Unchanging Oxford High Street (comparison of 1810 painting with recent photo)
Blenheim Palace, and Gardens
Publisher: Taunt & Co
Blenheim Palace, near Oxford, stands in a romantic park created by the famous landscape gardener ‘Capability’ Brown. It was presented by the English nation to John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, in recognition of his victory in 1704 over French and Bavarian troops. Built between 1705 and 1722 and characterized by an eclectic style and a return to national roots, it is a perfect example of an 18th-century princely dwelling.
UNESCO World Heritage listing
Blenheim Palace is a country house in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough and the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. The palace, one of England’s largest houses, was built between 1705 and 1722, and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The palace is named after the 1704 Battle of Blenheim, and thus ultimately after Blindheim (also known as Blenheim) in Bavaria. It was originally intended to be a reward to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough for his military triumphs against the French and Bavarians in the War of the Spanish Succession, culminating in the Battle of Blenheim. The land was given as a gift, and construction began in 1705, with some financial support from Queen Anne.
In the winter of 1704-5 John Churchill, duke of Marlborough engaged Sir John Vanbrugh to build a house in Woodstock Park, and together they chose a site overlooking the Glyme valley opposite the old royal palace. From the first, in accordance with the queen’s wishes, the house was called Blenheim. The foundation stone was laid on 18 June 1705 on a site prepared by the royal gardener Henry Wise. Building continued at the Crown’s expense until 1712, when, after the Marlboroughs had lost favour, the Treasury ceased to provide funds. On the queen’s death in 1714 the Marlboroughs returned from voluntary exile, but little was done until debts to Blenheim workmen were partially settled in 1716. Building then continued at the Marlboroughs’ expense, and the family took up residence in 1719. After the duke’s death in 1722 Sarah, duchess of Marlborough, completed the chief features of Vanbrugh’s house plan, together with outworks such as the Grand Bridge, the Triumphal Arch, and the Column of Victory. Her work was substantially complete by the early 1730s
A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock (includes a floor plan)
Blenheim Palace, Italian Gardens
Publisher: Taunt & Co
Brasenose College (BNC), officially The Principal and Scholars of the King’s Hall and College of Brasenose in Oxford, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1509, with the library and chapel added in the mid-17th century and the new quadrangle in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
“Brasenose was a hall before it was a college, and a lodging before it was a hall. But it has always occupied the same site, halfway between the Bodleian Library and St Mary’s Church, a site at the very heart of Oxford. . . . Brasenose entered the nineteenth century as an Anglican monopoly, a male preserve, independently financed, largely governed by bachelor Fellows in holy orders. The curriculum was narrow—mostly classics, mathematics, and divinity—and the basis of recruitment narrower still. . . .”
Before the foundation of Brasenose College part of the site was occupied by Brasenose Hall, one of the mediaeval Oxford institutions which began as lodging houses and gradually became more formal places of learning. Various other halls and houses occupied the site alongside Brasenose Hall, but very little is known about the Hall itself. However, we do know that it was situated on the site of the College’s entrance tower (situated on Old Quad).
A Concise History of Brasenose (official website)
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co, Reigate
Christ Church (Latin: Ædes Christi, the temple or house, ædēs, of Christ, and thus sometimes known as “The House”) is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Christ Church is a joint foundation of the college and the cathedral of the Oxford diocese (Christ Church Cathedral and its cathedral school), which serves as the college chapel and whose dean is ex officio the college head. Founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII, it is one of the larger colleges of the University of Oxford with 629 students in 2016. It is also the wealthiest college with an endowment of £577.6m as of 2019. Christ Church has a number of architecturally significant buildings including Tom Tower (designed by Sir Christopher Wren), Tom Quad (the largest quadrangle in Oxford), and the Great Dining Hall which was also the seat of the parliament assembled by King Charles I during the English Civil War.