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Virtual Walk Up St Giles

(click on the images to view the interactive 360 degree panoramas)

St Giles is one of the major thoroughfares of Oxford. It is a wide boulevard running north from the heart of the city.

St Giles starts at the Martyrs' Memorial.

The Memorial was built in 1841 to commemorate the deaths of the three Protestant leaders, Archbishop Cranmer and Bishops Ridley and Latimer, by the Catholic Queen Mary I in 1555. They were cross-examined at the Divinity school and later tried for heresy in St. Mary's Church. Ridley and Latimer were burned at the stake in the town ditch, now Broad Street, on 16 October 1555, while Cranmer was forced to watch from St. Michael's Tower. Though Cranmer began to renounce his faith, he was burned on 21 March 1556, having first thrust into the fire his right hand, with which he had signed the recantations. A cross in the road at Broad Street marks the site of the fire.

Balliol College runs south to the left of the memorial and to the right of the memorial is the Randolph Hotel, a major hotel in Oxford - Bill Clinton often stays here when he visits Oxford. The Randolph opened in 1864 and is a neogothic 4 floor structure.

 

The first building on the left up St Giles is the Taylor Institution. The Taylor Institution is Oxford University 's centre for the study of medieval and modern European languages and literatures other than English.

The Grade I listed neo-classical building was completed in 1844. It owes its name and its existence to the successful eighteenth century architect Sir Robert Taylor (1714-1788) who left the residue of his fortune to the University for establishing "a foundation for teaching and improving the European languages."

Opposite the Taylor Institution is 1 St Giles, the new Oxford Internet Institute (OII) focusing on furthering understanding of the economic, political, institutional, scientific, legal and other social factors shaping the Internet and its implications for society.

Behind the Taylor Institution is The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. This is a museum of the University of Oxford. Founded in 1683, it is one of the oldest public museums in the world

A "Virtual Tour of The Ashmolean Museum" is online. This contains over 110 interactive panoramas of the museum.

On the right stretching most of the length of St Giles is the very large St John's College .

The College of St John the Baptist was founded in 1555 by Sir Thomas White (1492-1567), a former Lord Mayor of London. The college took over the premises of St. Bernard's College, founded in 1437 by Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury, for Cistercian monks studying at Oxford University. Their college was abolished during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Over the gateway to St. John's College is a statue of St. Bernard, a relic of the original college. Effigies of Bishop Chichele, founder of St. Bernard's, and Sir Thomas White, founder of St. John's, flank the statue.

The front quad is ringed by rebuilt remnants of the 15th century college buildings, along with dormer windows added in the 16th and 17th century.

The college was laid out around a spacious quadrangle (the present Front Quadrangle) on a site outside the medieval walls of Oxford.

Canterbury Quad was built by Archbishop Laud in 1631-1636. On the east and west of the quad are statues of King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, who both resided in Oxford during the dark days of the English Civil War.

A "Virtual Tour of The St John's College" is online. This contains over 50 interactive panoramas of the college.

 

The Eagle and Child pub on St Giles

The Eagle and Child pub has a famous literary past, JRR Tolkien became involved with an informal literary group of staff and students known as the 'Inklings', including C S Lewis and Charles Williams, which met on Tuesday nights in the pub. Their meetings would involve the readings of old Norse sagas. There is a plaque inside remembering the Inklings.

As locals they know it as "The Bird and Baby"!

Tolkien would often take supper of a Thursday with Lewis at the latter's rooms in the New Building of Magdalen College. These meetings continued for many years, although the Inklings changed allegiances in 1962 and moved across St Giles to The Lamb and Flag.

Further north is St Giles House just up from the Lamb and Flag pub, both owned by St John's College. They provide some student accommodation for the college.

St Giles House also provides music facilities for the college, a soundproofed music room is located below St. Giles house. It contains several amplifiers for electric and bass guitars, a grand piano and a drum kit (sticks not included!) .

At the north end of St Giles the road splits into two, one the Woodstock Rd and the other the Banbury Road. These are the major roads leading north out of the city.

At the junction is the war memorial cross, dedicated to the Oxford soldiers who lost their lives in the two world wars.

Just north of the war memorial is the anglican church of St Giles.

It is a medieval church, which was originally situated outside the borders of Oxford, dating back to A.D. 1086.

The Woodstock Rd leads north to the out of Oxford, through the large suburban homes built for the Oxford Dons when they were finally allowed to marry and needed homes for their wives and growing families.

At the start of the Woodstock Rd, a small lane leads west, this is called Little Calarendon Street. Here are many trendy shops and restaurants. Little Clarendon Street leads to the area of Oxford called Jericho.

Originally Jericho was site of 'The Jericho House'. This inn, was used by people to take refuge after the city gates were shut in the 17th Century. It was was subsequently rebuilt in its three storey form in 1818 andis now called 'The Jericho'.

Most of Jericho's first round of housing development took place in the 19th Century as a means of accommodating workers in expanding local businesses. Their numbers increased after the construction of the Oxford Canal (1790), the building of the Jericho Iron and Brass Foundry, now Lucy's (1825), and the arrival of Oxford University Press (1826).
Their houses were small and basic, lacking even basic drainage. As a result most of Jericho was little more than a squalid slum and vulnerable to outbreaks of cholera.

Now Jericho's small terraced houses are very expensive homes with easy access to the city centre, London via the near by railway station and the many cafes on Walton St.

Banbury Rd heads north out of the city too, leading through the residential area of Summertown.

East is Keble Rd, bordering Keble College and taking walkers to the University Park and Science Area.

A "Virtual Tour of The University Park" is online this contains over 30 interactive panoramas of the park.