In recent years, thanks to my husband’s job, I had several opportunities to visit England. While he attended meetings and slaved away on projects, I wandered about, sightseeing and eating. The first stop on one trip was Oxford, a great way to step back in time as well as indulge my huge fan-crush for all things Harry Potter.
Oxford began as a river crossing for oxen, and later, a military encampment. In 1066, Oxford Castle was built and included a monastic community with a chapel and living quarters. While the exact date for the founding of the educational institution is unknown, evidence indicates the religious order included teaching as early as 1096. Attendance exploded in 1167 when King Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.
Currently, the University is composed of 38 different colleges, of which 35 offer undergraduate studies. While almost all colleges provide the same courses of study, they were founded at different times and tend to attract different types of students, and as such, have different “flavors.” One of the most notable is Christ Church, founded in 1524 by Cardinal Woolsey and re-founded and renamed by King Henry VIII after Woolsey’s fall from power.