Oxford Castle

Price guide: Mid-range

Castle Street, Oxford, OX1 1AY

Price guide: Mid-range

Oxford Castle
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By Adrian Mourby, your Oxford expert

I write for Classic FM, Evening .... Read more
#16 of 21
expert-rated things to do in Oxford
Expert overall rating:3.5 out of 5
Value for money:
4
4.0
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Families with younger children, Travellers with pets, History, Live entertainment, Shopping, Sightseeing

Expert review of Oxford Castle

Ancient Oxford becomes a trendy new place to relax, eat and shop.

Oxford Castle was built in 1071 by the Norman Baron Robert D’Oiley. On the top of a mound that still looms over Castle Street, Sir Robert constructed his fortress, a structure known to us today as St George’s Tower. This was immediately following the Norman Conquest of England. Thus it was that Anglo-Saxon Oxford became part of William the Conqueror's realm.

In the nearly ten centuries since, the complex has served as a royal castle, a court of justice and a gaol (prison). While a gaol it featured in the TV series Porridge and the Noel Coward/Michael Caine film The Italian Job.

Recently, however, it has been refurbished as Oxford's newest quarter for shopping, eating and heritage tourism. Accommodation is provided in 40 new apartments and in the trendy Malmaison Oxford, which has been created within the old prison walls. There is also an art gallery, O3, which features Oxfordshire artists with a fresh exhibition line-up every month.

"Oxford Castle - Unlocked“ is a visitor experience that brings the history of the castle alive in a 40-minute tour (.01865 260666; www.oxfordcastleunlocked.co.uk)

Price advice: 

Entry to the castle is free. The "Oxford Castle - Unlocked" experience costs £7.95 (£6.95 concessions, £5.65 children).

Expert tips: 
There are 360 degree views over Oxford from the top of St George's Tower.

More information on Oxford Castle:

Price guide:
Mid-range
Type:
Castle / palace, Historic site, Market / bazaar
Address:
Castle Street, Oxford, OX1 1AY
Telephone:
01865 201657
Website:
http://www.oxfordcastle.com
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
The castle complex is open 24 hours. "Oxford Castle - Unlocked": Mon-Sun 10am-4.20pm.
Indoor/outdoor?:
Both
Free tags / Keywords:
Prison Tourism

Have you been to Oxford Castle? Would you recommended it?