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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oxford in Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
 

The High Street

 
 
The High Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, August 8, 2018
1. The High Street Marker
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription.  
Oxford's curved High Street was praised by the architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner as ‘one of the world's great streets' with its glorious mix of college buildings and medieval to 18th century houses. The building opposite you is an addition to Brasepose College, completed in 1911.
To its right is the University Church of St Mary, dating mainly from the 15th century, with its south porch of 1637. Beyond it is All Souls College, founded in 1438. To the left of Brasenose is the former church of All Saints (1706-20), and in the distance is the 14th-century Carfax Tower, overlooking the crossroads at the city's centre. Behind you king Edward Street was cut through the existing street layout in 1873.

A thousand years on 'the High’
This stretch of the High Street is part of the original 10th-century street plan of Oxford, which comprised four straight roads meeting at Carfax, the central market place. The High Street was lined in the Middle Ages with houses and workshops, mostly timber-framed, some built over stone cellars.
A few of these survive today, notably the buildings at Nos. 106-7 (originally Tackley's Inn) -a
The High Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, August 8, 2018
2. The High Street Marker
rare example of a medieval academic hall. The original houses had long garden plots behind them, most of which were built on when the city's population grew in the 16th and 17th centuries. The dense pattern of buildings that resulted can be seen in the alleyways behind you. College buildings did not intrude into this part of the street - the most prosperous in medieval times - until relatively recently.

A pretence of antiquity
The Brasenose College building opposite is not as old as it looks. It was begun in 1881 and was the work of Thomas Graham Jackson, who designed many notable Oxford buildings in a variety of styles. This one features a central gate tower and oriel windows projecting from the first floor. The exuberant carving and embellishments were added by Jackson's favourite carver Mr Maples; see for instance the grotesque figure carvings over the first-floor windows.
The original Brasenose buildings date from the 16th century and are best seen from nearby Radcliffe Square.
Like most colleges in Tudor Oxford, Brasenose began as a religious foundation, and students observed a strict routine that started with chapel at dawn. Daily life was cold, spartan and unsanitary - a world away from the experience of 1988 Brasenose graduate, Prime Minister David Cameron.

Student Riots
Oxford citizens and students usually get on well but there can be trouble between 'town and gown’.
The St Scholastica Day riots of 1355 started in a tavern in Carfax at the end of this street. Two students insulted the landlord about his wine and threw a pot at his head. Church bells rang, buildings burned, students and townspeople fought in the streets.

( photo captions )
High Street, Oxford. The building on the left, 94 High Street, dates from the early 20th century but was designed in a 16th-century style. The houses to the right were demolished to make way for Oriel’s Rhodes Building.
A framed oil painting at Wadham College, showing architect Sir Thomas Graham Jackson sitting at a desk working on a plan drawing.
Brasenose College, Oxford. An engraving by John Buckler (1770-1851) howing the west front of the college.
Brasenose Gargoyles.
 
Location. 51° 45.139′ N, 1° 15.288′ W. Marker is in Oxford, England, in Oxfordshire. Marker is at the intersection of High Street and King Edward Street, on the right when traveling east on High Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oxford, England OX1 4BT, United Kingdom.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. George Claridge Druce (within shouting distance of this marker); The Early University (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); Radcliffe Square (about 180 meters away); Great Jewry (about 180 meters away); This Stone (about 210 meters away); The Crown (approx. 0.2 kilometers away); Reredos Memorial (approx. 0.3 kilometers away); Oxfordshire Boer War Memorial (approx. 0.4 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oxford.
 
Also see . . .  Explore Oxford. (Submitted on October 5, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
Categories. Education
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 5, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 5, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 23 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 5, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
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