City & University of Oxford (Map) - Framed Picture - 12" x 16"
Oxford is a city in the South East region of England and the county town of Oxfordshire.
The city is known worldwide as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Buildings in Oxford demonstrate notable examples of every English architectural period since the late Saxon period. Oxford is known as the "city of dreaming spires", a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold.
Oxford was first settled in Saxon times and was initially known as "Oxenaforda", meaning "Ford of the Oxen".
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.
In 1002, many Danes were killed in Oxford during the England-wide St. Brice's Day massacre, a killing of Danes ordered by King Æthelred the Unready. The ‘massacre’ was a contributing factor to King Sweyn I of Denmark’s invasion of England in 1003 and the sacking of Oxford by the Danes in 1004.
Oxford was heavily damaged during the Norman Invasion of 1066. Following the conquest, the town was assigned to a governor, Robert D'Oyly, who ordered the construction of Oxford Castle to confirm Norman authority over the area.
Oxford's prestige was enhanced by its charter granted by 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.
Parliaments were often held in the city during the 13th century. The Provisions of Oxford were instigated by a group of barons led by Simon de Montfort; these documents are often regarded as England's first written constitution.
Richard I of England and John, King of England, were both born at Beaumont Palace in Oxford.
The University of Oxford is first mentioned in 12th century records.
The sweating sickness epidemic in 1517 was particularly devastating to Oxford and Cambridge where it killed half of both cities' populations, including many students and dons.
Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford is unique in combining a college chapel and a 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 when 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, for their religious beliefs and teachings.
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. The city suffered two serious fires in 1644 and 1671.