7 Interesting Facts About Oxfordshire

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Most attractive places for tourists

Oxford is one of the most attractive places for tourists in the UK (See reasons why Oxford is the most attractive place in UK). Furthermore, it is also home to the third oldest university in the world. Its popularity was recently catapulted to the limelight thanks to the huge success of the Harry Potter films which had one of its locations here.

However, amidst all these, there are still some little known facts about the place that only the inhabitants know quite well. Here are 8 interesting facts about Oxfordshire.



No Women Allowed Colleges

No Women Allowed Colleges

The colleges in Oxford are among the oldest in the world, having been built in the 13th century. However, it took them a few more centuries before some of them could enrol women. The first enrolment of women was in 1878 from select number of colleges. It then took them a further 42 years for them to award women degrees. The remaining colleges opened up their doors to women in 1974.



The world war II

The Hitler Connection

During the World War, Oxford was spared from being bombed by Germany while other cities around the UK suffered. This was because Hitler intended to have Oxford as his national city once he had fully conquered Britain. What a way to survive a world war.



The museum history

Ashmolean Museum History

The Ashmolean Museum is among the best museums in the UK if not the best. It is also the oldest museum in the world as it was built in 1683 at a time when no museum existed in the whole world.

It was recently refurbished to make it even more spacious because of the number of visitors it receives yearly.



Cambridge University was formed by scholars

Cambridge University

Apart from the fact that the two institutions have a long standing academic rivalry, it’s interesting to note that Cambridge University was formed by scholars who escaped from Oxford. This was during a time when the locals wanted to lynch all the students because some of them had beat up a local woman to death.

Yes, I am aware that Cambridge is a sort of educational institute,” I murmured. “I am glad I was not there.” Source: Oscar Wilde, The Portrait of Mr W.H.


The Real Alice

The Real Alice

Alice in Wonderland is an exceptional story to read and was written by Lewis Carroll, a mathematics lecturer at the university. However, most people don’t know that the story’s main character was inspired by a real life person who was known as Alice Liddell. She was the daughter of the Dean of the college where Lewis taught.



A Mile In Less Than 4 Minutes

A Mile In Less Than 4 Minutes

The first person to run a mile in less than 4 minutes was Roger Bannister, a 25 year old medical student at the university. It is said that he studied the whole mile and used his knowledge in medicine to come up with a strategy on how the human body would cope for such a feat. He then went on to prove this in 1954 at the Iffley road track in Oxford where he ran a mile at 3mins and 59.4 seconds.



Queen Victoria, Lewis Carroll

Queen Victoria, Lewis Carroll And The Second Alice In Wonderland Series

The book titled Alice in Wonderland caught the imagination of many people including Queen Victoria. When she finished reading the whole book, the queen contacted Lewis Carroll to say that she wished to read more books from him. Lewis Carroll positively responded to her by sending her a book titled “The Syllabus of Plain Algebra”, a mathematics book which he had been working on.