Students basked in the splendour of the city of Oxford yesterday, as they trundled into town for a tour of some of the historic city’s brightest gems. First up was Christ Church, which famously boasts the Hall that inspired the Harry Potter film franchise in their depiction of the Great Hall at Hogwarts. Students entered this very Hall and gazed up in awe at the sixteenth-century hammer-beaming, not to mention the many pictures that hang on the walls: these portraits commemorate famous members of the college, and include the illustrious likes of Queen Elizabeth I, WH Auden and John Locke.
The Christopher Wren tour of Oxford continued, as after marvelling at the ingenuity and grandeur housed in the Sheldonian Theatre last week, students stared up at Tom Tower in Christ Church’s Tom Quad; named for its bell, Great Tom, the Tower was designed by Christopher Wren and built in 1681-82. Tom Tower has counterparts throughout the country, and even abroad: Clock Court in Hampton Court Palace was constructed in imitation of Tom, as was the tower of Dunster House at Harvard University.
Not to be defeated by the imposing architecture and history-steeped stone of Christ Church, students continued on to the Oxford Castle, which has stood for nearly 1000 years, from proud beginnings in the Norman period, through a crucial role in the Anarchy of the 12th century, to its near destruction in the Civil War and its use as a prison thereafter. Now, history buffs and curious tourists can scale its ramparts and descend to its dank dungeons on a guided tour of England’s fascinating history.
After a day of unfurling century after century of history in the city centre, students returned to LMH to unwind themselves in a relaxing cake-decorating session. Students took a moment to admire their handiwork and take a few pictures of their creations before tucking in. After that, it was off to bed for a good night’s sleep before the final day of lessons and graduation!