Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
Oxford University, said to have been founded as early as 872, was the first university in the English-speaking world, and united under one academic canopy several largely independent and self-governing colleges and halls. The Bodleian library was established in 1603, based partly on a previously existing collection held at Oxford. The building was completed in 1624. The Physic Garden (later known as the Botanic Gardens) of medicinal plants was created in 1621. The Sheldonian Theatre was added in 1669.
Oxford University offered a largely classical higher education to young men, granting degrees to those who applied themselves appropriately to their studies, and functioning as something of a social club for those whose interests lay in non-academic pursuits. There was a focus on politics, law and humanities.
Oxford was in stiff competition with Cambridge University. The town itself is more like a city, and is very particular in architecture due to the sandstone used for most buildings. Charles Rex and his father favoured Oxford and even held Parliamentary sessions there when they felt too much threatened in London.