In the hotel dining room. A breakfast buffet with a range of hot and cold items, as well as coffee, tea, water and fruit juices.
We begin our educational adventure as our Study Leader lectures on “The Architecture of Oxford”, before visiting the Bodleian Library for an expert-led look at one of the oldest libraries in Europe.
Taken out at the Mitre in Oxford. The present Mitre Inn dates from around 1630, but there has been an inn on this site since around 1300. It has always belonged to Lincoln College, and its name probably derives from the College coat of arms, which depicts the mitre of the Bishop of Lincoln. It was an important coaching inn and, as early as 1671, there were coaches running between London and the Mitre on three days a week. It is a Grade II* listed building.
We’ll enjoy an expert-led walk through the center of Oxford showing examples of Gothic and Classical styles, and explaining not only the differences between them but the reasons for these differences. Mention will also be made of the Codrington library at All Souls which has a Gothic exterior and a Classical interior. We’ll admire and investigate the architecture of buildings including the Radcliffe Camera, the Sheldonian Theatre, the Clarendon Building, the Divinity School and St Mary’s Church. Radcliffe Square is surrounded by one of the most amazing collections of Gothic and Classical buildings which somehow seem to harmonise. The walk includes entrance to Exeter College, the fourth oldest of the Oxford colleges, founded in 1314. A lively College in the centre of Oxford, Exeter’s exquisite Chapel, tranquil Fellows’ Garden and terrace overlooking Radcliffe Square are famously beautiful. The College is full of history; J.R.R. Tolkien was an undergraduate here, as were Alan Bennett, Martin Amis and former President Kufour of Ghana. Other former students include two Supreme Court judges (one from Australia and another from Canada) as well as Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner. Phillip Pullman, another Exonian, based his fictional Jordan College on Exeter and the fictitious Inspector Morse collapsed on the lawn in the front quad. Exeter College Chapel and the whole of Keble College provide beautiful reminders of the impact of the Oxford Movement’s Anglo-Catholicism and the mid-19th Century Gothic revival.
In the hotel.
This evening we'll enjoy a screening of “The Dead of Jericho”, based on the Inspector Morse novel set in the area which we shall be visiting tomorrow.