Christ Church, Oxford

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    Christ Church Cathedral

    by martin_nl Updated Oct 16, 2004

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    Stained glass window at Christ Church Cathedral

    Besides the Dining Hall another highlight is the Cathedral. The church used to extend all the way into the space that is now occupied by Tom Quad. Wolsey who re-founded the College, knocked down most of the cathedral to make way for his grand college. Thankfully the rest of the ancient 12th century was spared! There is a world famous choir here that sings daily, and they've been doing so ever since the college was founded!

    If you want to take a picture tour through the college, take a look at my travelogue and follow the links.

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    Christ Church Dining Hall

    by martin_nl Updated Oct 16, 2004

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    The Dining Hall at Christ Church

    On your (self guided) tour you will come through the Dining Hall. This is a very interesting and beautiful Hall. It has even been used as the Dining Hall in the Harry Potter films!

    Christ Church was also an inspiration for Lewis Carol. He created Alice In Wonderland. In one of the stained glass windows in the Dining Hall you are able to see some figures from the book/ film.

    If you want to take a picture tour through the college, take a look at my travelogue and follow the links.

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    Christ Church

    by martin_nl Updated Oct 16, 2004

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    Tom Tower at Christ Church

    Christ Church College is the best known college in Oxford. There is a lot of history here and also recently the college has been in the news. Christ Church College is built around Tom Quad, a quadrangle courtyard. The main entrance (not for visitors) is through Tom Tower. This will bring you right on Tom Quad.

    Around the quadrangle you will find the Cathedral, the Dining Hall and the Cloister. Other interesting things to see are the Peckwater Quadrangle with the Library and the Picture Gallery, and the Meadow Building through which you as a visitor will enter the premises (after paying some 4 pounds entrance that is!!)

    If you want to take a picture tour through the college, take a look at my travelogue and follow the links.

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    Christ Church Cathedral

    by yooperprof Written Aug 20, 2004

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    I'm a fan of vaulting

    Christ Church Cathedral doubles in function: it is both the chapel for Christ Church College AND it's the "bishop's seat" for the diocese of Oxford.

    The oldest sections of the Cathedral date from the 12th century, but the glorious roof of the nave is mainly 15th century.

    Something visitors to Oxford really ought to do is attend a choral religious service here. Christ Church is famous for its choirs, and listening to the finest music of the Anglican religious tradition in this setting is - well, heavenly.

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    Old Tom Tower

    by yooperprof Written Aug 18, 2004

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    Ask not for whom the bell tolls

    A curious example of 17th century gothic, designed by Christopher Wren (!). Tom Tower dominates the Quad of Christ Church College. Tom Quad is the largest in Oxford, and Christ Church traditionally the wealthiest and most "glamourous" of all the colleges.

    Within the tower is the bell known as "Great Tom," which rings 101 times every night at 9.05 p.m. Traditionally, at the end of its tolling, every college gate at Oxford is shut. "Great Tom" has been "in residence"
    for as long as the Tower itself, since 1681.

    I found the tolling of Great Tom to be one of the fascinating aspects of Oxford that appealed to my historical imagination. For some reason, it "struck" me as melancholy - perhaps with the knowledge that generations of those for whom the bell has tolled are dead. It's also true that the tolling of the bell may mean that it's time to go out in search of good pint.

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    Tom Tower

    by barryg23 Written May 26, 2003

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    Tom Tower

    At the entrance to Christ Church stands the imposing Tom Tower, yet another of Christopher Wren's designs (this guy was busy!).

    The famous bell, Great Tom, rings 101 times every evening at 9.05, and not surprisingly these numbers have a significance. The time is thus chosen as Oxford is five minutes from Greenwich (plus it signals the hour at which students in Oxford were supposed to be in bed), while 101 is number of students in Christ Church when the college was original founded.

    More recently, Tom Tower has featured a few times on the website ihaveshaggedhere.com. One interesting entry on this site had as an afterword - "Melissa, do you want your knickers back?"

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  • Christ Church

    by sabsi Updated Apr 27, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Christ Church

    This is the college most tourists visit. It has some nice buildings and greens, England's smallest cathedral and the beautitful dining hall which was made famous by the Harry Potter film that was made here (see next tip).

    Admission is £3 if you're not coming with a local student with an expired student ID ;)

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  • Dining Hall at Christ Church College

    by sabsi Written Apr 27, 2003

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    Dining Hall

    The dining hall at Christ Church is really beautiful. The dark room is full of long tables, the walls are full of old pictures. A room like this makes it hard to imagine that students actually have dinner here. It helps to know that everybody who has dinner here has to dress up to fit the surroundings I guess.

    Apparently the Harry Potter film was shot here. Probably that's why this was the only place that was full of tourists when I was in Oxford.

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    Christ Church Cathedral

    by Ginaravens Updated Mar 3, 2003

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    Christ Church Cathedral

    Charles I lived at Christ Church during the English Civil War (1642-1646), and held his Parliament in the Great Hall. After the war and the restoration of the monarchy, the College benefited from Royal patronage, raising enough money to have Tom Quad completed. The College was also able to commission a former student, Sir Christopher Wren, to design a new bell tower in 1682, which housed Tom Bell from which the tower and the quad get their names.

    Christ Church has recently been used as a film set, & visitors may recognise it when watching Harry Potter!

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    Christ Church with memorial gardens & Meadow

    by Ginaravens Updated Mar 3, 2003

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    Christ Church

    In 1524 Cardinal Wolsey founded the Cardinal's College on the site of the 9th Century St. Frideswide's Monastery. It was unfinished when in 1529 Cardinal Wolsey fell foul of King Henry VIII and the building stood forgotten. In 1546, Henry VIII refounded the College as a University College & Cathedral. Because Christ Church is both a Cathedral & a College, the Dean is always a Clergyman.

    Christ Church has had many famous alumni. Among these are the philosopher John Locke, religious leaders John Wesley and William Penn, the poet W.H. Auden and Albert Einstein. There is also a close connection with Government. The College has produced 13 Prime Ministers amongst and numerous Cabinet ministers, Bishops and Imperial functionaries. The most celebrated is William Gladstone who was Prime Minister 4 times during the 19th Century.

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    Cathedral Roof Detail

    by yooperprof Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    symphony in stone

    Check out the Christ Church website to see the schedule of services in the cathedral. I strongly recommend Evensong. The verger may allow you to sit in historic choir stalls!

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    Christ Church Dining Hall

    by KittyLou Written Feb 11, 2004

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    While this room has connections to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, including the rabbit hole, visitors now days will think more of Harry Potter because of the filming done here.

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  • Christ Church Cathedral

    by sabsi Written Apr 27, 2003

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    Cathedral of Christ Church College

    This cathedral which is part of Christ Church College is England's smallest cathedral and the reason why Oxford can call itself a city.

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    Christ Church

    by barryg23 Updated Dec 20, 2002

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    Christ Church

    The tourists all love this one and it is a great college. Great to look at that is - it's students on the other hand are probably the most unpopular in Oxford.

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