For other uses see Oxford (disambiguation).
|Nickname:||"The City of Dreaming Spires"|
|Motto:||"Fortis est veritas" "Truth is strong"|
|Image Blank Emblem:||Oxford_COA.gif|
|Blank Emblem Type:||Coat of Arms for the City of Oxford|
|Blank Emblem Size:||180px|
|Dot Map Caption:||Oxford shown within United Kingdom|
|Subdivision Type:||Sovereign state|
|Subdivision Name:||United Kingdom|
|Subdivision Type1:||Constituent country|
|Subdivision Name2:||South East England|
|Subdivision Type3:||Ceremonial county|
|Subdivision Type4:||Admin HQ|
|Subdivision Name4:||Oxford City Centre|
|Leader Title:||Governing body|
|Leader Name:||Oxford City Council|
|Leader Title1:||Lord Mayor|
|Leader Name1:||Susanna Pressel|
|Leader Name2:||Labour (minority administration)|
|Leader Name3:||Evan Harris (LD)|
Andrew Smith (L)
|Established Date:||9th century|
|Established Title2:||Town charter|
|Established Title3:||City status|
|Area Total Km2:||45.59|
|Population Total:||(Ranked ) of 354|
|Population Density Km2:||3270|
|Population Blank2 Title:||Ethnicity|
|Population Blank2:||73.0% White British|
9.1% Other White
5.7% South Asian
2.7% Mixed Race
1.8% White Irish
|Timezone:||Greenwich Mean Time|
|Postal Code Type:||Postcode|
|Blank Name:||ISO 3166-2|
|Blank1 Name:||ONS code|
|Blank2 Name:||OS grid reference|
|Blank3 Name:||NUTS 3|
Oxford is a city, and the county town of Oxfordshire, in South East England. It has a population of 151,000. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through Oxford and meet south of the city centre. For a distance of some 10miles along the river, in the vicinity of Oxford, the Thames is known as The Isis.
Buildings in Oxford reflect every English architectural period since the arrival of the Saxons, including the iconic, mid-18th century Radcliffe Camera, the hub of the city. Oxford is known as the "city of dreaming spires", a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of Oxford's university buildings. Nowadays, the city is often wrly referred to as the "city of perspiring dreams".
Oxford was first occupied in Saxon times, and was initially known as "Oxenaforda", meaning "Ford of the Ox"; fords being very important before the days of bridges. It began with the foundation of St Frideswide's nunnery in the 8th century, and was first mentioned in written records in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year 912. In the 10th century Oxford became an important military frontier town between the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex and was on several occasions raided by Danes. St Frideswide is the patron saint of both the city and university.
The prestige of Oxford is seen in the fact that it received a charter from King Henry II, granting its citizens the same privileges and exemptions as those enjoyed by the capital of the kingdom; and various important religious houses were founded in or near the city. A grandson of King John established Rewley Abbey for the Cistercian Order; and friars of various orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, Augustinians, and Trinitarians), all had houses at Oxford of varying importance. Parliaments were often held in the city during the thirteenth century. The Provisions of Oxford were installed by a group of barons led by Simon de Montfort; these documents are often regarded as England's first written constitution.
The University of Oxford is first mentioned in 12th century records. Oxford's earliest colleges were University College (1249), Balliol (1263) and Merton (1264). These colleges were established at a time when Europeans were starting to translate the writings of Greek philosophers. These writings challenged European ideology – inspiring scientific discoveries and advancements in the arts – as society began seeing itself in a new way. These colleges at Oxford were supported by the Church in hopes to reconcile Greek Philosophy and Christian Theology. The relationship between "town and gown" has often been uneasy — as many as 93 students and townspeople were killed in the St Scholastica Day Riot of 1355.
Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford is unique as a college chapel and cathedral in one foundation. Originally the Priory Church of St Frideswide, the building was extended and incorporated into the structure of the Cardinal's College shortly before its refounding as Christ Church in 1546, since which time it has functioned as the cathedral of the Diocese of Oxford.
The Oxford Martyrs were tried for heresy in 1555 and subsequently burnt at the stake, on what is now Broad Street, for their religious beliefs and teachings. The three martyrs were the bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, and the Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.
During the English Civil War, Oxford housed the court of Charles I in 1642, after the king was expelled from London, although there was strong support in the town for the Parliamentarian cause. The town yielded to Parliamentarian forces under General Fairfax in the Siege of Oxford of 1646. It later housed the court of Charles II during the Great Plague of London in 1665-66. Although reluctant to do so, he was forced to evacuate when the plague got too close.
In 1790, the Oxford Canal connected the city with Coventry. The Duke's Cut was completed by the Duke of Marlborough in 1789 to link the new canal with the River Thames; and in 1796 the Oxford Canal company built their own link to the Thames, at Isis Lock. In the 1840s, the Great Western Railway and London and North Western Railway linked Oxford with London.
Oxford's Town Hall was built by Henry T. Hare, the foundation stone was laid on 6 July 1893 and opened by the future King Edward VII on 12 May 1897. The site has been the seat of local government since the Guild Hall of 1292 and though Oxford is a city and a Lord Mayoralty, it is still called by its traditional name of "Town Hall".
By the early 20th century, Oxford was experiencing rapid industrial and population growth, with the printing and publishing industries becoming well established by the 1920s. Also during that decade, the economy and society of Oxford underwent a huge transformation as William Morris established the Morris Motor Company to mass produce cars in Cowley, on the south-eastern edge of the city. By the early 1970s over 20,000 people worked in Cowley at the huge Morris Motors and Pressed Steel Fisher plants. By this time Oxford was a city of two halves: the university city to the west of Magdalen Bridge and the car town to the east. This led to the witticism that "Oxford is the left bank of Cowley". Cowley suffered major job losses in the 1980s and 1990s during the decline of British Leyland, but is now producing the successful New MINI for BMW on a smaller site. A large area of the original car manufacturing facility at Cowley was demolished in the 1990s and is now the site of the Oxford Business Park.
The influx of migrant labour to the car plants and hospitals, recent immigration from south-east Asia, and a large student population, have given Oxford a notable cosmopolitan character, especially in the Headington and Cowley Road areas with their many bars, cafes, restaurants, clubs, ethnic shops and fast food outlets. Oxford is one of the most diverse small cities in Britain with the most recent population estimates for 2005. showing that 27% of the population were from an ethnic minority group, including 16.2% from a non-white ethnic minority ethnic group (ONS). These figures do not take into account more recent international migration into the city, with over 10,000 people from overseas registering for National Insurance Numbers in Oxford between 2005/06 and 2006/07. 
On 6 May 1954, Roger Bannister, as a 25 year old medical student, ran the first authenticated four-minute mile at the Iffley Road running track in Oxford. Although he had previously studied at Oxford University, Bannister was actually studying at St Mary's Hospital Medical School in London at the time.
Oxford's second university, Oxford Brookes University, formerly the Oxford School of Art, based on Headington Hill, was given its charter in 1991 and has been voted for the last five years the best new university in the UK.
The University of Oxford is one of the most famous universities in the world. Leading academics come to Oxford from all over the world.
As well as being an extraordinary sight for tourists, Oxford City Centre is a very attractive location for the consumer to visit, as well as being a good location for socialising.
The city centre is relatively small, and is centred on Carfax, Oxford, a cross-roads on which a clocktower stands, and which forms the junction of Cornmarket Street (pedestrianised), Queen Street (semi-pedestrianised), St Aldate's and The High. Cornmarket Street and Queen Street are home to Oxford's various chain stores, as well as a small number of independent retailers, one of the longest established of which is Boswells, which was founded in 1738. . St Aldate's has few shops but is the location of a number of local-government buildings, including the Town Hall, the city police station and local council offices. The High (the word street is not part of the name of this road) has a number of independent and high-end chain stores.
There are two small shopping centres in the city centre: The Clarendon Centre and The Westgate Centre . The Westgate Centre is named for the original West Gate in the city wall, and is located at the west end of Queen Street. It is quite small and contains a number of chain stores and a supermarket. The Westgate Shopping Centre is to undergo a massive but controversial refurbishment; its plans involve tripling the size of the centre to 750000square feet, building a brand new 1,335 space underground car park and 90 new shops and bars, including a 230000square feet John Lewis department store. There will be a new and improved transport system, a complete refurbishment of the existing centre and the surrounding Bonn Square area. The development plans include a number of new homes, and completion is expected in 2011.
Blackwells Bookshop is a very popular tourist attraction in Oxford. Blackwells Books claims the largest single room devoted to book sales in the whole of Europe, the cavernous Norrington Room (10,000 sq ft).
Many important and famous politicians and people in the political public eye were resident in Oxford, often due to their membership of the University. Most notably of recent times, this list includes Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Benazir Bhutto and others.
See main article: Oxford City Council.
The two MPs are Andrew Smith from the Oxford East constituency, erstwhile Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in the Labour government; and Dr Evan Harris from the Oxford West and Abingdon constituency, Liberal Democrat science spokesman. At the 2005 general election, Oxford East became a marginal seat with a Labour majority over the Liberal Democrats of just 963. Oxford West and Abingdon is a safe seat for the Liberal Democrats with Dr Harris enjoying a majority of just under 8,000.
Oxford has four civil parishes with parish councils - these are Blackbird Leys, Littlemore, Old Marston and Risinghurst and Sandhills. Littlemore, Marston and Risinghurst and Sandhills have only recently been brought within the city boundary.
Oxford has a Maritime Temperate climate ("Cfb" by Köppen classification). Precipitation is uniformly distributed throughout the year and is provided mostly by weather systems that arrive from the Atlantic. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Oxford was -16.6 °C (2 °F) in January 1982. The highest temperature ever recorded in Oxford is 35.6 °C (96 °F) in August 2003 during the 2003 European heat wave.
The average conditions below are from the Radcliffe Meteorological Station. It boasts the longest series of temperature and rainfall records for one site in Britain. These records are continuous from January, 1815. Irregular observations of rainfall, cloud and temperature exist from 1767 .
|Jan Hi °C:||6.8|
|Feb Hi °C:||7.4|
|Mar Hi °C:||10.1|
|Apr Hi °C:||13.0|
|May Hi °C:||16.7|
|Jun Hi °C:||19.8|
|Jul Hi °C:||21.7|
|Aug Hi °C:||21.2|
|Sep Hi °C:||18.5|
|Oct Hi °C:||14.2|
|Nov Hi °C:||9.8|
|Dec Hi °C:||7.4|
|Year Hi °C:||13.9|
|Jan Lo °C:||1.4|
|Feb Lo °C:||1.4|
|Mar Lo °C:||2.5|
|Apr Lo °C:||4.3|
|May Lo °C:||7.2|
|Jun Lo °C:||10.2|
|Jul Lo °C:||12.2|
|Aug Lo °C:||11.9|
|Sep Lo °C:||9.8|
|Oct Lo °C:||6.8|
|Nov Lo °C:||3.8|
|Dec Lo °C:||2.1|
|Year Lo °C:||6.1|
|Jan Precip Mm:||52.6|
|Feb Precip Mm:||41.0|
|Mar Precip Mm:||41.1|
|Apr Precip Mm:||43.9|
|May Precip Mm:||50.6|
|Jun Precip Mm:||53.3|
|Jul Precip Mm:||59.5|
|Aug Precip Mm:||58.3|
|Sep Precip Mm:||60.3|
|Oct Precip Mm:||65.3|
|Nov Precip Mm:||61.8|
|Dec Precip Mm:||55.8|
|Year Precip Mm:||643.5|
|Source:||Radcliffe Meteorological Station (NB: Data from the period 1881-2004)|
Morrells, the Oxford based regional brewery was founded in 1743 by Richard Tawney. He formed a partnership in 1782 with Mark and James Morrell, who eventually became the owners. The brewery building, known as the "Lion Brewery", was located in St Thomas Street. After an acrimonious family dispute this much-loved brewery was closed in 1998, the beer brand names being taken over by the Thomas Hardy Burtonwood brewery., while the 132 tied pubs were bought by "Morrells of Oxford", who sold the bulk of them on to Greene King in 2002 . The Lion Brewery was converted into luxury apartments in 2002.
Outside the City Centre:
Oxford has numerous major tourist attractions, many belonging to the university and colleges. As well as several famous institutions, the town centre is home to Carfax Tower and the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, both of which offer views over the spires of the city. Many tourists shop at the historic Covered Market. In the summer punting on the Thames/Isis and the Cherwell is popular.
The Westgate redevelopment is just part of a wider scheme proposed by the city council. This scheme includes a total redesign of the centre of Oxford to "pedestrianise" the city.
The scheme, entitled Transform Oxford, is only a blueprint for public consultation at this stage, but county council officials are confident it will go ahead.
One of the key elements is the pedestrianisation of Queen Street, with bus stops removed next summer to make way for the eventual complete removal of buses from the street.
Pedestrianisation schemes in George Street and Magdalen Street should follow in the summer of 2010, with the removal of traffic from Broad Street the same year a possibility.
In 2011, highways engineers plan to remodel the Frideswide Square junctions near the railway station, removing traffic lights and introducing roundabouts to improve traffic flow.
Bus services are mainly provided by the Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach Oxfordshire. Both companies also operate regular services to London. The Oxford Bus Company also runs the Airlink services to Heathrow and Gatwick.
Other operators include Thames Travel, Arriva Shires & Essex and several smaller companies.
A service also runs to The John Radcliffe Hospital (from Thornhill/Water Eaton) as well as the Churchill and Nuffield Hospitals (from Thornhill).
Oxford railway station is half a mile west of the city centre. The station is served by numerous routes, including CrossCountry services as far afield as Manchester and Edinburgh, First Great Western (who operate the station) services to London and other destinations and occasional Chiltern Railways services to Birmingham. The present station opened in 1952. Oxford is the junction for a short branch line to Bicester, which is being extended to form the East-West Rail Link to Milton Keynes, providing a passenger route avoiding London.
The main roads that lead out of Oxford are:
The city is served by the M40 motorway, which connects London to Birmingham. The original M40 opened in 1974 went from London to Waterstock where the A40 continued to Oxford. However, when the M40 was extended to Birmingham in 1991, a mile of the old motorway became a spur and the new section bended away sharply north. Now the M40 does a large arc around Oxford (staying around 10miles away from the centre) due to the woodland that the motorway had to avoid. The M40 meets the A34 a junction later, the latter now being in two parts, the A34 restarting in Birmingham.
Oxford is home to wide range of schools many of which receive pupils from around the world. Three are University choral foundations, established to educate the boy choristers of the chapel choirs, and have kept the tradition of single sex education. Examination results in state-run Oxford schools are consistently below the national average and regional average. However, results in the city are improving with 44% of pupils gaining 5 grades A*-C in 2006.
As well as the BBC national radio stations, Oxford and the surrounding area has several local stations, including BBC Radio Oxford, Fox FM, Oxford's FM 107.9, and new station JACK fm on 106.8 along with Oxide: Oxford Student Radio (which went on terrestrial radio at 87.7 MHz FM in late May 2005). A local TV station, Six TV: The Oxford Channel is also available. The city is home to a BBC TV newsroom which produces an opt-out from the main South Today programme broadcast from Southampton.
Popular local papers include The Oxford Times (compact; weekly), its sister papers The Oxford Mail (tabloid; daily) and The Oxford Star (tabloid; free and delivered), and Oxford Journal (tabloid; weekly free pick-up). Oxford is also home to several advertising agencies.
Daily Information (known locally as Daily Info) is an events and advertising news sheet which has been published since 1964 and now provides a connected website.
Oxford appears in the following works:
Speedway racing has been staged on and off in Oxford since 1939 at Cowley Stadium. Most recently, it held Elite League Speedway and Conference League Speedway until 2007, when landlords Greyhound Racing Association apparently doubled the rent. Speedway, for the time being, is not running in Oxford. Details of the 1949 and 1950 seasons at Cowley can be viewed on Oxford Speedway website.
Oxford is also home to Oxford United, who are currently in the Conference National, the highest tier of non-league football, but have enjoyed greater success in the past. They were elected to the Football League in 1962, reached the Third Division after three years and the Second Division after six, and most notably reached the First Division in 1985 - a mere 23 years after joining the Football League. They spent three seasons in the top flight, winning the Football League Cup a year after promotion. The next 18 years saw them decline gradually (though a brief respite in 1996 saw them win promotion to the new (post Premier League) Division One in 1996 and stay there for three years) until they suffered relegation to the Conference. They play at the Kassam Stadium (named after former chairman Firoz Kassam), which is situated near the Blackbird Leys housing estate and has been their home since relocation from the Manor Ground in 2001. Notable former managers include Arthur Turner, Ian Greaves, Jim Smith, Maurice Evans, Mark Lawrenson, Brian Horton, Denis Smith, Mark Wright, Ian Atkins and Ramon Diaz. Notable former players include Ron Atkinson, John Aldridge, Ray Houghton, Trevor Hebberd, Nigel Jemson, Kevin Francis, Bobby Ford, Joey Beauchamp, Tommy Mooney and Darren Purse.
At a lower level in the football pyramid, the city is also represented by Oxford City.
Oxford's twin cities are:
The only Oxford twin city that is not a university town is "Oxford, Michigan"