32 Fascinating facts about Oxford, England, that you NEED to know!

Oxford is one of the nicest cities in England and is perfect for a day trip if you’re visiting London, Birmingham, or almost any other place as it’s very easy to reach! Here are 20 fascinating facts about Oxford that will help make your visit even better!

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Why visit Oxford, England?

facts about Oxford

Why visit Oxford, England? Because it’s a very unique and charming little city that is vastly different to London! It’s perfectly located a short distance away from London, as well as other major cities in England, making it a great option for a day trip or a weekend break.

There are plenty of things to do in Oxford that you can’t find elsewhere in the UK – and maybe this is a bit of a bold statement, but Oxford feels more authentic than London. So, if you want a truly English experience, head to Oxford!

Oxford Instagram captions:

What are some good Oxford Instagram captions? Here are some good captions for your Oxford Instagram photos:

  1. A bad day in Oxford is better than a good day anywhere else.
  2. If I had an English accent, I’d never shut up.
  3. Going to Oxford, be back never.
  4. My brain hurts from all the smart people I met.
  5. I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

32 Fascinating facts about Oxford, England:

Here are some of the most interesting and fascinating facts about Oxford that you need to know:

  • Oxford is one of the oldest cities in the world. It was founded by the Romans in the year 1066 and is famous for its literary and scholarly traditions.
  • It is also home to many colleges, including Balliol, Christ Church, Exeter, Lincoln, and Merton.
  • Oxford is known for its beautiful architecture and parks. The city has several parks that are open to the public, such as Botanic Garden, Sheldonian Theatre Garden, Magdalen Bridge Gardens, St John’s College Gardens and All Souls College Gardens.
the radcliffe camera building of oxford university england

  • The Ashmolean Museum is one of the best museums in Europe, with many artefacts from ancient civilizations. The museum also has a beautiful courtyard outside where you can relax and enjoy a picnic!
  • Oxford Castle is one of England’s most famous castles. It was built in 1067 by William the Conqueror and has been restored many times since then. Today it’s open for tours, but you can still climb the walls with an adult guide.
  • Oxford is also known as “the city of dreaming spires”. It has more than 100 churches, making it one of the largest cities in England.
  • The oldest building in Oxford is Christ Church Cathedral, which was built in the 12th century.
  • Oxford has over 2,000 Grade II* listed buildings and structures!
  • It’s home to many colleges like Trinity College, where Sherlock Holmes studied; Balliol College, where J.R.R Tolkien studied; and Exeter College, where Isaac Newton studied physics – this is one of the most interesting facts about Oxford!
baku oxford school under blue sky

  • Oxford has over 250 educational institutions.
  • It has a population of around 250,000 people who live in the city.
  • The city has been inhabited since the Iron Age, but there is evidence of Roman occupation too. The town was mentioned in Domesday Book in 1086 AD, while the population increased steadily throughout the medieval ages when it became an important commercial centre.
  • In 1642 during the English Civil War, Oxford was occupied by Parliament forces under Sir Thomas Fairfax. After the Restoration of 1660, it became the capital city of England, though this status was lost during First World War when London replaced it as the capital city.
  • The University of Oxford was founded in 1209 by Hugh Balsham and Henry II.
white boat on the river near apartment buildings

  • It’s home to the second oldest university in the world – the University of Bologna is the oldest.
  • Oxford is right next to the River Thames – and you can even see it run through.
  • Keep your eyes open whilst walking around the university, as there are lots of gargoyles keeping watch! How many can you spot?!
  • Oxford is ranked as the world’s 2nd best university in 2022, after MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) by QS World University Rankings – do you agree?
  • Oxford University was used as a filming location for the famous Harry Potter films.
a person looking at the book shelves

  • All Souls College is one of the most difficult academic institutions in Oxford to get admitted into. Only 80 students are allowed to apply, and sometimes only one or two are accepted.
  • Twenty-eight of the Prime Ministers of the UK have attended and graduated from Oxford University (so, apparently, you don’t always have to be smart to go to Oxford ;)).
  • Lewis Carroll, who wrote Alice In Wonderland, attended and also taught at Oxford University until he passed away.
  • The name Oxford, refers to a river crossing or ford for oxen (a type of cow). It comes from the word Oxanforda, which means cattle crossing.
  • In the late 1100s, King Henry II banned students from studying at the University of Paris, so many of them relocated to Oxford.
32 fascinating facts about Oxford

  • King Henry VII burned most of the books at the Bodleian Library (the round building), as a large majority of them mentioned the Pope – who he didn’t like.
  • Until 1820, the only universities in England were Oxford and Cambridge, as they were the only ones allowed to be open.
  • At Oxford University, in the past, all of the exams had to be spoken exams, which would take 3 days in total, with 7 hours of speaking every day.
  • In 2008, St. Hilda’s stopped being the last female-only college in Oxford as they started admitting men.
  • To attend an undergraduate degree at Oxford University, it currently costs £9,250 – the same as all the other universities in England.

32 Fascinating Oxford Facts You NEED To Know – Conclusion

After reading this post, you’ve hopefully learnt about some of the best Oxford facts! Have you learnt any facts about Oxford that you didn’t know of before? Do you have any facts about Oxford that I’ve missed out on? Feel free to contact me if you’d like to know any more additional information! If you want to learn read about some other similar articles, check these out:

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