Museum of Oxford

Price guide: Free

Town Hall, St Aldate's, Oxford, OX1 1DZ

Price guide: Free

Museum of Oxford
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#20 of 21
expert-rated things to do in Oxford
Expert overall rating:3.3 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Culture vultures, Families with younger children, Mature travellers, History

Best for History - Expert review of Museum of Oxford

All of Oxford's history is here (it just needs updating!).

If you're fascinated in how Oxford grew from a highly inflammable Saxon wooden stockade to a Norman motte and bailey settelment, a medieval university town and the capital of royal resistance to Oliver Cromwell, then this is the place for you. Though I know this little museum is woefully under-funded I still find it fascinating. The great thing about Oxford is that its basic street layout was there before the Norman Conquest so you can chart its development in detail and then step outside and apply that knowledge to your immediate surroundings.

Sadly, when I compare the richness of Oxford's history with its presentation at this museum, and then the relative paucity of exciting history in a place like Ghent in Belgium (which is now serviced by the exemplary and recently opened STAM -, I do feel that Oxford deserves better.   

It doesn't keep me away however!

Expert tips: 
Look out for the 1960s town-planning model that shows how developers wanted to put a major road across Christ Church Meadow. Sometimes you have to be grateful for the fact that the university owns this town!
If you want to eat the town hall has a café - and is an interesting buidling in its own right.
There is a small toy musuem on the upper floor. The basement area is pretty much for adults and Oxo-nerds.
Alice fans should ask to see the biscuit tin given by Lewis Carroll to Alice Liddell in 1892.

More information on Museum of Oxford:

Price guide:
Town Hall, St Aldate's, Oxford, OX1 1DZ
01865 252761
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Tue-Sat 10am-5pm.
Free tags / Keywords:
Lewis Carroll

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