Museum of Oxford

Address: Town Hall, St Aldate's, Oxford, OX1 1DZ, United Kingdom
Telephone: 01865 252761

- Free


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!

Value for money

Expert tips

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.

If you want to eat the town hall has a café - and is an interesting buidling in its own right.

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!

Recommended for

  • Culture vultures
  • Families with younger children
  • Mature travellers
  • History