22 Interesting Oxford Facts that Will Leave You Amazed

Welcome to Oxford, the stunning city in the UK!

From its stunning natural beauty to its captivating museums 🏛️and rich cultural heritage, it offers fascinating facts for you to discover😃!

This article will offer some amazing facts about Oxford that you leave you amazed!

Let’s begin this wonderful journey!

Fantastic Oxford Facts

Oxford City: This stunning city lies on the Thames River

 Thames River in Oxford

I am quite amazed to explore the location of Oxford City! 

This beautiful city lies on the Thames River. The origin of this famous river is near Bristol, and it flows on through London and later reaches the North Sea.

Thames River is also known as The Isis, which came from an older name for the river Tamesis.

The City of Oxford: Explore the city famous as the City of Dreaming Spires

Have you heard about this dreamy secret about Oxford City!? 

Do you know that this attractive city is also famous as “the city of dreaming spires?” 

This unusual description of the architecture of the city was first seen in a popular poem called ‘Thyrsis’ written by the famous Victorian poet Matthew Arnold.

Oxford City: Know about the origin of the city’s name

The name Oxford derives from ‘Oxanforda.’ Oxanforda actually is a shallow part of a river, or a ford, where cattle, mainly oxen, could easily cross.  

You will be quite amazed to know that the town got its name around 900 AD, and later it was damaged during the 1066 invasion.

Another interesting fact is that this stunning city was the capital of England for a short time. 

During the English Civil War in 1642, Royalist Oxford became the country’s capital. It remained the capital for almost three and a half years until the city had to surrender to the Parliament.

The city of Oxford: It is the predecessor of all coffee shops

Coffee Shops in Oxford

Want to explore this fun and interesting fact about Oxford!?

 Did you know that the first cups of coffee in the entire nation were sold in this place? Yes, it is true. 

We can learn about the coffee of 1650 at the Grand Café that is mentioned in Samuel Pepys’ famous diaries.

 According to another writer of that time, their coffee was a new and unique drink or ‘noveltie’ drink🍸.

May Day in Oxford: The city is famous for its traditional May Day celebrations

Love festivals?? Then you will surely love this amazing secret about Oxford!!

This interesting city is famous for its traditional May Day celebrations on 1st May. 

Here, this special day starts at 6 am, with the Magdalen College’s choristers performing a Latin hymn from the top of Magdalen Tower to the crowds below.

They have been celebrating this special day in this way for more than 500 years. 

Oxford City: Here, Turf Tavern is a famous drinking house

Tavern House in Oxford

Since 1381 the Turf Tavern has been a very popular drinking 🍸 house in the city of Oxford. 

Famous people who came here to enjoy a drink include Tony Blair, Elizabeth Taylor, and Stephen Hawking.

According to the legends of Oxford, The Turf is the place where Bill Clinton smoked ‘but did not inhale’ marijuana whilst he was a student. 

Little friends, remember that It is not an easy task to find the passage of this drinking house, as it is hidden in a narrow winding alley, famous as ‘Hell’s Passage.’

Punting in Oxford: The activity called punting started in Oxford

I am really amazed to learn this fun fact about Oxford! 

Around the year 1860, punting started in Oxford, especially in summer 😎. 

In this special event, these unique flat bottoms boats ⛵with long sticks are used to travel along the river. Though it may look quite easy, there is a certain trick to it.

University of Oxford: Meet the oldest University in the English-speaking world

University Of Oxford

Did you know that The University of Oxford is famous as the oldest University in the world of English and the second oldest University in Europe!? 

The first one is Italy’s University of Bologna. This famous university in Oxford was founded in 1096.  

According to the World University Rankings of Times Higher Education, the University of Oxford is the world’s best university. 

However, it doesn’t have a campus like other universities because its colleges are scattered around the city.

The USA’s Harvard University comes in second place, and the UK’s University of Cambridge comes in third place. 

Oxford is home to a college that is named after a metal door knocker

I am really excited to explore this unique secret about the city of Oxford! 

Oxford City is home to ‘Brasenose College.’ Know that it is named after a ‘brazen,’ a metal door knocker that looked like a nose 👃. 

The college has a twelfth-century knocker on display, placed above the high table in the main hall of the college, which they state is the one responsible

Oxford City: It is the place where we can enjoy inter-college rowing races

Rowing Races in Oxford

This beautiful English city organizes regular inter-college rowing races, or ‘cuppers.’  

It was the idea of friends of Charles Wordsworth, a student of Oxford, and Charles Merivale, a student of Cambridge. 

Though the biggest rowing event here is the annual race against the University of Cambridge.

 Famous as ‘The Boat Race,’ these fun races on the Thames River 🌊 started in 1829. Moreover, in 1927, women’s races were added as well.

Famous Library in Oxford: Meet the famous Bodleian Library

Bodleian Library in Oxford

A part of the University of Oxford, the Bodleian Library has the right to request a free copy of every book📚 that got published in the United Kingdom. 

Also, it has more than 11 million books, and the collection increases each day. 

You will be surprised to know that this second-biggest library in the United Kingdom needs to add more than three miles of shelving annually.

Movie and Oxford: Enjoy the link between Harry Potter and Oxford

If you are a Harry Potter fan like me, then you will surely love to explore this amazing fact about Oxford that proves its amazing collection of Harry Potter films 🎬. 

The architecture of several Oxford colleges was utilized to depict Hogwarts. 

You may recognize the interesting Duke Humfrey’s Library 📚as the dark arts section of the Hogwarts Library.

Also, the stunning vaulted ceiling of the Divinity School can be located in the movies as two locations, which are the students’ practice for the Triwizard Tournament dance and the Hogwarts Infirmary.

the oldest botanical garden in the United Kingdom

Oldest Botanical Garden in Oxford

Founded in the year 1621, the famous Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum is the oldest botanical garden in the entire United Kingdom. 

It has more than 5000 types of plants, including the world’s largest water lilies to desert cacti🌵.

Famous bookstore in Oxford City: The bookstore chain Blackwell’s Bookstore started here

I am quite amazed to learn this interesting fact about Oxford City! 

The bookstore chain Blackwell’s Bookstore started in this beautiful city, where you can still explore its flagship store. 

The bookstore has the largest room devoted to book sales, with around three miles of shelving. 

Creation of the Oxford University Press: Know about the Oxford Comma

Oxford University

Little fun lovers, have you heard about this Geeky fact about Oxford!?? Let me explain.

The Oxford Comma is a specific comma that is used prior to conjunction if you have three or more items. 

This unique usage was founded by the Oxford University Press, and the people of the press utilize it as a standard.

A house with a shark: In Oxford, you can see is a Shark House

At the location, 2. New High St, Headington, the city of Oxford, you can see the Shark House 🦈. 

Be marveled by the house with a 25-foot-long shark attached to its roof, and the shark don’t have a head. 

In the year 1986, American Bill Heine commissioned the shark as the owner of the house while talking about Cold War Politics.

The Ashmolean Museum: Explore the oldest museum in the UK

Ashmolean Museum in Oxford

The Ashmolean Museum was the first University Museum in the world and also the UK’s oldest museum. 

Built in the year 1677, today it has major archaeology and art collections from around the world. 

Academics in Oxford: It is home to one of the most difficult academic institutions

Here we can see one of the toughest academic institutions to get admitted to. Here, only 80 students can apply, and in many cases, only one or two among them are accepted.

Also, in 2008, St. Hilda’s, the city’s last female-only college, started admitting male students.

Lewis Carrol in Oxford: The Beginning of the World-famous Alice in Wonderland

Oh! Alice in Wonderland 😊! I love this story so much! What about you??

Lewis Carroll described about the beginnings of his world-famous creation Alice in Wonderland to the daughters of Dean Henry Liddell in Oxford in 1862. 

One of those two little girls was named Alice.

Dodo in Oxford: Here you will find the complete specimens of the dodo

In the University Museum of National History, we can get to see the specimens of the dodo bird that are nearly complete. 

You may not know that dodo was a flightless bird 🐦that went extinct in the 17th century. 

The museum in Oxford has the mummified skull, bones from the leg and foot of this bird.

The city of Oxford: It even took part in eliminating COVID-19

COVID-19 in Oxford

I am really surprised to take a look at this commendable fact about the beautiful city of Oxford! 

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 😷vaccine was created here. It was created as a collaboration between Oxford and the private company AstraZeneca. 

Carfax Tower: Meet a famous building in Oxford

The center of Oxford city is called ‘Carfax’, which derived from the Latin term for ‘crossroads.”

Also, popular as Carfax Tower, its height of 23 meters have been used to determine the maximum height for all buildings in the center of Oxford City. Quite interesting, right??

Summing up

We hope! Knowing about the above surprising Oxford facts 😲will satisfy your curious soul!

As you already feel surprised to know about this wonderful English city! Among the above interesting facts! Which one do you like the most?

As we are already in this exciting journey, we would really love 😊 to know your answer!

Was this article helpful?

Join our active Facebook group for creative and fun activities, games, and other child development ideas.

Leave a Comment