30 Fascinating Facts About Oxford

by Tsvete Popp
The Gardens of Christ Churc

30 Facts About Oxford

Discover the rich history and captivating charm of Oxford with these 30 fascinating facts. Uncover the secrets of this renowned academic city, from its prestigious university to its iconic landmarks. Learn about notable alumni, famous literary connections, and centuries-old traditions. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a literature lover, or simply curious about this remarkable city, our collection of intriguing facts will deepen your appreciation for Oxford’s cultural significance. Immerse yourself in the captivating tales and hidden gems of Oxford, where knowledge and heritage intertwine.

1. The University of Oxford is the second oldest performing University in the World. The oldest one is the University of Bologna.

2. The very first colleges of Oxford opened doors during the 13th century, but no female students were allowed until 1878.

Oxford University

Museum of Natural History

3. During the 16th century, the most important happening in Oxford was the opening of Christ Church by King Henry VIII (the father of Elisabeth I)

4. The reason why Oxford was not bombed at all during the IIWW was the reason that Hitler wanted to use the city as a capital after conquering England.

Macdonald Randolph Hotel

Macdonald Randolph Hotel

5. There are 38 individual colleges and 5 private halls at Oxford.

6. The statistics of Oxford show that the University has 22.000 students, 11.772 of which are undergraduate students and 9.850 are graduate students. 62% of the grad students are not from the UK.


Some Harry Potter Style Scholars

Some Harry Potter Style Scholars

7. My very favourite Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) went to Oxford University. He studied at Newcastle University and got his master’s degree in electrical engineering.

8. Radiohead (an English rock band from Abingdon) was formed while attending the Abingdon School in Oxford.

Just some Random Wedding Guests

Just some Random Wedding Guests

High Street, Oxford

9. The oldest purpose-built museum in the world (officially opened in 1683) is the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford.

10. Well, Oxford is a private university that offers more than 300 different graduate degree programmes that cost an average annual tuition of about £9.000 per year for a British or EU student, or between £14.415 and £21.220 if you’re coming outside the EU.


The Garden of Trinity College, Oxford

11. In 2016 more than 19.000 scholars applied for around 3.200 undergraduate places – that means ca 6 applications for each available place!

12. Oxford was the capital of England during the Civil War (1642 – 1646).

The Gardens of Trinity College, Oxford

14. O’h! That other University, The University of Cambridge, was actually founded by Oxford scholars who fled the first of many “Town versus Gown” riots that erupted in Oxford in 1209 following the murder of a local woman by students.

The Gardens of Christ Church, Oxford

15. The Alice from Alice in Wonderland, was actually a real girl called Alice Liddell. The real Alice was the daughter of the Dean at Christ Church – a college friend of Lewis.

16. Well, Oxford is kind of snobby! And the word “snob” actually originated here, in Oxford. It comes and abbreviates from the Latin phrase “sine nobilitate” which means “without nobility”.

Youngmans Oxford

17. The friends Charles Merivale, a student of Cambridge, and Charles Wordsworth, a student at Oxford, decided to hold a race between the universities (1829).

All Souls College, Oxford

18. All Souls (found in 1400) College of Oxford accepts up to two new (graduated!) members per year from its applicants. It is probably the most mysterious institution in the city as it has a total of 76 members, because of the “easy” application process – just be a genius and unique!

The Garden of Trinity College, Oxford

19. The name Oxford comes from “Oxanforda” – “Cattle Crossing”.

20. The Holywell Music Room (1748) is the oldest music performance hall in Europe.

Another random wedding at Chris Church, Oxford

Another random wedding at Chris Church

21. Students have some really “bizarre rituals” e.g. throwing eggs and pasta sauce at students who finish their exams.

22. Oxford has more published authors per square mile than anywhere else in the world!

JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis met as part of the Inklings writers’ group in Eagle & Child, Oxford

JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis met as part of the Inklings writers’ group in Eagle & Child

23. Students of Oxford University have won 158 Olympic gold medals!

24. Oxford University has educated 27 British Prime Ministers.

Queen’s Lane Coffee House, Oxford

Queen’s Lane Coffee House

25. The Queens Lane Coffee House is the oldest continually working coffee house in Europe.

Blackwell's Bookshop, Oxford

Blackwell's Bookshop, Oxford

26. The Blackwells books in Oxford is the home to the Norrington room – the largest room in the world in which books are sold!

27. Oxford is five minutes behind Greenwich meantime because it is 1 degree west of the prime meridian. That’s why the Great Tom Bell rings 101 times at 9.05 pm every evening.

In Oxford it's all about the Harry Potter Feeling, Oxford

It’s all about the Harry Potter Feeling

28. Harry Potter was here!

The “Tudor Great Hall” in Christ Church College was the inspiration for the dining hall of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.

The stairway inside Christ Church College is where Harry first arrives at Hogwarts.

The hallways of Christ Church is where Hermione shows Harry the Quidditch trophy his father won.

Another place is the Divinity Hall in Bodleian Library for filming Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.

Also, the Duke Humphry Library of Bodleian Library was the place where Harry walked through the Hogwarts Library hidden underneath his invisibility cloak with the intention to steal a book.

The New College Cloister was a filming place in the “The Goblin of Fire” where Harry faces Malfoy who is sitting on a gigantic oak tree. Then Malfoy was into a ferret by Mad-Eye Moody.

29. Here is where Emma Watson a.k.a Hermione Granger went to school!

Magdalen College, Oxford

30. The Oxford English Dictionary (first published in 1884) is the most famous descriptive dictionary of the English language.

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Enjoy the day!

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