldest buildings in Oxford.
I went to Magdalen College because that is where C.S. Lewis taught for 25 years. It had lovely grounds with a deer park in the back. And of course, I went to Exeter College where Tolkien studied. I went to the Eagle and Child pub where the Inklings used to gather. Imagine all those great minds in one place!
It was a great day there. I am going to sleep very well tonight with all the walking I did.
Excuse any typos. I am tired (smile). As always, my disclaimer is I will edit when I get home.